Huawei announced the launch of its European Research Institute (ERI) at the European Business Summit (EBS) in Brussels. The Institute, to be located in Leuven, Belgium, represents a milestone in the company’s global innovation strategy. As a key tool for helping Europe achieve the targets of its Digital Agenda, the Institute will further strengthen the ongoing partnership between Huawei and European industry.
The Institute will manage the company’s growing array of European R&D facilities, overseeing the work of the 18 R&D sites that Huawei has established in eight European countries. The research activities of the network focus on next-generation network technology. Currently, Huawei has over “Europe enjoys a favorable industrial environment, and is the global competence center for Huawei. The ERI will manage Huawei’s European research and innovation activities, and strengthen our cooperation with European industry and academia,” said Huawei Rotating CEO Guo Ping. “As digitization transforms every business into a digital business, Huawei is working with its partners to achieve a smooth transition towards ‘Europe 4.0’ – the digitized European Union of the future in which everyone and everything will be connected. Our aim is to help Europe achieve smart growth and build a better connected Europe.”
The Institute will support Huawei’s various 5G projects underway in Europe. As a member of several 5G research projects, including the EU’s METIS and 5G-PPP, Huawei is working with partners to achieve breakthroughs in technology research. It is conducting joint research into future mobile networks and implementing a 5G testbed at the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre in the UK. It has also launched a 5G Vertical Industry Accelerator (5G VIA) and built a 5G testbed with European partners in Munich, Germany to simulate real-world scenarios in vertical industries, enabling a more rapid application of 5G technology.
The new ERI will be headed by Dr. Zhou Hong, who has been in charge of Huawei’s European R&D, standardization and technical cooperation activities since 2014. Dr. Walter Weigel, former Director General of the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI), has been appointed vice-president. Leuven, with its proximity to numerous EU institutions and partner organizations, was chosen as a strategic location for the new R&D hub.
The launch of the new Institute also highlights Huawei’s commitment to delivering on its European investment plans. Having operated in Europe since 2000, Huawei had 9,900 employees there as of year 2014. Last year, Huawei signed more than 200 technical collaboration agreements with European partners, participated in 17 Framework Programme and Horizon 2020 projects, and cooperated with over 160 European scholars and experts as well as more than 120 academic institutions.