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Polytechnique Montréal and Huawei Canada establish the industrial research chair in future wireless technologies

February 15, 2017

Polytechnique Montréal and Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ICT and telecommunications equipment, set up an innovative multi-year joint research venture. It is a first for both Montréal and Huawei.

With the establishment of the NSERC/Huawei Industrial Research Chair in Future Wireless Technologies — or Future Wireless Chair (FuWiC) —, Polytechnique Montréal will receive investments totalling more than $5 million over a five-year period, including $2.45 million from the Huawei Canada Research Centre and an equal amount from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

These investments will help Polytechnique grow its current research and education efforts in the field of information and communications technologies (ICT) with an emphasis on wireless technologies and smart interconnectivity, including the Internet of things (IoT).

The FuWiC program will contribute by laying a broad foundation for humanity’s wireless future, affecting how societies will be connected and the impact on daily life. The Chair’s wireless technologies research will foray into much-publicized concepts like machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and the IoT, and issues such as the development of smart cities, green ICT, efficient healthcare and clean energy. Professor Wu also foresees future humanitarian applications, perhaps assisting disaster relief or alleviating water distribution problems through the creation of smart villages in remote rural areas in Africa and India.

A win-win partnership

For Huawei Canada, the investment in Polytechnique Montréal in FuWiC represents a significant milestone for Huawei in Canada. This partnership will be the first academic chair partnership for Huawei’s Canada Research Centre, and reflects Huawei’s ongoing commitment as one of Canada’s largest investors in advanced communications R&D.

“We are proud to be working with the talented research team at Polytechnique Montréal,” said Christian Chua, President of the Huawei Canada Research Centre. “The partnership with Poly — one of Canada’s largest applied-research universities, and the flagship of a large group of renowned and established world-class research facilities engaged in both theoretical and experimental work — is one that will help our Canadian team continue to lead our global advanced communications research.”

“Dr. Ke Wu is pioneering the next generation wireless technology,” said Dr. Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, NSERC. “His knowledge, ideas and discoveries will help Huawei remain at the cutting edge of a constantly evolving industry. NSERC is proud to support this Chair, which produces ideas essential to innovation, and provides invaluable training that will arm students with the industry experience and skills needed to thrive in the technology sector.”

Acting as a catalyst, the FuWiC will help create an unprecedented and reciprocally beneficial partnership between Polytechnique and Huawei, the technological giant from the world’s most important emerging economy. This Chair-enabled synergy will stimulate fresh collaborations and dynamic exchanges. Such interactions are expected to promote significant expansion and development of wireless technology-related knowledge, education, industry and products in Québec and Canada. The creation of the Chair will also inject a very positive force in the bilateral business and trade between Québec/Canada and China, as well as with the rest of the world.