The FINANCIAL — Following a meeting on July 9 at No.10 Downing Street between UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, incoming Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Cisco UK and Ireland Chief Executive Phil Smith, Cisco has announced a series of strategic commitments in the UK that will total over US $1Billion over the next three to five years.
The investment will support the next phase of the country’s digitization plans, according to Cisco.
This second significant round of activity in the UK follows the $500m commitment made by Cisco in 2011, which has contributed in excess of $5bn in technology and manpower to the UK economy through initiatives such as the British Innovation Gateway (BIG) that helps to foster and nurture UK innovation and entrepreneurship.
The commitment of $150m for Internet of Everything UK start-ups and venture capital equity investments will focus on key priorities for Cisco and the UK. These include applications of Internet of Everything (IoE) technologies across the financial technologies, retail, and healthcare industries, and smart city development. In addition, corporate investments will also accelerate innovation in cybersecurity solutions.
As part of Cisco’s new financial commitment, capital will also be made available for further strategic acquisitions by Cisco in the UK, which over the past five years has included acquisitions in wireless software, next-generation video delivery, and cloud-based security technologies.
In recognition of the productivity challenges faced by the UK and the necessity to increase the level of students utilising science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, Cisco will also further its UK-based Cisco Networking Academy education programme to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. This builds on its already highly successful UK-wide network of innovation centres, established in the BIG initiative, which includes IDEALondon, the National Virtual Incubator network and CREATE.
Acknowledging the geographic clusters of expertise across the length and breadth of the UK, Cisco will also support the UK government’s desire to redress the country’s North-South economic imbalance, with the addition of new centres of expertise, funded university collaborations, skills investments and expansion of Cisco’s apprenticeship programmes.
The UK is Cisco’s second largest country market, with up to 7,000 employees. The company intends to expand further, doubling its Central London footprint with the addition of a new state-of-the-art office before the end of 2015, and the creation of over 200 new high-value jobs.
The new activities form part of Cisco’s global ‘country digitization acceleration’ programme, whereby select countries across the world receive major strategic investment to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation.
Prime Minister David Cameron:
“This massive investment from Cisco is great news for the UK’s growing digital economy and is a clear vote of confidence in our long term economic plan. It will create jobs and growth across the country, providing security for hard working people.”
John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco:
“We believe the UK is well on its way to becoming one of the top digitized countries in the world, and we’re proud to once again activate new programmes and continue our deep commitment to partnering with the UK government. Since 2011 we have delivered over and above on every objective we set with government in our prior commitments – encouraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the British Innovation Gateway initiative, we have supported the government’s ambition to create world class technology hubs across the country, generate jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable growth. Today, we are pleased to make our next series of strategic commitments, totaling over $1B, to support the next phase of the UK’s digitization plans.”