ASTRI and CUHK sign the first MoU on all-round development of commercialisation using their rich resources in scientific research

[Hong Kong, 5 September 2022] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) today (5 September) signed a University Technology Transfer and Collaboration Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the first time. The two organisations have reached a cooperation consensus on the implementation of commercialisation strategies and a development blueprint in line with the government’s increasing innovation and technology (I&T) resources in recent years and its vision of developing Hong Kong into an international I&T centre. The MoU enshrines collaboration between academia and research and development (R&D) centres to develop leading technologies, and leveraging resources to enhance the quality of research, as well as facilitating the commercialisation process. It will help to introduce technology that is useful to the government, industry and society, supporting Hong Kong as it becomes an international smart city.

The collaboration among the government, industry, academia and the R&D sector highlights the importance of full participation and mutual support from stakeholders in the technology ecosystem. Intellectual property (IP) commercialisation is one of the keys to strengthening technology commercialisation. Intellectual property holding institutions can formulate rules and regulations, and implement the corresponding measures necessary to maximise the economic and social benefits of their R&D outcomes.

The MoU was signed by ASTRI Chief Executive Officer Dr Denis Yip and CUHK Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sham Mai-har. Under the agreement, ASTRI and CUHK will determine the ownership of R&D outcomes through their respective IP rights, hoping to boost the commercialisation of R&D projects developed by both parties and CUHK’s affiliates, and to shorten the research time taken by joint projects, and optimise resources to increase the effectiveness of R&D commercialisation. The close cooperation between scientific research experts from both sides will not only improve the effectiveness of R&D and generate innovative technologies, but will also help cultivate R&D talents.

Meanwhile, ASTRI and CUHK or its affiliates will jointly develop a set of standardised arrangements and procedures to determine inventive contributions, ownership of research outcomes of joint projects, funding arrangement, roles and responsibilities in project execution, IP protection, and others. The respective IP rights owned by ASTRI and CUHK will allow more opportunities for technology commercialisation, help local R&D become more practical and measurable, and advance the development of re-industrialisation.

ASTRI Chairman Ir Sunny Lee Wai-kwong, said, “In recent years, the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong has been enriched. Interactions among the government, academia, R&D centres and industry have become more mature as well. This provides the best moment for nurturing and enriching the talent pool, and improving the I&T ecosystem and eco-chain of development, furthering smart city development and strengthening the city’s positioning in the Greater Bay Area collaboration.”

ASTRI Chief Executive Officer Dr Denis Yip, said, “ASTRI has been striving to be a leader in research and innovation, collaborating with local universities in research and development, and facilitating commercialisation of research outcomes, while providing practical assistance to some other universities in launching more I&T products to the market. This collaboration with CUHK marks the beginning of an era, with the hope of safeguarding the intellectual property of future R&D products, establishing a good foundation for the manufacturing and re-industrialisation process to enhance the efficacy of technological development, people’s livelihoods and the economy of Hong Kong.”

CUHK Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sham Mai-har, said, “I am delighted that CUHK and ASTRI have signed this five-year MoU, bringing R&D institutes and universities closer together and aligning with the government’s goal of promoting I&T development. CUHK spares no effort in promoting scientific research and knowledge transfer. This collaboration marks a monumental milestone for us. I hope that both CUHK and ASTRI can take advantage of our patented technologies to carry out influential, innovative projects that can meet the technological needs of enterprises and society, making a major contribution to the development of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.”

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by ASTRI Chief Executive Officer Dr Denis Yip (3rd left) and CUHK Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Sham Mai-har (2nd left), and witnessed by ASTRI Chairman Ir Sunny Lee Wai-kwong (4th left) and Director of CUHK’s Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services Professor Benny Zee Chung-ying (1st left).