HKUST President Spearheads GBAAA Summit to Exchange Insights

The “2nd Global Innovation & Technology Summit”, organized by the Greater Bay Area Association of Academicians (GBAAA), was held on April 3 at the Hong Kong Science Park. The summit attracted over 200 participants that included representatives from renowned universities, government officials, and industry experts from the region and beyond. Various important topics were explored and discussed on how to harness the transformative power of higher education to empower a brighter future globally.

In her welcome remarks, Prof. Nancy IP, Council Chair of GBAAA and President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), emphasized the importance of international cooperation and exchange in higher education, and encouraged all parties to come together and strive for excellence in education, research, and innovation to drive social progress.

Prof. Ip also delivered a keynote speech on leveraging higher education to empower the future in which she called upon higher education institutions to assume a leading role in addressing global challenges such as climate change, public health concerns, resource scarcity, and the rapid technology evolution which has fundamentally transformed our way of living, working, and learning. She further introduced HKUST’s pioneering efforts in education, research, knowledge transfer, and entrepreneurship to advance the frontiers of knowledge, nurture future leaders, and drive innovation for the betterment of society. One example she shared was HKUST’s incredible success in nurturing entrepreneurial ventures. To date, the University has incubated over 1,700 start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 11 listed companies, generating an economic impact of over HK$400 billion.

Prof. Ip also moderated one of the two presidents’ forums. With the theme “Fostering Global Partnerships in Higher Education,” this forum invited the presidents of Fujita Health University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, National University of Singapore, and Peking University to share their insights and experiences in international cooperation, as well as their vision for the future development of education.

At the second presidents’ forum on “Shaping the Greater Bay Area as an International Education Hub”, Prof. Ip updated the audience about the latest development of HKUST (Guangzhou). Established in 2022, HKUST(Guangzhou) was the first HK-Mainland cooperative university set up after the unveiling of the GBA development blueprint. Prof. Ip highlighted its establishment as a pioneering model of successful cooperation in the area. “Operating under the strategic framework of ‘Unified HKUST, Complementary Campuses,’ HKUST and HKUST (Guangzhou) are working together to harness synergies among the Greater Bay Area’s cities, to foster unprecedented opportunities for academic growth and research pursuits for our faculty, staff, and students,” she said.

Prof. Ip further underscored the critical role of a robust communication mechanism linking the two campuses to not only ensure seamless cooperation and joint development, but also to facilitate the integration of higher education across GBA, thereby significantly contributing to the region’s evolution into an international education center.

Officiating at the ceremony were Ms. LU Xinning, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR); Mr. FANG Jianming, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the HKSAR; and Prof. SUN Dong, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry. Mr. Sayasat NURBEK, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Mr. Jeff SZE Chun-fai Jeff, Acting Secretary for Education and Under Secretary for Education, delivered keynote speeches at the Summit.

Established on April 1, 2021, the GBAAA is dedicated to bringing together leading scientists to create a platform that combines Hong Kong’s strengths in scientific research and its advantages as an international city to foster cross-disciplinary exchange and collaboration, while also promoting technology and popular science education. The organization provides a driving force for synergistic innovation and technology development in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, as well as the development of Hong Kong and the GBA into an international I&T hub, thereby contributing to the nation’s technological advancement. Prof. Nancy Ip is one of the convenors and the founding Council Chair of GBAAA.

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