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July 9, 2015

Cisco pledges $1bn to UK digital economy

Outgoing CEO John Chambers met with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

By Alexander Sword

Cisco has committed to invest $1 billion (roughly £650 million) in the UK over the next three to five years.

The investment is intended to support Britain’s digitisation and includes a $150 million commitment to back Internet of Everything (IoE) UK start-ups.

Venture capital investments will target IoE applications in financial technologies, retail, healthcare and smart city development. The company will also invest in cybersecurity solutions.

Education will also receive a boost, with Cisco pledging to further its UK-based Cisco Networking Academy programme to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

Cisco will also assist in the Conservative government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plans by funding new centres, working with universities and expanding apprenticeship programmes. The company also intends to double its Central London footprint with a new office before the end of 2015, and the creation of 200 new jobs.

Remaining capital will be allocated to further strategic acquisitions by Cisco in the UK.

The announcement was made following a meeting at 10 Downing Street between Prime Minister David Cameron, Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Outgoing Cisco CEO John Chambers and incoming CEO Chuck Robbins. (follow the link to read our UK tech exclusive interview with John Chambers)

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This is the latest step in Cisco’s ‘country digitisation acceleration’ programme, which boosts existing government innovation goals with strategic investment.

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."

John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco, commented: "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 $1B, to support the next phase of the UK’s digitisation plans."

It is not the first time that the outgoing CEO has touched upon his vision for the future, as he revealed to CBR in an exclusive interview his predictions for the future and what he is betting his money on. Click here to read the full exclusive interview.

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