Huawei and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have entered a three year agreement to set up an information technology lab at the University’s School of Informatics.

The research unit will specialize in distributed data science and management for applications in academia and the industry. Distributed data science relates to databases shared over a common network without relying on common processors. The idea is that by decentralizing the compute, performance seen by the user can be improved. 

University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum
University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum – University of Edinburgh

According to Huawei, the lab will extend an existing relationship between database researchers at Huawei and the University.

Brain picking

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The University of Edinburgh is delighted to partner with Huawei to perform further research into data science and data management. The creation of this laboratory gives our researchers the opportunity to apply their expertise to large-scale, real world challenges in this very exciting area.”

Other Universities have partnered with Huawei on research projects, such as New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington, where the company funded an Innovation lab as part of a $281.8m ICT investment. 

Huawei and Imperial College London are also collaborating on a data science lab which will emphasise research in healthcare, energy efficiency and the development of smart cities.

The crossover between academia and industry, where both parties stand to benefit from another’s contribution, means these sorts of collaborations are common. 

In 2010, Google gave $1m to US universities to look into data center energy efficiency. Similarly, two years ago, a Japanese government-funded organization gave the University of Texas $13m to look into the use of renewables to power supercomputers.