Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Cisco’s HQ in San Jose at the end of June as part of his visit to find out what makes Silicon Valley really tick. Below is a short video that shows some of the technologies that Cisco demonstrated to the President and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Cisco Executive Briefing Center.
Following the demos, Cisco confirmed a 5 phase, multi-year $1B commitment to the Russian technology innovation agenda over the coming decade. As part of this overall initiative, Chambers also signed an MoU with Viktor Vekselberg to confirm that we will establish a physical presence in Skolkovo in Russia to develop a second headquarters for our Emerging Technologies Business Group under Senior Vice President Marthin De Beer. Cisco also announced that we are introducing a dedicated I-Prize contest to stimulate Russia entrepreneurship. Read more for details of what our $1B commitment entails below.
Cisco’s $1B commitment over the coming decade is structured in 5 key phases which will run in parallel:
A focused effort to attract talent, ideas and investment in partnership with the venture capital community forms the basis of the first phase. Cisco today announced that it will extend its existing venture commitment to Russia’s innovation economy with an incremental $100M. Through direct innovation-enabling investments and a deepening of its collaborative model with Almaz Capital Partners, Cisco aims to further stimulate the venture community which enables Russia’s innovation agenda. In extending its longstanding focus on talent development, Cisco also today committed to increase the number of Cisco Networking Academies to 300 across the country.
As part of our second phase of establishing an innovation and venture platform in the country, Cisco announced a firm commitment to establish a dedicated physical presence in Skolkovo. The collaborative memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed today will form a platform for Cisco’s future cooperation with the government and local businesses. Cisco will immediately begin applying resources in terms of business development, thought leadership, services and consulting to shape this commitment. Cisco aims to establish Skolkovo as the first of a next-generation of Smart+Connected Communities in Russia, and establish a collaborative model for Russia’s future sustainable social, economic and environmental development.
As part of phase three, Cisco is now extending its dedicated Cisco research and development capability in Russia. It is our intent that along with the Skolkovo infrastructure build out, Senior Vice President Marthin De Beer will establish a second global headquarters for our Emerging Technologies Group and will locate key members of its engineering team in Skolkovo. Cisco aims to initiate several internal Cisco start-up business units using the Skolkovo innovation platform, and will contribute to transforming Skolkovo into one of the most advanced technology regions in the world. Cisco already operates dedicated manufacturing and development for Russia-specific routing technologies, and will look to extend its engineering expertise throughout the region.
Phase four will focus on collaboration in the areas of go-to-market models for the creation and success of start-ups in partnership with the Russian venture capital community. In alignment with this effort, and as an initial focus to catalyze the spirit of innovation, Cisco also announced the third phase of its I-Prize competition, open specifically to entrepreneurial teams in Russia to identify ideas and participate in Cisco start-ups which have the potential to become Cisco’s next billion dollar businesses. Cisco will provide $175,000 USD in overall prize money for the winning Russian teams in the contest, as part of the multi-year investment announced today, and envisions extending and commercializing the winning concept from the Russian I-Prize through its presence in Skolkovo.
In the fifth phase, Cisco will build a model for partnering with existing businesses, venture capital and technology companies in Russia. By building a collaborative model that showcases how to successfully partner with existing leading-edge Russian teams, Cisco will look to work on joint development projects in areas such as smart grid, financial services, service provider models, financing, broadband implementation and social networking to develop exportable products, solutions and business models. Cisco will also look to extend the value of its physical facilities in Skolkovo over time through the use of collaborative technologies to develop a broader virtual presence to drive innovation throughout Russia and beyond. The intention is to help replicate a series of Smart+Connected Community Innovation Centers around the world that are first physical locations and then eventually virtual.
Read the full press release here: