Huawei makes a move into GridAKL

Chinese company building almost half the world's 4G networks brings some of its $9 billion R&D expertise to Auckland

Companies waiting to move into GridAKL’s new building will be guaranteed any communications technology bells and whistles they could wish for, after a three-year, $1 million, sponsorship from Huawei was announced today.

Part of the deal with the China-based networking and communications giant, (which turned over the equivalent of $60 billion last year and is building nearly half of the world’s 4G networks) is for the new Lysaght Building in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter to be fitted out with state-of-the art Huawei technology.

GridAKL general manager Patrick McVeigh says there are 40 companies on the waiting list for the refurbished building, which should get its first companies in September.

“In an open source environment, it will give businesses access to technology and let them play.”

He says the partnership with Huawei also gives present and future companies in the innovation hub the chance to tap into Huawei’s vast innovation network.

Huawei spent around $9 billion last year on research and development, has 76,000 people worldwide working in R&D and has more than 38,000 patents.

“One of our challenges at GridAKL is helping companies get quicker access to global markets,” McVeigh says.

“The partnership gives them access to Huawei’s global procurement networks and introduces companies that are growing here to those networks.”

Huawei global deputy chairman Guo Ping says the company has been in New Zealand for 10 years and in that time has forged deals with many local businesses.

“We are happy to be given an opportunity to work with and support a new generation of New Zealand companies… We hope to see many great ideas come to life here at GridAKL.”

Auckland Council has invested $20 million in the GridAKL innovation hub, which opened a year ago. The original building is at capacity, with 15 tenants, McVeigh says. The first of two purpose-built buildings are set to be open in 2017.  

Photography by Brendon O'Hagan