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University of Oxford recognises Cisco’s support of the Oxford Internet Institute

Published on
18 May 2009
Cisco Systems is formally recognised by the University of Oxford for its early support of the OII, including funding of the Cisco Chair of eDemocracy, established to further independent research into representative institutions in the digital age

Cisco Systems Inc., the multinational networking and communications company, will today be formally recognised by the University of Oxford for its early support of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), a department of the University.

The company will be invited to join the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle, a society launched in 2009 to honour benefactors who have provided substantial philanthropic funding to the University and its Colleges. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr John Hood, will present the company with an award at today’s inaugural meeting of the Circle. Accepting the award on behalf of Cisco will be Phil Smith, Managing Director of Cisco UK and Ireland.

The Oxford Internet Institute is a world-leading centre for the study of the societal implications of the Internet and related communications technologies. Early support by Cisco centred on the funding of the Cisco Chair of eDemocracy (2002-2005), established in order to further independent, empirically grounded research into the adaptation of representative institutions to the digital age, including how ICTs can enable new forms of democratic practice and participation. Issues of the Internet and democracy remain a high priority for the Institute.

The Chair was held by Professor Stephen Coleman, a former Director of the Hansard Society, whose work at the Institute focused on the development of online spaces for public deliberation and citizen-led approaches to e-democracy. He also investigated how young people gather and communicate civic information online, helping to set a new agenda for debating the relationship between young people, the Internet and democracy. He is now Professor of Political Communication at Leeds University.

Professor William Dutton, Director of the OII, said: “Cisco’s support of e-democracy research was critical to the OII’s early recognition within the University, but also across business and industry. Cisco was ahead of many others in recognizing the potential of the Internet to foster new forms of democratic accountability, and pioneered in their support of this work at the OII, just as the company has led the way in so many other areas. I am delighted that their important support of our work has been recognised by the University of Oxford.”

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “Cisco believes that the Internet provides an important platform that can help transform all aspects of our economy and society. The OII continues to deliver key insight into the Internet’s potential and Cisco is delighted to be associated with the Institute.”

Cisco has continued to be engaged in the Institute’s research, such as in support of the Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS), which offer unique and detailed insights into the influence that the Internet has had on everyday life in Britain since 2003, as well as support of a study of the Internet and productivity of organisations.


Notes for Editors

The Oxford Internet Institute is a department of the University of Oxford. It is a leading world centre for the multidisciplinary study of the Internet and society, focusing on Internet-related research, teaching, and informing policy-making and practice.

Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate.