Cisco says there is a “multibillion pound opportunity” for startups from the Internet of Everything, otherwise known as the Internet of Things.

A Cisco report says the IoE could generate over £100 billion in the next decade for UK startup companies that look to connect people, and process data from connected devices across sectors such as healthcare, retail, energy and transport.

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The report indicates that startups in the healthcare industry currently have the greatest opportunity, with the scope to access over £48 billion over the next decade through innovations in the IoE. The retail industry is not far behind at £37 billion, with big gains also to be made in transport (£11 billion) and energy (£7 billion).

The report says businesses in all of these industries have “significant opportunity” to transform their respective industries by streamlining processes, removing inefficiency and creating better experiences for patients, passengers and the general public alike.

Cisco predicts that the number of devices connected worldwide will rise from around a billion today to 50 billion by 2020. But with less than 1 percent of the world currently connected, options for the startup community to exploit opportunities for digitalisation and connectivity are substantial, says the networking giant.

Phil Smith, chief executive of Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “UK companies of every size are devoting time and ingenuity to designing and building IoE applications, from the smallest SMEs to the largest enterprises.

“These companies are not just digitising in the conventional sense but finding completely new ways to connect people, processes, data and things, from their supply chains to their office spaces and their customers.”

Smith added: “The UK’s startup community is a great source of innovation, and we’re confident that we’re only witnessing the first wave. In the coming months and years we can expect these businesses to be at the forefront of the transformation of the UK economy as we fully embrace the possibilities of a digital future.”

The Cisco BIG Awards aim to recognise and support up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs from across the UK. This year’s competition focuses primarily on the Internet of Everything, seeking submissions from small businesses and early stage startups that have IoE technology-based prototypes and proof of concepts in development.

The submission process for the Cisco BIG awards is now open until 1 June. Winners of the awards will have access to a full array of Cisco and supporting partner capabilities from technology to business development, with potential investment and future partnering opportunities, said Cisco.

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