Cisco has moved its Create innovation centre from Greenwich to Hackney, expanding the centre's focus on start-ups developing Internet of Things (IoT) products.
The new facility is housed at Hackney University Technical College, where it has more space and is closer to the centre of London.
Phil Smith, Cisco's chief executive for the UK and Ireland, told V3 the move is an opportunity to scale up the centre and move away from sharing space with other organisations.
"We were working very successfully in Greenwich for a long time, but we wanted to get some more space that we could use as our own," he said.
"We needed to get some of our own technology in to develop our APIs [and] we needed somewhere that was a bit more flexible."
The new centre follows the model of its predecessor, but will focus on developing products and services related to the IoT, which Cisco describes as the 'Internet of Everything'.
The Hackney centre is part of Cisco's wider Create programme, which merges corporate partnerships and start-ups with government and university researchers.
The programme works on externally funded IoT projects aimed at healthcare, transport and energy consumption, among others.
Cisco noted that less than one percent of devices with the potential to connect to the internet are doing so, and that the company will address this by working with the start-ups at the centre and on the Create programme.
Cisco showcased lighting-as-a-service as one of the energy-focused IoT developments that came out of the Create programme.
The service is funded by Innovate UK, along with a collaboration between Cisco, amBX, pureLiFi and the University of Strathclyde, and uses network connected lighting to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings.
The video below explains more about lighting-as-a-service.
The centre will also receive Cisco's /Dev/Innovate innovation pod which the firm claims will enable further experimentation on IoT devices at the Hackney site when it is shipped over from the US.
Cisco is providing Create's resident start-ups with access to its technology platforms, such as the company's voice over IP system, to enable IoT development based on existing widespread technology.
"It's all about market access. If you can hook into the Cisco technology it's a real advantage for you as a small company, as opposed to saying ‘I'm going to create my own way of doing collaboration,'" Smith explained.
The Hackney facility is one of seven Cisco centres across the globe that focus on IoT development through various partnerships. The others are in Barcelona, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Songdo in South Korea, Tokyo and Toronto.
Smith said that there are no definite plans to expand Create Hackney, but that Cisco is involved in similar centres across the UK with university partnerships, and the company keeps an open mind to expanding the Create centre beyond London.
"I think we're looking around to see where the real magic is happening, and where things could happen," he said.
"I think there are opportunities in Manchester, Glasgow, the Midlands and Birmingham, and in some of the other centres that have specialisations."
Cisco is also involved in the Digital Catapult, another hub that offers support and guidance for start-ups with an IoT focus.
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