Partnership for the Digital Future: Cisco and Berlin's Senate Department of Economics Enter into Cooperation on a Smart City

CIOReview Team | Monday, 18 April 2016, 12:37 IST

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The Senate Department of Economics, Technology and Research in Berlin, and IT company Cisco plan to work together to advance digitization in Berlin and turn Berlin into a “Smart City.” Cornelia Yzer, Senator for Economics, Technology, and Research in Berlin, and Anil Menon, Global President Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to cooperate closely in the areas of telemedicine, security, and network infrastructure. The aim is to develop specific solutions in these three fields that directly benefit the citizens of Berlin.

The cooperation with the Senate Department of Economics is part of Cisco’s initiative “Deutschland Digital,” under which Cisco is planning to invest $500 million in Germany’s digitization within three years. This investment will help accelerate projects in the fields of innovation, IT security and education.


The health sector offers a wide variety of possibilities for digital solutions for the benefit of citizens. The Senate and Cisco are planning to develop a health platform that allows practitioners and specialists, hospitals and emergency services to exchange data – after receiving explicit permission from each individual patient. This platform will benefit chronically ill and emergency patients in particular. In addition, the two organizations want to explore how digital technology can help provide more efficient medical care for refugees in the city.

Security Operations Center (SOC)

The security of citizens in Germany’s capital is of immense importance. Digitization can speed up and simplify many key communications processes in crisis prevention. The objective is to build a central digital platform that allows public safety and emergency services such as police, fire brigades and hospitals to communicate and respond faster to situations. Furthermore, weather, traffic and environmental data can be integrated, so that public services receive better analysis during severe weather or other incidents and can then use their resources more effectively.

Intelligent networking infrastructure for the city of the future

Many organizations in Berlin are driving their own digitization at a fast pace. Nevertheless, this is usually done vertically within sectors, administrative units or at specific locations. For this reason, the Senate Department of Economics, Technology and Research and Cisco intend to develop a horizontal infrastructure that all companies and public sector agencies in Berlin will be able to use. This will not focus on simple networking, but rather intelligent network functions that benefit all participants. These will include security and analytics capabilities and the ability to integrate software directly into the network. The partners intend to rely on open international standards.

Cornelia Yzer, Senator for Economics, Technology, and Research: "Berlin benefits massively from digitization, and we want to tap into this potential even more. Digitization is a huge opportunity for us. With this Memorandum of Understanding, we want to leverage the benefits of digitization together with Cisco.“

“We are proud to support Berlin in taking this important step. Digitization is a great opportunity for the city to benefit even more from its attractiveness. By signing this Memorandum of Understanding, we want to contribute to improving the quality of life for all citizens and give the Berlin economy an additional boost,” said Oliver Tuszik, Head of Cisco Germany.

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