Huawei and Leica Camera AG have expanded their strategic collaboration with the establishment of a jointly operated research and innovation center, the Max Berek Innovation Lab. The launch follows the public announcement of their long-term technology partnership in the field of optical engineering, and the launch of the multiple award-winning Huawei P9 and P9 Plus smartphones - the first collaboration between the two companies.
The new lab, located at Leica’s global HQ in Wetzlar, Germany, 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. Huawei and Leica will dedicate R&D resources, and also plan to collaborate with German and international universities and research institutions.
The Lab’s establishment is the result of the vision and support of Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the advisory board of Leica Camera AG, and Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei.
“With the founding of the Max Berek Innovation Lab, Huawei and Leica Camera AG are expanding the scope of their successful strategic relationship and are laying the foundation for close collaboration in research and development of groundbreaking technologies in the imaging segment,” Dr Kaufmann said.
“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. As a result, we will deliver the most advanced innovations in the smartphone camera market and bring greater value to consumers.”
Markus Limberger, Chief Operating Officer of Leica, was appointed director of the Max Berek Innovation Lab said “Huawei and Leica share not only enormous innovation power and years of research experience, but also their dedication to providing the highest quality standards. The Max Berek Innovation Lab offers us a historic opportunity to unite the resources and extensive expertise of both companies to pioneer game-changing technologies,” he said.
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. Thanks to their exceptional imaging performance and perfect harmonization of the lenses, with Barnack’s ingenious construction, it became possible for Leica to achieve worldwide success in 35mm photography.