Invest Bristol & Bath spearheads recruitment drive for Chinese tech giant as it prepares to land in Bristol

Invest Bristol & Bath, the inward investment agency for the region, is driving forward a recruitment drive in the wider tech sector for Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei after it revealed plans to open a multi-million pound R&D centre in Bristol.

The move comes after Invest Bristol & Bath travelled to China last year on a trade mission to showcase the strengths of the region to Huawei, leading to its decision to set up a key base in the city.  Huawei is the latest in a series of global businesses Invest Bristol & Bath has helped attract to the region.

The facility will initially seek to recruit 30 employees, focusing on the development of ICT chips, microprocessor design, software and related technology.

Heading up the operation on behalf of Huawei, Matthew Leung, Director of CPU Technologies, said: “The Bristol & Bath region has a growing reputation as the UK’s leading tech base and is an excellent location from which to grow a global enterprise.

“The region’s strong talent pipeline, excellent transport links and position as a hub for cutting-edge innovation were key factors in attracting Huawei to Bristol. We look forward to capitalising on these benefits as we grow our operation in the city.”

Huawei’s technology is centered on next generation telecoms equipment and IT network solutions.  It is the largest telecoms company in China and in the world, with its current offices including its UK HQ in Reading and an R&D centre in Ipswich.

Together, the various UK R&D facilities will employ 300 by 2017.

Prof Joe McGeehan, Chair of Invest Bristol & Bath, said: “Huawei’s decision to set up a multi-million pound R&D centre in Bristol can be seen as another major vote of confidence in the city as a hub for global business.

“This is fantastic news for Bristol & Bath as the region continues to grow its technology cluster and reputation as the leading hub for technological innovation in the UK, which already competes on the international stage.

“The region’s combination of strengths in silicon design, microelectronics system design, embedded software and enterprise software and apps makes it uniquely placed to capitalise on global technology markets worth trillions of dollars.

“Businesses are increasingly choosing Bristol & Bath as a base due to the already established high calibre workforce here. The region offers an excellent quality of life which has been recognised only recently by the Sunday Times as the best city to live in Britain.

“We are delighted that our trade mission to China has resulted in attracting another major global enterprise to the Bristol & Bath region.”

Huawei’s announcement was welcomed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who recently travelled to China to meet Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

The move by Huawei follows a series of announcements that demonstrates Bristol & Bath’s emergence as one of the strongest global high tech clusters.

Somo, the largest independent mobile solutions company, recently announced it had chosen Bristol to set up a specialist engineering centre focusing on the development of mobile platforms, one of the first of its kind in the world.

Other recent announcements include Bristol-born SecondSync joining Twitter, Somerset-based solar-powered drone maker Ascenta being acquired by Facebook, and digital solutions company Kainos who recently opened a new office in Bristol.

The South West region has over 18,000 high tech jobs and 700 tech companies.

Bristol & Bath has over 200 companies focusing on silicon and microelectronics directly employing over 5,000 high value engineers, and the region has seen £4billion worth of investment over the last decade.