President’s Speech on HKUST Industry Engagement Day

Professor SUN Dong, Council Members, Distinguished Guests, Industry Leaders, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very warm welcome to HKUST Industry Engagement Day. Thank you for joining us today, either in person or online, as we show case HKUST’s research achievements and share our numerous exciting advances and innovations in science and technology. I hope the event will spark discussion on how research and development at the University can advance innovation and its implementation in society. I also hope that you will engage with our talented researchers to explore collaboration and technology transfer opportunities.
Since the establishment of HKUST in 1991, knowledge transfer has formed one of the pillars of the University’s mission. Through three decades of effort, we have established a strong foundation for generating new knowledge through academic research, and developed channels to bring breakthrough findings and innovations to society. Innovations are vital for societal and economic development, to improve people’s lives, and to enhance businesses and the environment.
I am sure you would agree that successful knowledge transfer and innovation requires close collaboration among academia, industry, government, and non-profit sectors. HKUST’s significant efforts in knowledge transfer, deep tech incubation, and entrepreneurship has resulted in fruitful partnerships with numerous organizations, leading to innovations in areas ranging from biomedicine and artificial intelligence to industrial automation, sustainability, and fintech. With more than 1,600 active start-ups, including 9 unicorns and 7 IPO’s, we have created an economic impact of 400 billion HKD. This remarkable achievement highlights the success of our knowledge transfer platform.  
Our goal at HKUST is not only to bring innovations to society, but also to propel Hong Kong’s development into an international innovation & technology hub. While Hong Kong is well positioned to be an innovation powerhouse, we need to encourage the adoption of innovation and technology across businesses, industries, and society. HKUST Industry Engagement Day is part of this strategy to help facilitate mutually-beneficial exchanges between HKUST researchers and industry leaders. Closer relationships with stakeholders, such as yourselves, provide our researchers with valuable insights into market and social needs. Likewise, learning more about HKUST’s breakthroughs and discoveries will enable businesses and community organizations to envision how advances could be applied. Through collaborative engagement, we can therefore deepen and strengthen Hong Kong’s research and development capabilities and the city’s competitiveness, while helping to diversify the economy and employment opportunities, as well as enhance the quality of life.
For Hong Kong to become an international innovation & technology hub, I firmly believe that we need to invest in talent as they are the key to advancing innovation. And I am very excited that Chief Executive Mr. John LEE announced in his inaugural policy address different measures to draw top innovation & technology talent to Hong Kong, from increasing the number of UGC-funded research postgraduate student places to recruiting graduates from the world’s top 100 universities and the Greater Bay Area campuses of local universities to work in Hong Kong. And with our newly-opened HKUST(GZ), HKUST will continue to nurture high-caliber talent, and inject new impetus into Hong Kong’s development.
We also welcome the various government initiatives including the HK dollars 10 billion RAISe-One-plus scheme to support commercialization of research and development outcomes, as well as the proposition to attract high-quality enterprises in areas such as life and health technology, artificial intelligence, data science, advanced manufacturing, and new energy technology to Hong Kong. These will energize the local innovation and technology ecosystem by bringing substantial investments and jobs, and further boost academic and industry collaboration.
With the strong government support and our strengths in academic research, knowledge transfer, and entrepreneurship. I am confident that HKUST can make significant contributions to Hong Kong’s innovation and technology development. Efforts to garner further venture capital support and boost industry collaboration are already underway for wider levels of engagement to enhance innovation, invigorate social and economic growth, and add to the overall dynamism of the city as an international innovation and technology hub. Support from industry and business leaders, such as yourselves, will accelerate our progress towards these goals.
Thank you again for participating in the HKUST Industry Engagement Day. I hope you will enjoy the events we have planned for you, and take the opportunity to learn all that HKUST and our researchers can offer. I look forward to many more impactful HKUST collaborations with industry, government, and community partners in the exciting times ahead.

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