The French government and CISCO will jointly Cisco and the French government invest US$100 million into IoT start-ups
The French government and CISCO will jointly invest US$100 million into IoT start-ups.

In Europe, networking technology giant Cisco has made its pledge to support French incubator and accelerator programmes advancing Internet of Things start-ups in the country.

California-based Cisco has committed to assist the digitisation of France, maintaining an active role throughout all stages of the project, as well as injecting funds into Internet of Things start-ups.

Initiatives supported under the pledge, form part of an agreement between Cisco and the French government made in February which dedicated US$100 million investment to start-ups, in a bid to accelerate the digital transformation of France.

Building a foundation for the Internet of Things

Some of the key initiatives undertaken by the French government and Cisco include identifying and promoting new talent - the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.

Both parties will bring together people from multicultural backgrounds with diverse skillsets. Teams of students are also invited to pitch their ideas for a new Internet of Things/Internet of Everything enterprise focused on social and environmental innovation.

The competition headed by the Cisco Networking Academy, will award winners €35,000 to go towards making their idea a reality.

Other initiatives include setting up a digital innovation campus in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France; re-affirming support of the NUMA Sprint accelerator programme; partnering with Internet of Things specialist, Actility and investment in 6WIND, a Parisian start-up, whose software solves performance challenges for network vendors in telecom, enterprise and cloud infrastructure markets.

Supporting innovative start-ups

The NUMA Sprint accelerator programme is located in Paris and is a community space with coworking, events, training and accelerator classes for rising start-ups. NUMA Sprint is NUMA’s four month accelerator programme for promoting French start-ups.

Cisco will support 22 chosen start-ups with equipment and expertise to help commercialise their ideas.

The company’s investment in 6WIND is envisioned to create opportunities for the use of Network Function Virtualization and SDN (Software-Defined Networking), for the development of industrial applications and IP-based communications systems.

6WIND creates new market opportunities for NFV (Network Function Virtualization) and SDN (Software-Defined Networking), and develops industrial applications and IP-based communications systems. Cisco is supporting start-ups by providing infrastructure solutions that deliver high-speed broadband and smart grids throughout the country.

Robert Vassoyan CEO, Cisco France said, "… France has almost limitless potential and our mission is to support innovation across our entire ecosystem.

"These first initiatives demonstrate our active cooperation with innovative companies to aid them in their development, and show that we are committed to continuing our efforts in this area to drive growth, competitivity and employment of our country."