Vivendi, the world's largest water utility, has opened a research centre at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 'Hong Kong has an ideal environment in the region,' said Pascal Bonne, head of research at Vivendi. '[The centre will] help us carry out research, not only on Hong Kong but also on China and Southeast Asia.' The centre is part of a programme started a year ago between Vivendi and the university in which the French company contributes $12 million annually. University president Woo Chia-wei said he hoped that the research centre would set a precedent for co-operation between Hong Kong universities and other companies.