HKUST Showcases Three Decades of Success at High-level Forum in Seoul

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) sought to strengthen ties with South Korean institutions and industries, as the University’s senior management participated in a high-profile forum in Seoul yesterday and today, and engaged with top universities and incubators in the country to explore collaboration opportunities in education, research and knowledge transfer.

HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP, the only representative from a Hong Kong university, delivered a special speech at the Seoul Forum, joining distinguished scholars in AI and robotics from renowned institutions such as Caltech and MIT, industrial leaders from global giants including IBM and Samsung, as well as esteemed policymakers and experts across different sectors.

She shared her insights in a special session at the forum on how universities can help societies navigate the challenges of the new digital era. Using HKUST as an example, Prof Ip discussed the University’s strategies for nurturing future-ready talent. She also highlighted the latest research innovations and shared how universities can strengthen knowledge transfer to facilitate the translation of laboratory discoveries into beneficial applications for society. Following the session, Prof. Ip met with Prof. LEE Jung-Ho, Korean Minister of Science and ICT, to discuss potential collaboration between Hong Kong and Korea in the field of innovation and technology.

Meanwhile, Dr. KIM Shin-Cheul, HKUST Associate Vice-President for Research and Development (Knowledge Transfer), joined a discussion this morning as a panelist alongside industry experts, R&D policy advocate and scholars from top Korean universities. The discussion focused on analyzing the global competition in technological hegemony and the strategies that the region can adopt in response.

Prior to the Seoul Forum, Prof. Ip and Dr. Kim visited Yonsei University, a renowned research-intensive institution recognized for its expertise in fields such as medicine, biochemistry and engineering. They met with Yonsei’s senior management, visited research facilities at Yonsei Medical Research Center, and discussed how to strengthen collaboration opportunities in talent development, joint research and entrepreneurship activities. In addition, an alumni gathering was held to enhance connections with HKUST alumni in the country.

Prof. Ip said the opportunity to connect with leaders from top institutions and meet old and new friends from the I&T industries in South Korea was invaluable, “South Korea has a lot in common with Hong Kong. We have excellent universities that are engaged in outstanding research in areas such as AI and biotechnology, and we both aspire to become a global innovation and technology powerhouse. I see ample room for knowledge exchange and partnership among our universities. By working together, we can accelerate I&T development in the whole region.”

Earlier this month, Dr. Kim led seven HKUST start-up teams to participate in BioKorea 2024, the largest international healthcare industry convention in the country. The teams showcased cutting-edge innovations in biotechnology and med-tech driven by HKUST, including an AI-enabled medical imaging device for precise tumor removal during surgery and a novel cell culture technology that makes cell therapy more affordable. The convention facilitates potential global expansion opportunities by connecting the teams with international academics, professionals, and leaders in the global bio-health field through business partnering sessions and the Invest Fair.

Currently, 6 active HKUST start-up companies are based in South Korea. These companies have collectively attracted funding exceeding US$110 million. HKUST has also established academic exchange and research collaborations with nearly a dozen leading Korean institutions. Furthermore, HKUST is a preferred overseas study destination for Korean students, as they constitute the largest international undergraduate student body on campus.

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, engineering and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 2nd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2023, and our graduates were ranked 29th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking 2023. As of September 2023, HKUST members have founded 1,747 active start-ups, including 10 Unicorns and 13 exits (IPO or M&A), generating economic impact worth over HK$ 400 billion. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024, 12 subjects have been ranked in the top 50 globally, with “Data Science and Artificial Intelligence” securing the 10th position, the highest ranking among the local universities in the field.

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