Cisco Partners with Edinburgh University to Drive Data Innovation

EIT Digital Edinburgh

Cisco and the university will collaborate to support Scottish companies in developing artificial intelligence and data-driven innovation as part of the £1.3 billion City Region Deal.


The newly formed partnership between IT and networking giant, Cisco, and the University of Edinburgh will offer support to 20 Scottish startups through the university and Wayra UK’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain Accelerator.

Based at the £45 million Bayes Centre, the university’s data-driven innovation hub for Science and Engineering, the programme is already home to the first cohort of ten startups.

Over the next three years, Cisco will provide support in the form of business development and technical support, mentoring and access to tools for the startups.

Related: RBS Opens Data Innovation Research Unit at Edinburgh University

Tony Gribben, country manager, Cisco Scotland, said: “The insight that we can gain from data opens up an amazing opportunity for all industries – not least with its application in the field of AI.”

“We’re delighted to be working with the University of Edinburgh to bring this to life in Scotland. The ambition to drive economic and inclusive growth for the region is something that we very much support, and we look forward to continuing to partner with industry, government and academia on initiatives towards that goal.”

Jim Ashe, director of commercialisation and industry engagement, University of Edinburgh, said: “Cisco is a valued partner within the Bayes Innovation Programme.

“As well as becoming a key supporter of our flagship AI and Blockchain Accelerator programme, the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding underscores our intention to work together more collaboratively across all areas of data-driven innovation.

“We look forward to collaborating with Cisco’s Networking Academy, research centre and wider innovation and investment teams on projects that will support innovative research, accelerate data adoption and fuel entrepreneurship across a wide range of initiatives.”

Launched in August 2018, the City Region Deal aims to help Edinburgh and South East Scotland accelerate growth and create economic opportunities and new jobs to drive inclusive growth.

The City Region Deal’s Data-Driven Innovation component has five focus areas: talent, research, adoption, data and entrepreneurship, and will be led by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Heriot-Watt University.

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