Opening our doors to industry
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"Through the Faculty Industrial Day, we hope to explore further opportunities for mutually-beneficial research collaborations and joint ventures with industry that can contribute to the development of Hong Kong as it transforms into a knowledge-based economy," said Professor Roderick Wong, FSE Dean, who officiated at the opening ceremony.
"CityU has made big strides in forging links between universities and industry," said another officiating guest, Mr Raymond Leung, President of SAE Magnetics (HK) Ltd, and Chairman of the Faculty Industrial Day Advisory Committee. "It has opened up communication channels with industry through various co-developed R&D projects. The Industrial Attachment Scheme and the Cooperative Education Scheme, both organized by FSE's Co-operative Education Centre, have also helped to train up the next generation of talent for local industry," he added.
Industry is at the frontline and is well aware of the market's latest demands for technology, said Mr Leung. Collaboration with industry will help universities design curriculum that can match with the needs of industry, develop technology in response to the rapid changes in the world, and initiate applied research projects that have practical and market values.
To survive the growing competition from the Pearl River Delta region, Hong Kong's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to develop high-tech products and build up local brand names. Unlike large international corporations, local SMEs rarely have their own technical expertise and facilities to undertake R&D initiatives. Universities can provide support for local R&D to enhance their competitiveness, said Professor Wong.Mr Leung said he fully understands the benefits of co-operating with universities. His company has collaborated with the FSE on several industrial projects and is a key supporter of the Industrial Attachment and Cooperation Education schemes. He encouraged local SMEs to make use of the Faculty Industrial Day to get to know more about CityU's strengths in applied research. "CityU has taken an important step in opening the door to tell industry what they are doing; now it's industry's turn to approach the University and see how academia can help," he added.
At the ceremony, the first batch of 57 student participants in the Cooperative Education Scheme 2003 received scholarships from 18 corporate donors. Under the scheme, established in July 2002, selected final-year students are offered a scholarship and a one-year work placement in science institutes or industrial firms. The scheme is built on the Industrial Attachment Scheme launched in 2000, in which some 200 students are placed for nine-week summer internships in manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong or the mainland. Both schemes aim to help students acquire real-life work experiences to complement their regular curriculum.