The University of Toronto and multinational telecommunications giant Huawei ratified a bilateral research partnership agreement Thursday in a signing ceremony at U of T’s Faculty Club. The agreement will see Huawei commit $3 million to a wide range of projects, in fields from computer hardware and software to bioengineering and materials.
“This partnership is a wonderful example of the innovative thinking at Huawei, at the University of Toronto, and in our Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering,” said Vivek Goel, vice president, research and innovation at the University of Toronto. “It demonstrates the value of active collaboration, of leveraging talent and resources, and of the coordinated, multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary approach that U of T is developing — we know that is essential for our country, and for science globally.”
The agreement is the product of a longstanding and productive relationship between Huawei and The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, which has now grown to include 19 faculty members in several U of T Engineering departments, as well as the Department of Computer Science.
Christian Chua, president of the Huawei Canada Research Centre, said that the University of Toronto plays a central role in his plans for growth and advancement of his division.
“Looking to the future, the major vision is with U of T, it’s here,” said Chua. “I hope we can work together hand in hand.”
Huawei is active in 170 countries and employs more than 79,000 researchers in 16 R&D centres around the world. The company has also hosted U of T Engineering undergraduate students as part of its Seeds for the Future Work Experience Program, which invites undergrads from across the country to enhance their technical expertise and learn about Chinese language and culture during a two-week exchange to Beijing and Shenzhen.
“I think growth is one of the key words here — the success of business is driven by innovation,” said Song Zhang (ECE MASc 9T6), director of Technology Planning & Partnership for Huawei Canada. “This relationship started almost five years ago. Looking back, and then realizing where we are now — it’s tremendous.”