China science

Hong Kong urged to boost cooperation with mainland China in scientific research

The call is made by China’s vice science minister at the opening of a major innovation exhibition in the city

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 September, 2016, 9:42pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 September, 2016, 11:25pm

China’s vice science minister has called for greater cooperation in the field between Hong Kong and the mainland as he officiated at the opening of a major innovation exhibition in the city on Saturday.

Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, who was also at the event, called on Hongkongers to “assimilate into the national strategy”.

At the opening of the week-long InnoTech Expo on Saturday, Tung – chairman of the Our Hong Kong Foundation, which organised the exhibition – said: “Hong Kong needs to assimilate into the current trends in the world and into the national strategy. It should not become an island, cut off from the rest of the world.”

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Tung also recognised Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s effort in setting up the Innovation and Technology Bureau and a group of scientists in setting up the Academy of Sciences to promote technological developments.

Leung later echoed Tung, saying “Hong Kong’s status is defined by China’s status in the world”.

At the event, Vice Minister of Science and Technology Li Meng said mainland-Hong Kong cooperation had “fully sped up” and deepened in the past five years, during which 472 Hong Kong researchers took part in 143 national research projects.

Li also said joint projects had been set up in biomedicine, electronic information, new energy and new materials.

In addition, five national engineering research centres had established branches in Hong Kong, and 16 national key laboratories were partnering with six universities in the city, he said.

“We should give full play to Hong Kong’s unique advantage in science and technology and its role as an open platform, improve its status and role in the national innovation system and push for institutionalised cooperation on science and technology between the mainland and Hong Kong,” he said.

Li also called for more Hong Kong scientists to go to the mainland to conduct cooperative research projects as well as more Hong Kong young entrepreneurs to set up business on the mainland, adding that they would be given preferential treatment.

The exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai features the remains of the Chang’e 5T-1, which circled the moon before returning to earth.

Launched in 2014, the spacecraft fulfilled an exploration mission in the lead-up to the 2017 launch of the Chang’e 5, which will attempt to return moon samples to earth.

The exhibition also showcases the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which can detect an object’s or a person’s location with precision to make navigation and exploration safer, and Tianhe 2, one of the world’s fastest computers.