HKBU delegation visits Shenzhen and Guangzhou to foster research and industrial innovation collaborations

Wednesday, 30 August 2023

To strengthen the collaboration with the Greater Bay Area in different aspects including technological innovation, technology transfer and Chinese medicine, a delegation from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) visited Shenzhen and Guangzhou on 28 and 29 August. The delegation met with representatives of various government authorities, research institutions and enterprises to explore collaboration opportunities and conclude related agreements.

The nine-member HKBU delegation was led by Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor. Other members included Professor Terence Lau, Interim Chief Innovation Officer; Professor Bian Zhaoxiang, Associate Vice-President (Chinese Medicine Development); and representatives of the Institute for Innovation, Translation and Policy Research, and the Mainland Development Office at HKBU.

The delegation visited the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of the Shenzhen Municipality on 28 August, and was received by Mr Lou Yanfeng, Deputy Director-General and other representatives of the Commission. Both parties exchanged views on the development of science and technology as well as technology transfer between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, and the strengthening of the collaboration between higher education institutions in Hong Kong and enterprises in Shenzhen, in terms of industry, academic and research-related topics. The delegation then met with Shenzhen government officials including Mr Tao Yongxin, Member of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the CCP Shenzhen Municipal Committee, and Mr Zhang Lin, Deputy Director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality. An in-depth discussion was held to explore collaboration opportunities in innovative technologies between HKBU and Shenzhen.

In the afternoon the delegation visited the Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Zone of the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Co-operation Zone. They visited the Shenzhen International Quantum Academy, XtalPi Inc., and exhibition centre of the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Cooperation Zone to learn about its unique advantages and development potential, and the support it offers for research, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as industrial innovation. The delegation then visited the Futian District People’s Government and met with its representatives, including Mr Zhu Jiang, Vice District Mayor of the People’s Government of Futian District. They also exchanged views on creating mutual benefits from the collaborations in HKBU’s focused research areas and the Zone’s key industries areas.

In the morning of 29 August, the delegation visited the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, and met with Mr Liang Qinru, Deputy Director-General and a number of directors of the Department. They discussed different collaborations including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau joint laboratory, Greater Bay Area academic forums and technology projects. Professor Terence Lau, Interim Chief Innovation Officer of HKBU proposed that the collaboration starts from the promotion of technology transfer and commercialisation of Chinese medicine.

The HKBU delegation then visited the Guangdong Pharmaceutical University in Guangzhou. Leveraging this opportunity, an agreement on academic exchange and collaboration between the two universities was signed by Professor Alexander Wai, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKBU, and Professor Zhai Lixiang, President of the Guangdong Pharmaceutical University. According to the agreement, the parties will jointly organise exchange activities in research and teaching such as academic conferences, seminars and lectures; arrange scholars to participate in academic exchange, visits and lectures; and organise undergraduate student exchange programmes.

The HKBU delegation also visited the Guangzhou Institute for Drug Control and NMPA Key Laboratory for Quality Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. They had a discussion with Mr Lai Zhihong, Vice-Mayor and other officials of the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government. A collaboration agreement between HKBU and the Guangzhou Municipal Administration for Market Regulation was signed by Professor Alexander Wai and Mr Zhao Junming, Director of the Administration.

According to the agreement, resources of the Key Laboratory for Quality Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine under the National Medical Products Administration, and its technical strengths in the detection of pesticide residues, heavy metals, harmful elements and fungal toxin residues in Chinese herbal medicines, will integrate with the research capabilities of HKBU’s School of Chinese Medicine in innovative control methods for Chinese medicine and metabolomics. Both parties will explore the research on quality standards of the classic Chinese medicine formulas, and the opportunities of joint application for research projects in order to promote the development of Chinese medicine in the Greater Bay Area. In addition, joint research and the formulation of standards for Chinese herbal medicines in the Lingnan region will be explored to ensure the quality and safety of these medicinal materials for promotion to the international market.

The Administration also plans to enhance exchange and collaboration with the School of Chinese Medicine at HKBU in the collection, specimen preparation, specimen identification, and digitisation of Chinese herbal medicine in the Lingnan region. They also plan to enhance their professional standard and scientific innovation capabilities through exchange, visits, joint academic conferences and other activities.

Professor Alexander Wai said that the delegation’s visit to Shenzhen and Guangzhou has been most rewarding. The meetings and exchange with officials and experts from government authorities and research institutions in Guangdong and Shenzhen, as well as HKBU’s university counterparts have greatly facilitated communications and discussions on potential collaborations. He said: “HKBU possesses unique strengths in numerous scientific research areas. With the establishment of its Institute for Innovation, Translation and Policy Research, and the support from the Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College located in Zhuhai, HKBU will be able to capitalise on the huge opportunities associated with the innovative development of the Greater Bay Area and the Hetao Zone, and contribute to the nation’s development.”