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Areas of Excellence Scheme

Following a comprehensive review of higher education of Hong Kong, the University Grants Committee (UGC) advised the Government in a report published in October 1996 that Hong Kong would need world-class institutions with distinct areas of excellence in order to retain its leading economic position in the development of China and the Pacific Rim. The UGC recommended, and the Government agreed, that the UGC-funded institutions should build upon their existing strengths and develop them into Areas of Excellence (AoE).

Such Areas would be recognised internationally as of equal status to their peers in the same subject areas, and justify the additional investment in state-of-the-art facilities and activities which would maintain them among the world leaders. The UGC's report "Higher Education on Hong Kong" (October 1996) and more information about the concept of Areas of Excellence can be found in the publication "Higher Education in Hong Kong - Report by the University Grants Committee"

The AoE Scheme was launched by the UGC in 1998. With effect from February 2012, the AoE Scheme has been transferred to the RGC. Seven rounds of AoE exercises had been undertaken.

Prominent scholars of AoE projects have been invited to introduce the achievements of their projects to the public in RGC Public Lectures. Further details and videos of the lectures of AoE Schemes can be viewed here.

  • For the past seven rounds, a total of HK$1.318 billion was allocated to 21 AoE projects. A summary position of the funded projects is listed below:

  • Round Project Title Current
    Status
    Completion
    Date
    Remarks

    First

    Information Technology

    Completed

    December 2005

    Achievements

    Center for Plant and Agricultural Biotechnology (previously known as "Plant and Fungal Biotechnology")

    Completed

    March 2011

    Achievements

    Hong Kong Institute of Economics & Business Strategy

    Completed

    December 2006

    Achievements

    Second

    Molecular Neuroscience: Basic Research & Drug Discovery

    Completed

    August 2011

    Achievements

    Institute of Molecular Technology for Drug Discovery and Synthesis

    Completed

    September 2010

    Achievements

    Chinese Medicine Research & Further Development

    Completed

    March 2011

    Achievements

    Third

    Centre for Marine Environmental Research and Innovative Technology

    Completed

    September 2013

    Achievements

    Developmental Genomics & Skeletal Research

    Completed

    March 2014

    Achievements

    Fourth

    Centre for Research into Circulating Fetal Nucleic Acids

    On-going

    December 2015

    -

    Control of Pandemic and Inter-Pandemic Influenza

    On-going

    December 2016

    -

    Fifth

    Institute of Network Coding

    On-going

    December 2017

    -

    The Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society

    On-going

    December 2017

    -

    Center for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Research

    On-going

    December 2017

    -

    Institute of Molecular Functional Materials

    On-going

    December 2017

    -

    Theory, Modeling, and Simulation of Emerging Electronics

    On-going

    December 2017

    -

    Sixth

    Centre for Organelle Biogenesis and Function

    On-going

    December 2021

    -

    Mechanistic Basis of Synaptic Development, Signalling and Neuro-disorders

    On-going

    October 2021

    -

    Novel Wave Functional Materials for Manipulating Light and Sound

    On-going

    October 2021

    -

    Seventh

    Center for Genomic Studies on Plant-Environment Interaction for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

    -

    -

    -

    Cellular Mechanisms of Synaptic Functions and Plasticity in Health and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    -

    -

    -

    Chemical Biology Approach to Molecular Medicine

    -

    -

    -



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