Cisco invest $1bn in UK

Cisco are set to invest more than $1 billion into the UK technology industry over the next few years.

The announcement came last week (9th July), when Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, incoming Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Cisco UK and Ireland Chief Executive Phil Smith headed to No. 10 Downing Street to meet with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

They set out a number of strategic commitments for the next three to five years which will total more than $1 billion to support the next phase of the UK’s digital transformation plans and target, among other priorities, the ‘Internet of Things’.

Following the announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “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.”

Cisco’s significant financial commitment covers multiple projects, including investments in education and skills initiatives, a major extension of their British Innovation Gateway programme, and $150 million of venture capital investments in Internet of Everything (IoE) UK start-ups.

Cisco Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, explained: “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.

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

Cisco’s key priorities include the application of IoE technologies across the financial technology, retail and healthcare industries as well as smart city development. They will also focus on new strategic acquisitions in the UK. The past five years have already seen Cisco make acquisitions in wireless software, next-generation video delivery, and cloud-based security technologies.

They are looking to continue their UK-based Cisco Networking Academy education programme in recognition of the productivity challenges currently faced by the UK and the need to increase student numbers within the areas of science, technology and maths (STEM) skills. They will also support the government’s aim to redress the UK’s North-South economic imbalance, through new centres of expertise, funded university collaborations, skills investments and expansion of Cisco’s apprenticeship programmes.

The new commitments are part of Cisco’s global country digitisation acceleration programme, which sees select countries from across the world receive major strategic investment in order to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation.