Huawei launched the Tech Arena competition at Viva Technology 2022, one of Europe's biggest tech summits. Huawei's Tech Arena competitions are sponsored and designed by Huawei's worldwide labs in partnership with top universities to give students from around the world more opportunities to experience and learn how to solve real-world problems.
Xiang Zishang, Vice President of Huawei's European Research Institute, explained how the company plans to host at least 10 Tech Arena competitions for over 1,000 students during the 2022–2023 school year. These competitions will be hosted in many different countries, including France, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and Israel. Huawei hopes this systematic approach to tech competitions will allow more students to participate in and benefit from this kind of program.
When discussing the planned content of the competition, Xiang said, "We must broaden our horizons, communicate with talent to understand their needs, and help more outstanding talent grow and emerge from these competitions." Therefore, the themes and focuses of these competitions will cover a broad range of cutting-edge technological topics. Previous challenges have focused on topics such as optical network modeling and real-time intelligence and automotive applications.
Contestants will have the opportunity to test their skills involving coding, algorithms, mathematics, and engineering to solve real-world industry problems. The competitions will each have six winners, who will receive cash rewards or Huawei consumer products, such as smart watches and laptops.
Tech competitions like Tech Arena offer platforms for local talent to improve their skills and create a space between industry and academia where talented students can learn new ways to apply their academic knowledge to real world challenges. The commercial value generated by this knowledge, in turn, drives new research and breakthroughs.
Dario Rossi, a laboratory director at Huawei's Paris Research Center, explained, "Today's students will be the researchers of tomorrow. Being exposed early to interesting and challenging problems can motivate them to pursue a high-profile technical career."
Huawei currently operates many R&D research centers in Europe, mainly staffed with local researchers. They also currently partner with over 300 universities and 900 research institutes around the world on international talent cultivation and research. In 2021, the company's annual spending on university funding and partnerships jumped to US$400 million, an increase over previous years.