Huawei is moving into Innovation 2.0: Vision-driven theoretical breakthroughs and inventions

[Shenzhen, China, April 16, 2019] Huawei held its 16th annual Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, China. The theme of this year's summit was "Building a Fully Connected, Intelligent World". William Xu, Director of the Board and President of the Institute of Strategic Research of Huawei, announced that Huawei is moving into the era of "Innovation 2.0". Innovation 2.0 is all about vision-driven theoretical breakthroughs and inventions. This is based on Huawei's assumptions and vision that we will enter an intelligent world.

In Innovation 2.0, Huawei will overcome the bottlenecks in theories and basic technologies that have hindered the development of ICT, and make theoretical breakthroughs and produce inventions. Huawei has established the Institute of Strategic Research to help make Innovation 2.0 a reality.

William Xu, Director of the Board and President of the Institute of Strategic Research of Huawei, addressing the Global Analyst Summit 2019.

Innovation 2.0 is a new concept proposed by William Xu. "In innovation 1.0, we have focused on providing innovative products, technologies, and solutions that meet customer needs." Xu said, "In Innovation 2.0, we aim to steer innovation and drive innovations in theories and basic technologies that can promote social progress. Universities make significant contributions in these areas."

According to Xu, to make Innovation 2.0 a reality, Huawei will undertake initiatives such as building labs, working with universities, and making capital investments. "We must consider industry challenges, academic insight, and the confidence of venture capitalists to conduct joint innovations, and share the results," Xu said.

Xu continued, "Collaboration between businesses and universities is a two-way process in which both parties benefit by driving theoretical breakthroughs and inventions. From a business perspective, this means creating value for customers and serving end consumers through their offerings."

The Institute of Strategic Research will be mainly engaged in research into cutting-edge technologies over the next five or more years. Each year, Huawei invests US$300 million to fund academic research in basic science and technologies, and technological innovation.

The Institute helps ensure that Huawei does not lose its direction or miss any opportunities over the next five or more years. It will also explore technological and business models surrounding Huawei's core business to ensure lasting competitiveness. This is an important part of Huawei's research efforts.

The Institute of Strategic Research will invest heavily in three areas:

  • Scientific research: Huawei will earmark funds for basic research and talent cultivation to drive theoretical breakthroughs.
  • Technological research: Huawei has extensive experience in enabling diversified industry applications. In addition, we are facing many practical, real-world problems and share universal challenges such as the Shannon Limit, the "memory wall", and the inevitable slowdown of Moore's Law. This is where universities and Huawei come into play. Working together, we can seek breakthroughs in engineering and technology and speed up the process of translating university research into real-world applications, thereby crossing the "valley of death" of innovation.
  • Technological innovation: We aim to overcome current engineering and technological challenges through our joint research programs.

Xu remarked, "Driven by our shared vision for the future, the Institute of Strategic Research is poised to explore and research future-proof technologies throughout the entire information lifecycle. This extends from information generation and storage all the way to computing, transmission, presentation, and consumption." He continued, "For example, in the field of information presentation, we have light-field displays. In computing, we have brain-like computing, DNA data storage, and optical computing. In transmission, we have visible light and terahertz waves. In basic materials and process manufacturing, we have metamaterial and atomic-level manufacturing."

Future growth for Huawei and the industry relies on revolutionary changes sparked by theoretical innovations and inventions. Huawei will work with industry peers and universities to drive innovation in theories and basic technologies, as these will light the way forward for the industry and the world at large. When in uncharted territory, we have to make our own trail.

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