A NEW Centre for Display Research has been set up at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a $14.6 million grant from the Industry Department's Industrial Support Fund. The centre will provide technical support for local liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturers and will serve as a central research and development laboratory for local industry. The university's president, Professor Woo Chia-wei, told guests at the inauguration ceremony last week the centre would be of great value to local industry. 'It is a co-operation between the Government, the private industry sector and the university to develop new techniques of LCD and to enhance the industry's infrastructural support,' Professor Woo said. Director-General of Industry Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who was guest-of-honour at the ceremony, said the centre would contribute to the territory's industrial and technological development and to the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector, providing a boost to an important segment of Hong Kong's electronic industry. 'This centre will help our industry move forward to undertake more applied research on LCD manufacturing and help it to develop new products,' she said. Products such as notebook computers, personal data banks, camcorders, portable TV sets, videophones, projection displays and handheld games all depend on advances in display technology. Mrs Ip said the department's Industrial Support Fund had received more than 170 proposals for grants for the 1996-1997 year with 80 per cent linked to local tertiary institutions. The centre's director, Professor Kwok Hoi-sing, said it would strive to improve the liquid crystal displays made and used by Hong Kong manufacturers. 'We will also train both undergraduate and postgraduate students with hands-on experience in LCD manufacturing for the local industry.' Professor Kwok said that in the electronic industry there was a recent drive to upgrade products with displays capable of higher information content. 'This trend is in keeping with the general transformation of Hong Kong's industry to higher value products,' he said. The centre's facilities include a prototyping line complete with up-to-date equipment for LCD manufacturing and testing, including instruments unavailable to many local manufacturers.