Knowledge Transfer – Knowledge created from research should make an impact to the society. Only when new inventions can be used, biological discoveries transformed intomedicines, or social and environmental knowledge translated into policy, can we truly say that research has a useful impact and active role to play in the community.
The Need for Increase in Funding
To achieve these objectives more funding is essential. Though our budget has grown six fold from HK$100 million in 1991 to our present HK$600 million, this is barely sufficient to support our current projects – some 800 CERG single projects and 10 or so larger group projects.
At the same time with the move to the four-year undergraduate program planned for 2012, it is likely that another 1,000 faculty members will be added to the current 4,000. If a majority of the new members will need research project support from RGC, we will need another $300 million just to meet their requirements. At the same time, seed grants and start-up funding for new faculty members as well as post-doctorate fellowships to help local PhDs extending their training overseas, have to be planned and initiated. Together with the development of larger scale, more collaborative research projects, I believe that our funding levels will need to double in the next few years to maintain our international competitive position.
The RGC has therefore been working with the UGC to plan our funding toward 2012. The road will not be easy – we will need Government support and approval, but I am optimistic that we will succeed. We are also seeking an additional one-off grant to help our universities upgrade their research equipment. Many of the equipment items, though stateof- the-art 16 years ago, are now showing defi nite signs of wear and tear.
With these developments, I am confident that our research will scale new and ever greater heights while earning recognition around the world.
Professor Roland Chin
Chairman, Research Grants Council