Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cisco Commits to $1 Billion Multi-Year Investment in Russia

Cisco made a firm commitment to invest $1B USD to drive entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation in Russia. The announcement came during a meeting in San Jose between President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev and Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers.

Cisco will invest the $1 billion through a five phase collaborative plan and as part of Russia's Skolkovo Project to develop a new Silicon Valley center of innovation outside of Moscow.

Key elements of the plan include:

1. Venture Capital -- Cisco it will extend its existing venture commitment to Russia's innovation economy with an incremental $100 million in new companies. Cisco also committed to increase the number of Cisco Networking Academies to 300 across the country.

2. Skolkovo -- Cisco made a firm commitment to establish a dedicated physical presence in Skolkovo. Cisco aims to establish Skolkovo as the first of a next-generation of Smart+Connected Communities in Russia, and establish a collaborative model for Russia's future sustainable social, economic and environmental development.

3. R&D -- Cisco will increase its research and development capability in Russia. In addition to the Skolkovo infrastructure build out, Senior Vice President Marthin De Beer will establish a second global headquarters for the Cisco Emerging Technologies Group and will locate key members of its engineering team in Skolkovo. Cisco already operates dedicated manufacturing and development for Russia-specific routing technologies, and will look to extend its engineering expertise throughout the region.

4. I-Prize -- Cisco also announced the third phase of its I-Prize competition, open specifically to entrepreneurial teams in Russia. Cisco will provide $175,000 USD in overall prize money for the winning Russian teams in the contest.

5. Building a Collaborative Model -- In the fifth phase, Cisco will build a model for partnering with existing businesses, venture capital and technology companies in Russia. Cisco will look to work on joint development projects in areas such as smart grid, financial services, service provider models, financing, broadband implementation and social networking to develop exportable products, solutions and business models.

See also