Awards recognise most innovative ideas for driving a more inclusive digital future

Cisco today announced the winners of its first ever UK Fast Future Innovation Awards (FFIA), designed to recognise and enable innovation intended to help solve the issues and challenges facing UK businesses today, in areas ranging from eSports to Sustainability and Space.

Through Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, in collaboration with Cisco Innovation Labs (CIL), the top three submissions will be provided with support in the form of resources, expertise, and scale to help develop, prototype and implement their ideas. The first prize winner receives up to £120,000 of Cisco support, while two runners-up receive up to £60,000.

Established in Canada in 2021, the awards were open to for-profit organisations, commercial SMEs, and private sector businesses. Applications were welcome from areas of interest including, but not limited to, the Future of Mobility, Smart Infrastructure, Supply Chain, eSports and Virtual Experiences, Energy, Sustainability, Space and Tech4Good.

This year’s award winners are:

  • First place: CAE Technology Services Ltd for Sustainability and Energy Saving in the Public Sector. Provides intuitive IT services to transform the way people work, with technology solutions ranging from networking, security, and cloud to data centre, digital workplace, and connectivity. CAE works with the UK government and public sector organisations to connect local government sites and buildings, manage their energy resources, and build a strategy to improve their levels of digital maturity, using people-first innovation: Powered by CAE Labs.
  • Runner-up: Riding Sunbeams for Green Energy in the Transport Sector. A sustainable technology innovator focused on decarbonising rail traction networks through the development and connection of solar, wind and energy storage assets. The company collaborates with the likes of Network Rail to power railways with unsubsidised, direct-wire renewable generation whilst delivering significant social impact for line-side communities.
  • Runner-up: UMA for Hybrid Work. Offers hybrid solutions to connect the workplace calendar, collaboration software, and technology, resulting in valuable data insights and improved employee experiences. Its technology delivers a range of services for businesses large and small, including room and desk booking, smart parking, digital signage, visitor management, resource scheduling and WebEx integrations.

Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman MP, said: “Innovation – improving the productivity of every process in our society & economy – is the key to both economic prosperity and widening access to economic opportunity in our society.

“Innovation requires innovators. These awards recognise & reward the homegrown businesses whose innovations are supercharging our digital economy, creating the companies and jobs of tomorrow and delivering our mission to be an Innovation Nation.”

Chintan Patel, Chief Technology Officer for Cisco UK & Ireland, commented: “The UK is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading destinations for digital businesses. To maintain its position, we believe that the technology industry has a role to play in helping UK enterprises bring their pioneering digital ideas to life. Thank you to all our FFIA winners for their submissions; we look forward to witnessing how their powerful solutions will work to power an inclusive future for all.”

Over the coming months, the FFIA winners will collaborate with CDA and CIL to bring their winning proposals to life. CDA’s main purpose is to unlock the value of digitisation in proof of concepts and pilots that demonstrate the value of Cisco’s technology in solving customers’ business challenges. Cisco Innovation Labs collaborates closely with customers to offer hyper local in-country innovation capabilities, with access to its global incubation engine and all the emerging technology and ventures supported by its teams.

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