Europe has indeed many strengths when it comes to the thematic policy areas of research and science. 25% of all global research and development is carried out in Europe. A third of all scientific publications that are reviewed in the world today emanate from European researchers.
Europe is very strong in the advancement of basic science. The real challenge for Europe is to translate the capabilities that it has in basic scientific effort and then deliver innovate products and services into the marketplace. The European Innovation Council (EIC) is going to be given an enhanced role under Horizon Europe during the period 2021-2027.
The role of the EIC is to support innovative companies and to ensure that small and medium-sized companies can scale up and become large-scale innovative companies. The European Innovation Council (EIC) will complement the work of the European Research Council (ERC). Whereas the EIC is backing new European innovative enterprises, the ERC is nurturing the development of the Nobel laureates of the future.
But there are common reasons as to why EU policy-making in the research field is successful. One plank of this success is predicated on the fact that Europe supports the principle of international collaboration in the fields of research and science.
This ensures that excellence in scientific effort that is supported by Europe embraces the involvement of researchers, scientists and innovators from all over the world. This guarantees that the strongest global intellectual capacity can further scientific effort across a whole host of policy domains and this includes, within the ICT sector.
We all know that advances within the information and communications technology (ICT) domain is transforming how many industries will operate and function now and into the future.
ICT innovation is transforming the agriculture, smart city, industrial, health and energy sectors in ways that could never have been imagined heretofore. But it is the active international collaboration across the globe between universities, researchers and innovators that is now delivering this digital transformation. There is really no tangible benefit for global society by de-compartmentalizing – country by country – scientific research effort. We should all work together in the fields of research if we want to deliver the best solutions to support the European economy and tackle key social problems.
It is through global collaboration in the collective fields of research and science that has ensured that 5G has come to fruition. 5G will deliver self-driving cars, advanced drones and remote medical operations. This global collaboration in the field of 5G, in turn, helps to build more common and unified standards in the delivery of 5G services. Common standards reduces business costs and promotes greater levels of competition. No one should want to split the operation of the internet. The ‘splinternet’ as it is becoming known will only increase and proliferate the number of standards for ICT products into the future. The world needs common unified standards to deliver more secure ICT services.
Huawei is in a strong position to deliver upon the political objectives of the European Union. In particular, I am talking about the policies that the EU is promoting when it comes to issues connected to ‘strategic autonomy’ and ‘digital resilience’. Huawei has been based in Europe for over 20 years. The company has been an active participant within the Horizon 2020 programme over the past six years and has been strongly involved in research collaborations covering activities such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities. Huawei employs over 2,200 researchers in Europe and it has 23 research facilities in 12 countries in Europe.
Huawei, as a company, is embedded within the ICT research system in Europe and this will continue to be the case for many years to come.