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Ken Hu, Huawei's Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, is giving a keynote at Huawei European Innovation Day 2017.

At Huawei European Innovation Day 2017, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, Ken Hu, reinforced Huawei’s commitment to ongoing investment in innovation and working closely with local partners to build out Europe’s digital infrastructure. As an important participant in Europe’s digital transformation, Huawei has pledged to help telecom operators and verticals in Europe go digital, to cultivate a robust digital ecosystem, and to help bring European innovation to the world stage.

Ken Hu, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, is giving a keynote at Huawei European Innovation Day 2017.

Ken Hu, Huawei's Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, is giving a keynote at Huawei European Innovation Day 2017.

Ken Hu, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, is giving a keynote at Huawei European Innovation Day 2017.

In his keynote, Hu expanded on Huawei’s history in Europe – a relationship that goes back 17 years. “In this time we have grown together and forged lasting partnerships,” he said. “We are in Europe for Europe, working hard to create value for our customers and help the region go digital.”

Huawei is actively involved in the development of Europe’s digital infrastructure, and has prioritized ongoing investment in technological innovation. As part of these efforts, the company launched the Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) and works closely with more than 100 leading universities and research institutes to advance the goals of the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 program. Through other initiatives like the European Developer Enablement Plan, launched in 2016, and projects like X Labs and Open Labs, Huawei is making an active contribution to Europe’s digital transformation process.

“As Europe goes digital, our contribution takes several different forms,” Hu said. “The first is providing competitive technology and products that are the result of our long-term investment in basic research. The second is working closely with partners all across the industry landscape to develop targeted solutions for European customers. And our third contribution is promoting an open digital ecosystem.”

Hu went on to explore recommendations for Europe, noting that broadband networks will be a key enabler throughout Europe’s digital transformation process. Specifically, he gave three recommendations. The first is to expand coverage, especially in rural areas. Second, he called on European operators to enhance network performance and, through nonstop innovation, drive the development of networks to address the needs of emerging applications like high-definition video and automatic controls for smart factories. His third recommendation was for governments to create a more supportive policy environment to attract long-term investment from the private sector and help promote shared success.

“Europe has a strong industrial base, and speeding up the digital transformation process will be vital to its economic growth,” Hu continued. “It will also help set a benchmark for the rest of the world.” Among the strengths that will drive its digitization, Europe has a long history of innovation, a rich pool of talent, and solid research capabilities. According to Huawei’s 2017 Global Connectivity Index, 5 of the top 10 countries with the largest number of IT employees are in Europe. Mainstream wireless technologies like 2G, 3G and 4G all originated in Europe, and the region is gearing up to play a leading role in 5G.

Hu also noted that governments and industry need to collaborate more closely, share in the benefits of digital transformation, and shoulder the risks together. “Today, technology is increasingly globalized, so digital transformation needs to be globalized as well,” he summed up. “Against this backdrop, open collaboration across sectors and regions is particularly important for countries that hope to successfully go digital.”

During the event, Huawei signed an agreement with the University of Edinburgh to build a joint lab that will focus on theoretical research in cutting-edge ICT domains. Over 160 people attended the event, including scholars, enterprise leaders, and other luminaries from organizations like Oxford University, University of Surrey, King’s College London, IEEE, GSMA, HSBC, Leica, and the media.

Huawei European Innovation Day is held every year, and the theme of this year’s event is “Exploration lights the way forward.” Past events were held in Stockholm, Milan, Munich and Paris.

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