Huawei goes big on UK research with new R&D deal

Chinese giant re-affirms commitment to European R&D strategy with University of Edinburgh partnership.

Huawei has announced a new partnership with one of the UK’s leading universities as the company further expands its R&D capabilities in Europe.

The Chinese technology firm has today unveiled a deal with the University of Edinburgh to work together on data science research. As part of the deal, Huawei is set to create a Distributed Data Management and Processing Laboratory in the University’s School of Informatics.

The partnership is Huawei’s seventh with a UK university, but the first with a Scottish institution, having already partnered with the likes of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as Imperial College.

Ken Hu, Huawei's Rotating CEO, said: "Huawei is a long-term advocate of open innovation. We work with over 100 leading universities around the world, and the joint lab we are launching with the University of Edinburgh will go a long way in helping the ICT industry further its research into data science and enable digital transformation. The links between industrial and academic communities are strong here, so Europe is an excellent place for collaboration between business and academia."

“The University of Edinburgh is delighted to partner with Huawei to further research into data science and data management,” said Professor Sir Timothy O’ Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh. “The creation of this laboratory brings opportunities for our researchers to apply their expertise to large-scale, real world challenges in this very exciting area.”

Huawei has a long history of research and development across Europe, the company's Michael Hill King told attendees at the Huawei Innovation Day in London today.

In fact, the company established an R&D centre in Europe before it even had any European customers. This presence has now expanded hugely, as 17 years later, Huawei now has 18 local sites across eight countries, including three in England at Cambridge, Ipswich and Bristol.

"We're a major player in the European research landscape,” King said, "Europe is a great place in the world for technology co-operation."

"Having a good technology is interesting, but having a technology that is also good for Huawei is very interesting."