Enterprise networking major Cisco has committed $100 million over the next three years with focus on increasing students’ digital skills and fostering innovative tech startups in Italy.
Following a meeting with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Cisco Italy general manager Agostino Santoni signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) to provide training to teachers and students through the Cisco Networking Academy program.
The program will help students develop the new digital skills required in the workforce of today, and thus have greater employment opportunities.
The initiative is part of its Networking Academy program designed to equip people with the skills to succeed in today and tomorrow’s increasingly connected world, with courses focused on industry 4.0 and cybersecurity technologies. Cisco will seek more collaboration in this area.
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Cisco, as the first step in developing the Italian startup ecosystem, is pursuing investment opportunities together with Invitalia Ventures, a national venture capital firm. This will enable Cisco to invest in the development of the best national startups and encourage hi-tech innovation in Italy
Cisco will also pursue in the next three years initiatives related to research and development, collaboration with Italian universities, and initiatives to accelerate digital transformation in two Italian industries of excellence, manufacturing and agrifood business.
Further, the networking major will continue investing in Research and Development efforts within Cisco Photonics laboratories, based in Vimercate (MB), Italy. These labs lead global Cisco R&D activities focused on technologies for optical networks.
Cisco will also expand its offering in helping Italian manufacturing and agribusiness companies in their path toward digital transformation, accelerating the adoption of technological solutions to strengthen their competitiveness and assert the primacy of “Made in Italy” innovation and quality.