The World Needs an Open Approach to Scientific Research
At the webinar for Beijing-based research and science attaches from Europe and from the EU, I made the following comment on the subject of research collaboration in Europe, “The nationalization of scientific activity – country by country – is not what the world needs at this time.”
The events surrounding COVID-19 have given us all some time to reflect upon many different issues – some are of a micro or personal scale – others have a larger macro-economic dimension.
But as the world is embarking on finding a vaccine for COVID-19, there is one clear dawning realization for us all to reflect upon.
Research, educational, private, and public bodies from all over the world must collaborate on basic and applied research. Without intensive international engagement and co-operation, society will not be able to benefit from new innovative products and services. Governments and the private sector alike must substantially invest in basic scientific research if the new products of tomorrow are going to be delivered into the global marketplace.
The process of innovation must not be confined to any one company or any one country. Scientific excellence working together across borders can create new products that address key socioeconomic challenges in the world today. That is why so many multi-jurisdictional research teams across the globe are working on a vaccine for COVID-19.
The same principle – namely the need for international engagement and co-operation – applies to the ICT sector and to the capability to bring new technological innovations into the marketplace.
Huawei is one of the most innovative companies in the world.
Under the EU industrial scoreboard for research and development 2019 Huawei ranks fifth in the world in terms of the levels of financial investment that the company makes in the fields of R&D. This a finding of the European Commission having surveyed 2,500 companies in the world that invest a minimum of €30 million in R&D per annum. We:
- Run 23 research centres in 12 countries in Europe.
- Hold 240+ technology partnership agreements with research institutes in Europe.
- Collaborate with over 150 European Universities on research.
- Employ 2,400 researchers and scientists in Europe.
- Invest 15% of our global revenues into research each year and this level of investment is going to increase.
International collaboration is at the heart of the Huawei business model when it comes to our research activities.
Europe is home to 25% of all global R&D investment. A third of all scientific publications that are reviewed in the world today emanate from European researchers. Europe is home to the best scientists in the world. And this is why so much of Huawei investment on the research side is based in Europe.
Huawei has participated in 44 collaborative research projects under both FP7 and under Horizon 2020. We have engaged in research covering, for example, 5G, cloud and device technologies and the building of ICT platforms that will deliver the smart cities of the future. So Huawei has a strong embedded imprint on research in Europe, and this remain the case for many years to come. In fact, Huawei’s first research facility opened in Sweden in 2000.
Horizon Europe – the next EU research, innovation and science instrument 2021-2027 will play a central role in delivering upon the policy agenda of the EU institutions. This includes strengthening the industrial strategies of the EU, delivering upon the EU Green deal and tackling the UN sustainability goals.
Huawei can positively support the implementation of this exciting new EU policy agenda.
The ‘nationalization’ or ‘de-compartmentalization’ of scientific and research activity – country by country – is not what the world needs today. The public, private, educational and governmental sectors need to take an open approach to scientific engagement. This will ensure that the key global challenges facing the world today can be positively addressed for all of mankind.
- Why Collaboration in Basic Research Must Continue
- How Horizon 2020 Will Boost Productivity in Europe
- Europe 2021-2027: Innovation, Investment & Collaboration
About the Author
Abraham Liu was appointed Vice-President for the European Region at Huawei in July 2018. At the same time, he is the Chief Representative of the company to the EU Institutions in Brussels.
Abraham joined the Brussels Public Affairs and Communication team as Vice-President earlier this year and was appointed in May 2018 as the Chief Representative to the EU Institutions.