Brussels – Huawei welcomes the European Commission’s support for the European Startup Villages initiative that seeks to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe’s rural areas.

As the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said following the European Startup Village Forum which took place on November 16: “The Startup Village Initiative is essential to ensure that rural areas are part of this new economy where innovation is a key element for growth and jobs”.

Responding to the open call for pledges launched by Commissioner Gabriel in support of this forward-looking initiative, Huawei’s Chief Representative to the EU Institutions, Tony Jin, said: “Many European villages have the potential to become hubs for creative innovation, and therefore for rural development. Huawei wants to empower European villages to shape and lead the digital revolution, as this would enable them to attract more people to rural areas, which is key to fighting depopulation and ensuring sustained economic growth across Europe as a whole, and aid in the recovery.”

Huawei was the first private company to support this initiative by launching a pledge in the framework of the European Startup Village Forum and the Rural European Innovation Area (REInA). Created in April 2021 by the European Commission, REInA is a pan-European open platform which aims to gather and connect innovative actions to support the creation of a new Rural European Innovation Area that can foster development and growth in rural areas through promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable business models, for which the presence of high-speed broadband is key. Huawei announced that it was joining REInA in September 2021.

As part of its pledge, Huawei has committed to supporting the six Startup Villages that submit the strongest applications to host innovative co-working spaces that would then work as a magnet for attracting talent and digital nomads, and as a tool for enhancing digital skills across rural communities. Each winning Startup Village will receive an award of 20,000 EUR to set up and develop their innovation frameworks. Startup Villages can register their proposals since October 1, 2021; and until the end of the call, on 31 January 2022. The winners will be announced at the end of February 2022, and the execution of the project will start in March.

About Huawei

Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. Huawei operates in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world.

Huawei’s vision and mission is to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

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