Prof. Nancy IP, President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), warmly welcomes and expresses deep appreciation for the comprehensive range of initiatives introduced by Chief Executive Mr. John LEE in his Policy Address today, especially those aim to position Hong Kong as a prominent global hub for post-secondary education and further promote the city as an international center for innovation and technology.
The initiatives, which include doubling the admission quota of non-local students at government-funded universities to 40%, scaling up investment in research and development, establishing the third InnoHK cluster, building the “Northern Metropolis University Town”, developing Hong Kong into a health and medical innovation hub, as well as different measures to attract and retain talent, will effectively enhance Hong Kong's position as a global innovation powerhouse with strong intellectual property value.
Regarding the increase in non-local student quotas, Prof. Ip said, "Talent is key to propelling innovation. We appreciate the government's proposal to double the quota for non-local students in publicly-funded universities, enhance government scholarship schemes, and expand university hostel capacities. These measures will inject new impetus into the higher education sector and help cultivate more talent for Hong Kong's innovation and technology ecosystem. We recommend a phased approach to raising the non-local student quota, and we hope the government will allocate extra funding to universities for expanding teaching facilities and recruiting additional faculty, thus ensuring an optimal student-to-faculty ratio and preserving teaching excellence."
On the proposed establishment of the third InnoHK cluster, Prof. Ip finds it very encouraging and believes that it signifies another milestone in promoting Hong Kong's innovation and technology development. The establishment of the new platform will enhance Hong Kong's R&D capabilities in the specific areas, and propel Hong Kong to the forefront of international innovation. “We will fully support and engage in the establishment of the third InnoHK cluster,” she said. “By strengthening our collaboration with international partners to translate impactful research into practical applications, we will benefit the society and at the same time, attract and nurture more research talent to drive Hong Kong's development as an international hub for research collaboration.”
As for positioning Hong Kong as a health and medical innovation hub, Prof. Ip has all along been a staunch supporter. She said, “By combining cutting-edge fundamental research in biomedical sciences in Hong Kong with the technical expertise in the fast-growing biotechnology sector in Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong is in a good position to effectively translate research outcomes in areas such as advanced diagnosis, drug development and precision medicine. The government should consider investing in these areas, as well as the establishment of a biobank and biomedical incubators at universities.”
Prof. Ip also welcomed the Chief Executive's proposal to establish a "primary evaluation" authority responsible for approving local registrations of pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Additionally, with the imminent release of the "Northern Metropolis Action Agenda" by the government, HKUST aspires to contribute to the growth of biomedical research and service centers in land sites designated for innovation and technology development, such as the San Tin Technopole.
The Policy Address has also outlined a range of measures aimed at fostering commercialization and attract industry investment, including the establishment of the Hong Kong Microelectronics Research and Development Institute in the coming year, which will lead and facilitate collaborative exploration of the third-generation semi-conductor core technology. Additionally, the Policy Address includes the introduction of a $10 billion New Industrialization Acceleration Scheme and a doubling of funding for university technology transfer. Prof Ip said these initiatives will not only strengthen universities' capabilities in intellectual property management, deep technology incubation, industry collaboration, and entrepreneurship, but will also contribute to the growth and expansion of the innovation and technology ecosystem in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.
About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 2nd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2023, and our graduates were ranked 30th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2022. As of September 2023, HKUST members have founded 1,747 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 13 exits (IPO or M&A), generating economic impact worth over HK$ 400 billion. InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.