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Areas of Excellence Scheme - 1st Round

First Round Exercise

  • Information Technology
    • Total Funding Approved : HK$51M
    • Indicative Project Time-Frame : 2000 - 2005
    • Co-ordinating Institution : The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Prof Roland Chin)

    Building on the proven strengths of world-class researchers and the excellent facilities of each university in information technology, the project aims to put Hong Kong on the world map as one of the key players in information technology, thereby contributing to the transformation of Hong Kong into an information technology society with a strong value-added economy. This collaborative effort of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The University of Hong Kong will achieve its mission through the promotion of information technology education; the conduct of high impact research and development projects including networking technology, multi-media technology and Internet applications; and the transfer of relevant technology to the commercial world.


  • Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy
    • Total Funding Approved : HK$36.2M
    • Indicative Project Time-Frame : 2000 - 2006
    • Co-ordinating Institution : The University of Hong Kong (Prof Richard Wong)

    HIEBS aims to become the leading international center for the study of economic policy and business strategy focusing on the dynamic role of Hong Kong in China and the Asia Pacific Region, as well as in the world. It also conducts independent and pioneering research studies, to advance the frontiers of both theoretical and applied knowledge in this area, to develop and deliver innovative educational programs to train researchers and practitioners for Hong Kong, Mainland China and the Asia-Pacific region, and to have an impact on the formulation of policy choices and business strategies. This new adventure is co-ordinated by The University of Hong Kong and benefits from cooperation with other local and overseas institutions.


  • Center for Plant and Agricultural Biotechnology (Previously known as Plant and Fungal Biotechnology)
    • Total Funding Approved : HK$63.823M (HK$38.823M (2000-2006) + HK$25M Sustained Funding (2007-2011))
    • Indicative Project Time-Frame : 2000 - 2011
    • Co-ordinating Institution : The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Prof Samuel Sun)

    To address the problems due to increasing population, shrinking and low-yielding cultivation lands that China and the region face, it is the mission of this project to increase crop production and enhance quality through biotechnology, by generating improved agricultural products, novel technological platforms and knowledge, and well-trained manpower in the field of biotechnology, to serve Hong Kong, China, and beyond.

    The main issues related to agricultural production include: (1) quality improvement (e.g. improved nutritional value), (2) per acreage yield enhancement (e.g. more effective utilization of solar energy); and (3) increase in stress tolerance (e.g. cultivation on marginal lands with adverse environmental conditions). This project selected special issues (related to these major agricultural problems) based on the emerging needs in China and the world. To boost the potential economic value of agriculture, the project team will also attempt to generate value-added products from crop plants.

    In summary, the overall strategy of this project is to build a pipeline for biotechnology crop production, through identification of useful genes from elite germplasms; transfer those genes into designated crops (e.g. rice) to produce new lines with improved agronomic performance; conduct field trials and safety assessment; and finally to deliver a set of carefully designed and assessed parental lines to traditional breeders.