Olympics Are Starting Point for Cisco’s Commitment to ICT Education, Innovation in the UK
The 2012 Summer Olympics are underway in London, and Cisco is there as the official network infrastructure supporter. But delivering voice, video, and data traffic for London 2012 is only the starting point of our involvement.
By the time we reach the finish line, we hope to foster Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) skills in young people and cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation in the UK’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector.
We have already started doing so through programs like the “Out of the Blocks” series, launched in January 2012 at nearly 4,000 UK secondary schools and other locations. Free activity books inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with website and video content, are designed to inspire children to further their learning in math and science and become aware of future careers that rely on strong STEM skills.
Plans are also underway to increase the number of Cisco Networking Academy programs in the areas local to the Olympics from 8 to 30, enabling more people to develop ICT skills that could lead to entry-level ICT careers, certifications, and further educational opportunities.
And perhaps the biggest contribution Cisco is making is the British Innovation Gateway (BIG). This five-year initiative is designed to foster tech entrepreneurship and innovation in the UK and make sure the technology solutions being used for the Olympic and Paralympic Games can benefit residents, businesses, and communities long into the future.
BIG includes two networked innovation centers; an online collaboration network for entrepreneurs and educational researchers; and an annual prize rewarding innovative technology ideas in areas like data, collaboration, and mobility.
BIG has buy-in from ICT businesses and the highest levels of government in the UK. In fact, Prime Minister David Cameron said BIG will “help create many new jobs and opportunities, and support our drive to diversify our economy and generate sustainable economic growth.”
Cisco’s post-Olympic marathon to support technology innovation, education, and entrepreneurship isn’t anything new. It reflects the company’s overall strategy of combining the power of human and technology networks to multiply impact on people and communities around the world.
Learn more about this Corporate Social Responsibility strategy at csr.cisco.com.