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Theme-based Research Scheme Workshop

To reaffirm its continued support to research and development, the Government set up a Research Endowment Fund with a one-off grant of $18 billion in 2009. The investment income from up to $4 billion (or around $200 million per year, assuming a 5% return) of the Research Endowment Fund will be used to finance research projects on specific themes under the TBRS. The objective of this scheme is to focus academic research efforts of the UGC-funded institutions on themes of strategic importance to the long-term development of Hong Kong.

The Steering Committee for Research Themes was set up by the Government to advise on the selection of research themes. Following a consultation exercise, the following three research themes were selected for the first round of Theme-based Research Scheme (TBRS):

(a) Promoting Good Health;
(b) Developing a Sustainable Environment; and
(c) Enhancing Hong Kong’s Strategic Position as a Regional and International Business Centre.

After the selection of themes, local academics were invited to submit "white papers" for the suggestion of "grand challenge topics"[Call for White Paper]. In response, a total of over 300 white papers were received. These white papers were examined and honed down to four to six topics for each of the three selected themes by a White Papers Review Panel formed mainly by external experts. A list of the selected topics is appended below:

THEME 1 - Promoting Good Health

(a) Infectious Diseases;
(b) Post Genomic and Personalised Medicine;
(c) Neuro-degeneration and Aging; and
(d) Stem Cells.

THEME 2 - Developing a Sustainable Environment

(a) Water Pollution and Waste Water Treatment in the Pearl River Delta Region;
(b) Sustainable Water Resources;
(c) Energy Efficient Buildings;
(d) Organic Photo-voltaic and Light Emitting Diodes;
(e) Development of Effective Air Quality Management Strategies for Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Region; and
(f) Strategic Urban Planning for Resilience and Sustainability.

THEME 3 - Enhancing Hong Kong’s Strategic Position as a Regional and International Business Centre

(a) Hong Kong’s Future as an International Financial Center;
(b) Hong Kong as the Knowledge Center for China Business, Economics and Institutions;
(c) Understanding and Promoting Hong Kong’s Networking Capability;
(d) Promoting Hong Kong as a Center of Excellence for Services Innovation;
(e) Creating and Developing Hong Kong’s Advantages as an Education Hub; and
(f) Hong Kong’s Legal and Governance Systems as Business Advantages (including, but not limited to Intellectual Property).

To facilitate academic staff to discuss, refine and recommend the selection of the final "grand challenge topics", the RGC will organize a 1-day workshop on each of the research themes on the following dates:

    Theme: Enhancing Hong Kong’s Strategic Position as a Regional International Business Centre
    Date: 17 August 2010
    Time: 8:45 a.m.
    Venue: Wei Hing Theatre, City University of Hong Kong#
    (Deadline for submission of registration form: 8 August 2010)

    Theme: Developing a Sustainable Environment
    Date: 19 August 2010
    Time: 8:45 a.m.
    Venue: Wei Hing Theatre, City University of Hong Kong#
    (Deadline for submission of registration form: 8 August 2010)

    Theme: Promoting Good Health
    Date: 31 August 2010
    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Venue: Wei Hing Theatre, City University of Hong Kong#
    (Deadline for submission of registration form: 22 August 2010)

Please click here for the agenda of the workshops.

During the 1-day workshop, the workshop participants will discuss the identified topics through presentations and ensuing discussions. A team for each identified topic will be formed by selected authors of white papers and experts in the related areas to present the topic and the related ideas. External leading experts in the related fields will also act as facilitators of the workshop. If a topic is judged not promising enough after the workshop, then it will be dropped at that stage. Based on review by the White Papers Review Panel, the presentation and discussion in the workshop, the grand challenge topics under each theme will be selected and finalized by the RGC and the Call for Proposals to be issued in September/October 2010. In addition, the workshop is intended to facilitate the initial aggregation of research members among different institutions and academic units which could potentially form the project proposal teams.

If any academic staff wish to attend the workshop(s), please complete and email the attached registration form (for workshop of 17 Aug and 19 Aug; for workshop of 31 Aug) to dyiu@ugc.edu.hk on or before the deadlines as stipulated above. A registration confirmation slip will be emailed to you before the workshops.

For enquiry, please contact Miss Stephanie Cheung at 2844 9989 or Ms Janice Yam at 2844 9948.

Research Grants Council
July 2010