Mario ToneguzziGlobal technology leader Cisco is investing $15 million to enhance its Western Canadian presence.

“Getting the most out of the digital world of tomorrow means investing and preparing for it today,” said Rola Dagher, president of Cisco Canada, in making the announcement on Wednesday in Calgary.

“The commitments announced today build on our strong track record of creating successful partnerships in Western Canada that have empowered individuals to grow their careers, strengthened the country’s technology ecosystem and laid the foundations for a prosperous future for all Canadians.”

The company said new commitments announced on Wednesday for Western Canada are the first wave of Cisco Canada’s Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) program, which is a national-level initiative that will support the long-term economic goals of Canada – particularly job creation, skills development and technological innovation.

Rola Dagher

Rola Dagher

“Through CDA, Cisco will fund and test ‘smart and connected community’ innovations in areas such as the oil and gas sector, health-care digitization and environmental protection to identify what ‘smart city’ solutions will create real value for Canadians. Future projects under CDA will be developed and funded that utilize digital technologies as the foundation for advancing the quality of life of Canadians, create jobs and workforce education and enhance global economic competitiveness,” it said in a news release.

Cisco said its three main initiatives in Western Canada include:

  • Growing its team with new senior artificial intelligence jobs that will support the company’s Western Canada operations. This builds on the ongoing growth of Cisco’s footprint in Western Canada, which has seen Cisco’s cyber security research and development headcount in Vancouver and Calgary double since 2016, and a $7 million investment in a new Calgary cyber security office.
  • Strengthening its Networking Academy partnership with YYC Net Lab – a local, volunteer-run not-for-profit organization that aims to provide cost-effective access to computer networking education to immigrant and Indigenous women. Through a newly-deepened partnership, Cisco will provide YYC NetLab with resources and instructor training to deliver an expanded roster of courses, including cybersecurity operations, and beyond.
  • Also through Cisco’s Networking Academy program partnership, supporting NPower Canada – a leading youth-oriented charity – by providing resources so that their instructors can teach 21st-century, career-ready skills to students. This will support NPower’s growth in Calgary.

“Our government has a plan to build a new culture of innovation – one that will support Canadian ideas, drive productivity and create good jobs for Canadians,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, who was present at the announcement in Calgary.

“Cisco’s growing commitment to Canada demonstrates how our approach is working. By equipping Canadians with the tools needed to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow, we are working together to position Canada at the forefront of the global economy.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary. He writes for Calgary’s Business.


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