Press Release

By 2030, a more inclusive digital society could add £168 billion to the UK economy (Cisco, CEBR, June 2022). That is why today, Cisco has committed to help accelerate economic growth across the UK through digital inclusion and innovation.

Through investment in partnerships, projects and initiatives focussed on creating opportunity for people, organisations, industries, and regions across the UK, Cisco will expand its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, which has formed the core of Cisco’s decade long investment in UK innovation.

Aligned to both the national and regional ambitions of the UK, the programme will focus on industries and public services best positioned to benefit from digital acceleration, aiming to support improvement on key issues such as digital skills, productivity, sustainability and the UK’s levelling up agenda.

Guy Diedrich, Senior Vice President and Global Innovation Officer, Cisco commented “Today we mark a decade of collaboration between Cisco, the UK government, industry and academia to accelerate digital outcomes for the UK.” He added, “From initiatives to train hundreds of thousands in digital skills, connect the most remote parts of the UK with 5G, and partnerships to foster a culture of innovation, we are helping cement the UK’s place as a leader in fields such as AI and quantum computing. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved together, and delighted to be furthering our commitment to help the UK realise the potential of a more inclusive, digital economy – where no one is left behind.”

New research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), commissioned by Cisco, finds that a more inclusive digital economy, that connects everyone in the UK, equips them with digital skills, and digitises key industries and public services, has the potential to not only add £168bn to the UK economy, but will provide societal, industrial and regional benefit.

David Meads, Chief Executive, Cisco UK & Ireland said “As a nation, we have a heritage of invention that comes from all corners of the UK. With the power of technology, we believe that economic opportunity can follow that tradition.” He added “Organisations are looking to digital to improve the way they work, operate, and compete on a global scale, but to fully embrace a more digital economy, with talent and innovation to support, there are fundamental issues that we must address. From the role of digital in creating more equitable opportunity and across the UK, to how we as a technology industry lean in to help close the digital skills gap.”

Cisco’s CDA programme, which is a long-term partnership programme with governments, industry and academia, will focus on initiatives in sectors that underpin the UK economy and provide critical services that have opportunity to benefit from digital. From healthcare to education, utilities and transport infrastructure. In addition, the programme will align to emerging sectors – including those with a focus on technology to drive sustainable outcomes towards national net zero targets.
To encourage innovation in industry and to recognise the need for support and guidance to bring solutions to life, Cisco will launch the first Fast Future Innovation Awards in the UK. From September, organisations will be able to enter to win one of three prizes to realise their ideas.

For nearly 30 years, Cisco has helped to connect the UK. With nearly every Internet connection in the UK touching Cisco technology, organisations of all shapes and size rely on Cisco’s secure, intelligent technology to run their businesses. Cisco today works with almost all of the FTSE 100, over 200 universities and colleges in research partnerships and as customers, and in many areas of the public sector – from the police force to the NHS.

In just over a decade, Cisco has committed more than $1.6bn towards digital innovation initiatives in the UK, initially through a programme announced in 2011 to create an innovation legacy following the London Olympic games. In 2015, the UK was one of the first governments with whom Cisco made a commitment to help accelerate digital outcomes for the nation through its CDA programme. In 2018 Cisco extended that commitment to align to the Government’s digital strategy.