SOURCE: Cisco Systems, Inc.

January 22, 2008 08:00 ET

Qatar Science and Technology Park and Cisco Team to Help Improve Human Capital and Technology Development

Cisco to Establish Office at QSTP

DOHA, QATAR--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) Chairman and chief executive officer John Chambers met with Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned today to announce the company would establish a research and technology base at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). Cisco is planning to invest approximately (USD $40 million) in its development at QSTP over the next three years. As part of this plan, Cisco will collaborate with Qatar Foundation on a series of projects to help enable QSTP's vision of transforming Qatar into a knowledge-based economy and facilitating youth employment across the country.

The announcement follows Cisco's recent official recognition as one of the first global strategic technology providers for Qatar's newly launched Youth Employment Initiative, announced by Sheikh Mozah during the UN Alliance for Civilization High Level Group Forum in Madrid last week on Jan. 15.

QSTP Executive Chairman, Dr Tidu Maini, stated: "Networks are an essential part of business, education, and communications technologies. We are very pleased to be able to work with Cisco on these projects and utilise its expertise to help transform Qatar's ability to access and share information, which is a fundamental part of becoming a knowledge-based economy."

Paul Mountford, president, Emerging Markets for Cisco, said: "Qatar Foundation has earned a well-deserved reputation as a leader in providing innovative solutions and improving the lives of the citizens of Qatar. We are committed to working with Qatar Foundation to help improve the development of human capital and technology by transforming the education strategy through technology in Qatar and across the region."

Qatar Foundation will be working with Cisco on the launch of 'Project iQ,' a global project aimed at building a collaborative platform comprising business and collaboration applications, including blogs, wikis, TelePresence, social networking and unified messaging. Through technology, the project will allow people from Qatar Foundation, Qatar and across the globe to collaborate on areas of research, education, health and youth employment.

Through Cisco's capability in working with and being co-located with QSTP, Cisco will share its knowledge and expertise in the industry's leading solutions, working with local partners and customers to introduce Connected Healthcare, Connected Education, Connected Tourism and Real Estate industry solutions throughout Qatar.

During his visit to Qatar, Chambers also attended an education roundtable discussion which was hosted by Dr Sheikha Al Missned, President of Qatar University. The roundtable discussed the global challenges of creating education systems that can deliver 21st century skills to help drive technology innovation, economic prosperity and social cohesion.

To reduce the information technology skills shortage in Qatar, Cisco will be providing technical training to local universities, partners and customers as well as offering internship opportunities. Cisco further aims to address the needs of entrepreneurs and small-to-medium business owners at its Entrepreneur Institute. Working with local organisations, the programme will develop or license educational content for entrepreneurs to enable sustainable business growth.

Qatar Science & Technology Park fosters the development and commercialisation of technology in Qatar, a rising star in the Arabian Gulf with the world's third largest gas reserves and a remarkable vision for human development. As part of the renowned Qatar Foundation, founded by the country's Emir, the science park is co-located with campuses of Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, Weill Cornell and other premier universities. It provides research-friendly premises for companies from around the world, plus an incubator and investment for technology start-ups. Already EADS, ExxonMobil, GE, Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Shell and Total have joined Qatar Science & Technology Park, and its first phase of buildings opens late 2007. www.qstp.org.qa

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