Cisco announces $1 billion program for smart cities; with modern features for Cisco Kinetic for Cities IoT data platform


Cisco introduced on Tuesday the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program. It is a $1 billion program aimed to make it easier, faster, and more affordable for cities around the world to fund and adopt technologies that will transform their communities.

The funding will be provided through Cisco Capital in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management (APG) and Whitehelm Capital.

The program helps cities assemble the right type or suite of finance instruments to fund and deploy innovative technology with minimal initial investment. Whether a city is looking to reduce energy usage, ease traffic and parking, or boost public transportation ridership and revenues, the program will help cities with solutions.

Revenue-share financing, for instance, even allows a city to tie financing to desired outcomes and extend future operating budgets through revenue streams from the new services that a digitized infrastructure makes possible.

Additionally, Cisco is also adding functionality to its newly renamed connected digital platform, Cisco Kinetic for Cities, which integrated with the Cisco Kinetic IoT data platform. The new features provide enhanced support for public safety.

Cisco Kinetic is a cloud-based platform that helps customers extract, compute, and move data from connected things to IoT applications to deliver better outcomes and services. Cisco Kinetic gets the right data to the right applications at the right time—across edge, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid environments—while executing policies to enforce data ownership, privacy, security and even data sovereignty laws. These are all critical requirements for any smart city and community deployment.

Cisco Kinetic for Cities will continue to provide a horizontal, data aggregation platform—one tailored specifically to the needs and challenges of cities and communities. It will continue to enable a plethora of solutions and applications from Cisco, our partners and third-party developers through a growing set of application programming interfaces (APIs).

The architecture and the approach to deployment for the platform and solutions will be built on the successes (and lessons learned) from current deployments of connected digital platform and solutions—from Copenhagen to Hamburg, from Jaipur to Adelaide, from Kansas City to Las Vegas, and many more—where the benefits of digitization and a platform approach are continuing to accrue.

From the new full-policy automation options to an improved dashboard with integrated video, updates to the platform put citizen safety first. Real-time notification of emergency information now draws on additional IoT data sources and Cisco Spark Collaboration, enabling faster emergency response.

Cisco has also announced new purchasing options for Cisco Kinetic for Cities, including prepackaged starter solutions, which combine the Cisco IoT data platform, solution, and services with those from our ecosystem partners into ready-to-roll-out, end-to-end solution suites.

Cisco has added a number of new Cisco Kinetic for Cities customers. The Town of Cary, North Carolina, for instance, has created a “Living Lab” providing smart city technologies to improve the lives of citizens. Using the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform, town officials can actively monitor the number of available parking spots — particularly spots for the handicapped — to gauge use and help with planning.

“The Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform provides us the tools we need to positively affect our citizens’ lives,” said Terry Yates, Infrastructure and Network Manager, Town of Cary, North Carolina.

“Funding is a major stumbling block for municipalities beginning their smart city transformation,” said Anil Menon, Global President of Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities. “With our partners, Cisco will bring the capital and expertise it takes to make smart city projects a reality. Digital Alpha, APG, and Whitehelm Capital bring a fresh perspective on investment in an area that has previously been perceived as too new and, therefore, too difficult to finance.”

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