Establishment of UGI Consortium
[Sponsored Article] The first cross-sector collaborative research platform, the University-Government-Industry Consortium for Sustainable Urban Development (UGI Consortium), was officially launched in July 2016 in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) with strong support from local universities, government departments and the industry. The UGI Consortium aims to serve as a platform for the development and implementation of new technologies and solutions for smart/sustainable cities and to promote the sustainable development of Hong Kong.
Initiated by PolyU, the UGI Consortium now has 43 founding members, including eight research/academic units of local universities, 10 units/departments of the Hong Kong Government, and 25 leading companies in the industry (list of members appended). The Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development of PolyU will serve as the host member of the UGI Consortium during its first two years of operation, providing administrative support to the UGI Consortium. The framework and development plan of the UGI Consortium will be formulated by a Steering Committee which includes members from the local industry and community.
Hong Kong is a modern and international city, yet it faces many challenges such as changing urban environment, growing and aging population, and increasing public expectations. The sustainable development of Hong Kong relies on the integration of government leadership, forward-looking and best practices from industry, and innovative ideas as well as research and development of new technologies from the academia. Being a pioneer in innovation that is dedicated to the city's development, PolyU proposed the establishment of a cross-sector platform to address the need.
PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, "The next stage of our city's urban development is critical. It needs to address the many challenges of a mature metropolis. Through the Consortium, we hope to facilitate tri-sector research collaborations among universities, government departments, and industrial organizations, and ensure our works are in concord with our community's needs and pursuit."
The UGI Consortium will provide a unique platform for its members to identify topics of social needs and common interest among themselves, to formulate research proposals and undertake collaborative research. Research topics supported by the government and the industry at an early stage renders implementation of research outcomes more feasible. In the long run, the UGI Consortium aims to support the export of Hong Kong's experience and expertise to other high-density cities in the Mainland and beyond, bringing opportunities for the sustainable development industry.