Huawei and Dubai FDI partner for innovation to drive competition
Innovation centre planned with Dubai Investment Development Agency
Pan En, Vice President of Solution Sales & Marketing at Huawei Middle East, discusses the company’s upcoming innovation centre being planned with Dubai Investment Development Agency
What is the motivation behind this latest MoU between Huawei and Dubai FDI?
The Middle East has successfully built a diverse and thriving economy with growth from tourism, aviation, real estate, and the financial services sector, amongst others. New business models prove that innovation is an essential tool in the race of competition and continuity within these industries. Regional governments have also been placing greater emphasis on delivering smart city infrastructure and new services for citizens. With that said, the region’s ICT market is undergoing widespread transformation, and it’s important that public and private sectors work together towards open standards, operations and ecosystems.
Are there any specific programs that are being envisioned to date?
The centre will have multiple components and aims to be more than just an exhibition hall. To start, we hope to offer access to a service experience centre, a joint innovation platform, and an integration and verification centre. Each of these will provide unique value to the public depending on their desire to learn, develop, or trial innovation programs.
How will government entities benefit from the work carried out at the innovation centre?
We believe that the centre can play a valuable role in the ongoing integration of technology services in the region, developing human capital, and pioneering solutions and applications for the wider community. The centre will ultimately help to propel forward many of the UAE’s smart city programs while defining best practices for the entire region. It will also allow Huawei to share more of our worldwide experiences with regional government players and enterprises.
How does this fit in with Huawei’s existing R&D network within the region?
Huawei actually has 31 joint innovation centres worldwide, including two recently unveiled projects in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Every one of these programs stems from close interaction with our customers to understand their needs and market demands. We believe the reason why Huawei and our partners can maintain steady growth amid a competitive global economy is through investments in bold, strategic technologies. That is what we will continue to pursue through the new innovation centre.
Looking ahead, does Huawei plan to invest in similar projects in the region?
Over the last few years we’ve really increased our investments in R&D. Huawei annually invests an average of more than 10% of its total global revenue into R&D, with that number considerably higher last year. I don’t see that pace slowing down in the Middle East, especially when it comes to these types of cooperative public/private partnerships which benefit local economies and support digital transformation agendas on the national level.