The Imperial College - Huawei Data Science Innovation Laboratory will bring together experts from across Imperial's faculties and Huawei researchers to harness data science research and develop new applications in fields such as smart cities, energy and healthcare.
The data science lab is the first major corporate partnership within Imperial's new Data Science Institute, which will cultivate multidisciplinary collaborations between the College's academic experts and research partners to develop new big data technologies. Huawei will invest in cutting-edge equipment including next-generation cloud computing servers, a research and innovation fund, and operational costs for the new lab.
The announcement of the lab follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Huawei and Imperial in July 2013, under which both parties agreed to look at opportunities for collaboration. The Imperial collaboration is part of Huawei's global investment in innovation and research and development. Every year Huawei invests over 10% of its global revenue into R&D; in 2013 this equated to US$5.4 billion.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts MP said: "Science and research are major contributors to the UK economy and our Universities are central to ensuring that we have the skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) that we need to compete in the global economy. Big Data technology is one of the areas where UK universities can take the lead in research and development and that is why I welcome today's announcement of the collaboration between Imperial and Huawei."
Sir Keith O'Nions, President of Imperial College London, said: "Imperial and Huawei share a commitment to developing the next generation of big data technologies for the benefit of our society and economy. Huawei's investment of knowledge and funding in this lab will empower some of the world's leading experts to accelerate the development of next-generation big data technologies."
William Xu, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said: "Investing in innovation is central to Huawei's business strategy and this exciting collaboration will help us stay at the cutting edge of data science developments. Imperial College is a global institution with unrivalled knowledge in this field. By bringing its experts together with our engineers we believe we can create new products and services that will harness the huge potential of big data. This collaboration with Imperial also bolsters the wider partnership programme we have with British universities, which includes working with other institutions around the UK on the 5G technologies that will revolutionise how we communicate in the future."
Professor Yike Guo, Director of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London, said: "Imperial's Data Science Institute is a focal point for global collaborations with governments, industry and the academic community. The new Imperial - Huawei Data Science Innovation Lab will show how collaboration between academia and industry can drive innovations in big data to benefit all of our lives. Huawei and Imperial are world-leaders in their fields, with a series of complementary strengths. We look forward to turning our ambitious vision for this collaboration into reality."