Decision welcomed by Theresa May
Cisco will commit £77 million as part of a digital acceleration drive in the UK market that will see them partner with University College London to open an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research centre.
This will be the first of many initiatives that will see Cisco partner with not just academic bodies, but with government institutes across the UK.
Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the announcement, saying in a release shared by Cisco that: “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 £232 billion 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,” she added.
The AI research centre based in London and set to open next year, will house over 200 researchers and will facilitate not just front line R&D, but will be a hub for the training of the next generation of AI technicians in the UK.
End Digital Exclusion
The initial aim of the project will be to help enable older and disabled citizens to use simple video technology to communicate with family members and their health care professionals.
Scot Gardner, chief executive of Cisco UK & Ireland commented in the announcement of the scheme that:
“We believe that everyone in the UK should have equal digital opportunity, from the social inclusion that connectivity can help bring, to access to healthcare services and a wealth of information that empowers social and educational mobility”
“The challenge up until now has been finding the right commercial model to deliver connectivity to all. This project will trial a way to engage people that makes sound financial sense, is practical and provides transformational benefits to everyone.”
The overall initiative that Cisco have committed to is part of the Country Digital Acceleration programme which sets up Cisco in partnership ship with government industrial and digital strategies.
Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco commented in the release that: “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.”