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Cisco Announces Strategic Initiatives And Innovative Collaborations To Accelerate Digitization In India

Cisco today announced the next phase of initiatives under its ‘Country Digital Acceleration’ or CDA program, whereby Cisco works with countries across the world to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation. After completion of 50 projects in phase one, Cisco has signed two agreements with the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) under the aegis of the Department of Telecommunications as part of the next phase of CDA in India.

The agreements between Cisco, NITI Aayog and BSNL were signed yesterday in the presence of Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary Telecom; Chuck Robbins, Chairman & CEO, Cisco and Sameer Garde, President, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC.

The current set of investments will focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through the Atal Innovation Mission and in developing use cases to showcase the possibilities of 5G in citizen services and application of innovative digital technologies in transportation modernization (Railways, Highways, Ports, and Airports).

A renewed commitment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship

An active equity investor in India, Cisco has made over 25 strategic investments in growth stage companies in India. To further support the start-up ecosystem in India, Cisco signed an agreement with NITI Aayog to boost connectivity and collaboration across all 100 Atal Incubation Centers in the country by equipping them with Cisco’s cutting-edge conferencing platforms like Webex Teams and Cisco Webex Board. These solutions converge voice, chat, video meetings, group messaging, file sharing, and whiteboarding securely, all in one platform. Cisco Webex Teams and Cisco Sparkboard will facilitate information exchange and collaboration among all Atal Incubation Centres in India and Cisco’s other incubation and innovation centers across the world enabling entrepreneurs to build businesses, innovate and go global with digital solutions.

Connected public services use cases on 5G

To facilitate new citizen services, especially in government and public sector, Cisco signed an agreement with BSNL under the aegis of DoT to set up a dedicated location to demonstrate use cases using 5G to solve citizen problems in areas such as education, healthcare and agriculture using technologies such as IoT, surveillance, and Artificial Intelligence.

 Collaboration with NITI for Global Mobility Hackathon MOVE

To nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and bolster crowdsourcing of ideas to address one of India’s most complex challenges of mobility, Cisco collaborated with NITI Aayog to recognize the top three winners from five select tracks of the government’s global mobility hackathon MOVE. The three Cisco special jury winners were chosen for their innovative solutions to monitor road conditions through a smart monitoring platform, unmanned aerial vehicles for rescue mission & survey and optimizing the turnaround time in freight handling. These winners were shortlisted from the tracks which included Artificial Intelligence for Indian transport infrastructure, multi-modal freight handling, transportation, smart city mobility, multi-modal commuter mobility in cities and road safety. This collaboration with NITI underlines Cisco’s deep focus on transport modernization in India as part of its CDA Program.

The Cisco Special Jury award winners will have access to Cisco’s business and subject matter experts, tech advisors, internationally renowned coaches for soft skills, the company’s channel ecosystem, select customers and a worldwide go-to-market engine to validate, scale and sell co-developed solutions.

The three winners were awarded a certificate of merit, and a sponsored trip to the company headquarters in San Jose, at a special felicitation ceremony today. During the trip, Cisco will facilitate interactions with its global business and technical leaders, Cisco investments – the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco, its portfolio companies and Cisco’s affiliates in the startup community in the Bay area.

Supporting Quotes

Chuck Robbins, Chairman, and CEO, Cisco said “India is going through a transformational journey, with initiatives like Digital India and Smart Cities helping to power its digital economy. The next initiatives in Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program underline our commitment to help accelerate India’s ecosystem of talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation, all of which can continue to help drive economic growth. We are thrilled to collaborate with the NITI Aayog and BSNL to bring greater value to India and its citizens.”

Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman NITI Aayog said “Digitization is the catalyst for economic growth. The government is actively promoting a start-up ecosystem and recognizes the need for providing a conducive environment through right investments and alliances. Our collaboration with Cisco is aimed at creating a sustainable innovation ecosystem in India to better compete in the global digital economy and improve digital inclusion for our people and businesses.” 

Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary Telecom said “India is waking up to 5G technology and is expected to see widespread usability with enabling policies like the recently released draft of National Digital Communications Policy 2018. This collaboration with Cisco will provide a platform for showcasing how 5G-based e-citizen services are bringing about a change through the use of new age technologies. It will also shed light on the power of a 5G network which opens up a number of exciting opportunities in the citizen services space thereby making it secure and efficient.”

Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission said, “The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a national initiative to establish and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country and to create platforms for promotion of world-class innovation hubs. To achieve the objectives of this mission, it is highly imperative for all the stakeholders, both public and private converge for the development of India’s start-up ecosystem, the third largest in the world. Our collaboration with Cisco to equip Atal Incubation Centres with high-end collaboration and conferencing tools is a significant step in this direction and will help in better Incubation facilities for the startups. These measures are in line with our vision of fostering innovation in the country to help the youth of our country become job creators rather than just job seekers”. – CT Bureau

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