News Column

Tech boost Chinese giant to open Pounds 125m city research centre

June 18, 2014

Gavin Thompson; Gavin Thompson Assistant Editor (Business) gavin.thompson@b-

ANOTHER technology firm is coming to Bristol. Chinese giant Huawei, which makes the technology used in mobile phone base stations as well as wi-fi boxes and dongles, is opening a research centre in the city.

The Pounds 125 million centre will open later this year and create 30 specialist jobs but the exact location has not yet been revealed.

Heading up the operation for Huawei, Matthew Leung, director of CPU technologies, said: "The Bristol and Bath region has a growing reputation as the UK's leading tech base and is an excellent location from which to grow a global enterprise.

"The region's strong talent pipeline, excellent transport links and position as a hub for cutting-edge innovation were key factors in attracting Huawei to Bristol. We look forward to capitalising on these benefits as we grow our operation in the city."

The news was welcomed by Chancellor George Osborne, who recently visited the firm's China HQ. He said: "The decision of the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker to innovate in Britain is testament to the outstanding quality of our highly skilled workforce and further evidence that our long term economic plan is working."

Invest Bristol and Bath, which works to bring new companies to the area, also travelled to China on a trade mission that helped persuade the firm to come to the city.

Prof Joe McGeehan, chairman of Invest Bristol & Bath, said Huawei's decision was another "major vote of confidence" in the city as a hub for global business.

He said: "This is fantastic news for Bristol and Bath as the region continues to grow its technology cluster and reputation as the leading hub for technological innovation in the UK, which already competes on the international stage. "The region's combination of strengths in silicon design, microelectronics system design, embedded software and enterprise software and apps makes it uniquely placed to capitalise on global technology markets worth trillions of dollars. "Businesses are increasingly choosing Bristol and Bath as a base due to the already established high-calibre workforce here. The region offers an excellent quality of life which has been recognised only recently by the Sunday Times as the best city to live in Britain. We are delighted our trade mission to China has resulted in attracting another major global enterprise to the Bristol and Bath region."

Huawei's new centre will open later this year and recruit 30 skilled employees to research chips, microprocessor design, software and related technology.

The firm already has a several bases in the UK, including a HQ in Reading and research centre in Ipswich. It aims to grow its UK- based research team to 300 by 2017, so there is potential for the Bristol site to grow.

There are than 200 companies focusing on silicon and microelectronics in Bristol and Bath directly employing more than 5,000 high-value engineers Hauwei's products and services have been used in 170 countries, including videoconferencing for Russian regional government, private cloud services for public bodies in Singapore, and television through broadband in Guangzhou, China. More locally it is a leading supplier of dongles, used to connect computers to the internet, and worked with EE on the roll-out of its 4G high speed mobile phone network. It is the latest technology firm to expand into Bristol. Mobile solutions business Somo recently announced it was setting up a research centre here and software firm Kainos is doing the same. Both chose Bristol because the expertise in telecommunications, mobile and chips mean there is a strong talent pool here.

? George Osborne meeting with Ren Zhengfei, Huawei's CEO and founder, during the Chancellor's visit to China in October 2013. The firm has announced it is opening a Pounds 125 million research centre in Bristol later this year

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Bristol Evening Post (England)

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