Cambridge University has formed a research partnership with Huawei and BT to explore the impact emerging technologies will have on society over the next few years.
The project, which is aimed at strengthening the UK's status as a 'leading hub of innovation', will bring together researchers from all three organisations (BT Labs, the Huawei R&D Team and academics from the University of Cambridge) to explore the future of technology.
Backed by £25 million in funding and set to run over the next five years, the researchers will explore topics such as photonics, digital and access network infrastructure and media technologies. They'll also undertake work that can enhance the societal impact of communications technologies.
The mission of the partnership is to 'unlock economic benefits for UK businesses and organisations'. For instance, the experts will explore how they can reduce the cost of network infrastructure and boost operational performance.
The projects are also designed to focus on technologies capable of delivering positive impacts for society, particularly reducing inequality and climate change.
Finally, the funding will support longer-term research projects led by postgraduate students at the University, all of which will generate benefits for industry and society, it is said.
All of the projects will be processed and assessed by the an Academic Advisory Board, which will be made up of representatives from the university, Huawei and BT.
While the University will be working with Huawei and BT as partners on these projects, it maintains a strong working relationship with more than 4,700 technology companies based in Cambridge.
This new research and collaboration team, which will operate from the University's Maxwell Centre, will support the growth of these companies.
Prof Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge, said: "The University of Cambridge is delighted to be, once again, demonstrating the importance of its research to business and industry.
"The world of telecommunications has advanced rapidly over the last two decades. However, there is still work to be done to improve the technologies we use on a daily basis and to ensure that they are long-lived.
"By working with BT and Huawei we will be able to demonstrate that the insights delivered through our research have a broad impact."
Ken Hu, deputy chairman and rotating CEO of Huawei, said: "Technology is changing the world faster than we have ever seen. It will bring many benefits to mankind, and affect nearly every aspect of our lives."
He added: "No single organisation has all the answers. Partnership is the only way forward in a complex digital age."
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