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HKUST and ASTRI to Collaborate on R&D and Tech Commercialisation

Image Credits: HKUST, Press Release

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) recently 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 HKUST and ASTRI 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.

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 pain points and improve operational efficiencies for organizations in both the 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.

The Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI stated that HKUST and ASTRI each have strong R&D capabilities, and both possess a large number of valuable patented technologies. He noted that ASTRI is 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. ASTRI is also proud to be supporting the development of the Greater Bay Area into an international innovation and technology hub.

The Vice-President for Research and Development at HKUST stated that over the years, HKUST and ASTRI have collaborated on several research fronts, with many bringing benefits to the society. HKUST is delighted to take the partnership to the next level, she said.

By further streamlining and strengthening our collaboration framework (e.g., new IP framework), it is hoped that more and deeper collaboration will be facilitated and fostered among researchers. The 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.

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