ARTS + iNNOVATION (A+i) at the City University of Hong Kong Chengdu Research Institute (CityUCRI), which officially opened on 11 May, will provide public space for applied research, training and incubation for creative media and digital society-related industries. It will also enhance collaboration on research and professional training between Chengdu and Hong Kong.
The A+i building houses two centres that focus on innovations and applications in the fields of the arts, creative media and virtual reality (VR) so as to make greater contributions to China’s academic development, research and innovation.
They are the Centre for Applied Computing and Interactive Media, Chengdu (ACIM│Chengdu) and the Centre for Innovative Applications of Virtual Reality Technologies (ViRtech Centre).
Distinguished guests officiating at the opening ceremony included Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR); Mr Huang Jianfa, Member of the Sichuan Provincial Party Standing Committee and Minister of the Organisation Department of the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee; Mr Lester Garson Huang, Council Chairman of City University of Hong Kong (CityU); and Professor Way Kuo, CityU President.
Officials from the HKSAR Government including Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Michael Wong Wai-lun, the Secretary for Development, Mr Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, Director of the Chief Executive's Office, and Mr Chen Guansong, Vice-Minister of the Organisation Department of the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee, Mr Hu Yuankun, Member of the Chengdu Municipal Party Standing Committee and Minister of the Organisation Department of the Chengdu Municipal Party Committee, Mr Chen Lijiang, Deputy Secretary-General of the Sichuan Provincial Government, Mr Zhou Xianyi, Secretary-General of the Chengdu Municipal People's Government, also attended the ceremony.
“A+i will tap into CityU’s extensive experience in international management and attract talent from all over the world to work on interactive media and VR technology projects. It will work closely with local industries to promote exchanges in technology, education and professional training between Chengdu and Hong Kong,” Mr Lester Garson Huang said in his opening remarks.
At the opening ceremony, Mr Chen Guansong presented a plaque titled “Technology Innovation Base for Sichuan and Hong Kong” to CityUCRI, signifying full support from the Government of Sichuan Province and emphasising the role of CityUCRI as a training base for technology and innovation talent and for boosting exchanges of technology elites between Sichuan and Hong Kong for a win-win situation. The plaque was accepted by President Kuo.
President Kuo thanked the Government of Sichuan Province for its support and the Chief Executive of the HKSAR for officiating at the opening ceremony. He said that CityU’s strengths in new media and VR technology, plus the launch of A+i, had enabled the University to combine technology with art and also to apply VR in areas such as education and healthcare, which would help to promote industry development and technology innovation between Chengdu and Hong Kong. He added that CityUCRI would be willing to provide research expertise in the areas of One Health and veterinary medicine, among others, in response to a request from Sichuan.
ACIM│Chengdu focuses on promoting and developing core competitive strengths in computer applications in areas including computer science and engineering, data visualisation, digital humanities, new media technology and the creative arts. It serves as a professional research centre and an incubator for cultural and creative industry in Chengdu.
ViRtech has two research laboratories, both of which are equipped with state-of-the-art VR systems and facilities for developing pioneering VR technologies and content for educational and healthcare purposes, and for facilitating knowledge and technology transfer.
CityUCRI, which is the University’s first research institute in western China, aims to promote the integration of industry and academic research as well as facilitating the development of the region and the mainland.