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

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

The lab’s establishment is the result of the vision and support of Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei and Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, 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 laying the foundation for close collaboration in research and development of groundbreaking technologies in the imaging segment,” emphasized Dr. Andreas Kaufmann.

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

The R&D center is named in remembrance of Max Berek (1886 – 1949), the German pioneer of microscopy and creator of the first Leica lenses, who was also responsible for the optical design of more than 20 lenses for the legendary 35mm camera invented and built by Oskar Barnack. With Barnack’s ingenious construction, it became possible for Leica to achieve success in 35mm photography.


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