Issue 15, July 2008

Home | English | | | UGC | RGC
Research Endowment Fund Adds Momentum to Research
Potential Breakthrough in Coronary Bypass Surgery
Lighting Up Cancer Cells
Finger Joint Brings Hope for Arthritic Sufferers
Innovations Result in Industry Accolades
Clean Energy Alternatives Uncovered at HKUST
CityU Initiatives Lead to Major Energy Savings
Summary Brief for Collaborative Research Fund 2007/2008 Funded Projects

The Research Grants Council (RGC) welcomes the establishment of an HK$18 billion Research Endowment Fund by the Goverment.

The new fund, announced in the 2008-09 Budget by the Financial Secretary, is an important step to enhance research support in the higher education sector to fulfil Hong Kong's aspiration of developing world-class universities.

"This is a great recognition of the excellent research work that is undertaken by academics and their students at higher education institutions in Hong Kong," Professor Roland Chin, Chairman of the Research Grants Council said.

"Research is vital to Hong Kong's future. Our role as academics is to discover knowledge and then transfer that knowledge to benefit the broader community. The establishment of this endowment fund shows the Government's determination of the role that research plays in Hong Kong's transformation to a knowledge-based society. This is also the recognition of the importance of higher education in Hong Kong's future."

The Government's investment in future research takes the form of two separate components: possible increase of the current annual RGC grant, and the support of our effort to focus research in a number of chosen critical areas. Moreover, an extra 800 research post-graduate places will be added to the institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) which is currently providing funding for 4,765 research post-graduate student places. This will enhance the training of reseach manpower needed by society.

The Research Endowment Fund will provide long term funding stability to support all the RGC activities including individual research projects, collaborative grants, and international joint research schemes. The Government is also planning to use a portion of this funding to support specific themes that are critical to Hong Kong's long term development and strategic directions. Those themes will be identified by the Government at a later stage.

"We are very excited by this new financing support," Professor Chin said. "It means that we can start looking at excellent projects that may have been under funded in the past and we can support more quality research projects over a longer period of time with adequate resources."

"The timing is also especially good as we start to recruit more academics to prepare for the 3+3+4 transformation."

The RGC is in discussions with the UGC on the detailed arrangements for the deployment of the new funding model and the allocation of the additional research post-graduate places. Professor Chin is confident that all necessary measures will be in place in time for the start 2009/10 academic year.

Professor Roland Chin
Chairman, Research Grants Council