Cisco selects Toronto as one of four global 'Internet of Everything' labs
Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014 10:10AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 10:58PM EST
Cisco Systems Inc. has tapped Toronto as one of four cities around the world to house an "Internet of Everything" lab, an investment that the company says will amount to as much as $100 million for the city over 10 years.
Toronto joins Songdo, South Korea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a yet-unnamed German city as sites of the company’s “IoE” innovation hubs.
"Toronto is a world-class community of creativity and talent," Cisco Canada president Nitin Kawale told reporters Wednesday.
According to a Cisco statement, the new Toronto IoE Innovation Centre will be located at the downtown RBC WaterPark Place currently under construction on Harbour Square. After its completion in spring 2015, Cisco says the hub will help companies and government agencies capitalize on opportunities presented by the so-called "Internet of Everything."
Considered by some as the next major technological revolution, IoE boosters say it will allow the technology in our lives -- from cars and computers to heart monitors and fridges -- to communicate.
"(Cisco) is moving aggressively to drive innovation in this country," Kawale said, adding that less than one per cent of devices that can be connected to each other actually are.
He said: "(Toronto) will be the place where we pioneer and look to build the 'Internet of Everything.'"
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was not invited to attend the Cisco news conference Wednesday and told reporters at city hall he was disappointed by the snub.
“I’m the one who’s made the environment for these businesses to come here; my administration has done it,” he said.
“We’ve created the most jobs by any administration, we have 150 cranes in the sky, we have the lowest tax rate – that was all my hard work,” he added.
“If they don’t want to invite me, that’s fine.”
Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who was at Wednesday's announcement, said Cisco's choice to invest in Toronto was a "wise choice."
He described the city as "centre of the universe."
"We are one of the top cities of the world to start, grow and expand a business," Kelly told reporters. "We have a diverse and highly-skilled workforce…we have a diverse economy."