University tie-ups unleash innovation
Huawei Technologies Co, China's leading smartphone and equipment maker, made big inroads into Europe by tying up with world-class universities in the United Kingdom that have been leading the way with innovation for decades.
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"Huawei Technologies Co, China's leading smartphone and equipment maker, made big inroads into Europe by tying up with world-class universities in the United Kingdom that have been leading the way with innovation for decades.
They complement Britain's affluent market, easy transportation, quality workforce and a reliable legal environment.
Huawei has invested close to 10 million pounds ($12.22 million) in academic research in the UK, ranging from 5G, graphene applications and high-speed broadband to data science, 3-D audio and interactive multimedia technology.
The investment is part of the $2 billion Huawei has pledged to invest in the UK by 2017.
"When it comes to research and development, companies naturally focus more on the 'D' side (of R&D), and that's why collaborating with universities can strengthen their fundamental research and bridge the gap," said Deng Ziliang, associate professor of the School of Business at Renmin University of China.
Edward Brewster, Huawei's head of communication, said: "Now with more than 20 collaboration projects with universities across the country, we're confident we'll exceed our commitment."
James Baker, business director for the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, said: "We first got in touch with Huawei via Nobel laureate Kostya Novoselov."
Two professors of the university were awarded the prize in physics in 2010 for their groundbreaking isolation of graphene, a thin layer of pure carbon, tougher than a diamond, yet lightweight and flexible. It allows electrons to glow up to 100 times faster than in silicon, and is therefore seen as a "wonder material".
Huawei signed an initial two-year research project with the university in October last year, exploring graphene's applications in consumer electronics.
"The project is running well in bringing together academia research and market demand," said Baker, adding that Huawei's R&D team is working closely with the 250 researchers on campus through regular progress-sharing sessions.
The jointly built 5G Innovation Center at the University of Surrey was another high-profile deal Huawei signed in September last year."