ASTRI: ‘developing high impact technologies to enhance Hong Kong’s economy’

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Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) organized the 2013 Industry and University Consultation Forum (IUCF) Hong Kong on October 8.

ASTRI was founded by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in 2000. It is the biggest of the five R&D centres set up by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of the HKSAR government to promote commercialisation and technology transfer. ASTRI aims to improve the research capability for Hong Kong’s technological development as well as to stimulate the growth of technology-based industries. It offers technology transfer, R&D professionals and intellectual property (IP) to partnering companies.

Dr Cheung Nim-kwan, CEO of ASTRI, mentioned that collaboration on scientific research should lead Hong Kong towards being a knowledge-based economy. Another speaker, Prof Timothy Tong, President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. emphasized the importance of collaboration and exchange of ideas. A shift took place during the last two to three decades in which manufacturing moved more and more to South China and Southeast Asia. Prof Tong pointed out that manufacturing remains important for Hong Kong as well because it should provide high-end product service technology available to both Hong Kong and Mainland China. Academic expertise contributes to applied technologies and thus to the total community.

ASTRI’s successful collaborations and partnerships rely on the business model in which funding is provided from both government and industries. Depending on its share the industry owns (non-)exclusive licenses or foreground IP rights. This business model is open to international companies as well, making ASTRI an interesting partner for Dutch companies looking to do R&D in China. NOST is currently working on a mapping of R&D opportunities in Hong Kong, so stay tuned for more news.

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