Issue No 9: November 2004
Budget cuts but proposal quality rises
Q&A: Monitoring and assessment rules: Update
Web system closes gap between clients and suppliers
Algorithm to help Hong Kong keep competitive edge
Project integrates supplier networks
Cooperative conflicts ‘strengthen decision-making’
Pay-back from staff investment
Human capital needs change as economy opens
Artificial Intelligence helps rostering

Some “painful decisions” were made during the Competitive Earmarked Research Grant (CERG) exercise in June to align RGC annual research funding with Hong Kong’s overall budget stringencies.
As funding declined, however, the number of proposals meeting accepted quality thresholds continued to increase, noted RGC Chairman, Prof Kenneth Young.
He added: “It’s gratifying to see that a vibrant and robust research culture has been developed in the higher education sector in the past decade. “Overseas experts who have helped review the proposals have observed that many of the supported proposals measure up to the highest international standards.”
Altogether, after rigorous peer review, the RGC committed HK$403.5 million in funding. This was about 12.8 per cent down on the previous exercise, and was largely in line with the reduction in the UGC’s budget.
The funding went to support 748 projects, 6.4 per cent fewer than last year, and represented a 40 per cent success rate for applications. Funding requests received by the RGC totalled 1,874 seeking HK$1.7 billion.
Prof Young said: “It’s the RGC’s policy to support as many worthwhile projects as possible. However, given a reduced RGC budget this year, the Council had to make some painful decisions by cutting the size of the project grants as well as supporting fewer projects than might otherwise have been supported.
He added: “Looking towards the next few years, the challenge for the Council is to become even more vigilant in creating economies and to make research dollars go even further. The Council has been very impressed by the overall quality of research proposals submitted.”
Visit to HKUST: Members of the RGC visit The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in June