London 2012 sponsorship has driven Cisco UK and Ireland to create a “lasting and sustainable legacy” to support up-and-coming innovators, entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups in the UK. It is also supporting the development of technology-related skills and learning within British schools. The five-year initiative, in line with the Government’s goal of driving new economic growth through hightech innovation, is called Building a Brilliant Future.
The pivotal programme of the initiative is the British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme, which will discover and develop entrepreneurs, helping to establish Britain as a leader in innovation. Cisco’s other Olympic Legacy programmes, including key educational initiatives such as STEMNet and the extension of Cisco’s Network Academy programmes in East London, will help to uncover the skills of tomorrow.
The BIG picture
Tom Kneen, BIG programme lead says: “A key differentiator for Cisco as a sponsor of London 2012 has been its Legacy programme, Building A Brilliant Future, which is built to support the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow. At the centre of this is BIG, a programme designed and built to support and nurture tech innovation across the whole UK.”
BIG aims to re-energise British innovation by working with the Government, public and private sector partners and individuals. It invests money, technology and resources to support the growth of start-ups and entrepreneurship.
The overall objective is to encourage long-term economic growth in the UK while also helping to accelerate and transform the innovation system by supporting students and start-ups.
Three BIG components
First, Innovation Centres will develop services to support and grow startups which are clustered in East London, such as access to consultancy and mentoring programmes. Last week, Cisco and its partners UCL and DC Thomson launched IDEALondon, the Shoreditch innovation centre.
The facility delivers on the partners’ commitments to support the Government’s Tech City initiative which aims to support and promote digital start-ups in the area.
Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “With the area fast becoming a hub for talented digital, technology and media businesses, creating an innovation centre in Tech City is a key element of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway programme. It is great to be providing the thriving community with a facility which brings together the strength and expertise from an alliance of renowned leaders in these industries.”
IDEALondon will also be a significant addition to Cisco UK National Virtual Incubator (NVI) network –second component of BIG – which aims to boost levels of UK research, innovation and economic growth through the interconnection of innovation, incubation and research centres in and around the UK, and internationally.
Finally the annual BIG Awards competition discover, reward and mentor the finest examples of innovative UK start-ups, helping develop, test and pilot new technologies.
The British Innovation Gateway will help build a brilliant future for British entrepreneurs and the businesses of tomorrow.
Alongside athletic ambitions are other legacy plans aimed at developing the UK's digital economy by encouraging technological innovation and inspiring a new generation of students to acquire skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.Read more...