Cisco opens IoT innovation centre in Manchester

Cisco opens IoT innovation centre in Manchester

Teams up with Manchester Science Partnerships to accelerate digital innovation in the North of England

Cisco reorg sees launch of IoT cloud business
Cisco reorg sees launch of IoT cloud business

Cisco is to launch a new innovation centre dedicated to IoT in Manchester to spur the development of the technology in the North of England.

The networking giant will collaborate with Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) in opening the Mi-Idea (Manchester Inspired – Innovation Digital Enterprise Alliance) innovation centre on MSP’s central campus.

The centre will support the growth of key innovation clusters in the North of England, and furthers Cisco’s commitment to supporting British innovation, digitisation and the UK business economy as a whole.

Mi-Idea will work with early-stage companies in the North to develop innovative technologies and solutions. The partnership will focus on the areas of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT), digital healthcare and the digital creative sector. In addition, the centre will offer post-accelerator and established technology companies a tailored programme to help develop confidence and capabilities as they scale.

The centre will be located at MSP’s newest 70,000 sq ft. development, No. 1 MSP Central, in the centre of Manchester. Mi-IDEA will also function as a second site in the UK for Cisco Create. Cisco Create is a collaborative research function which works with industry partners, start-ups, government, research institutions and universities.

In addition, Mi-IDEA will strengthen the North’s representation in Cisco’s National Virtual Incubator (NVI). Established in 2012, the NVI is a network of leading incubation centres, research facilities, science parks and academic institutes across the UK.

Related: Cisco and IBM team up to drive edge analytics for the Internet of Things

IoT drives digital business

Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK & Ireland, said its investment in the city builds on its ongoing commitment to support new digital businesses and high-tech entrepreneurs across the UK.

“Mi-Idea will be uniquely positioned to tap into local, national and international innovation ecosystems. It will benefit from MSP’s existing partnerships across the region and be a key part of the NVI. Coupled with Cisco’s successes at IdeaLondon and Cisco Create, we’re confident that Mi-IDEA will deliver a unique environment in which tech companies in Manchester can grow,” he added.

Anne Dornan, head of Innovation at Manchester Science Partnerships said that in high growth sectors it’s vital to provide targeted and specialist support programmes with access to global supply chains in order to unlock the potential economic impact for the UK.

“Bringing together diverse partners from across public, private and academic sectors to drive innovation and economic growth is at the heart of MSP and a hugely rewarding endeavour. We are excited to see this project come to fruition,” she said.

Robert Coleman, CIO UKI at CA Technologies, told Internet of Business that as far as innovating with IoT is concerned, an agile approach is essential both for the capture and the refinement of business ideas.

“This must be enhanced right the way through the innovation cycle, with techniques such as Continuous Delivery to ensure speed of new products to market,” he said.

Related: Cisco reorg sees launch of Internet of Things cloud business