Linksys Cisco yesterday opened an European design centre at its division in Hørsholm, Denmark, the former Kiss Technology, which Cisco acquired for DKK 374m (USD 78m) in 2005. The new Linksys Cisco design centre is the only one of its kind outside the US, where the company is headquartered. The aim of the centre is to attract the brightest talent in technological and industrial design, Chris Landry, senior executive director of global design of Linksys Cisco, told financial daily newspaper Børsen.
"To us, Denmark represents a centre for pure and simple design, and we want to make our fairly technical products a simple experience for the user," says Chris Landry.
Until now Linksys Cisco has not focused on design, and has actually 'lagged behind', as Landry puts it. A new company management now aims to change this and the ambition is to build up competences on an equal footing with Apple, Samsung and Nokia.
"We also see Denmark as a magnet for attracting top talent either locally or from the EU, and we already now have an international team with staff from the UK, Italy and the US."
Christian Scherfig, managing director of Danish Design Centre is delighted that Linksys is placing its design centre in Denmark. "Hopefully Linksys Cisco's new design division can become a model for other global groups so that they will also choose Denmark as the location for their European design centres," Scherfig says.
Linksys Cisco will collaborate with several local partners and according to Chris Landry, the design centre also plans to establish student programmes. "Design has become an important weapon for our competitiveness. To be a leader in this area we must be global, and this region is strong because of its design inheritance, location and connection to other European design environments," says Chris Landry.
Linksys Cisco expects to see the first results from the centre in the autumn.