Welcome to the 27th edition of CUHK in Focus.
Summertime at CUHK has been filled with meaningful activities that aim to forge partnerships for exchanging insights, sharing outcomes and creating value for society. CUHK was proud to co-host the Future of Work Summit with South China Morning Post on 27 July 2023 to set up an enabling and interactive platform for policymakers and leaders across different industries to reflect on the collective action we could take to shape the workforce of tomorrow.
Our university-wide co-operative education programme, Co-op@CUHK, is the first and only work-integrated learning programme in Hong Kong. Since its launch in 2021, it has gained enthusiastic support from over 100 corporate partners and distinguished itself as a “triple-win” programme to reinvent how industry and universities can work together to nurture the next generation of talent for our society.
With the future of work being a matter of here and now, there is a great need for a constructive dialogue on how the government, local businesses and organisations, and universities can work together to adapt to global trends, and how workers should develop new skills to remain relevant in a constantly evolving job market. The inaugural Future of Work Summit represented a valuable opportunity for forming a common understanding on the key strategies our city must take in the face of global challenges and trends. I believe the event, a productive collaboration between SCMP and CUHK, must have been a rewarding experience for everyone who attended.
Watch a highlight video of the Future of Work Summit 2023.
The inaugural Robotics Open Day
On the same day as the Future of Work Summit, CUHK held its first Robotics Open Day to engage the wider community in our leading robotics research. Over 30 cutting-edge robotics technologies for multiple applications developed by talented CUHK researchers were showcased to inspire members of the public on the bountiful possibilities robotics could offer.
The event, jointly presented by CUHK’s T Stone Robotics Institute and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP), also marked the signing of an important collaborative agreement between HKSTP, Lenovo Group and Hong Kong Centre for Logistics Robotics, a research institute established by CUHK under the government’s InnoHK initiative, to promote cooperation between academia, the government, industry and investors to advance the development of robotics and automation technology. CUHK looks forward to working more closely with partners across the territory to consolidate Hong Kong’s position as an international innovation and technology hub.
Collaborations in the Greater Bay Area
CUHK organised the 2023 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) Science Forum Distinguished Lectures in collaboration with the Secretariat of the GBA Science Forum and the Human Resources and Social Security Department of Guangdong Province on 31 July 2023. The event, conducted in hybrid mode in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, featured lectures by the internationally acclaimed academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Professor Zhong Nanshan, academicians of the Chinese Academic of Sciences, Professor Zhang Xu and Professor Fan Chunhai, as well as Professor Dennis Lo Yuk-ming, President of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences. The four experts shared their insights on innovation and held dialogues with young scientists in the GBA.
CUHK has been actively contributing to the research, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem of the GBA as we expand our presence across the border. The GBA Science Forum Distinguished Lectures series organised by CUHK is purposed as a “Master Class” forum for distinguished scientists to enlighten and cultivate next generation talents for the advancement of the national innovation agenda.
We have recently signed an agreement with the Zhongshan People’s Government to strengthen the collaboration between the industry, academic and research sectors. We were honoured to welcome a delegation from Zhongshan led by Mr Guo Wenhai, Secretary of the CPC Zhongshan Municipal Committee, to CUHK on 9 August 2023. Looking ahead, CUHK will continue to attach great importance to establishing a close connection with our mainland partners and promoting diversified cooperation to facilitate Hong Kong’s integration into the national development plan.
Sharing the fruits of research success
CUHK researchers have always been eager to share fruits of their impactful research with the wider community. Early this month, a special visit to the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology (CUHK) and the CUHK School of Life Sciences Greenhouse was arranged for a number of non-official members of the Executive Council of the HKSAR government, including The Honourable Mrs Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, The Honourable Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung and The Honourable Tommy Cheung Yu-yan. It was an important occasion for Professor Lam Hon-ming, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Life Sciences and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology (CUHK), and his team, to discuss the importance and relevance of their groundbreaking soybean research project.
The recent launch of the Longhuang Soybeans developed by Professor Lam and his team into space on the Shenzhou-16 crewed spacecraft marked the first-ever participation of a local agricultural research project in a national space programme, a significant moment for CUHK and for Hong Kong. We are thankful for the steadfast support of our research endeavours from the community, thus showcasing Hong Kong’s scientific capabilities to the world, and bringing tangible benefits to society. Professor Lam and I are especially privileged to be invited to witness the Shenzhou-16 launch in Hainan, an exciting highlight of the emerging involvement of CUHK in national space biology research.
Orientation Day 2023
We were delighted to welcome our new cohort of students on the University Orientation Day on 10 August 2023. A series of programmes were organised to familiarise students with the core values of CUHK, college life, and support for students on life planning and mental wellness. It gave me great pleasure to meet with new members of the CUHK community, who have overcome many challenges to reach another life milestone. I would like to send my best wishes to all of them. I hope they will take advantage of the unique and transformative education experience at CUHK, seize the plentiful opportunities we offer to develop into capable leaders of tomorrow with a strong sense of commitment to society, and graduate as proud, responsible citizens of our country, ready to make lifelong contributions to the wider community.
The University conferred its highest honour of honoris causa doctorate on the world-renowned biomedical scientist, Professor Katalin Karikó, at a special ceremony held earlier this month. Professor Karikó is internationally known for her dedication and achievements in the development of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology. The application of her cutting-edge mRNA research to trigger an immune response to fight diseases paved the way to the invention of new generations of mRNA-based vaccines that saved millions of lives during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
While universities nowadays often talk about influencing and transforming lives, it is hard to think of someone who, in recent memory, has actually achieved such a far-reaching impact on a remarkable scale like Professor Karikó has. Her work is testament to the importance of resilience and steadfast commitment to seeking answers to profound scientific questions against all the odds. We are privileged to welcome her to the CUHK family and may I extend my heartfelt congratulations to her on this well-deserved accolade.
Picking up the baton
It is my great honour to be elected as the new Chair of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), succeeding Professor Gene Block, Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, who had served in the role for seven years. The post-pandemic era underscores the paramount importance of international collaboration. To navigate through the 21st century, universities must act as civic institutions and work together to amplify their impact. I look forward to leading efforts to forge closer partnerships among member universities of APRU across the Americas, Asia and Australasia to develop practical solutions to the grand challenges of our times.
In less than two weeks, we will be celebrating the start of a new semester. I hope, in the meantime, you will all be able to take a restful summer break and feel rejuvenated as you gear up for the beginning of a new academic year.
I look forward to sharing more stories with you in the next edition.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan
Vice-Chancellor and President
The Chinese University of Hong Kong