Foundation stone laid for CityU Chengdu Research Institute

Mirror Fung

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A foundation stone laying ceremony for the CityU Chengdu Research Institute (CityUCRI) was held by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 24 May in the Shuangliu County in Chengdu.

The occasion marked a new phase for CityU in the promotion of applied research, professional education and incubation on the mainland.

Officiating guests included Professor Way Kuo, CityU President; Professor Arthur Ellis, CityU Provost; Professor Lu Jian, Vice-President (Research and Technology) of CityU; Mr Tang Liangzhi, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee and Mayor of Chengdu Municipal Government; Mr Gou Zhengli, Deputy Mayor of Chengdu Municipal Government; Mr Zhou Xianyi, Party Secretary of Shuangliu County; Mr Xu Gang, Magistrate of Shuangliu County; Mr Zhang Jingan, Chairman of China High-tech Industrial Zone Association (Former Secretary-general of Ministry of Science and Technology and Director of Science and Technology Daily); and other members of the CityU senior management.

In addition, more than 200 guests from various sectors attended the ceremony, which was held at the site of the research institute.

“CityUCRI is CityU’s first research institute in western China,” said Professor Kuo in his address at the ceremony. “It will focus on the integration of incubation, education and research, and it will strive to contribute to industry incubation, technology innovation, professional education and student exchanges for Hong Kong and Chengdu.”

The technology sectors between Hong Kong and the mainland had been working closely on collaboration in recent years, Professor Kuo added. “For instance, after setting up the CityU Shenzhen Research Institute (CityUSRI), the University continued its effort and signed an agreement with Shuangliu Government in August 2013 to jointly establish CityUCRI.”

He said that he hoped it would become an internationalised research institute that would foster collaboration among different sectors.

Establishing the CityUCRI is a major development for the University in western China. It will complement the development of CityUSRI and enhance the competitiveness of the University when applying for research funding at the national and provincial level. In addition, the two research institutes will promote CityU’s image on the mainland, bolster technology research and transfer, and recruit more high-calibre students for the University. The University will encourage its excellent research teams to conduct research at the CityUCRI.

According to the agreement, the Shuangliu Government will provide annual funding and allocate land for constructing the CityUCRI buildings for the use of the University. In the first phase of the construction plan, four buildings with a gross floor area of 18,500 square metres will be completed.

On the morning of 24 May, an event titled “Venture Tianfu‧JingRongHui” was held by Chengdu Municipal Government in conjunction with CityUCRI and other related government departments and institutes. Mr Tang Liangzhi, Mr Xu Gang, Professor Kuo and the presidents of four mainland universities officiated at the opening ceremony of the University Technological Innovation Park. 

Professor Kuo delivered a speech titled “Innovation and Quality” after the opening ceremony. He pointed out that quality provides the foundation for innovation, and only on the foundation of safe and reliable products will innovative elements help products sustain development in a global competitive environment.

“Looking back on the development of technology in the world over the past 100 years, we may find that whenever there is an upgrade in quality, it stems from innovation. Conversely, whenever there is innovation, it is based on the quality upgraded previously. Improvement of quality must be built on fundamentals. It is particularly important to build up the concept and culture that quality takes priority,” he said.

The activities for “Venture Tianfu‧JingRongHui” included a roadshow of research projects. CityU had two projects on display: “Bacterial alchemy – Using genetically modified E. coli to convert fatty acids into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)” and “VR-LEAP – Interactive multimedia solution of applying virtual reality technology and human-computer interaction techniques to special education”.

CityU’s delegation was invited by Ms Tang Hua, Director of the Chengdu Science and Technology Bureau, to visit “Ke Chuang Tong”, a municipal innovation and entrepreneurship service platform, in Gaoxin District in Chengdu. Ms Tang discussed with the CityU delegation how CityUCRI can introduce more international and entrepreneurial teams, high-calibre entrepreneurs and advanced technologies to Sichuan Province and Chengdu City.

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