Cisco just dropped $15 million on a new innovation hub in Australia

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Networking company Cisco just announced it will invest $15 million over five years to open its eighth Internet of Everything Innovation centre in Australia.

The company is opening the hubs in the hope they’ll drive the development of Internet of Things (IoT) innovation by establishing a “connected community”. The Australian centre will have a focus on the resources, agriculture and astronomy industries.

“Australia is already highly regarded globally for its resources and agriculture sectors and is well-placed to serve the rapidly growing Asian markets, and the Australian government has prioritised these sectors accordingly. Cisco has been involved in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project for over five years. The aim now with Cisco IoE Innovation Centre, Australia and its ecosystem of partners is to accelerate innovation and the adoption of the IoE in Australia,” Cisco Senior Vice President Asia Pacific and Japan Irving Tan said.

The centre is scheduled to open later this year and will include locations in Sirca, a financial research centre in Sydney, and at Curtin University in Perth. Woodside Energy is also a partner in the initiative.

Around the world, Cisco has launched similar initiatives which bring customers, startups, government and developers together in Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Songdo, Berlin, Barcelona, Tokyo and London.

The centres are geared up for tech pros, startups and researchers to develop proof of concepts and do rapid prototyping.

The networking company estimates these solutions could deliver $US19 trillion in economic value globally over the next ten years. It forecasts that Australia, with its proximity to Asia and well trained workforce, has huge potential to benefit from tech advances and IoT could be worth more than $US74 billion to the Australian economy over the next decade.

Committing $15 million to the Australian innovation hub is another example of Cisco striving to work with startups which are innovating around cloud tech, cyber security, data analysis and IoT. Late last year the global corporate invested up to about $5 million into tech venture capital firm Blackbird.

At the time Cisco Australia chief technology officer Kevin Bloch told Business Insider this investment would be one of a few over the next few months and is an important “transition” for the company.

“We don’t believe that we can do this all on our own and therefore have to go beyond our walls,” he said at the time.

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