President’s Speech on HKUST Unicorn Day

Mr. Arthur Au, Professor Patrick Yeung, Council Members, Distinguished Guests, Industry Leaders, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to HKUST Unicorn Day. I am delighted to see so many of you today despite the rain. HKUST Unicorn Day is one of our signature events. It serves as an important platform for HKUST innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase their exciting advancements in science and technology, and connect with different stakeholders such as yourselves to exchange ideas, gain insights, and explore partnerships and collaborations.
Knowledge transfer has always been one of the pillars of the University’s mission. We have strived hard to build a robust knowledge transfer ecosystem to actualize our research and bring innovations to society – by establishing partnerships with industry, government and other stakeholders, and strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship across campus.
We take pride in our strong industry engagement, which numbers at over 300 partners across diverse industries. Successful collaborations are enhancing research endeavors and giving rise to innovations in areas ranging from biomedicine and artificial intelligence to industrial automation, sustainability, and fintech. 
Meanwhile, our emphasis on entrepreneurship has further strengthened our knowledge transfer and innovation pipelines. HKUST was the first university in Hong Kong to offer education, training, and support to encourage and empower our members to transform knowledge and ideas into viable businesses. 
The results have been remarkable. We now have more than 1,600 active startups, 9 unicorns, 9 IPOs, and 9 listed companies – the highest among all Hong Kong universities, with a collective economic impact of 400 billion Hong Kong dollars. A few other startups are also planning to go public in different markets. 
Indeed, HKUST is proud to be at the forefront of Hong Kong’s transformation into an international I&T hub, as outlined in the National 14th Five-Year Plan. With our new campus, HKUST(Guangzhou) in Nansha, and our three Mainland platforms in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan, we are well positioned to expand and deepen our cooperation with key stakeholders in the Greater Bay Area to help fuel innovation development across the region.
Moving forward, HKUST remain very committed to expanding ties to different stakeholders. We continue to innovate our engagement strategies and have recently initiated a new IP ownership model, which facilitates mutually beneficial collaborations. Together, we can enhance Hong Kong’s research capabilities and strengthen the city’s competitiveness, help diversify employment opportunities, and bring important advancements to society.
With HKUST Unicorn Day, we aim to connect our brightest minds with accomplished and experienced industry professionals and leaders like yourselves, while showcasing our latest cutting-edge technologies. Today’s event will feature close to 30 fast-growing technology companies and nearly 60 high-potential startups, founded by our members, together with a guided Startup Showcase Tour and concurrent Startup Pitching Sessions, as well as opportunities to network.
Our guests from industry will learn about HKUST’s latest cutting-edge innovations, while HKUST innovators and entrepreneurs will gain critical insights from industry experts on the practicality of their business ventures based on market and societal needs.
I am confident that today’s events will be a valuable and inspiring experience for all of our participants, and lead to meaningful connections and fruitful collaborations to bring new technologies, applications and products that are developed by the HKUST community to society.
In closing, I extend once again my deepest gratitude to all of you for participating in HKUST Unicorn Day. Thank you for championing innovation and helping to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit at HKUST. I hope you enjoy the events we have planned for you, and will participate in many more such events in the future.
Thank you.

Share this page: