Huawei and Leica Camera Establish New Research and Innovation Center for the Reinvention of Smartphone Photography
Wetzlar, Germany - September 23, 2016. Huawei and Leica Camera AG announced they have expanded their strategic collaboration with the establishment of a jointly operated research and innovation center, the ‘Max Berek Innovation Lab’. The launch comes seven months after the public announcement of their long-term technology partnership in the field of optical engineering, and five months after the launch of the globally successful, multiple-award winning Huawei P9 and P9 Plus smartphones.
The new lab, located at Leica’s global HQ in Wetzlar, Germany, will drive further development of optical systems and software-based technologies to improve imaging quality in a wide range of photographic and mobile device applications. Additional outcomes will include the creation of computational imaging, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) solutions. In addition to R&D resources from both companies, Huawei and Leica plan to collaborate with German and international universities and research institutions.
The lab’s establishment is the result of the vision and support of Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei and Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG.
Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei (right) and Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG(left), signing the agreement on the establishment of the ‘Max Berek Innovation Lab’
“In the future, over 90 percent of data traffic will be images and videos,” said Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei. “The Max Berek Innovation Lab provides the capacity to establish an even closer partnership with Leica, leading to continuous improvements in image and video quality. As a result, we will deliver the most advanced innovations in the smartphone camera market and bring greater value to consumers.”
“With the founding of the Max Berek Innovation Lab, Huawei and Leica Camera AG are expanding the scope of their successful strategic relationship and are laying the foundation for close collaboration in research and development of groundbreaking technologies in the imaging segment,” emphasized Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG.
“Huawei and Leica share not only enormous innovation power and years of research experience, but also their dedication to providing the highest quality standards. The Max Berek Innovation Lab offers us a historic opportunity to unite the resources and extensive expertise of both companies to pioneer game-changing technologies,” confirmed Markus Limberger, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Leica Camera AG and Director of the Max Berek Innovation Lab.
The research and innovation center is named in remembrance of Max Berek (1886 – 1949), the German pioneer of microscopy and creator of the first Leica lenses, who was also responsible for the optical design of more than 20 lenses for the legendary 35mm camera invented and built by Oskar Barnack. Thanks to their exceptional imaging performance and perfect harmonization of the lenses, with Barnack’s ingenious construction, it becomes possible for Leica to achieve worldwide success in 35mm photography.
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About Huawei Consumer Business Group
Huaweis products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world’s population, ranking third in the world in mobile phone shipments in 2014. Sixteen R&D centers have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India, and China. Huawei Consumer Business Group is one of Huaweis three business units and covers smartphones, mobile broadband devices, home devices and cloud services. Huaweis global network is built on 20 years of expertise in the telecom industry and is dedicated to delivering the latest technological advances to consumers around the world.
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, England, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.