Cisco to Pour $1 Billion into U.K. Tech, Education, IoE Startups in Digitization Ramp Up
Cisco (CSCO) said it will direct $1 billion over the next three- to five years to spark digitization efforts in the U.K., including funding Internet of Everything (IoE) startups, education programs and new jobs.
The funding commitment targets venture capital equity investments in IoE startups focused on finance, retail, healthcare and so-called “smart cities,” as well as cybersecurity initiatives and adds to $500 million in backing Cisco pledged to the U.K. in 2011.
Tied to the U.K. investment is a doubling of Cisco’s office space in central London by the end of this year and the addition of 200 new jobs, the vendor said. Cisco employs some 7,000 people in the U.K.
Cisco said it might use some of the money for local strategic acquisitions, adding to its existing ownership of U.K. companies in wireless software, next-generation video delivery, and cloud-based security. And, the vendor said it will invest in local education and skills-building resources and extend Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway program.
The networking giant went public with the $1 billion initiative following a meeting 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. The deal is one of the last for Chambers, who will hand over the company’s reins to Robbins on July 26.
“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 programs and continue our deep commitment to partnering with the UK government,” said Chambers.
“Europe is leading in digitalization,” Chambers told the Wall Street Journal. “In the U.K., Prime Minister Cameron gets it.”
The U.K. investment is part of Cisco’s overall plan to back the efforts of select countries to promote economic growth through innovation in technology or what the vendor is calling “country digitization acceleration.” Cisco recently made similarly intended commitments of $10 billion in China and $60 million in India.
Additional activities in the U.K. will include encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship at the Cisco Networking Academy, and promoting economic balance throughout the U.K. by adding new centers of expertise, funded university collaborations, skills investments and expanding the vendor’s apprenticeship programs.
“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,” U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said. “It will create jobs and growth across the country, providing security for hard working people.”