Partnering for the Future of Canada
President Cisco Canada
Partners/Channel, Thought Leadership, Digital Business, Cisco Canada
At Cisco, partnerships are at the heart of everything we do. Whether it’s delivering the full depth and breadth of our technology platforms through our 1675 partners in Canada or helping foster an environment where the next generation in Canada can thrive. We love to partner because it gives us scale and delivers impact. Our long-standing partnerships with post-secondary institutions in Canada has been no exception to our partnership centric approach. It's a relationship that is based on a mutual vision for innovation and economic growth. And, a few weeks ago, I had the honor of visiting the University of Waterloo Campus (UoW) to announce an investment of $1 million in 5G Research -a perfect example of how Cisco partners for impact. I was very much inspired by the state-of-the-art tour and to walk through the halls of a campus that has been and still is a magnet for innovation.
As many know, Cisco started in 1984 by a husband-and-wife team of computer scientists at California’s Stanford University Campus. Bosak and Lerner created a multi-protocol router so they could email one another from different dorm rooms. What began as a 2-person start-up at University Campus two decades later is technology giant that employs over 70,000 people across the world and has changed the way we live, learn, and play.
And many ideas, startups, ventures have also been born on the campuses of many post -secondary institutions in Canada. Brilliant eager minds who want to change the world or who want to simply solve a real-life problem. At Cisco, we're fully committed to driving innovation and talent development in Canada because we believe there is an unprecedented opportunity for Canada to become a global innovation hub. We are fully engaged and active in accelerating this vision by focusing on planting the seeds of success through active partnerships. I’d like to focus on two main elements.
We Develop Talent
Talent is more than just skills. We need an agile thinking, diverse, creative, adaptable, multi-disciplinary stance on enabling our youth. That’s why we have invested in many programs like our Cisco Networking Academy and initiatives such as our highly competitive summer internship program. The digital economy is demanding a shift in the skills and tomorrow’s prosperity depends not only on deepening this workforce capability, but in providing the future generation with the flexibility to try and discover new things.
We Foster Innovation
Developing talent and the next generation of disruptors is only half the battle, the other half is about keeping it in Canada. That’s why Cisco is committed to help foster innovation through our investments, programs, and relationships with universities across the country. We're focused on nurturing research to increase Canadian innovation, productivity, and global competitiveness. As part of our R&D footprint, Cisco has invested $25 million to support 13 University Research Chairs across the country to provide industry experts the resources they need to explore new pathways to digitization. Our latest is on unleashing the power of 5G that will revolutionize AI, ML, IoT and accelerate the era of intelligence.
When we work in tandem with partners like the University of Waterloo and other chairs like the University of Laval in Montreal or the University of British Columbia we push the frontiers of knowledge. And we invest in the promise of Canada. Ultimately, our collaboration becomes a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth. And when we invest in our talent - in their diversity and creativity- we achieve wonders. We are excited to build on the momentum and look forward to the continued relationship with key stakeholders to help realize the tremendous opportunities that lies ahead for Canada.