|13 June 2016|

UK

A groundbreaking collaboration between Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) will deliver a new innovation centre in 2017 designed to boost and support pioneering digital ventures across the region.

The Mi-IDEA (Manchester Inspired – Innovation Digital Enterprise Alliance) innovation centre on MSP’s central campus will support the growth of key innovation clusters in the North of England, and furthers Cisco’s commitment to supporting UK innovation, digitisation and the UK business economy as a whole.

Mi-IDEA, a joint venture with MSP, will work with early-stage companies in the North to develop innovative technologies and solutions. The partnership will focus on the areas of smart cities, Internet of Things (IoT), digital healthcare and the digital creative sector. In addition, the centre will offer post-accelerator and established technology companies a tailored programme to help develop confidence and capabilities as they scale.

Phil Smith, Chief Executive, Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “The city of Manchester has innovation in its DNA. 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 and be a key part of the NVI. 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.”

Anne Dornan, Head of Innovation at Manchester Science Partnerships said: “Mi-IDEA is a reflection of our long-term commitment to growing the digital technology sector in the region and the culmination of our partnership work with Cisco since the National Virtual Incubator was launched in 2012. 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. 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. We are excited to see this project come to fruition.”