Huawei Acquires Green UK Photonics Technology Developer CIP


Huawei has completed its acquisition of UK photonics researcher CIP as an investment in green fibre-optic technologies

Huawei has increased its investment in research and development (R&D) in the UK with the acquisition of the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP). The completion of the deal will bring new, green technology to Huawei in the field of fibre-optic transmission systems.

CIP’s research currently centres on several European Union initiatives in the fibre-optic,photoelectronics field, including its role as a partner in the colourless and coolerless components for low power optical networks (C3PO) initiative to produce greener photonics devices. The project is partially funded by the European Commission and seeks todevelop elements for a high-speed metro-core network, with low power consumption and a reduced form factor.

Justified investment

The selling of CIP to Huawei is hailed as justification for the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), the former owners of CIP, which rescued the company from its US owners when it was threatened with closure.

EEDA chairman Professor Will Pope said, “Following re-structuring and investment in the business we’re very pleased to find such a prominent acquirer for the company where the skills of the staff and the accumulated know-how are to be exploited on an international scale.”

Huawei has built up its presence in Britain and last year it announced plans to double the UK workforce to 1,000, in addition to opening a European design centre for its mobile device business, and an internal audit centre

Victor Zhang, CEO of Huawei UK, said, “Currently, Huawei has six research facilities in Europe. I’m confident that CIP’s strong research abilities and its talented staff will further extend our European research presence to the UK, a key and important market to the company.”

CIP’s CEO, Peter Wharton, added, “We had a good level of interest from potential acquirers, but the management team and staff overwhelmingly backed EEDA’s view of the Huawei bid because we believe its industry-leading R&D capabilities and investment in CIP will lead us to have many more significant achievements in the future.”

Huawei has been working with CIP for the past six months and the Chinese company said it will continue to invest in fibre optic R&D to ensure that CIP retains its lead in the photonics technology sector.

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