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Launching Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence in Europe

I recently wrote about how we are extending Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR)  and our open innovation strategy beyond Silicon Valley through local incubation partners in Chicago, San Diego and Berkeley.  Our presence in these innovation hubs will enable us to discover, influence and learn from new ideas and talent at early-stage startups with potential to disrupt our industry.

Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Cisco EIR Europe, extending our program to a non-U.S. innovation hub for the first time.  Cisco EIR will be located initially in Vienna, where we plan to launch a small cohort of early-stage European startups by January 2015 – to be supported & incubated by Cisco – drawn from across EMEAR.  As with Cisco EIR in Silicon Valley, we will look for game-changing entrepreneurs in IoE, security, Big Data/analytics, Smart Cities & other transformational opportunities that are in Cisco’s strategic line of sight.  Also as in our Silicon Valley program, the startups will be supported by Cisco engineering & product teams as well as our EMEAR partner ecosystem.  The Vienna-based program is intended to serve as the beachhead – our “Phase 1” – for a broader EU-wide footprint for Cisco EIR.

Key to our success is how we leverage the startup ecosystem that already exists in Europe.  To this end, starting in Vienna, we have partnered with Pioneers, a leading startup community organization in Europe.  More partnerships are in the works.

I know all of you will agree innovation knows no national boundaries.  Europe, with its deep entrepreneurial talent, large market and history of innovation, presents a unique opportunity for usEurope is also one of the key regions for our Smart Cities – as you saw from our recent announcement of a new Smart Cities initiative in Copenhagen, following similar projects in Barcelona, Amsterdam Chicago and Hamburg.

We are thrilled to forge relationships in the European startup community – and support entrepreneurs as partners in open innovation.

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What the Exponential Power of the #InternetOfEverything Means for Smart Connected Cities

Barcelona, Amsterdam, Nice, London and New York are arguably some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. However, they have more than glamorous fashions, exquisite cuisine and vibrant nightlife in common. All are connecting things, such as cars and trash cans, to the Internet, making their cities work more efficiently.

As the Internet of Things continues to grow and connect things, and the explosion of big data, cloud and mobile devices change our landscape, it’s important to emphasize that a connected life is more than just smart appliances. As more things, people, and data become connected, the power of the Internet (essentially a network of networks) grows exponentially.

This is what we call the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the network effect of bringing together people, process, data and things—to create better social, environmental and economic outcomes in businesses and communities.

Recently, I wrote about how innovative cities, like Copenhagen, and the surrounding districts of Albertslund and Frederikssund are taking decisive action to reinvent themselves with the latest network infrastructure linked to the Internet.

Here’s a closer look at a few examples of the Internet of Everything in action in cities all over the world:

  • In Albertslund, work already has begun on the Danish Outdoor Light Lab (DOLL), which will become a showcase for smart lighting. Nearly 40 competing outdoor light solutions converged onto one open network will provide enormous potential to cut costs and consumption while improving public safety.Cisco_IoE Wim blog
  • In the Frederikssund district, just 25 miles from downtown Copenhagen, the greenfield City of Vinge has one of the greenest and most innovative master plans in Europe, setting the groundwork to be carbon neutral from the outset. Underpinning this goal are plans for an application-centric infrastructure that connects people, data, processes and things – the perfect example of the Internet of Everything.
  • And in the Copenhagen municipality itself, smart lighting, parking, water management, smart grids and more all to be converged onto one network, and powered by sensors everywhere, will improve sustainability, resiliency and overall livability.
  • Barcelona’s Born District, a bustling neighborhood of restaurants, shops and boutiques uses a customized network for reports on temperature, noise, humidity, particle-concentration and more, providing an overview of the city’s overall “livability.” The information is then relayed to city “situation” rooms, allowing officials to detect levels that are outside of set thresholds and improve on them.
  • In London and other parts of the UK, the Internet of Everything is causing city and government administrators to begin thinking long-term about energy consumption and their manufacturing industry. Facing a looming energy shortfall and poised to take its place as an international manufacturing hub, the UK is taking full advantage of the reach of the Internet of Everything as it works to solve infrastructure and economic challenges.

These examples are just the beginning of how with the Internet of Everything can change our world.

Thirty years ago, there were just 1,000 connections to the Internet throughout the world. Today, with the help of app-centric infrastructure, sensors and mobile devices, there are about 13 billion connections, and this is still just 1 percent of what’s possible. The economic opportunity to connect the unconnected totals $19 trillion, comprising $4.6 trillion for the public sector, two-thirds of which can be realized by cities.

