Cisco telecoms networking equipment provider
Cisco investment shows it is optimistic about UK tech sector Reuters

US tech major Cisco is investing $1bn (£650m, €905m) in the British technology sector over the next five years, vowing to fund the country's innovations in the fields of the internet of things, financial services, retail and healthcare.

The amount will go for a combination of job creation and education programmes, corporate acquisitions, startup and venture capital investments, and accelerated investing in cybersecurity solutions.

Cisco has set aside $150m for venture capital investments in UK start-ups, focused on the internet of things and tech products related to the financial services, retail and healthcare industries.

The company also plans to build a new office in central London, providing jobs for at least 200 people, in addition to about 7,000 people it already employs here.

Cisco executives, including CEO John Chambers, announced the investment in a meeting at 10 Downing Street with David Cameron and the Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

The investment comes as a major boost to London, which has already been building on its high profile as the tech hub of Europe.

"This massive investment from Cisco is great news for the UK's growing digital economy and is a clear vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan," Cameron said in a statement.

"It will create jobs and growth across the country, providing security for hard- working people."

In 2011, Cisco launched the British Innovation Gateway, investing $500m in the country to support the development of government-sponsored Tech City in East London.

The investments show that the US company relies heavily on the potential of the UK technology sector, with its CEO Chambers saying the country is on its way to "becoming one of the top digitised countries in the world".

"Since 2011 we have delivered over and above on every objective we set with the Government in our prior commitments – encouraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship," said Chambers, who is slated to end his 20-year-long role as CEO on 26 July.

"Through the British Innovation Gateway initiative, we have supported the Government's ambition to create world-class technology hubs across the country, generate jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable economic growth."