Academic and industrial researchers will investigate network technologies that can improve services and benefit society as part of £25m project
BT and Huawei are to invest £25 million in a research and development (R&D) group at the University of Cambridge.
The group is tasked with exploring new telecommunications technologies as well as innovations that have a benefit to society such as addressing the digital divide or climate change.
Researchers from the two companies will join counterparts from the university and it is hoped the combination of industrial and academic expertise will bear fruit.
BT Huawei Cambridge
“We believe the best way of ensuring this country 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,” said BT CEO Gavin Patterson.
“No single organization has all the answers,” added Ken Hu, rotating CEO of Huawei. “Partnership is the only way forward in a complex digital age. We look forward to working with BT and the University of Cambridge. Together, we will explore future technologies and help ensure a positive social impact.”
It is hoped the research group will continue the university’s relationship with tech firms in the area and establish Cambridge as one of Europe’s leading tech hubs. In recent times, Amazon has opened an R&D centre in the area and it was the birthplace of Autonomy.
The group is expected to start in the first half of 2018 with five to ten researchers from BT and Huawei.
“The University of Cambridge is delighted to be, once again, demonstrating the importance of its research to business and industry. The world of telecommunications has advanced rapidly over the last two decades,” said Prof Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge.
“However, there is still work to be done to improve the technologies we use on a daily basis and to ensure that they are long-lived. By working with BT and Huawei we will be able to demonstrate that the insights delivered through our research have a broad impact.”
Earlier this week Huawei agreed another academic partnership, this time with the University of Edinburgh, to investigate the potential for AI robots powered by 5G networks.