Let the black swans appear in our coffee cup - Three reasons to watch Huawei Asia-Pacific Innovation Day

There are many unknowns surrounding the technological advances and business models that we will need for the intelligent world of the future. Huawei's ambition is that "black swans should swim in our coffee cup", and to achieve that, we must persevere with our path of open innovation. On November 2–3, Huawei will host the Asia-Pacific Innovation Day in Sydney, Australia. We will discuss how the ICT industry can innovate new technologies and ecosystems.

Huawei Innovation Research Program

The Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) is one of the most important elements in our open innovation strategy. It is a long-term mechanism for joint innovation and open collaboration.

Where are the black swans? How do we coax them out? Huawei's approach is to look for black swans outside the company, in engagements with leading researchers and industry pioneers. We sit down with a cup of coffee, as a cup of coffee can absorb the energy of the universe. We have organized academic salons, seminars, and forums to spark new technologies and see what black swans may emerge. Through HIRP, we can provide support and funding, and explore and incubate more joint innovation projects.

HIRP supports graphene research at Manchester, optoelectronics research at Cambridge, and artificial intelligence projects at UC Berkeley. There have been many discoveries, and some are already being applied in commercial products.

Global means synergy

Another key element in Huawei's open innovation strategy is our Open Labs. Digital technology and smart technology are everywhere today, and every modern industry is growing in complexity. All industries will need to stay open and to evolve.

That's why building healthy ecosystems is the key to success for many industries. Huawei's Open Labs are positioned around the globe, close to the markets and the industry resources we want to work with. They offer a cutting-edge technical and organizational platform for local industries. We call them our Glocal Open Labs – a combination of global and local. Global means that we are able to create four massive synergies: synergies in our solutions, partner resources, industry experts, and shared labs. Local means that we are able to offer these synergies to our customers and partners in the form of localized services.

In Asia Pacific, our Singapore Open Lab opened on August 17 this year. It is focused on smart city, finance, and Internet of Things, and serves Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and other countries.

Smart city: One of the Obama's nine key challenges

A new urban revolution is gathering pace. Smart cities are on the leading edge of open innovation. The Obama administration's Strategy for American Innovation lists smart cities as one of the nine key challenges. Advances in technology can improve our living environment, help city administrations and companies to deliver better services, and improve our resilience against climate change and natural disasters.

Clean energy, new transport, new water systems, innovations in building construction, low-water and soil-less agriculture, clean and small-scale manufacturing… All these new technologies are bubbling into being, and will very quickly become universal. Technology is evolving fast, supported by universities, state labs, and municipal governments.

Adam Beck, Executive Director of the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand, says that technology affects our modes of behavior. Digital and mobile technologies are making the connections between service providers and users tighter, faster, more personal, and more comprehensive. The emergence of the sharing-economy as a business model means that many physical assets (e.g., cars and real estate) are being used much more efficiently, and are providing urban residents with new sources of income.