clock December 24,2023
SLIIT and Huawei sign MoU to establish Joint Research and Innovation Lab

SLIIT and Huawei sign MoU to establish Joint Research and Innovation Lab

The SLIIT Kandy UNI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global tech giant Huawei to foster joint research efforts and establish an Innovation Lab at SLIIT Kandy Uni in Pallakale.

The MoU was signed by Prof. Lakshman Ratnayake, Chairman/Chancellor SLIIT and Mr. Zhang Jinze (Zeh), CEO of Huawei Technologies Lanka. The event was attended by SLIIT representatives including Prof. Rahula Attalage, Pro Vice-Chancellor - Academic, Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda, Pro Vice-Chancellor - Research & International, Prof. Ayantha Gomes, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Pradeep Abeygunawardhana, Dean, Faculty of Computing, Dr. Madhawa Herath, Dean - Academic SLIIT Kandy Uni, Ms. Nathasha Ranathuna, Senior Manager, Legal and Corporate Affairs, and Ms. Sonali Senanayake. From Huawei's side, the attendees included Mr. Ni Xiaopeng (Liam) - Vice President EBG, Mr. Isuru Jayasekara - Director of Government and Large Corporate EBG, and Mr. Nadun Gunawardena - Director of Solutions EBG.

The Huawei ICT Academy Innovation Lab in Kandy will provide state-of-the-art facilities for research and product development. The partnership aims to build local ICT talent through collaborative research, training programs, certifications, internships, industrial and field training opportunities.

Initially, SLIIT and Huawei will establish a Certified Training Center to train SLIIT staff, who will then provide training to external parties. The partnership will offer visitation opportunities for Kandy Uni students and academic staff to Huawei facilities. In addition, innovation challenges and competitions will be organized among the Kandy Uni students and expanded to schools while guest lectures and tech talks will also be conducted.

Under the MoU, SLIIT undergraduates will gain valuable industry experience through internships and field visits at Huawei sites across Sri Lanka. Faculty will be trained to deliver Huawei certification courses, building a talent pipeline for the country's ICT workforce. Joint research initiatives will also be undertaken.

Dr. Madhawa Herath, Dean-Academic - SLIIT Kandy Uni stated, “The partnership between SLIIT and Huawei marks an exciting new chapter not only for SLIIT Kandy Uni but in strengthening innovation and research in Sri Lanka's ICT sector. The establishment of the Joint Research and Innovation Lab will provide our students and faculty with unparalleled opportunities to collaborate with a global technology leader. Combining academic excellence with industry expertise, we can tackle real-world challenges and develop cutting-edge solutions. The synergy between academia and industry will not only enhance the practical skills of our students but also contribute to the advancement of the nation's technological capabilities. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration that will nurture a talent pipeline for the digital future."

The proposed joint innovation lab will further facilitate undergraduate and graduate research and provide a platform to develop solutions and products for industrial needs. Huawei will provide funding and technical guidance for postgraduate research.

Understanding that nurturing local talent in ICT is crucial for Sri Lanka's digital transformation the SLIIT and Huawei partnership combines academia and industry to create an ecosystem for innovation that will strengthen the nation's tech capabilities. Additionally, it will bring cutting-edge technological expertise to students and researchers as the joint innovation lab will be a tremendous resource for conducting applied research with real-world impact and develop ready-to-market solutions.

The MoU with SLIIT builds on Huawei's commitment to developing Sri Lanka's ICT talent pool through university partnerships. The ultimate goal of this collaboration is to set up a state-of-the-art innovation lab, enhancing the country's technological infrastructure and capabilities.



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