The BIG Initiative - What's the big idea?

The BIG Initiative enables future generations to make use of the technology Cisco is contributing to the Games. We will create two networked innovation centres that will showcase technology and transform local businesses and communities.

The Shoreditch innovation centre will be developed in partnership with the local SME community. The other providing a state-of-the-art connected community with a special focus on developing and demonstrating new technology for London at the Olympic Park, which will also connect with other cities.

B.I.G has three major elements for development and implementation.

1) Innovation Centres

  • Two Innovation Centres based in London Shoreditch and the Olympic Park
  • Centres will be designed to encourage open innovation and provide support for SMEs

2) National Virtual incubators

  • A sustainable online network enabling collaboration for SMEs, entrepreneurs and educational research facilities
  • Will be a major contribution to the ongoing development of the UK's ‘innovation ecosystem’ which will allow entrepreneurs and innovators to more easily access and take advantage of the very best supporting capabilities across the whole of the UK

3) The BIG Awards

  • An annual innovation competition rewarding excellence in innovation and business acumen from UK SMEs in targeted growth areas
  • Mentoring, training and access to top in-house expertise from Cisco to assist BIG Awards winners
  • Cisco expects to launch the first round of the BIG Awards in early 2012

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, is delighted with Cisco's support for sustainable prosperity. ‘I welcome this major statement of support from Cisco. This will help create many new jobs and opportunities, and support our drive to diversify our economy and generate sustainable economic growth.

We want to bring together the energy and innovation of Shoreditch and the incredible potential of the Olympic Park to help make East London one of the world's great technology centres.

Cisco's goal is a fantastic example of how business is turning this vision into reality, with East London set to become a leading Tech City.”