Friday, 26 August 2016 05:29

VIDEOS 2016: Huawei’s ‘Seeds for the Future’ reap rich harvests


Global Chinese ICT giant Huawei does much more than create telco equipment, enterprise networks, smart devices, IoT and clouds: it plants seeds for the future worldwide.

Note: Below is a great series of videos of the 2016 Australian delegation of distinguished students and senior University professors an a senior ATN (Australian Technology Network) representative from Australia who were in China for Huawei’s ‘Seeds for the Future’ programme and the closing ceremony at the programme’s conclusion.

There’s also plenty of information on the programme itself, and how it truly is global, but first, some background.

Huawei. From humble beginnings in 1987, the company has grown to be a major Chinese and global success story that has earned its solid growth, today operating in over 170 countries and regions.

The company is headquartered in Shenzhen, dubbed the "Silicon Valley of China", and has 170,000 employees, of which 70,000 work in R&D.

The R&D staff alone are 10,000 people more than another of China’s impressive technology giants, Lenovo, which has 60,000 employees in total and started three years earlier than Huawei in 1984.

Meanwhile, companies such as HP have shed tens of thousands of employees and split itself in two to refocus, while every quarter seems to see thousands of Microsoft employees no longer needed due to the Nokia phone manufacturing business purchase – let alone Cisco which sheds thousands of jobs every year for the last several years running.

So, we really are taking a huge company by modern standards, and one that is actually making a real difference through the provision of its hardware, software, products and services to the global market.

Huawei even surpassed Ericsson in size as the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world – and that was back in 2012!

Seeds for the Future

Such an advanced and strong company must also have a solid sense of corporate social responsibility, with the company’s prime example being its most heavily invested CSR programme, Seeds for the Future, having started back in 2008.

What exactly does the programme do and achieve?

Huawei says its Seeds of the Future programme "seeks to develop local ICT talent, enhance knowledge transfer, promote a greater understanding of, and interest in, the ICT sector, and improve and encourage regional building and participation in the digital community".

From those students who apply, the best of the best are chosen to embark on a two-week, hands-on learning experience, and are "given the opportunity to work closely with researchers in Huawei’s industry leading research laboratories".

They will be able to "establish a deeper understanding of the latest in digital innovation, products and solutions", with the programme designed to nurture young global talent within the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) sector.

The two weeks in China will include experiencing life and culture in Beijing, as well as life at the Huawei campus, with around 60,000 employees based in Shenzhen.

The students also visit Huawei’s Research and Development labs, its Exhibition and Logistics Centres, and gain valuable work experience in a global business environment.

The company says it believes "that education is the key to creating opportunities", and is thus "dedicated to improving the education environment and allowing more young people to get education opportunities by leveraging the full potential of telecommunication technologies".

Huawei and ATN’s view:

When the Australian "Seeds for the Future" students were selected earlier this year, the director of corporate and public affairs at Huawei Australia, Jeremy Mitchell, said :“We are delighted to see this year’s female participation at 50%. We believe that empowering women in the tech sector has a positive effect on our industry, boosts our economy and ensures Australia maintains a global competitive workforce in the future. We will continue to build our program to ensure Australia’s best ICT students get this important global experience.”

ATN executive director Renee Hindmarsh said: “Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme is a fantastic opportunity for ATN students to interact with state-of-the art technology, get first-hand experience and learn vital multicultural business skills within the global ICT sector.

“We are excited for our students who will get the chance to network with true industry leaders and other like-minded individuals, and come back with new skills to thrive and excel in their future careers.”

Seeds for the Future is truly global

Huawei has planted many more new seeds since the programme began in 2008, having welcomed more than 10,000 students from 150 universities across 54 countries since that time, which is itself yet another impressive statistic.

Indeed, if you do a search for "Huawei Seeds for the Future" into your favourite search engine, you’ll find that this programme really is run on a worldwide basis.

A quick search shows the programme runs in the USRussiaEuropeCanadaAustralia, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and dozens more countries besides – even Zimbabwe!

What can students who are accepted into the programme really expect?

This great PDF brochure showcases the student’s experience and point of view, with plenty of images and text the cultural experiences and other learnings that the students who participate in the programme will see and live, so check it out if you’re interested in knowing more.

Huawei and the Australian Technology Network and partner universities working together

So, in Australia, Huawei and the ATN (Australian Technology Network) collaborate each year to select the top performing students who applied to experience and participate in the Seeds for the Future programme.

The ATN represents five top innovative and enterprising Australian universities universities to the world, and as its work with Huawei demonstrates, "forges partnerships with industry and government to deliver practical results through focused research".

The universities represented by the ATN are Curtin University, University of South Australia (UniSA), RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Huawei’s Seeds for the Future and The Clontarf Foundation

Huawei has also forged another meaningful and responsible partnership with The Clontarf Foundation, as iTWire covered here.

