That’s how we often think about Cisco’s global network of 14 Co-Innovation Centers, and it applies perfectly to our newest Center in Singapore we inaugurated last Friday.
Cisco’s Singapore Co-Innovation Center not only expands our global network, but adds many new dimensions to our innovation ecosystem. First, Singapore is core to the Asian economic and technology growth engine, and ranks at the top of many international lists as a global leader in innovation, whenever it comes to technology, trade, or transportation. No surprise that the World Economic Forum recognized Singapore as the “most techology ready” nation.
Singapore also is world renowned for its strong private and public sector collaboration. That was evident during Friday’s dual, grand opening of both our co-innovation center and Cisco’s new Cybersecurity Center of Excellence with the gracious presence of Chng Kai Fong, Managing Director of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. In prepared remarks, he stated, “Cisco’s Co-Innovation Center and Cybersecurity Center of Excellence will not only build new digital capabilities in Singapore for the Asia Pacific region, but also provide opportunities for Singaporeans to work with the best minds in Cisco and its partners to create new and innovative solutions that enable and secure digital transformation in different industries. We welcome global technology leaders like Cisco to deepen their presence in our ecosystem and we look forward to a fruitful partnership with Cisco.” More of his comments and opening activities were covered in this Straits Times article.
Vibrant Atmosphere with 200 Government, Tech and Industry Leaders
Several hundred dignitaries, customers, and partners–including innovative leaders from startups and universities—energized the opening ceremonies. It was a vibrant atmosphere, full of excited wonder about all the digital opportunities ahead, which was captured by Irving Tan, Cisco’s Senior Vice President and Chief of Operations for Southeast Asia, who stated, “At Cisco, we build the bridge between hope and possibility. This is only possible when innovative technology and imaginative people come together around a common purpose. Innovation no longer happens behind the closed doors of R&D labs, but in open ecosystems. By fostering local and global partnerships, Cisco is leading innovation in cutting edge technology solutions that will create a better future for the region.”
Driven by Cisco’s Chief Technology and Architecture Office, the Centers align closely with other Cisco functions to accelerate Cisco’s innovation agenda in different regions. We do this by co-developing digital solutions locally on our network platform that can be scaled globally across a wide range of industries.
David Ward, SVP, Chief Technology Officer of Engineering and Chief Architect, explained, “Singapore joins our global network of Co-Innovation Centers, with the mandate to identify, collaborate and co-engineer innovative solutions beyond Cisco’s traditional offerings that move the dial for our customers and partners. Singapore is a world-leader in innovation, and we are excited to work with local government, start-ups, partners and customers to extend that spirit of innovation and drive new, digital solutions that improve economic and social conditions.”
The Network Multiplier Effect
While we get a “network multiplier effect” because all the Centers collaborate on scaling best practices and focus areas, each center also specializes in technology and industry solutions most relevant to its region and community of innovators. The Singapore Co-Innovation Center will catalyze, develop and align digital innovations around Singapore’s Digital Economy Framework for Action, leveraging connected Internet of Things technologies and our network infrastructure to build solutions for smart nation, transportation, and, of course, cybersecurity.
The physical environment of a center can make an important difference in the creative process of co-innovators, which is why we have built impressive state-of-the-art rooms and laboratories equipped with “workplace of the future” technologies in Singapore. They serve as virtual and physical maker spaces to experiment, test, and co-develop solutions. Additionally, the Singapore Co-Innovation Center will serve as a launch pad for multiple activities to develop local talent, partnerships, and investments with government, startups, entrepreneurs, universities, and researchers, as well as showcase the latest digital advances and thought leadership.
Personally, I am very excited about the growth of our Co-Innovation Centers network. Two weeks ago, we also launched our Co-Innovation Center in Barcelona. With the addition of these two centers, we now have hotbeds of innovation with world-class local ecosystems on four continents in 14 major cities, also encompassing London, Manchester, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Dubai, Istanbul, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, and Perth.
It’s important to understand that we do not call these places innovation centers – they’re co-innovation centers. We also don’t call them showcases. That’s because our centers produce tangible results for customers, partners, and Cisco. In Singapore, as in all our centers, we unify diverse ecosystems where each participant has a specialized role, to identify, plan, and prototype digital solutions locally that can be scaled globally. Now is the time to roll up our sleeves, start working as a cohesive team, and deliver outcomes that transform business and society here and everywhere.