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HKUST and partner launch first HK-Guangdong joint tech lab

Image Credits: HKUST, Press Release

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and China’s leading digital bank have established the a joint laboratory. The aim is to nurture talent and explore cutting-edge technologies.

Leveraging on both parties’ advantages in research and knowledge transfer in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), the joint lab will collaborate on areas spanning artificial intelligence (AI), big data, blockchain as well as financial and regulatory technologies.

This collaboration also serves as a high-level collaborative innovation platform for enterprises, universities and research institutes to promote knowledge transfer under the GBA Development Framework.

The bank is China`s first private digital bank. This joint lab is not only the bank’s first research collaboration with a local university, it also signifies the first joint banking lab project between Guangdong and Hong Kong.

According to the agreement, a scientific committee will be set up to identify the most relevant projects to both parties in machine learning, blockchain, AI operations or data mining for in-depth research ventures.

The agreement was signed today by the Vice-President for Research and Development of HKUST, and the Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer of the bank.

The Chairman and CEO of the bank stated that the joint lab is a hallmark of the collaboration between HKUST and the bank. Being open-minded, open-source and collaborative, the lab shall be rooted in the GBA and grasp its development opportunity as well as embrace the world.

The lab envisions an inclusive collaboration with all types of potential partners in driving Fintech underlying algorithms and technological research. More useful applications and innovative business models are expected to be developed to help tackle existing pain points of SMEs and retail customers.

The HKUST President stated that this era of disruptive innovation, science, technology, business creativity, along with a human-centric approach are vital elements for advancing socio-economic development. Hong Kong, being a progressive and in fact world-leading city, is ideal for such a collaborative platform.

HKUST has started collaboration with the bank last year on public opinion analysis and anti-money laundering to enhance banks’ performances and their abilities in handling crisis.

As the two parties’ cooperation deepens, HKUST’s research capability, coupled with the bank’s experience in applying innovative technologies in mainland’s banking industry will enable the development of new banking technologies for transfer into products with social impact.

Possible research topics of the joint lab include ways to protect data privacy amid sharing of resources, and how to establish blockchain consortium or apply new technologies such as distributed commerce.

The lab will seek to boost banks’ risk management capability by monitoring bank transactions and assisting officers in risk analysis and system maintenance work through machine learning and data mining.

It will also strive to enhance the banking industry’s development through Fintech and other cutting-edge technologies. Nine research proposals have been submitted to the joint lab so far in the fields of blockchain, risk management and AI.

The bank is both the first privately-owned bank and the first digital-only bank in China. To date, the bank has launched a personal micro-loan product, an SME loan, a mobile app, a car micro-loan product, a consumer discount product, and a B2B2C wealth management platform, among many other products.

The bank was built with technology at its core, and with technology as a key driver behind its development. As such, the firm is committed to promoting innovative technologies, making it the perfect partner for this project with HKUST.

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