Cisco announced a plan to invest AU$61 million over the next three years to help drive Australia’s secure digital transformation, with a focus on inclusive growth, skills development and innovation in industries where Australia is placed to be a global leader in the digital economy.
The CDA program in Australia will work with government, industry and community organisations to develop and fund projects across four key areas to positively impact the quality of life, help create jobs and support the skills of the emerging workforce, as well as enhancing Australia’s global economic competitiveness:
-Digital Government, with programs for K-12 and higher education, healthcare, infrastructure and other select government department and agencies,
-Digital Industry programs for collaboration with Australian companies from industries such as mining and agriculture to develop digital capabilities that have the potential to positively impact and contribute to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product,
-Digital Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) programs including an investment in start-ups, entrepreneurs and venture funds to drive continuous creation of new small- to medium-sized businesses as well as ensuring that Australian SMBs get access to digital technologies and services,
-National Infrastructure development that supports a secure transition to the digital services enabled by the National Broadband Network (NBN), 5G, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence.
CDA builds on Cisco’s strong partnerships to help build digital literacy and skills which expand access to quality education, promoting STEM skills across the country, along with multi-year investments in AUSTEM2020, Mentor Me, Women Rock-IT, Girls Power Tech.
It also includes the expansion of Cisco’s Strategic Innovation Group (CSIG) locations in partnership with selected universities throughout Australia.
Cisco global innovation officer Guy Diedrich says, “As connectivity and technology have become the foundation for peoples’ economic, social, and cultural opportunities, delivering secure digital transformation with a trusted partner is more important than ever. We are excited for the opportunity to bring the benefits of CDA to Australia’s communities and support their long-term economic growth in an era powered by 5G, IoT, and AI.”
Cisco A/NZ VP Ken Boal says, “Technology has played a key role in boosting socio-economic growth across the world, however, more needs to be done in Australia to keep at the pace of other leading innovative nations. If we don’t invest equally, Australia will run the risk of losing its position near the top of international league tables. Cisco is ready and willing to help Australia keep its place at that top table.
“By partnering with government, academia and industry to co-innovate in the areas aligned to Australia’s strengths, we have the capability to accelerate change through these investments, leading to an increase in productivity, growth and sustainable long term development, that ultimately improves the digital readiness of Australia.”
CDA forms an element of Cisco’s Country Impact Plan for Australia, which aims to stimulate and create more opportunities for Australia to grow and prosper in the digital era. Australia has a unique combination of strong innovation capability, world-class education and research facilities, a skilled workforce and a public and private sector willing to embrace new technologies to help the country compete in the global marketplace.