ASTRI and HKUST sign MoU on joint R&D and technology commercialisation, leveraging intellectual properties and combining research strengths

[Hong Kong, 23 February 2022] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for R&D collaboration, involving leveraging the patented technologies and research strengths of both parties to develop impactful innovations. The two parties will also work jointly to commercialise their R&D deliverables in promoting Smart City development, bringing more positive impacts to various industries.

Under this MoU, intellectual properties (IPs) generated by R&D collaborations between ASTRI and HKUST will be jointly owned by both parties according to their respective Inventive Contributions. This marks the first time in Hong Kong that an applied research institute and a university have officially collaborated using this approach, setting an example in driving more cross-disciplinary R&D collaborations involving the sharing of technology transfers to advance the innovation and technology ecosystem in Hong Kong and beyond.

Dr. Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said, “HKUST and ASTRI each have strong R&D capabilities, and both possess a large number of valuable patented technologies. We are looking forward to jointly creating even greater value through this new collaborative approach, while at the same time introducing a new paradigm to the I&T ecosystem. We are also pleased to be supporting the development of the Greater Bay Area into an international innovation and technology hub.”

Prof. Nancy IP, Vice-President for Research and Development at HKUST said, “Over the years, HKUST and ASTRI have collaborated on several research fronts, with many bringing benefits to the society. We are delighted today to take our partnership to the next level. By further streamlining and strengthening our collaboration framework (e.g. new IP framework), we hope to facilitate and foster more and deeper collaboration among our researchers. Our strengthened partnership will not only further promote knowledge transfer and technology commercialisation, but will also inject impetus into Hong Kong and Mainland’s development in innovation and technology.”

Under the new arrangement, ASTRI and HKUST or its affiliates will proactively identify joint research opportunities leveraging IPs owned respectively by each organization and drive the commercialisation of such research deliverables. Potential areas for co-operation include, among others, research in advanced 5G applications, third-generation semiconductors, as well as the use of sensors for the sorting of waste.

While both organisations will complement each other across basic and applied research, ASTRI will further strengthen its role acting as a bridge between fundamental research and industry applications. Through the collaboration, both sides also aim at cultivating I&T talents, including young researchers and graduate students, providing them more opportunities to participate in R&D projects.

As of now, ASTRI owns around 900 patents in the Mainland, the US and other countries, and had transferred almost 800 technologies to the industry. Its applied research covers five technology domains, including AI and Big Data Analytics; Communications; Cybersecurity, Cryptography and Trusted Technologies; Integrated Circuits and Systems; as well as IoT and Sensors. ASTRI is committed to creating technology innovations that solve business painpoints and improve operational efficiencies for organizations in both private and public sectors.

HKUST is committed to promoting technological innovation and knowledge transfer. In 2020/2021, HKUST has disclosed 176 inventions, filed 332 new patent applications and was granted 205 new patents. HKUST possesses around a thousand cumulative active granted patents in areas spanning biotechnology, robotics and autonomous systems, communication and information technologies, artificial intelligence, semiconductor to advanced materials and sustainable technologies.

ASTRI and HKUST will continue to explore possibilities for similar collaborations with other R&D institutions and universities in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, in support of building the Greater Bay Area into an international innovation and technology hub as outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan.

Dr. Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, and Prof. Nancy Ip, Vice-President for Research and Development at HKUST, sign a MoU on collaborating on new R&D projects by leveraging patented technologies from both parties.

(Top row; from left) ASTRI Strategy Director Ivan Lam, P.Eng. and CEO Dr. Denis Yip; HKUST Vice-President for Research and Development Prof. Nancy Ip and Professor from the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering Prof. Fan Zhiyong; (Bottom row; from left) ASTRI Director in IoT and Sensors Technology Division Dr. Zhang Chun and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Lucas Hui; and HKUST Acting Associate Vice-President (Knowledge Transfer) Dr. Shin Cheul Kim and Head (Information and Communication Technologies ) of Technology Transfer Center Dr. Eric Leung attend the online MoU Signing Ceremony between ASTRI and HKUST.