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Huawei buys UK-based photonics company
26 January 2012
Chinese vendor buys Centre for Integrated Photonics, former BT fibre optics group, from development agency
Huawei has bought the UK-based Centre for Integrated Photonics, originally formed out of BT’s fibre optics research group, from a government development agency that has supported it since previous backers pulled out.
Neither Huawei nor the East of England Development Agency, a UK government department, have given a price for the deal, which sees CIP’s research laboratories — based alongside BT’s own labs at Adastral Park — becoming the core of what Huawei says will be its new UK R&D centre.
EEDA took over CIP in 2003 after its previous owner, Corning, pulled out. Corning had run the unit as the Corning Research Center since 2000. The UK government is to close the EEDA, and all its other regional development agencies, by March 2012.
Peter Wharton, CEO of CIP, said that Huawei’s “industry-leading R&D capabilities and investment in CIP will lead us to have many more significant achievements in the future”. He said that CIP had been working with Huawei — which has had a unit at Adastral for some time — for six months and that experience “more than met our expectations, building the foundations for an excellent working relationship”.
Huawei already has six research units in Europe, said Victor Zhang, CEO of Huawei UK. “I’m confident that CIP’s strong research abilities and its talented staff will further extend our European research presence to the UK, a key and important market to the company.”
EEDA took over CIP in 2003 “to save it from closure”, said the agency’s chairman, Professor Will Pope. “The agreement with Huawei follows a rigorous and competitive tender process which has generated a positive return for the taxpayer.” GTB
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