Resources for technological research are insufficient and should be increased, the head of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said yesterday. Paul Chu Ching-wu also called on the government to set policies that favoured turning research findings into products. Dr Chu, who steps down as president of the university this week after eight years, also said the government should make investment in advanced technology research a long-term goal, to ensure that the city stayed competitive. 'While Hong Kong must not give up its status as a financial hub, it should also look into opportunities in areas other than the financial industry, otherwise it will soon lag behind,' Dr Chu told a radio programme. 'At present, resources in technological research are insufficient.' He was disappointed that patents for many local research products were bought by other countries, rather than the Hong Kong government. 'It is a waste of resources if research findings are not applied and turned into commercial products. Actually, revenue generated by the sale of products can fund further research.' He called on the government to take a cue from countries such as Japan, which had increased investment in technology despite the economic downturn. Dr Chu also criticised the authorities for keeping research work on too tight a leash, and called for more freedom for researchers. 'Of course the goal of researchers is to turn their work into products and applications,' he said. 'But if researchers have to explain everything they do to people every year, every day, it dampens their morale. If you ask me every day: 'Chu Ching-wu, why are you still living' before giving food to me, it will be very difficult to carry on.' In response to Dr Chu's criticism, an Innovation and Technology Commission spokesman said its Innovation and Technology Fund had been funding local applied research projects. The fund had granted HK$4 billion for more than 1,500 projects since it was set up and 80 applications were approved so far this year, he said, adding that no cap was placed on the fund. To further support research projects, the commission had earlier announced it would receive three rounds of applications, compared with one last year. About 200 research internships were also approved. Dr Chu, a renowned physicist, was named as the best university leader for the past three years in public opinion polls. After ending his eight years as a university head, he will engage in superconductivity research in the United States.