The latest initiative would help promote, support and lead research, development and innovation within the use of solutions and technologies for smart grids.

Cisco Canada president Nitin Kawale noted that both entities will work to further technology innovation and define the next-generation electricity grid.

"Waterloo has a well-earned reputation for excellence in engineering in the province of Ontario, partly due to its commitment to create a critical mass of scholars and research support infrastructure," Kawale added.

University of Waterloo president and vice-chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur said, "This collaboration with Cisco will help the university continue its research excellence in these areas and build innovative solutions within the area of energy systems so that we may address some of the challenges facing us today."

Prof. Srinivasan Keshav, who has been a computer science professor at Waterloo and Canada Research Chair in tetherless computing since 2003, will serve as the chair.