Today, Leica Camera has announced the creation of a research and development facility in partnership with telecommunications brand Huawei to jointly expand and enhance their imaging technology. Previously, the two companies collaborated on the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus smartphones. The Max Berek Innovation Lab will be located at Leica's Wetzlar headquarters and will encourage the development of new technologies in the fields of optical systems, mobile imaging technology, and more.
The official press release:
Leica Camera and HUAWEI Establish New R&D Center
‘Max Berek Innovation Lab’ will conduct R&D in the fields of new optical systems, computational imaging, virtual reality and augmented reality
HUAWEI and Leica Camera AG today announced that 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, and five months after the launch of the globally successful, multi-award winning HUAWEI P9 and P9 Plus smartphones.
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. 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 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 ground-breaking technologies in the imaging segment,” emphasized Dr. Andreas Kaufmann.
“In the future, over 90 per cent 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.”
“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,” confirmed Markus Limberger, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Leica Camera AG and director of the Max Berek Innovation Lab.
The R&D centre is named in memory of Max Berek (1886 – 1949), the German pioneer of microscopy and creator of the first Leica lenses. Berek 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 the exceptional imaging performance and perfect harmonization of the lenses, coupled with Barnack’s ingenious construction, Leica achieved worldwide success in 35mm photography.