Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

First IoE Challenge at MediaCityUK #CiscoMC15

March 23, 2015

On 5-6th March 2015 Cisco held its first 24 hour regional IoE Challenge at ‘The Landing’ in the heart of Media City, Salford. The goal of the event was  to engage in thought leadership with various universities within the North West to not only consolidate Cisco’s relationships within higher education, but to also interface with the brightest engineering students in the North West; inspiring and encouraging them to re-imagine the future through IoE. An important objective was to provide an environment where the students could innovate and create solutions for tangible, enterprise level IoE use-cases.

IoE Challenge Attendants

IoE Challenge Attendants

With primary support from Cisco CREATE and additional financial support from The UK&I Country Leadership Board, Cisco IT delivered the event with great success. Forty-five students from eight universities and an apprenticeship scheme (Bright Futures) attended, representing disciplines including Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computational Mathematics. The event provided the opportunity for the participants to tackle one of three problem statements all centred around IoE, one provided by Cisco CREATE, another from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and a final from Cisco IT:

  • Renewing the UK High Street (Cisco CREATE)
  • Enterprise Asset Economy (Cisco IT)
  • Passenger Footfall Density (TfGM)

Special guest speakers Jon Corner (CEO – The Landing), Anna Saunders (Dir. – Cisco Services), Alison Vincent (CTO UK&I – Cisco) and Darren Holt (Technical Architect TfGM) gave attendees a unique insight on Cisco’s vision of where IoE will take the world in the future.

John Corner -  CEO, The Landing

John Corner – CEO, The Landing

Phil Styles - Cisco IT

Phil Styles – Cisco IT







Over the course of the two days, each of the nine participating teams engaged in fierce competition giving the specially selected judging panel (consisting of Cisco & TfGM representatives) the unenviable task of crowning one winning team. Through much deliberation, the jury ultimately crowned Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) with the title due to their comprehensive solution to the TfGM problem statement. Their effort involved building a solution in both hardware and software to support a traffic light system to mitigate passenger footfall density within a public train station setting. Some great ideas came out of the event with all students providing positive feedback for us to continue building on these initiatives in the future.


Feedback about the event:

“Many thanks for inviting LJMU for this challenge. It has been a great and rewarding experience for the students.”

Dr Stephen Tang BSc, MSc, PGCertLTHE, PhD, FHEA Senior Lecturer in Digital Creative Technologies – Liverpool John Moores University


“I hear it was a truly challenging event at the end of last week, very tough technically, demanding from a business concept and project management point of view, but also fun and rewarding. May I take this opportunity to thank you and all the team involved at CISCO for putting a great event for students that helps promote our discipline.”

Keith Miller

Head of School / Associate Dean International – Manchester Metropolitan University


“I was asked to join the judging panel for the Manchester Hackathon last week and to be honest wasn’t sure what to expect. The results were astounding. All nine teams managed to create prototypes within the 24 hours – the winning team from Manchester Met University even managed to create a hardware prototype from a Raspberry Pi and some movement sensors to go with a website and a smartphone app! I was amazed how much all of the teams managed to achieve in such a short amount of time, and I had forgotten how little sleep students need!”

Stu Higgins

Strategic Lead Cisco IMPACT

Leave a comment


  1. Thanks Sergios, very much appreciated. Just trying to add value!

  2. Great initiative! I know how hard is to organise this kind of events! Keep it up guys!