Showcasing wireless communications research

Karen Lai

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Advances in Wireless Communication, a forum held on 21 August, was the first in a series of six technology forums organized by CityU's Technology Transfer Office (TTO) to exhibit the University's strengths in applied research. There was an overwhelming response with 170 participants, ranging from industry pros to students, keen to learn the latest technological know-how and explore opportunities for collaboration.

The TTO, the technology marketing arm of City University of Hong Kong, functions as a bridge between the University and the industrial and business communities. The TTO lines up research with consultancy services, licensing technologies, and product commercialization. The technology transfer forum series presents a comprehensive range of CityU's applied research output and to identify opportunities to work with industrial and business enterprises. "Industries need creative, low-cost and high performance technological support to increase their competitive edge," TTO Director Mr H Y Wong said. "CityU is strong and innovative in technological research, with a wide spectrum of expertise scattered among different departments." By collocating the research output in this series, the University fosters practical and effective deployment of technology in the community.

Guests of honour at the first forum included Mr C M Lin, Acting Director (Environment and Product Innovation) of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and Mr Peter Cheung, Acting Director, Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government. "Wireless applications have emerged as an efficient vehicle for productivity enhancement," Mr Lin noted. The forums, he said, provide very good opportunities for manufacturers to understand the latest developments in wireless communications. Mr Cheung stressed the importance of patents to protect innovations and add value.

Keynote speakers from the Department of Electronic Engineering Dr Peter Leung (Associate Professor), and Chair Professors K M Luk and Chan Chi-hou, explained how the latest inventions help solve practical problems faced by industries. Topics covered included the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements in tender specifications, miniature printed antennas, and radio frequency (RF) circuitry.

 

Professor Chan pointed out that the research facilities of CityU are comparable to those of US universities. "We are not working in an ivory tower. We contribute our technologies to industries and gain new momentum for future research and development," he added. CityU's Wireless Communications Research Centre has a world-class research team and a remarkable record of winning patents and securing research grants.

Already, the University has extended its wireless communication strengths to the mainland. Professor K M Luk, whose patented invention--a wideband patch antenna with L-shaped probe--gained support from the state-owned Shandong Hi-Tech Investment Corporation last year, said that the new endeavor will boost the competitiveness of mainland wireless communication products in a global arena. "We have solid experience and expertise in antenna design and analyses. We are committed to providing high-performance solutions to manufacturers," he said.

Currently, Hong Kong has the best-equipped wireless communications facilities in Asia. With China entering the World Trade Organization and the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and China, local industry has undisputedly vast opportunities in developing the mainland market. Industrialists are eager to seek cost-effective technological solutions for high value-added wireless products.

Acknowledging the importance of the industry to Hong Kong and the valuable role CityU plays, the HKPC provides the venue and the industry database for the technology transfer forum series. The remaining five forums will be held from November through June next year. Topics will cover building and construction, information technology, materials science, and multimedia.


 

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