The University and global telecommunications company Huawei have agreed a partnership on data science research.
They are to create a Distributed Data Management and Processing Laboratory in the School of Informatics.
This new lab will conduct open research into data science and data management techniques.
Their partnership, initially agreed to run for three years, will enable researchers to explore theories and technologies in data management, and give direction to cutting-edge research on information technology.
Ken Hu, Deputy Chairman of the Board and CEO at Huawei, and Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, the University Principal, signed the agreement at an event in London.
Also present at the ceremony were Professor David Robertson, Dean of the University’s College of Science and Engineering, and Professor Wenfei Fan, Director of the new lab.
The partnership follows a long-term collaboration between database experts at the University and Huawei.
As an example of their joint working, a system based on a new big data processing theory known as BEAS, developed by Professor Fan’s group, has been applied in industry.
This has improved the performance of such processing by orders of magnitude.
The lab will investigate scientific and engineering research challenges relevant to academia and industry. This is the first such lab for Huawei.
Its experts will seek to develop the fundamental science underpinning these and help translate their findings for use on a global scale.
This is hoped to contribute to the broad knowledge base in the field, while supporting the innovation that is characteristic of modern systems engineering.
The partnership was negotiated on behalf of the University by Dr Elizabeth Elliot and Professor Robertson from the School of Informatics.
Professor Peter Buneman will lead the Steering Committee of the lab, consisting of seven experts from Huawei and the School of Informatics.
The University is strengthening its capability in data-driven research and innovation through a number of significant investments including its new Bayes Centre, opening in 2018.
The Bayes Centre for Data Science and Technology will seek to foster an environment for interdisciplinary collaboration across the University and with industry, to tackle difficult challenges and bring benefits for society and industry.
The University of Edinburgh is delighted to partner with Huawei to further research into data science and data management. The creation of this laboratory brings opportunities for our researchers to apply their expertise to large-scale, real world challenges in this very exciting area.