Innovation can be an overused word, but it’s a hot topic for a reason. The pace of change compels businesses, large and small, to reinvent themselves.

Cisco’s innovation strategy is multifaceted and focuses our efforts both internally and externally. Last week we announced a new Cisco IoE Innovation Center in Tokyo. This is the seventh IoE Innovation Center that Cisco has opened worldwide – joining Rio, Toronto, Berlin, Songdo, Barcelona and London. Our IoE Innovation Centers enable us to co-innovate vertical solutions with regional customers, partners, governments, universities and startups.

Another way Cisco stimulates innovation externally is through Grand Challenges. We sponsored three this past year and received over 1,000 entries across the globe, proving that innovation can come from anywhere.

It gives me great pleasure to announce a new Grand Challenge that is very close to my heart. I am passionate about advocating for women in STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), and I speak often about the advantages that women bring to technology leadership as it becomes more multidisciplinary. Cisco officially launches the IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge today, and winners will be announced next year in May 2015. This program is designed to encourage young women to drive innovation in IoT and promote their interest in STEAM fields. We understand that it is critical to cultivate interest in STEAM fields early on and we are excited to recognize their talents.

Join me in getting the word out and encouraging young women in your lives to believe in themselves and participate in this Grand Challenge!


Padmasree Warrior

Chief Technology & Strategy Officer