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17th August 2011

Province of Ontario and Cisco Forge Alliance to Drive IT Innovation

OntarioEarlier today Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra Pupatello and Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, along with Cisco Canada President Nitin Kawale pledged support for efforts to generate a long-term investment of expertise and technology for the Province of Ontario. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed today outlines Cisco’s and the Province’s intention to cooperate in developing initiatives that will help drive key economic development goals and support technology research and development (R&D).cisco

“Cisco is among the many global technology leaders who continue to recognize Ontario’s innovation and the talent of our highly skilled workforce,” said Minister Pupatello.  “Cisco already conducts R&D in the province in technologies critical to their success, and this investment and the MOU announced today are a vital part of our economic strategy to help Ontario turn the corner.”

Ontario and Cisco Canada intend to develop a collaborative framework to focus on key activities to help further the province’s transformational vision and increase productivity by driving innovation and sustainable economic development in strategic areas of health and wellness, energy, smart+connected communities, education and economic cluster development.

The collaboration with Cisco is the latest in Ontario’s ongoing initiatives to partner with private industry to facilitate solution innovation and commercialization, increase research and development and make better use of the province’s broadband capacity.

“Cisco and the Province of Ontario share a long and successful history. This MOU, only the third of its kind in Ontario’s history, is a next stage in our collaborative relationship focused on a shared vision of deploying transformational technology to help achieve sustainable and innovative goals,” stated Cisco Canada President Nitin Kawale. “There is enormous potential to build a solid R&D spring board in Ontario. Cisco is unique in our ability to draw upon the expertise, technology innovation and global best practices to further drive Ontario’s dynamic innovation engine.”

Ontario and Cisco also announced they intend to work together to invest in R&D-focused job development to drive skills development, economic competitiveness and product innovation. The new partnership will explore opportunities to advance strategic objectives including:

  • Health & Wellness:
    • Advance the state of telemedicine and help improve access to health and wellness services for remote, rural and First Nations communities
    • Improve the state of collaboration and education for clinicians, hospitals and administrators
    • Enhance the quality and operational excellence of health and wellness services
  • Energy:
    • Advance the innovative cluster of Ontario companies focused on increasing energy savings through converged solutions for security, building automation and IT services
    • Explore innovative solutions in energy management
    • Drive environmental sustainability through greater use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Smart+Connected Communities:
    • Promote the development of environmentally sustainable, smart+connected communities that generate economic growth and better opportunities for citizens who work and live in those intelligent communities
    • Develop innovative approaches to the cost-effective and sustainable delivery of Government services
    • Enhance opportunities for collaboration among Ontario companies through an intelligent community infrastructure
    • Identify opportunities to enhance network infrastructure to facilitate remote work and the virtual workforce
    • Utilize a living lab concept to showcase and pilot smart+connected community solutions and to encourage cities and communities in Ontario to launch similar initiatives
  • Education:
    • Increase the reach of higher education and enhance industry collaboration with universities
    • Increase high-skilled job market opportunities for recent post-secondary graduates
    • Utilize Cisco® Networking Academy® programs to bring new skills to First Nations communities
  • Economic Cluster Development:
    • Identify strategic partnership opportunities with economic development agencies
    • Facilitate industry collaboration on regional economic development strategies, particularly in northern communities
    • Identify opportunities to increase commercialization of early-stage ventures, and enhance funding opportunities for private enterprises
  • The Ontario IT Innovation Initiative:
    • Cisco today outlined an investment target of up to $455 million over the next five years to support R&D, focused on key strategic areas for Cisco, including core routing and switching, collaboration, data centre virtualization and cloud, and video
    • Ontario has committed $25 million to this project to support Ontario’s leadership as a global centre for the development of transformative communications technologies

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers stated that “Ontario has long been globally recognized as a centre of excellence for IT innovation. Both the Province and Cisco share a dynamic vision for building on the substantial IT R&D capability resident here and we see a key opportunity to join forces to further Ontario’s innovation machine. This collaboration and co-investment is an excellent example of how governments can partner with industry to help drive innovative strategies.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 at 11:46 am and is filed under Business News, Government, National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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