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University of Edinburgh and Huawei collaborate on joint data lab

University is setting up a research and development lab dedicated to distributed data management and processing, with help from Chinese company

The University of Edinburgh has struck a three-year partnership with Chinese network hardware and services supplier Huawei to open a new laboratory dedicated to developing distributed data management and processing technology.

This follows an existing long-term partnership between database experts at the university and Huawei, and will explore scientific and engineering research challenges, while at the same time seeking to develop the fundamental science underpinning data management, and scale their findings for global use.

“The University of Edinburgh is delighted to partner with Huawei to perform further research into data science and data management,” said Timothy O’Shea, principal of the University of Edinburgh. “The creation of this laboratory gives our researchers the opportunity to apply their expertise to large-scale, real-world challenges in this very exciting area.”

The university – which was the first British university to produce a Chinese graduate in 1855 – is currently strengthening its capabilities around data-driven research via a number of major investments, including its new Bayes Centre for Data Science and Technology, which will open next year.

Its School of Informatics – which will host the new lab – is well known among academics for its work on data management, artificial intelligence, theoretical computer science, computational linguistics, systems architecture and bio-informatics.

Ken Hu, Huawei’s rotating CEO, said: “Huawei is a long-term advocate of open innovation. We work with over 100 leading universities around the world, and the joint lab we are launching with the University of Edinburgh will go a long way in helping the ICT industry further its research into data science and enable digital transformation.

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“The links between industrial and academic communities are strong here, so Europe is an excellent place for collaboration between business and academia.”

Besides Edinburgh, Huawei runs a number of other collaborations with UK universities, including both Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College London and the University of Surrey, where it is working with the national 5G Innovation Centre to develop 5G mobile networking technology. This venture is expected to produce an end-to-end test 5G network within the next 12 months.

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