Cisco and Israel partner on country’s Digital Agenda

Cisco  has announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the Israeli government’s Digital Agenda over the next three years. 

Following a meeting between Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,  Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers and Cisco Israel General Manager Oren Sagi, Cisco and the government will partner to accelerate innovation, promote entrepreneurship and digital skills with a focus on building inclusive communities across Israel’s discrete social groups and bringing the economic opportunity of digitization to Israel’s regions.   The partnership will focus on key priorities for Israel and Cisco. This includes the application of innovative digital and cloud-based technologies across public sector services, education, healthcare and smart city development.

As a first step, Cisco will introduce a joint project, with the ministry of social justice and regional governors – to transform the eastern Negev into Israel’s first smart region. Through an ecosystem of partners, Cisco will create a digital hub to deliver digital services to improve citizen wellbeing, create jobs and boost entrepreneurship. Cisco is also helping to transform how citizens interact through smart working spaces that will help foster an entrepreneurial spirit in the region, much like the one that exists in Silicon Valley.

“Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers and I signed a declarative memorandum of understandings between the Government of Israel and Cisco regarding cooperation in order to advance digitization in Israel.”said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The memorandum of understandings constitutes a framework for possible research and development with the Government of Israel.”

Digital Innovation

As part of this project, Cisco will also introduce “New Media Negev” a joint-funded program with Sapir College, to stimulate innovation in digital media and video.  The goal is to identify and invest in the next generation of global digital media leaders from Israel. The project focuses on Sapir College students and includes an academic and ecosystem program that will connect leading digital media and video start ups to Israel’s venture capitalist community.

Cisco has a nearly 20-year history of investing in Israel via acquisitions and supporting the entrepreneurial community through strategic corporate investments in startups.  Cisco has invested over $2 billion in Israel through acquisitions, direct and indirect investments; Cisco acquired 11 companies, invested in over 30 startups and four funds.  Many of these acquisitions are focused on areas that are core to Cisco growth markets, such as security, data center and cloud, IoT, networking and silicon.

“Every country, city, business, house, car will become digital over the next decade. The impact on GDP growth, inclusion of all the citizens, smart secure communities, health, and innovation will be dramatic. It’s a great honor to be partnering with the country, citizens, and government leaders of Israel in this transition.” said John Chambers, Executive Chairman Cisco.

“Israel has always been one of the world’s leaders in innovation and once again we see this country position itself not for the past but for the future in innovation and strategic partnerships that are necessary elements to achieve these ambitious goals. Prime Minister Netanyahu truly understands the many benefits a Digital Israel will bring to this country and its citizens – and the next stage of this evolution will begin today in Negev.”