The UGC is encouraged to note that over the years, knowledge transfer (KT) activities have taken root in multiple disciplines of funded universities, including health sciences, arts and humanities and the social sciences, architecture, business and economics, city planning and the environment, science and technology as well as engineering. The UGC strongly believes that the transfer of knowledge between universities and the society helps bring about socio-economic impact and improvements to the community and businesses. This in turn also helps enrich universities' research mission, thereby enhancing the international competitiveness of the local higher education sector. The UGC believes that the overall level of KT activity is healthy and there are also indications that it is increasing.
KT is frequently described as the "third mission" (apart from teaching and research) by the higher education sectors of many advanced economies. More specifically, the UGC sees it as an important issue having implications on the international competitiveness of the local higher education sector and capable of enriching research policies. Recognising this, the notion of KT has been incorporated into the UGC's Mission Statement. We also brought together an information-sharing symposium (Symposium on "Knowledge Transfer in a Knowledge-based Economy") among universities in November 2007 for showcasing various local and international success stories in knowledge transfer.
To the UGC, KT is wider than the idea of technology transfer, and should also encompass a tacit aspect. We have therefore used the following as the definition of KT -
"The systems and processes by which knowledge, including technology, know-how, expertise and skills are transferred between higher education institutions and society, leading to innovative, profitable or economic or social improvements."
It should be stressed that KT is a two-way process. Not only would the community enjoy realisable benefit from the knowledge transferred from universities, but academics and researchers would also be enriched by having closer ties with the larger community.
The Legislative Council has approved recurrent funding of $50 million each year from 2009/10 onwards for universities to build up their capacity and broaden their endeavour in KT. In the 2016-19 triennium, this funding for KT has increased to $62.5 million per annum. In addition, all universities are also setting aside some of their own funds to match the present KT funding allocation in support of their strategy and plans. In general, the UGC is pleased that the earmarked funding for KT has been a successful operation in which all universities enhanced their internal culture, enabling environment (e.g. management structure and staff incentives) and output volume for KT. The specific funding provided fresh strategic impetus and inspired growing enthusiasm within the university for pursuing KT.
The universities’ Annual Reports on KT Recurrent Funding from 2009/10 onwards can be downloaded here: