Joint Research Group Will Strengthen UK Innovation

January 27, 2018

BT and huawue

(Pictured L-R: Gavin Patterson; Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge; and Ken Hu, deputy chairman and CEO of Huawei)


BT is joining forces with Huawei to open a research and collaboration group at the University of Cambridge.

​Backed by up to £25m in funding, the five-year agreement will bring together experts from the BT Labs, Huawei’s R&D team and academics.

They’ll explore new technologies which have the potential to unlock economic benefits for UK businesses and organisations, such as reducing the cost of network infrastructure and boosting operational performance.

And they’ll focus on the critical role new technologies can play in delivering positive impacts for society. Benefits include reducing inequality, particularly for those groups excluded from digital transformation, and using ICT to improve communities’ resilience to climate change.

The funding will also be used to support longer-term research projects by the University’s postgraduate students.

Gavin Patterson said: “We believe the best way of ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of innovation is by combining the expertise and commercial focus of industry with the fantastic intellectual capital found at our world-leading universities.

“Our fixed and mobile infrastructure is the engine of the UK economy, so it’s essential we continue to innovate in this space to enhance the UK’s competitiveness on the world stage.

“We currently invest around £500m every year in R&D, and over the past ten years we’ve been the third biggest contributor to the UK’s R&D efforts.”

The research group

Based at the University’s Maxwell Centre, research is expected to start in the first half of 2018 with five to ten researchers from BT and Huawei working alongside academics.

Both companies have a long history of working with Cambridge on research projects. Researchers at the BT Labs in Adastral Park recently worked with the University’s Cavendish Lab on a project to assess the theoretical speeds that can be delivered over the UK’s access network infrastructure.

Huawei and the University have been working together for seven years on a range of projects including media, communications and other technologies.


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