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Research funding of HK$428 million has been committed by the Research Grants Council in this year’s CERG (Competitive Earmarked Research Grant) exercise, a 6 per cent increase over last year.
   Altogether, 691 research projects out of 1,698 submitted are being funded, with a 40 per cent success rate which is about equal to last year.
   The largest slice of funding went to engineering (HK$148 million) and biology and medicine (HK$144 million) projects (see table).

   RGC Chairman Professor Kenneth Young said some of the supported proposals compare well with the highest international standards.
   But he warned: “In spite of an impressive record of development, Hong Kong research is still at a young stage. As Hong Kong strives to enhance its overall competitiveness in the globalised economy, much more remains to be done to upgrade its capacity for innovation and technology.
“We also need to see parallel advancement in research in the humanities and social sciences which contribute to the understanding of our society and nourishes the human spirit.”