To foster innovation in India and enhance digital skills development, Cisco is setting up a network of innovation labs called Cisco thingQbator. Apart from development of digital skills, the aim is to also enable entrepreneurship among student communities.
Cisco is collaborating with NASSCOM Foundation for the implementation of the program. The makerspaces will enable students to get hands on with technology and come up with digital solutions to local problems.
Cisco has picked five academic institutions to establish â€˜thingQbatorâ€™ makerspaces: Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, (IIITMK), Kerala, IIT-BHU Varanasi, Amrita University Coimbatore, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women- Delhi and Trident Academy of Technology Bhubaneswar.
This is part of Ciscoâ€™s CSR efforts where it looks to impact 1 billion lives worldwide by 2025 through digital solutions.
Cisco is also supporting social sector incubator N/Core to launch N/Core tech, an exclusive track focused on incubating early-stage nonprofits that leverage digital technology to positively impact society and solve some of Indiaâ€™s most pressing social challenges. N/Core tech will primarily focus on incubating companies that are developing solutions in the areas of critical human needs, education, and economic empowerment. Cisco will support up to 20 organizations during the first year in two cohorts. Each selected startup will receive an innovation grant of INR 10 Lakhs. In addition, the startup will have access to a set of mentors and technology experts from Cisco along with N/Core partners.
With the help of Ciscoâ€™s CSR grant, N/Core will invest in early-stage, tech-led ideas partnering with high-impact social sector startups to create scalable and sustainable solutions. In addition to providing cash grants, Cisco will also support these startups with mentoring, employee volunteering, and capacity building.
In a bid to contribute to skill development in India, Cisco is also scaling up its Cisco Networking Academy program. This program is designed for schools, colleges, universities and other non-profit educational institutions to be able to provide Cisco-developed curriculum in computer networking, security and IoT that can be integrated with the institutionâ€™s own educational offering.
Additionally, Cisco is also working public sector organizations like The Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge, and the ICT Academy of Kerala, to provide training on networking and cybersecurity skills aimed at improving employability of engineering graduates in those states.
Cisco has been working for the past several years to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. In 2017, it launched a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for IoT at R V College of Engineering, Bengaluru. Earlier this year, Cisco partnered with the government of Telangana to launch various initiatives to improve digitisation, education, entrepreneurship and technology in the state. It set up a Centre of Excellence and Living Lab in T-Hub, Hyderabad to foster regional innovation, and enable startups to build solutions around IoT and cyber security.