Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Leading Innovation, Nurturing Knowledge – incubating social innovation in Greater Manchester

April 26, 2024

The UK has long been a global technology hub, and while much attention has been focused on London, the capital doesn’t have a monopoly on talent, and deep expertise exists around the country.

Greater Manchester, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and where the atom was first split, has a thriving digital scene. I’m proud of Cisco’s work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) over the last 18 months to continue this innovation legacy — projects like the Greater Manchester One network are evolving how people interact and benefit from public services, and the Greater Manchester Digital Security Hub (DiSH) is equipping the next generation with the skills necessary to flourish in the digital economy.

These initiatives sit under Cisco’s UK Country Digital Acceleration Programme, powering transformative projects while connecting more people to the digital economy through innovative technology and digital skilling initiatives. Today, we’re announcing the next step — Cisco’s LINK Programme (Leading Innovation, Nurturing Knowledge) — a social value innovation incubator enabling the best and brightest start-ups and SMEs address pressing social needs in the Greater Manchester area.

In partnership with local councils and the GMCA, LINK is seeking local organisations with new ideas, expertise, products, and services which can deliver positive impact in the key focus areas of health and social care and climate change.

Chosen from three competitions over the next 18 months, successful applicants will have full access to the capabilities of the Cisco-provided GM One network used across multiple public agencies, a £5,000 cash grant to support solution development, and the opportunity to take advantage of Cisco’s ecosystem and partnerships.

Whether it’s helping more communities benefit from electric vehicles or a wellbeing solution transferable to bolstering staff retention in social care, we’re calling for applications from all firms committed to realising Greater Manchester’s ambitions of a world-leading digital city-region.

Apply today and help shape a sustainable and inclusive future for one of the fastest-growing digital economies in Europe.

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