Cisco commits to investing an additional $100 million in France

Issy-les-Moulineaux , October 8, 2015 – Emmanuel Macron, Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, today officially opened the first Cisco Innovation Center in France. Also present for the ceremony were John Chambers, Executive Chairman of Cisco, and Robert Vassoyan, CEO of Cisco France.

As part of the partnership agreement with the French government signed in February 2015, Cisco committed to accelerating the digital transformation of France through a series of investments totaling more than $100 million. This involved training individuals for the new digital economy, investing in innovative start-ups, developing national network infrastructure, researching smart cities, and broadening cyber security expertise.

Inauguration of the first Cisco Innovation Center in France

Built within the headquarters of Cisco France, the Innovation Center will bring start-ups, accelerators, developers, researchers, ecosystem partners and the venture community together, to create ground-breaking technology and innovative solutions for smart cities and the Internet of Things.

The French facility is the ninth Cisco Innovation Center and joins others located in Berlin, Barcelona, London, Perth, Rio de Janeiro, Songdo, Tokyo and Toronto,

The Innovation Center in Paris combines the best of academia with real-world partnerships to create a virtuous cycle of innovation that will directly benefit France. Through the Innovation Center, Cisco France will strengthen its links with schools such as École- Polytechnique and start-up accelerators like NUMA.

Cisco’s Delivers on Start Up Initiatives

The first initiatives to promote the growth of early-stage companies were launched in July 2015 with a focused strategy of identifying areas of potential development in young companies, spotting opportunities for further partnerships with incubators and accelerators, and making direct and indirect investments to help them scale. In addition Cisco has:

Strengthened its partnership with the X-Novation Center of the École- Polytechnique; the collaborative innovation environment where incubator X-Tech and accelerator X-UP can benefit from the Cisco Immersive Demo Lab – a room equipped with a state of the art immersive TelePresence screen including an interactive Video wall allowing business or student groups around the world to collaborate seamlessly on tasks and challenges.

Cisco signed a partnership agreement with SO Digital: the new accelerator program based in the West of Paris that brings communities, businesses and schools together. Cisco is providing ten start-ups with the resources they need to help accelerate their growth. This is a unique partnership between private enterprise, schools and local government.

Cisco has joined “NUMA’s Big Data Challenge”; the Smart Cities open innovation program to explore the use of data analytics in creating innovative Smart Cities solutions that will impact energy consumption, urban mobility, management of public space and urban living.

Introducing So Mobility; a new approach for a smarter city.

Increasing urbanization presents considerable challenges in terms of mobility. A smart city that is able to respond to this challenge will benefit the local economy and the quality of life of its inhabitants. The development of smart city initiatives is a major focus in Cisco’s agreement with the French Government.

To help tackle the questions posed by urbanization on a global scale, Cisco has created the So Mobility consortium with founding members Caisse des Dépôts, Bouygues Immobilier, Engie, Transdev, Colas and the city of Issy-les-Moulineaux. The aim of So Mobility is to demonstrate that a viable, holistic, cross-industry approach can address the needs of modern citizens.

So Mobility will focus their efforts on improving road traffic, city-wide parking and work to anticipate new modes of transport. The plan is to a make a lasting impact for how people get around their city by 2020.

The city of Issy-Les-Moulineaux will act as the base where new initiatives will be tested first. Once successfully refined, they will be deployed at a local and then city-wide level. The consortium will also focus on new technologies such as LoRA, a wide area network for the Internet of Things. The aim is to create a dynamic ecosystem through partnerships with start-ups and major enterprise to make the concept of the smart city a reality.

"Cisco France is at the heart of the innovation ecosystem. We work to identify, support and accompany those who are at the forefront of France’s digital transformation,” said Robert Vassoyan, CEO of Cisco France. “With our partners in government and enterprise, we are pioneering new approaches that address the needs of 21st century modern and sustainable cities. We want to accelerate the transformation of urban life, and are fully engaged in France’s digital transition. Our goals are long-term, and we hope to play a significant role in the development, growth, and competitiveness of France.”

Emmanuel Macron, Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital said: "I thank Cisco for its commitment for France and with France. By investing in the whole innovation ecosystem we will transform the country and give it a new face that will be both disruptive and ambitious. Cisco has doubled its initial investment and this shows that we are on the right track but that we have to go even faster and stronger. "

John Chambers, Cisco's Executive Chairman added, " The French government is acutely aware of the importance of digital transformation, and we are proud to work with them to realize its potential. Together, we are laying the foundation for France to become a world leader of our global country digitization programme. “

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