Cisco makes US$1bn ‘internet of everything’ bet to accelerate UK’s digital economy

10 Jul 2015

Cisco is to invest US$1bn in the UK to accelerate its digital economy, including US$150m for 'internet of everything' start-ups.

Cisco is to invest US$1bn in the UK to accelerate the country’s digital economic growth, including a US$150m Internet of Everything fund for start-ups.

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 series of strategic investments was revealed following a meeting at 10 Downing Street between UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the UK’s Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, incoming CEO Chuck Robbins, and Cisco’s Ireland and UK CEO Phil Smith.

“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,” Prime Minister Cameron said.

“It will create jobs and growth across the country, providing security for hard working people.”

The investments total US$1bn over the next three to five years.

This follows a US$500m commitment made by Cisco in 2011, which has generated US$5bn in technology and manpower for the UK economy, and incorporated initiatives like the British Innovation Gateway (BIG).

‘We believe the UK is well on its way to becoming one of the top digitised countries in the world’

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) technology across the financial technologies, retail and healthcare industries, and smart city development.  In addition, corporate investments will also accelerate innovation in cybersecurity solutions.

“We believe the UK is well on its way to becoming one of the top digitised 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,” Cisco CEO and chairman John Chambers said.

“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 US$1bn, to support the next phase of the UK’s digitisation plans.”

Downing Street image, via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years