Academics say that the Frontiers of Brainpower forum needs to become an effective platform for technology transfer than merely performing a role as a showcase for academic research. The forum, sponsored by the Trade Development Council (TDC), will be held in Atrium 2 of the Convention and Exhibition Centre tomorrow and Thursday from 11 am-4 pm. Seven universities and institutions are participating in the forum which will bring to the attention of industry, new research ideas and even prototypes. Dr Michael Tse, associate professorof the Department of Electronic and Information Engineeringat Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said: 'Academics are hidden away in laboratories doing research. It might be useful research, it might not be. Without such an interface, who knows?' More needed to be done to commercialise research ideas and it was only through effective technology transfers that the 'widening disparity between research and manufacture', could be narrowed, Dr Tse said. Other academics also say the forumis an important channel. Dr Tommy Chan, associate professor at City University of Hong Kong, said: 'It's difficult to quantify how much benefit we got from attending last year, but it is essential that we do attend. We need that platform to let both industrialists and the general public know the research projects we are undertaking.' Thomas Lo, manager of Chinese University of Hong Kong's Industrial Liaison Department, said forumssuch as the Frontiers of Brain Power, allowed academia and industry to 'get to know faces', but that was not enough. 'We need to start an active process of technology transfer. Then Hong Kong industry will really succeed,' he said.