The Clontarf Foundation itself "exists to improve the education, discipline, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of young Aboriginal men and by doing so, equips them to participate more meaningfully in society".

The Foundation has grown rapidly since opening and represents thousands of participants in 68 schools across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Huawei Australia’s partnership with The Clontarf Foundation helps the latter "deliver its successful education programme and at the same time engage and educate young indigenous students across Australia to the opportunities ICT has to offer".

Recognising "the power of education", Huawei says it "believes that access to education is vital to creating opportunities in life and will open the doors of its National Innovation and Training centre for the Clontarf students", with the partnership including "an educational component comprising technology training, corporate company visits, field trips and even a trip to Huawei’s HQ and campus in China".

This year, Clontarf Foundation graduate Trevor Armstrong, who is studying a double major: Cyber Forensics, Information & Security Management/Internetowrking and Security at Murdoch University, was also part of the Australian student delegation, and is one of the students interviewed below.

Immediately below is the list of students who attended, followed by the senior academic and ATN staff that attending during the second week of the event, which I’ll explain after this list.

The Australia 2016 student delegation, some of whom feature in video interviews below:

RMIT University – RMIT:

Jack Bryant
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) Hons.


Pauline Jungco
Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics & Communications) Hons, RMIT


University of South Australia: UniSA

Grant Kennedy
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic)

Sarah Rich
Bachelor of Information Technology (Hons) (Enterprise Business Solutions) LHIT

Queensland University of Technology: QUT

Jordan Anslow
Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Business

Aakanksha Bose
Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Mathematics

University of Technology Sydney: UTS

Morgan Pollock
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Business

James Fenton
Bachelor of Science Information Technology, Bachelor of Arts International Studies


Curtin University:

Matthew Biletic
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Communications), Bachelor of Science (Physics)


Ozlem Erkilic
Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics and Communication Engineering), Bachelor of Science (Physics), Curtin 


Murdoch University and Clontarf Foundation:

Trevor Armstrong
Double Major: Cyber Forensics, Information & Security Management/Internetowrking and Security


The senior academic delegation during week 2 of Huawei’s event:

I was invited to the second week of the Seeds of the Future programme, with the delegation of senior Australian University and ATN delegation who met senior Huawei staff to discuss opportunities to more closely work together on a range of technological research projects, as well as visiting Huawei’s campus, facilities, factories and more.

The delegation comprised the members below, all of whom but one were able to participate in a video interview:

Dr Karina Mabell Gomez, RMIT University, Lecturer at School of Engineering


Professor Michael Austin, RMIT University Head of School, School of Engineering


Karen Whelan, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Assistant Dean, Learning and Teaching


Professor Eryk Dutkiewicz, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Head of School, School of Computing and Communications


Dr Susie Robinson, Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), Director, International and Industry Engagement


Professor Kevin Fynn, Curtin University, Head of School, School of Electrical Engineering and Computing was also part of the delegation, but left a day early, but we’ll talk in the future and do a video interview then.

Huawei wired and wireless exhibition showcase, and Huawei’s enterprise technology showcases:

Before we get to the two closing ceremony videos (there was a break in between the two events), first, here’s two separate Huawei Showcases with the director of corporate and public affairs at Huawei Australia, Jeremy Mitchell, at Huawei’s huge Shenzhen HQ campus area spread out with many large buildings

The first is on Huawei’s wireless technologies including 4.5G and 5G, NB-IoT, telco equipment, virtual reality and more.


The second features enterprise and business technologies, from video conferencing, communications equipment, data centres and more.

Huawei Seeds for the Future 2016 Closing Ceremony.

This first video features students from Australia, Russia, Denmark and Portugal, with the video the closing ceremony for the hard working and deserving students having taken part in the programme.


This second video features students from Australia, Russia, Denmark and Portugal, giving team performances to the assembled students, senior academic staff and senior Huawei and other executives.

Apologies for the noise of the microphones maxing out during some of the music, turn your speakers down first. 

To see how Australia’s Seeds for the Future 2015 delegation fared last year, check out this great article entitled ‘Australia’s future titans of the tech industry’ by Wenlei Ma at 

iTWire has covered the Seeds for the Future programme developments several times in the past, with an example herea second herea third here and a fourth here

So, it was a fantastic trip and experience for the students, the senior academic and ATN staff, Huawei Australia representatives, and me, too.

It’s clear to see that students participating in the programme gain a great deal of knowledge, empathy, friendship, shared experiences, personal growth and more, and with gratitude in their hearts, greatly appreciate the opportunity to take part in Seeds for the Future programme.

The academic university staff, lecturers, professors and heads of department on the trip are also able to liaise with Huawei counterparts to seek out research collaboration opportunities to actively help create the future of an ever better telecommunications and technological world for us all.

Alex Zaharov-Reutt attended week two of Huawei’s Seeds for the Future programme as a guest of Huawei Australia.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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