Nasdaq-listed information technology (IT) firm Cisco has entered into an agreement with Electronics City Industrial Association (ELCIA) to transform Bangalore's Electronics City into a smart city. The announcement comes just weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the building of smart cities as one of his key priorities.
Under the 'strategic agreement', Cisco will help in making Electronics City as Asia's first end-to-end internet of things (IoT) innovation hub.
"Riding on India's fast growing Internet penetration, this collaboration will help establish the foundation for a new ecosystem to help electronic system design & manufacturing (ESDM) companies and other companies of electronic city engaged in IoT product development," Cisco said in a release. "ELCIA has been chosen for this ambitious project as it is the only brown field ESDM cluster in the country, which has received an in principal approval for a financial grant from the government of India to spur innovation in product design and manufacturing."
Located on the outskirts of Bangalore, Electronics City is spread across 800 acres and houss around 186 companies, most of which are in the IT space.
These companies have a combined turnover of over Rs 40,000 crore. Two of India's largest IT services companies, Infosys and Wipro, have huge campuses at Electronics City, among others.
Cisco said, this initiative will help address the growing demand for electronics hardware in the country, which is expected to grow to $400 billion by 2020.
Under the agreement, Cisco will also help provide network infrastructure and expertise for testing and production of electronic product prototypes for an IoT enabled smart city environment. Startups will also be allowed to use Electronics City as 'living labs' to test and build solutions for city infrastructure management, said Aruna Newton, President of ELCIA.
Startups with strong ideas in the IoT space may also gain access to boot strap funding from Cisco's IoT Innovation Fund if there is a strong idea for new product or applications with a commercial viable business case.
Among other things, Electronics City will see smart parking, smart Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance, smart street lighting, smart water management and leak detection and community messaging.
The project will be built on Cisco's smart+connected city WiFi solution, which will help enable community WiFi services and allow access to public utility offerings.
"ELCIA will also embed Cisco network equipment comprising of access points, routers, switches, and other required hardware and software applications that will be connected to the smart city's fibre-optic backbone network," Cisco said. "The first phase of this smart city project will be rolled out in Electronics City and will serve as a replicable model for the rest of Bangalore as well as other cities in India, across the region and other emerging markets." ALSO READ: Cisco chief meets Ravi Shankar Prasad