The Prime Minister has welcomed Cisco's goal to support the East London Tech City through the British Innovation Gateway.

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Cisco’s goal of making significant long-term investments of money, technology and manpower that will help support the East London Tech City, through an initiative called the British Innovation Gateway (BIG).

The East London Tech City is an ambitious project launched by the Prime Minister to build on the existing cluster of technology companies in East London to create a world-leading technology centre.

The Olympic Legacy Company has agreed to create an “accelerator” space there, providing office space for companies that grow out of East London and beyond.

In line with the Government’s goals, BIG will mark the start of a five year effort to drive new economic growth through high-tech innovation, fostering an environment of entrepreneurship within the UK and ensuring an enduring legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The PM, Science and Innovation Minister David Willetts and Communications Minister Ed Vaizey met Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers at Number 10 today to discuss the plans.

Mr Cameron said:

I welcome this major statement of support from Cisco. This will help create many new jobs and opportunities, and support our drive to diversify our economy and generate sustainable economic growth. 

We want to bring together the energy and innovation of Shoreditch and the incredible potential of the Olympic Park to help make East London one of the world’s great technology centres. Today this ambition is gathering pace.

Cisco’s goal is a fantastic example of how business is turning this vision into reality, with East London set to become a leading Tech City.

The British Innovation Gateway will see Cisco leading initiatives including two innovation centres, five annual competitions which will seek to discover excellence and innovation; and access to mentoring by top in-house experts at Cisco for entrepreneurs to accelerate their success in the market. 

Cisco CEO John Chambers, said:

We are delighted to be working with the UK Government on this project as a logical progression from our work in the east of London for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Prime Minister’s Tech City Initiative is very exciting for the UK and we have worked closely with the Government on ways to strengthen it.

Government commitment to high-growth companies

The Government also announced today that UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which heads the Technology Task Force launched in November, has established a programme of monthly clinic sessions with two partners TechHub and Minibar in East London. These will provide access to government specialists who can help start-up companies with advice and business development support and with accessing overseas business opportunities. The first clinics will be held in early February.

An independent review into intellectual property law in the UK has also been set up to ensure that it is fit for purpose in the internet age and can drive growth and innovation, particularly for small and medium-sized firms. Professor Ian Hargreaves has been appointed to lead this six-month review.

In November, the Government announced a blueprint for technology that outlines a series of measures that will take Britain on the right path to a high tech future. It aims to send a clear message to UK-based innovative and technology companies about the direction of government policy in supporting them, and the importance of innovation across the government’s agenda.

And in October, the Government allocated £200 million for Technology and Innovation Centres over the next four years. The centres will be based on the model proposed by technology investor Hermann Hauser and industrial designer and entrepreneur James Dyson.

They are designed to support businesses in developing and commercialising new technology. They will also bridge the gap between universities and businesses, helping to commercialise the outputs of Britain’s world-class research base and allow businesses to access equipment and expertise that would otherwise be out of reach as well as conducting their own in-house R&D. The overall network of the centres will be overseen by the Technology Strategy Board.

Read more: PM announces East London ‘tech city’

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