[Paris, France, November 15, 2023] Huawei hosted Innovation Day 2023 today in Paris, under the theme of ‘SME Innovation: Unlocking Europe’s Economic Future’. The event brought together innovators from Europe and beyond to discuss how to work together for SMEs to thrive. During the event, Huawei announced the opening of its Paris Innovation Center, which will serve as a platform for further collaboration between Huawei and its partners.
In her remarks, Vicky Zhang, Vice President of Corporate Affairs from Huawei said, “Only by working together can we build the healthy ecosystem to enable Europe's economy to thrive.” Together with its SME partners HD Rain and Ubudu, Huawei then announced the opening of its Paris Innovation Center. Kenneth Fredriksen, Senior Vice President of Huawei Europe said, “Thirty years ago, Huawei was also a small company. Today, I am proud to announce that Huawei will be launching its Paris Innovation Center. Whether you are an established organization, or an SME, this is a platform to help all our partners to thrive.”
Huawei will invest over € 2 million annually in the Paris Innovation Center, and will open its platform of over 80 industry scenarios to partners. The Center will not only encourage knowledge sharing and joint innovation, but will also provide professional resources for integration & verification and go-to-market support. With end-to-end support system for partners in place, this Innovation Center will be an upgrade from Huawei’s Paris OpenLab, which has served over 200 partners since 2018.
Going digital was a key topic in the discussions. Horst Heitz, Chair of the SME Connect Steering Committee, shared his view on the importance of digitalization for SMEs. “The advantage of SMEs and startups are their ground-breaking ideas and innovative approach to business and technology, but at the same time, in order to stay competitive, they need to improve their own business structures, internal processes, cyber resilience, and more. The only way to do that is to achieve full digitalization and to adjust to the fast-changing European market. Here is where we can help them grow and support them”.
Multiple industry leaders called for more collaborations to help SMEs succeed. Julia Devos, Head of New Champions, World Economic Forum said, “SMEs are the backbone of the economy and key to a sustainable future. Together we can create a support system to help them to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future and make them thrive.” François Mercier-Tigrine, Co-founder and Scientific Director, HD Rain echoed her point, “SMEs, especially deep tech, are very important in bridging the gap between the time when a technology is still in a research lab and the time when it is industrialized. It is in this phase that new technologies need support in financing and access to markets, for example via partnerships with institutions and big companies. Huawei’s Digital InPulse program is a good example of one way that big companies can help SMEs find new opportunities in markets where they are still little known”.