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Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology solution provider, today announced a partnership with the University of Edinburgh to open a new lab for distributed data management and processing. The three-year partnership will allow Huawei and the University of Edinburgh to jointly explore new theories and technologies in data management and provide direction for cutting-edge research into the next generation of information technology. The new lab will be housed in the University’s School of Informatics.

Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman of the Board and Rotating CEO at Huawei, and Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, signed the partnership agreement at Huawei’s European Innovation Day in London. At the event, Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman of the Board and Rotating CEO at Huawei, and Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, signed and celebrated the partnership agreement, in the presence of Professor David Robertson, Dean of the University’s College of Science and Engineering, and Professor Wenfei Fan, Director of the new lab.

The framework agreement presents a new collaborative model for Huawei and leading universities. The partnership follows a long-term collaboration between database experts at the University of Edinburgh and Huawei. The lab will investigate scientific and engineering research challenges relevant to academia and industry. Its experts will seek to develop the fundamental science underpinning these and help translate their findings for use on a global scale. It is hoped this will contribute to the broad knowledge base in the field while also supporting the innovation that is characteristic of modern systems engineering.

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

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.”

Huawei has held its European Innovation Day for five consecutive years. The event is designed to promote more integrated collaboration across the ICT ecosystem, including scientists, scholars, opinion leaders, and engineers from partner organisations, in order to more effectively drive Europe’s innovation agenda forward. Of which Huawei is a driving force with 18 R&D Centres, across 8 European countries, together employing 2000 people.

The University of Edinburgh is strengthening its capability in data-driven research and innovation through a number of significant investments including the new Bayes Centre, opening in 2018. The Bayes Centre for Data Science and Technology will foster an ecosystem where the development and application of technology attracts the best talent and catalyses interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle hard problems and unleash new value for society and industry.

The School of Informatics is known for its globally leading capabilities in data management, artificial intelligence, theoretical computer science, computational linguistics, systems architectures and bioinformatics. It has strength in depth – for example, its database group includes three ACM Fellows – and also nurtures activities that span traditional disciplines, such as machine learning, robotics and cognitive science. Although best known historically for its contribution to the foundations of informatics, it also supports one of the strongest innovation communities in computing in the UK.

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