New Cisco IoE Innovation Center a Catalyst of Opportunity

Today it was my pleasure to participate in one of the most exciting announcements so far this year: Toronto has been selected as the location for one of four global Cisco Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Centers, and will serve as a global hub for thought leadership and solutions development that will capture the value and imagination of IoE.

Our new IoE Innovation Center will be located in Oxford Properties’ RBC WaterPark Place, scheduled for completion in spring of 2015, and will take up approximately 15,000 square feet. Our space in the brand new hyper-connected and LEED Platinum building in the Toronto waterfront revitalization will consist of a 5,000 square feet solutions lab environment and a cutting edge experience and demonstration centre. In this, Cisco Canada will invest more than $100M over the next ten years which will include the relocation of our Canadian headquarters to the same Oxford Properties’ site.

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This new IoE Innovation Center will succeed our current Smart + Connected Communities Innovation Center that we opened in June of 2012. Until now, our innovation center has primarily been used to collaborate closely with our partners and industry to co-create scalable and repeatable networked solutions and proof of concepts for smart buildings in smart cities. Together with a new eco system of partners and our existing value-added-reseller community, we have pushed for the transformation of an industry that only now starts to accept IT and IP networks as instrumental to the shaping of our built environment.

That Innovation Center has been at the center of IP-enablement of HVAC systems. Starting with Delta Controls, we now also collaborate with Honeywell, Schneider Electric, and others on the next-generation IPfication of controls technologies. Other relevant building systems such as IP-based lighting, fire and security, parking, building analytics, and even “smart glass” are deployed, integrated, and tested in the current Innovation Center. With the rapid growing availability of native IP-systems in the building automation world, we continue to drive relevancy of IT and IP networks in construction and real estate, and proof out the tangible benefits for landlords, owners, and tenants.

Many of the systems tested in the center – with many of the eco system partners that have been an instrumental part of this journey – play a role in the IPfication of building that will be our new home: Oxford’s RBC Waterpark Place. Under the leadership of EllisDon—and long standing Cisco partner in the Smart Building marketplace—Oxford has adopted the concept of one converged and integrated IP network for all the base building systems. EllisDon and Oxford have built the first-of-its-kind hyper-connected building (possibly in the world) that will heavily be leveraged by Oxford for the rest of its new and existing portfolio of top notch real estate.

With RBC Waterpark Place as the manifestation of our Connected Real Estate vision and the coming together of partners and technologies through the Innovation Center, our new IoE Innovation Center will build on this success and will extend beyond our current real estate focus. Going forward, we will leverage the best practices of our past experiences and explore partnership and solution opportunities for urban innovation, public sector, healthcare, education, and energy transformation.

Through our relationships with Universities (another big investment from Cisco Canada in the innovation and productivity trajectory of our nation), start-ups and incubators, established organizations in private and public sector and municipalities (through our partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities), we will be able to experiment firsthand with IoE solutions and capabilities based on Cisco networks and architectures. Only when we work creatively together with new partners and in innovative business models can we truly unlock the value of our connected world.

Cisco estimates that IoE opportunities will be worth more than $19 trillion to the private and public sector over the next decade (2013-2022) globally. For Canada this means that there is a value to be created of almost $500 billion over the next decade (cost savings; productivity and efficiency; new products and technologies; revenues and profit). There’s the potential for municipalities and the infrastructure industry (including real estate) to generate new profits, build new markets, create new opportunities, and transcend this success onto all of Canada.

It is exciting to be part of this tremendous opportunity that is presented to us by the fourth evolution of the Internet: the Internet of Everything. When we combine people, process, data, and things and leverage IT as the great enabler for this new era, we will see unprecedented opportunities for all that embrace the movement and choose to be part of it—and subsequently to everyone at large. We are proud to take an instrumental role in the shaping of new markets and opportunities, and leverage our new IoE Innovation Center as a catalyst. Together—and only together— we make a greener, smarter, healthier, and more prosperous world.

About Rick Huijbregts

Rick Huijbregts is Vice President of Industry Transformation where he is responsible for Cisco Canada’s IoE strategy and industry business development. The members of his team are industry subject matter experts and each engage in the transformation of their respective industries (healthcare, oil and gas, financial services, education, real estate, and industrial sector). Huijbregts is also General Manager for Cisco Canada’s Smart + Connected Communities practice, including Smart + Connected Real Estate. Huijbregts holds construction and architecture degrees from Tilburg Polytechnic University and Delft University in the Netherlands, and a doctorate from Harvard University. Huijbregts is currently a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education where he teaches classes on Smart Buildings and Smart Cities. He also serves on several boards of Canadian academic institutions and not-for-profits. Rick Huijbregts est vice-président de la transformation sectorielle dont les responsabilités comptent la stratégie de l’internet multidimensionnel et le développement commercial du secteur industriel de Cisco Canada. Les membres de son équipe sont tous des experts dans différents domaines et œuvrent à la transformation de leurs secteurs d’activité respectifs (santé, énergie, services financiers, enseignement, immobilier et industrie). Huijbregts est également directeur général du segment des communautés intelligentes et connectées, dont le volet immotique des immeubles intelligents et connectés de Cisco Canada. M. Huijbregts est titulaire de diplômes en construction et architecture de l’université Tilburg Polytechnic et de l’université Delft aux Pays-Bas ainsi que d’un doctorat de l’université Harvard. Il est actuellement professeur de Harvard à la faculté d’études supérieures pour les cadres en aménagement urbain où il donne des cours sur la gestion intelligente des immeubles et des villes. Il siège également à plusieurs conseils d’administration d’universités et d’organismes à but non lucratif.
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