An American-Chinese academic has the job of turning Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's technology dream into reality. Professor Tien Chang-lin, chancellor at the University of California (Berkeley) for seven years, said he was happy to take responsibility for spearheading Hong Kong's drive to become the regional centre for technology innovation. Wuhan-born Professor Tien is a professor of engineering at the university and is an expert in heat transfer technology. He is also an expert in raising research funds, however, and as head of the Commission on Innovation and Technology, he will develop links between the academic community and business. 'Fund-raising communicates to the public how good we are and how the community will benefit,' he said, adding that it was not begging for money, but rather highlighting a unique contribution. Future developments will be dictated by studies of Hong Kong's past and present community, said the 62-year-old professor after a lecture at the University of Hong Kong. 'I feel strongly that, as a Chinese, I can make a contribution to the Chinese community,' he said. The Government announced Professor Tien's appointment along with 10 others yesterday. Members from the business sector are: Payson Cha Mou-sing; Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen; Victor Lo Chung-wing; Henry Tang Ying-yen; Dr Wang Mei-yue and Allan Wong Chi-yan. Academics on the new committee are: Professor Leroy Chang Li-gong; Professor Charles Kao Kuen; Professor Liu Pak-wai; and Professor Richard Wong Yue-chim. The commission will hold its first meeting on Monday and is set to complete all its tasks in the next 12 to 18 months. It will submit an interim report to the Chief Executive by October. Mr Tung called for a drive in technology innovation centre in his maiden policy address in October to help invigorate Hong Kong's industry. Professor Tien's appointment comes after 75-year-old Nobel Prize-winner Professor Yang Chen-ning declined to head the commission because of heart problems.