In 2020, we expect 50 billion things to be connected to the Internet, which will still be scratching the surface of what’s possible.

We know that data is doubling every two years, and according to IDC the digital universe will expand to 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, annually by 2020. That’s even more staggering when you consider that today 90 percent of data is dark – it is only viewed once or not at all.

However, this explosion of data and apps – when properly optimized – presents unprecedented opportunities to better manage resources and improve quality of life. By embracing the Internet of Everything, cities across the globe can are lead the way toward a more sustainable world. Will your city be next?

Be sure to follow @CiscoIoE and join the conversation, #InternetOfEverything.

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How forward thinking cites are using the Internet of Everything to fix their economies

Chicago was recently announced as the host city for the Internet of Things World Forum this autumn, following Barcelona’s excellent performance as host last autumn. This forum is important because it’s already way more than just another collection of business types in a hotel.

It’s increasingly relevant for cities to want to host this event. Yes, the conference revenue is useful, but more than that it is an opportunity to showcase your city as forward thinking. Barcelona as host was a great example.

It’s fair to say that despite recent optimism, the world, and especially Western Europe and North America, is still recovering from the financial earthquakes of five years ago. Government deficit is everywhere. The response to the crisis in most western economies has been a series of austerity programmes, with social and other services being cut whilst taxes slowly rise. Everybody has been feeling the pain. Spain was one of the hardest-hit European economies. In Spain, youth unemployment exceeded 50%, with serious concerns in some parts of the country about the potential for social order breakdown. Read More »

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Copenhagen Gets Greener with the Internet of Everything

Once a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen today stands tall among the world’s most technologically enlightened cities.

Most everyone knows that Denmark’s capital is praised worldwide for its green initiatives, which are obvious from the pure air, clean sidewalks, ever-present bicycles and fresh-water canals, which I’ve enjoyed swimming in over the years.

There’s good reason Copenhagen topped the 2012 Global Green Economy Index and was recently named “The European Green Capital 2014.”

Read More »

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Amsterdam Embraces the Internet of Everything, Paving the Way for a More Connected City

When people think of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, they often think of bicycles, canals and progressive social values. Some may even know about its leadership in international trade, catalyzed centuries ago by the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first multinational corporation. Others may be more familiar with Amsterdam because of U.S. President Obama’s recent visit to the Rijksmuseum, which houses the world-famous painting The Night Watch by Rembrandt.

However, close 21st century observers know that Amsterdam is also a modern-day capital of collaborative innovation and some of the world’s most advanced Smart City deployments. Amsterdam was the first city in Europe to be connected to the Internet[1]. It was also one of the first cities to appreciate the importance of extending fiber-optic connectivity to its residents and businesses. At the same time, “green” is a priority and a practice in Amsterdam: The trams and streetcars run on green electricity, and the numerous data centers located in and around the city are required to comply with strict environmental rules.

These forward-thinking uses of technology help make Amsterdam one of the 15 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey 2014: innovative, attractive, competitive, and connected! This early Internet pioneer is now set to take the next step by fully embracing the Internet of Everything and all the value it can deliver economically, socially and environmentally.

Amsterdam MoU SigningcroppedCisco is proud to play an important role in this evolution. Two days ago, (April 8), on behalf of Cisco, I had the pleasure of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, to jointly develop and implement a long-term Internet of Everything strategy for the city that connects people, processes, data, and things (see photo to the left). Cisco and the city of Amsterdam have been working together on a variety of Smart City endeavors for ten years now, including citywide optical fiber to the home, a Smart Grid, Smart Work place and Public TelePresence capabilities. By creating a more holistic Internet of Everything strategy for Amsterdam, the agreement will further strengthen our partnership Mayor and allow us to pursue new opportunities while protecting citizen security and privacy.

We will work with city officials to build a large local ecosystem to bring great exciting new innovations to this city and its citizens, initially focusing on smart lighting, smart parking and smart security in Southeast Amsterdam

According to distinguished Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, the City is human kind’s greatest invention. Imagine combining this with the greatest invention of the modern era: the Internet of Everything. In Amsterdam, and other great cities around the world, we are exploring new ways to more smartly manage water, traffic, energy, pollution, healthcare, travel, waste, lighting, crime and even parking.

In this age of rapid urbanization, I am convinced that cities that don’t embrace the Internet of Everything will be at a competitive disadvantage, and even be left behind. Cities with ambition and vision must help to lead the way. This MoU with Amsterdam is an important step for the Internet of Everything, for all Dutch citizens and for cities and citizens around the world.

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