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Cisco commits $100m to digital innovation in the UK

Cisco has today announced a $100m commitment to help accelerate digital innovation in the UK.

Aligned to the UK’s Industrial Strategy, the commitment will support partnership with industry, government and academia across the nation.

As one of the first initiatives to be announced, Cisco and University College London (UCL) will partner to open one of the world’s largest Artificial Intelligence research centres, with a focus on addressing industry challenges and developing AI talent in the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The decision by Cisco to make such a significant commitment to digital innovation across the UK is welcome news and is a vote of confidence in our Modern Industrial Strategy.

“I particularly welcome the announcement of the new AI research centre in partnership with UCL. Research has shown that AI could add £232bn to the UK economy by 2030 and developments like this will help with our ambition to put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution.”

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The UK has become the natural destination in Europe for the largest and most innovative tech companies to operate and invest. Cisco’s strong commitment to the UK highlights we have the ambition, research excellence and regulatory environment for world-leading firms to develop the innovations that will change people’s lives for the better.”

Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO at Cisco, said: “Technology is permeating everything we do, not only opening up new markets, but creating more opportunities for individuals, businesses, and countries. Cisco is committed to driving innovation in the UK and to our continued partnership with the UK government through our Country Digital Acceleration programme. We believe that the UK’s expertise in AI and its commitment to making sure future innovators have the right digital skills will help ensure the nation’s citizens are well-positioned to capture the opportunity ahead.”

With great ambition to be a leading digital nation, today the UK ranks fifth in the world based on seven key factors that impact a nation’s ability to embrace digital – including infrastructure, technology adoption, skills, basic human needs, business and government investment and start-up environment (Gartner & Cisco). With a proven link between digital readiness and GDP, digital can help improve everything from public services to national productivity.

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