Huawei says new research facility will boost EU Digital Agenda efforts

Huawei hailed the "milestone" launch of a new European Research Institute that it said will help the European Union (EU) achieve the goals of its Digital Agenda.

The China-headquartered infrastructure vendor said the institute will become a hub for its European R&D operations, overseeing the work of Huawei's 18 European research centres. In a statement announcing the move, Huawei noted the new facility will also strengthen its ties with Europe's telecoms industry, and is a milestone in its global innovation strategy.

Guo Ping, Huawei's rotating CEO, said Europe is "the global competence centre for Huawei" and that the company is working to help digitise the region. "Our aim is to help Europe achieve smart growth and build a better connected Europe."

The new institute is located in Belgium and will be led by Zhou Hong, the leader of Huawei's European R&D, standardisation and technical cooperation activities. Walter Weigel, a former ETSI Director General, was appointed as vice president of the facility.

A key focus for the institute is 5G technology. Huawei said the facility will offer support to the company's existing 5G research programmes in Europe, including its work with the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC), and a German 5G test bed.

Europe has become a key region for Huawei, owing to difficulties in trading in markets including the U.S. and Australia, where officials are suspicious about Huawei's ties to China's government.

The vendor last month appointed Vincent Pang as president of its operations in Western Europe, with a remit to deepen the company's long-term partnerships with local companies.

Huawei previously announced plans to increase its procurement spending in Europe from around $3.7 billion (€3.2 billion) in 2014 to around $4.08 billion in 2015.

European authorities are increasingly confident that Huawei does not pose a security risk. In March, Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte praised the company's contribution to the development of the country's ICT system. That approval came shortly after the company's UK cyber security team said Huawei poses no risk to the country's national security.

For more:
- see Huawei's announcement

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