Manchester to get new innovation centre following Cisco partnership


Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) have announced the launch of Mi-IDEA, an innovation centre.

The centre, which will also act as a second site in the UK for Cisco CREATE, will seek to support the growth of key innovation clusters and early-stage startups in the North of England.

According to a statement, the partnership will focus on smart cities, Internet of Things, digital healthcare and the digital creative sector.

Phil Smith, chief executive, Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “The city of Manchester has innovation in its DNA. Our investment in the city builds on our ongoing commitment to support new digital businesses and high-tech entrepreneurs across the UK. Mi-IDEA will be uniquely positioned to tap into local, national and international innovation ecosystems.

“It will benefit from MSP’s existing partnerships across the region and be a key part of the NVI. Coupled with Cisco’s successes at IDEALondon and Cisco CREATE, we’re confident that Mi-IDEA will deliver a unique environment in which tech companies in Manchester can grow,” he added.

The new centre will also offer post-accelerator and established tech companies a customised programme to help them scale.

Anne Dornan, head of innovation at Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “Mi-IDEA is a reflection of our long-term commitment to growing the digital technology sector in the region and the culmination of our partnership work with Cisco since the National Virtual Incubator was launched in 2012.

“In high growth sectors it’s vital to provide targeted and specialist support programmes with access to global supply chains in order to unlock the potential economic impact for the UK. Bringing together diverse partners from across public, private and academic sectors to drive innovation and economic growth is at the heart of MSP and a hugely rewarding endeavour. We are excited to see this project come to fruition,” concluded Dornan.