The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have officially opened a new material science laboratory in the territory. The laboratory, on HKU's main campus, was set up to pool resources on development of new materials. 'We are dedicated to exploring some new methods of promoting technological development,' said CAS vice-president Lu Yongxiang. 'We are also putting the emphasis on the training of scientists and hope that a galaxy of talent will emerge in the future,' Professor Lu added. The laboratory's work will include research into technologically advanced materials, molecular design and chemical therapeutic materials. Six new projects are planned for this academic year. Research into new reagents for drug synthesis, asymmetric synthesis and chiral drug design will help the fine chemical and biomedical industries, Professor Lu said. Tens of millions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art equipment and space will be provided by HKU. Its vice-chancellor, Cheng Yiu-chung, said: 'It is estimated that both of us have to spend about $2 million to $3 million to run the laboratory every year.' Professor Cheng said if a new material was discovered, their Chinese counterparts would bring it to Hong Kong for testing. Experts from the CAS will make regular visits to conduct research with their HKU counterparts. Professor Lu said undergraduates would probably be among their number. 'Apart from the University of Hong Kong, I hope we can have the opportunity to co-operate with other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, like the Chinese University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. It will offer more chances of development,' he said.