Global networking and telecommunications company Huawei has become the foundation partner of Auckland's innovation hub GridAKL, in a $1 million sponsorship which is expected to help Auckland's most innovative ICT and digital companies make inroads into international markets.
Huawei Global Deputy Chairman and rotating CEO Guo Ping was in Auckland today to attend an event at GridAKL in Wynyard Quarter, marking the milestone alongside Economic Development Minister Honourable Steven Joyce, and Mayor Len Brown.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) manages GridAKL on behalf of Auckland Council. The three-year partnership between Huawei and ATEED is the cornerstone of ATEED’s strategy to leverage council’s $20 million investment in GridAKL by developing commercial opportunities which deliver for Auckland’s economy.
The partnership will allow Huawei to showcase its world-leading communications technology with state-of-the-art systems installed within GridAKL’s buildings. Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment vendor, delivering networks, ICT solutions and consumer devices.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said: “Auckland Council is delighted to have a company of Huawei’s global reach and expertise as its GridAKL foundation partner. Huawei is building nearly half of the world’s 4G networks, and this is a potent indicator of their scale and reach. Huawei is the kind of multi-national company which can make and attract investment into GridAKL, and help our emerging ‘born global’ ICT and digital companies on their journey to export.”
During his visit, Mr Guo toured the refurbished character Lysaght building which is due to open as stage two of GridAKL later this year.
“Since arriving in New Zealand 10 years ago, Huawei has forged many great partnerships with local companies,” Mr Guo said. “Their success has been critical to our success, and we are very happy to be given an opportunity to work with and support a new generation of New Zealand companies. We are proud to be partnering with Auckland Council on this initiative and hope to see many great ideas come to life here at GridAKL”
China is a huge growth market for Auckland and New Zealand, and Mayor Brown says the partnership creates significant potential opportunities for GridAKL to connect with China, and also other regions, through Huawei’s international networks.
Huawei will use its expertise to turn GridAKL’s first two permanent buildings into a premium location for growth ICT and digital media companies. ATEED has contracted an operator (a partnership of BizDojo and The Icehouse) to run the hub’s day-to-day activation, tenant management and marketing.
The partnership includes provision of Huawei’s enterprise platform and smart building infrastructure equipment for installation in the first two GridAKL buildings. ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says Huawei’s link with GridAKL fits nicely with Waterfront Auckland’s new Wynyard Quarter Smart initiative, which draws upon technology to measure and communicate performance against a number of precinct-wide sustainability targets in areas such as energy use and building performance.
Huawei will also leverage its global procurement network, bringing its procurement team to meet with businesses at GridAKL.
Brett O’Riley says Huawei’s involvement adds powerful backing and international credibility to council’s investment in the innovation precinct, and reinforces the city’s vision to be an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific. “The partnership provides a platform for GridAKL to showcase emergent technology for New Zealand, encouraging other companies to invest in the project. This sponsorship helps to secure the precinct’s future economic stability, and is a start towards GridAKL being independent of Council funding,” Brett O’Riley said.