A joint research laboratory is to be set up by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Chinese Academy of Science to study new materials. An agreement to establish the laboratory was signed recently by Academy vice-president Lu Yongxiang and HKU Vice-chancellor Y. C. Cheng. The aim of the laboratory is to combine the knowledge and skills of both institutions to work on new materials technology. Research will be carried out in fields including technologically advanced materials, organic and organo-metallic materials, and biomedical materials, the results of which will be of great academic value as well as contribute significantly to the well-being of mankind. It is expected the kinds of materials produced from the research in physics of inorganic crystals and the research in chemical synthesis of organic polymers and organic metals will be applied to different areas such as fibre optics and telecommunication. The results will also help other areas such as energy conservation and environment protection. The research in drug synthesis, asymmetric synthesis and drug design will foster the development of fine chemicals and biomedical industries. The projects will also contribute to the development of the national economy in the long run. The laboratory will be located on the main campus of HKU and provide researchers with tens of million of dollars worth of equipment, laboratory space and research funding. The laboratory will also capitalise on the special geographical position of Hong Kong and its well-developed information systems. Researchers and experts from the academy will regularly visit the laboratory and conduct exchange and collaborative research with their HKU counterparts. It is expected that together they will achieve research results which are applicable to practical purposes and help place China in a leading position in material science as well as achieve growth in the national economy.