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The BIG Initiative - What's the big idea?The BIG Initiative

Cisco BIG: Building a Brilliant Future

Cisco BIG: Building a Brilliant Future
Find out how Cisco is creating a lasting legacy post London 2012.

The BIG Initiative enables future generations to make use of the technology Cisco is contributing to the Games. We will create two networked innovation centres that will showcase technology and transform local businesses and communities.

The Shoreditch innovation centre will be developed in partnership with the local SME community. The other providing a state-of-the-art connected community with a special focus on developing and demonstrating new technology for London at the Olympic Park, which will also connect with other cities.

B.I.G has three major elements for development and implementation.

1) Innovation Centres

  • Two Innovation Centres based in London Shoreditch and the Olympic Park
  • Centres will be designed to encourage open innovation and provide support for SMEs

2) National Virtual incubators

  • A sustainable online network enabling collaboration for SMEs, entrepreneurs and educational research facilities
  • Will be a major contribution to the ongoing development of the UK's ‘innovation ecosystem’ which will allow entrepreneurs and innovators to more easily access and take advantage of the very best supporting capabilities across the whole of the UK

3) The BIG Awards

  • An annual innovation competition rewarding 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
  • Cisco expects to launch the first round of the BIG Awards in early 2012

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, is delighted with Cisco's support for sustainable prosperity. ‘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.

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.”

BIG Initiative - What makes Cisco a perfect partner?Cisco a perfect partner?

In order to create new jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable economic growth, 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.

“The Prime Minister's Tech City Initiative is an excellent example of how Government agencies can spur innovation and growth,” commented John Chambers, Cisco CEO.

Cisco invested heavily in providing state-of-the-art technology for the Games, operating 600 Networking Academies in the UK (with another 30+ in development in the East End within twelve months) and has demonstrated its commitment to the British economy by establishing its European and Emerging Markets team in the UK.

BIG Initiative - Taking the leadTaking the lead

Linking innovation with technology, both state-of-the-art Centres promise to act as global hubs of innovation.

From the Digital Peninsula in Greenwich and nearby innovation clusters in the East End, Cisco will continue to expand using collaboration technologies to increase the number of users and partners, eventually covering the whole of the UK. However, the early focus will centre on working with the Birmingham Science Park to build linkages to its iCentrum™ “Science Park without Walls”.

As well as contributing the technology, Cisco will also offer mentoring, training and access to in-house experts to assist the winners of the BIG Awards and help other UK innovators develop, test and pilot new technologies to stimulate economic growth.

In addition, Cisco's support of the BIG Initiative will provide the following:

  • Cisco's unrivalled insight into the growth sectors of the global technology industry surrounding Smart+Communities.
  • World class capability in building industry consortia from the UK built on Cisco's business model and industry partnerships.
  • Extensive consulting and development capabilities by committing Cisco's senior business consulting group (IBSG) to the BIG Initiative.
  • An agreement with the Olympic Park Legacy Company to explore Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities vision for the park as a model for innovation to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability following the Games.

“This project is a logical progression of the work we've done in the east of London for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” continued John Chambers who is passionate about Cisco playing its part in the UK's long term success.

BIG Initiative - Who will benefit?Who will benefit?

Although the initial Innovation centres are planned for East London, it doesn't mean that technology focussed business across the country won't feel any benefit.

The Government's hi-tech innovation and growth agenda is relevant across the UK. That's why Cisco are looking to extend the BIG Initiative with the creation of a “National Virtual Incubator”, including plans to work closely with Government leaders in Scotland and assist with their existing world-renowned health sciences, games industry and education programmes.

However, the emphasis will be on encouraging entrepreneurs and SME's with a focus on high-tech innovations, particularly those on public service and BIG Society challenges.

BIG Initiative - Latest National Virtual Incubator news Latest National Virtual Incubator

The National Virtual Incubator (NVI) network will span the entire UK and consist of a series of ‘nodes’ connected to research clusters, higher education establishments and science parks over the JANET network (The UK's Education and Research Network). Equipped with state-of-the-art networked collaboration technology, including Cisco's TelePresence solution and JANET Videoconferencing, the nodes will link leading centres of innovation, enabling organisations to pool resources, share ideas and develop business partnerships to help support tech innovation across the UK.

A further three nodes will be announced within the next three months with an additional nine nodes added in 2012. Cisco's target is to see over 100 nodes connect to the NVI within the next five years, which will represent an initial investment of $10 million.

Phil Smith, CEO, Cisco UK and Ireland said: “The National Virtual Incubator is the next step in our collaborative efforts to encourage SME development, supporting the Government's objectives to drive economic growth through high-tech innovation and helping to build a brilliant future for Britain. The UK already has a thriving design and academic community, both critical elements in building exciting new products, services and businesses. But we believe that it is the network that lies at the heart of it all and can really transform the way these organisations interact and ultimately flourish. The NVI and our wider British Innovation Gateway programme will provide a leading global example of how, in today's world, it is essential to connect and collaborate in order to innovate and grow.”

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