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Press Release -- January 31st, 2011
Source: Cisco Systems
Tags: Equipment, M&A

Prime Minister Welcomes Cisco’s $500 Million Investment Goal for UK as Part of Support for East London Tech City

Five Year Goal To Stimulate Growth Of Hi-Tech Economy And Create 2012 Olympic Legacy

CISCO LIVE; LONDON, 31 January 2011 – In a meeting today between UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and Cisco Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, Cisco pledged support for efforts to generate a long-term investment of money, technology and manpower that would help support the design and implementation of an initiative called the British Innovation Gateway (BIG).

In line with the government’s goals of driving new economic growth through high-tech innovation, fostering an environment of entrepreneurship within the UK and ensuring an enduring legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games, BIG will mark the start of a five-year effort to catalyse sustainable and scalable growth of innovative high-tech small and medium sized enterprises.

BIG will include two networked Innovation Centres – an open innovation centre in Shoreditch developed in partnership with the local SME community, and another at the Olympic Park providing a ‘state of the art connected community’ with special focus on developing and demonstrating a new wave of solutions for London and other cities.

Orchestrated by Cisco, these centres will be underpinned by state-of-the-art networked collaboration technologies linking innovation and technology centres across the UK and other global hubs of innovation.

The British Innovation Gateway will also see Cisco leading the following initiatives:

  • Continuously expanding collaboration technologies and business networks that link to other important innovation clusters in East London such as the Digital Peninsula in Greenwich, and increasing the range of users and partners, including technology innovation centres across the U.K. and abroad. Early efforts will focus on working with the Birmingham Science Park Aston to build BIG linkages to its iCentrumTM “Science Park Without Walls”.
  • Five annual competitions called the “BIG Awards: Powered by Cisco I-PRIZE¹,  which seeks to discover excellence in innovation and business acumen from UK SMEs in targeted growth areas.
  • Mentoring, training and access to top in-house expertise from Cisco to assist BIG Awards winners and other UK innovators to develop, test and pilot new technologies in order to accelerate their market entry in support of fresh economic growth.

Supporting Quotes:

    • Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I welcome this major statement of support from Cisco. This will help create many new jobs and opportunities, and support our drive to diversify our economy and generate sustainable economic growth.”

“We want to bring together the energy and innovation of Shoreditch and the incredible potential of the Olympic Park to help make East London one of the world’s great technology centres. Today this ambition is gathering pace.”

“Cisco’s goal is a fantastic example of how business is turning this vision into reality, with East London set to become a leading Tech City.”

    • John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco:

“The Prime Minister’s Tech City Initiative is an excellent example of how government agencies can spur innovation and growth,” said CEO of Cisco John Chambers. “This project is a logical progression of the work we’ve done in the east of London for the 2012 Olympic Games, and we are delighted to work with the UK Government as it serves as a reminder of how business and government, working together can turn vision into reality.”

Over the last five years Cisco has demonstrated a strong commitment to the UK economy and job creation, choosing the UK to establish its European and Emerging Markets team. The company has also invested substantial sums in providing state of the art technology for the London 2012 Olympic Games, operating 600 Networking Academies, and in M&A activity with high potential technology companies and Venture Capital funds totaling over $200m. Cisco anticipates that the BIG initiative will both support and sharpen Cisco’s future capacity to make such investments in the UK over the next 5 years, and stimulate UK hi-tech innovation and growth.

Additional British Innovation Gateway benefits will include:

  • Supporting British innovation with Cisco’s unrivalled insight into the growth sectors of the global technology industry around Smart +Connected Communities and mass urbanisation
  • Cisco’s business model is built on industry and business partnerships which gives a world class capability in building industry consortia from the UK
  • Significant investment of Cisco’s strategic consulting and development capabilities through extensive commitment of Cisco’s senior business consulting group (IBSG) resources to the BIG initiative
  • An agreement last year between Cisco and the Olympic Park Legacy Company to explore Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities²  vision for the park to become a state-of-the-art community and a model for innovation working to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability following the London 2012 Games

¹About Cisco I-Prize

The global community is a comprehensive resource for creativity and innovation. Cisco I-PRIZE is an open, global innovation contest developed to encourage collaboration among entrepreneurs and help identify new potential billion-dollar business ideas for Cisco. The BIG Awards: Powered by Cisco I-PRIZE will leverage this community platform to create a contest providing seed-money to British SMEs with the best ideas for targeted innovation. For more information, please visit

²About Cisco Smart & Connected Communities

Cisco Smart+Connected Communities uses intelligent networking capabilities to weave together people, services, community assets, and information into a single pervasive solution. “Smart+Connected” acknowledges the essential role of the network as the platform to help transform physical communities to connected communities. It also encapsulates a new way of thinking about how communities are designed, built, managed, and renewed to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to Cisco equipment in Europe is provided by Cisco Systems International B.V. and Cisco International Limited, wholly owned subsidiaries of Cisco Systems, Inc.

About the East London Tech City

Prime Minister David Cameron set out the Government’s ambition to build on the existing cluster of technology companies in East London to create a world-leading technology centre. This ambitious agenda to create an East London Tech City is part of the Government’s programme to create new jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable economic growth. It builds on the growth of technology companies in the area with plans to use the Olympic Park press and broadcast centres beyond the 2012 Games as a space for high growth technology companies.

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