Once upon a time, the world’s greatest inventions always seemed to come from individual geniuses locked in a room day and night on their own.  We often think of Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone by himself, Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb solo or Johannes Gutenberg working mostly alone to develop a mold that led to the first printing press.

Alex G Blog Pic 1Solo inventors will always play pivotal roles in developing “the next big thing” even as we we’re half way through the second decade of the 21st century.  Think Mark Zuckerberg masterminding Facebook  on his own in his dorm room at Harvard.

More and more, however, we’re discovering that in today’s Internet of Everything world, where complex technologies increasingly connect and converge, innovation hinges on all types of hyper collaborations.  Today, innovation requires open interaction among businesses, universities, startups, incubators, developers and others.  Now, collaboration makes innovation happen!

Australia Hosts Cisco’s 8th Co-Innovation Hub.  That’s why we at Cisco continue to launch IoE Innovation Centers in forward-thinking cities around the world.  On July 2, we established our 8th center with a hub in Western Australia at Curtin University in Perth, and plans are well under way to launch a regional hub in Sydney.

At the center, researchers, start-ups, industry experts, developers and researchers – linked to a global industry network — will collaborate on ground-breaking projects the foster economic and sustainable growth.  They will leverage cloud, analytics, cyber security, sensors and IoE network platforms.

For example, they will marshal their collective expertise to demonstrate the Woodside Plant of the Future, applying artificial intelligence, data analytics and advanced sensors to make production more efficient, safe and environmentally compliant.  At the Square Kilometer Array, a next-generation radio telescope project will require switching, FOG, networking and high-performance computing capacity to process the equivalent of all the data on the World Wide Web every hour.

Alex G Blog Pic 2London Spotlights Connected Lighting.  Based on progress at our other innovation hubs, I can’t wait to see what materializes in Western Australia.  At our IoE Innovation Center in London, we’re developing networked lighting that can talk to sensors, smart phones, computers and people.  We’re also researching the relation between light and heat perception as well as how thermal comfort and light color affect how you feel.  These aren’t just science experiments.  The results will help conserve energy consumption and how we perform – innovations that might make Alexander Graham Bell’s head spin.

Alex G Blog Pic 3Songdo Hub Incubates Citywide Connectivity.  In Songdo, Korea, partners and startups working together through our innovation center there have been the catalysts for what may be the world’s most connected city.  A network infrastructure citywide seamlessly links residences, schools, city government, public transportation, healthcare facilities and more through sensors, smart devices, TelePresence and cameras.  That incubator for this and future connectivity has come from our innovation center there.

These are just a few examples of the collaborative innovations taking place now at IoE Innovation Centers, which are also located in Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Barcelona and Tokyo.  I’ll continue to report on their amazing progress as well.

To me, it’s obvious that innovation in the IoE era has no geographic boundaries and is ignited more by networks of collaborative rather than individual efforts.  “Think local, innovate global” is the common thread woven throughout the centers.  By fostering the combined genius of local talent and partner ecosystems, some of today’s greatest innovations can materialize to overcome the world’s most challenging social, economic and environmental issues.



Alex Goryachev

Senior Director, Innovation Strategy & Programs

Corporate Strategic Innovation Group