EnterpriseStart-Up

Cisco Opens Northern Powerhouse Startup Centre In Manchester

Antony Savvas is a freelance journalist and the editor of TechWeek's sister publication ChannelBiz

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Cisco innovation centre at the MSP will help startups develop and offer support when they want to commercialse

Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) are opening a new facility in the city, supporting the growth of startups and innovation clusters in northern England.

Mi-IDEA (Manchester Inspired – Innovation Digital Enterprise Alliance) will work with early-stage companies in the North on new technologies in the areas of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT), digital healthcare and the digital creative sector.

The centre, located at MSPs central campus, will offer further support to companies once they exit accelerators, giving them the confidence, support and resources to scale up and commercialise.

Cisco Manchester

Manchester Town HallNo. 1 MSP is located in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district and Mi-IDEA will also function as a second site in the UK for Cisco CREATE.

Cisco CREATE is a collaborative research operation which works with industry partners, startups, government, research institutions and universities. It aims to find innovative, technology-based solutions to pressing real world challenges.

“The city of Manchester has innovation in its DNA,” said Phil Smith, chief executive, Cisco UK & Ireland. “Our investment in the city builds on our ongoing commitment to support new digital businesses and high-tech entrepreneurs across the UK.

“Mi-IDEA will be uniquely positioned to tap into local, national and international innovation ecosystems. It will benefit from MSP’s existing partnerships across the region. Coupled with Cisco’s successes at IDEALondon and Cisco CREATE, we’re confident that Mi-IDEA will deliver a unique environment in which tech companies in Manchester can grow.”

“In high growth sectors it’s vital to provide targeted and specialist support programmes with access to global supply chains in order to unlock the potential economic impact for the UK,” said Anne Dornan, head of innovation at Manchester Science Partnerships. “Bringing together diverse partners from across public, private and academic sectors to drive innovation and economic growth is at the heart of MSP and a hugely rewarding endeavour.”

In July last year, Cisco announced that it would invest over $1 billion (£710 million) in the UK over the subsequent three to five years. Manchester is also host to the National Graphene Institution and will be the UK’s Internet of Things (IoT) demonstrator.

This article originally appeared on ChannelBiz

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