Networking giant Cisco has announced a partnership with University College London to build a new artificial intelligence centre, to open in the autumn.

Part of Cisco's push to be at the forefront of developments in deep learning and other artificial and machine intelligence (AI and MI) related fields, the company's partnership with University College London sees £100 million in investment to build an AI-focused education centre aligned to the UK government's Industrial Strategy programme. The agreement follows prior cooperation between the two organisations.

'It's wonderful to renew our partnership with Cisco and work together to upskill the UK in machine learning and artificial intelligence,' says Professor Michael Arthur, UCL president and provost, of the agreement and investment. 'I'm particularly looking forward to opening the new AI Centre in the coming months to position us as a sector leader in computer science.'

'Industry is being reimagined on the internet, creating new markets and new playing fields for competition and collaboration, both as businesses and as nations. We believe in the opportunity for the UK. From its expertise in AI, to ensuring future innovators have the skills to succeed in the digital economy,' adds Cisco chair and chief executive Chuck Robbins. 'The UK's digital and industrial strategies set out ways to ensure that no one is left behind. That’s why we have continued to invest in initiatives to help accelerate digitisation and innovation across the UK, most recently through the launch of our Country Digital Acceleration partnership and today with an additional £100m investment.'

'The UK has become the natural destination in Europe for the largest and most innovative tech companies to operate and invest,' adds incoming Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright. 'Cisco's strong commitment to the UK highlights we have the ambition, research excellence and regulatory environment for world-leading firms to develop the innovations that will change people's lives for the better.'

Full details of the planned AI centre have not yet been provided.


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