Huawei & Leica Camera establish new research & innovation center

The ‘Max Berek Innovation Lab’ will conduct R&D in the fields of new optical systems, computational imaging, virtual reality and augmented reality.

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’

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’. Photo source: Huawei.

Huawei and Leica Camera AG today announced they have expanded their strategic collaboration with the establishment of a jointly operated research and innovation center.

“In the future, over 90 percent of data traffic will be images and videos. 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,” said Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei.

The new center will be named 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 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.

“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,” emphasised Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (right), majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG.

“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,” emphasised Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (right), majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG. Photo source: Huawei.

In addition to R&D resources from both companies, Huawei and Leica plan to collaborate with German and international universities and research institutions.

“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 lab’s establishment is the brainchild of Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei and Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG.

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.

He was also responsible for the optical design of more than 20 lenses for the 35mm camera invented and built by Oskar Barnack.

Thanks to their imaging performance and harmonisation of the lenses, as well as Barnack’s construction, it enabled Leica to achieve worldwide success in 35mm photography.

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