This is the first branch of a Chinese National Engineering Research Centre in Hong Kong, and is one of the measures taken by the Central Government on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR to strengthen collaboration between the Mainland and Hong Kong in the area of science and technology.
During his visit to Hong Kong last August, Vice Premier Mr Li Keqiang announced the initiative of establishing Hong Kong branches of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centres as an act of support for developing innovative technology in the SAR. Subsequently, ASTRI submitted an official application to MOST through Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) and Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC). In late June Mr Wan Gang, Minister for Science and Technology, wrote to Mr Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong SAR Government, stating MOST’s agreement on setting up the Branch Centre in ASTRI.
As a major element of China's technological development plan, the Chinese National Engineering Research Centres conduct researches to promote the commercialization of technologies, the development of new industries, and the upgrading of traditional industries of China. The establishment of branches in Hong Kong will enable the city’s technical sectors and enterprises to grasp the trend of the country's technological development and the needs of new industries for implementing effective business plans.
Dr Cheung Nim-kwan, CEO of ASTRI, was delighted with the MOST agreement. On behalf of ASTRI, he thanked MOST, Jiangsu Science and Technology Department, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, CEDB, ITC and SEU for their support. He said, “The Hong Kong Branch of the National ASIC System Engineering Research Centre will ride on Hong Kong’s unique advantages derived from national policies, its pool of technological and managerial experts, and its system and market. The Branch Centre can support the development of China’s IC industry by attracting technical know-hows, talents and funds from all over the world and helping IC enterprises of China to expand into overseas markets. ASTRI possesses first-class technical staff, advanced facilities, a wide range of R&D outputs and extensive experiences in technology transfer. With the enhanced collaboration with SEU, we will be able to make further contribution to the economic development of the country.”
Dr Cheung will assume the role of the Director of the Branch Centre; Dr Wang Keh-chung, Vice President and Group Director of ASTRI’s IC Design Group, will serve as the Deputy Director. The Branch Centre will join hands with SEU’s “National ASIC System Engineering Research Centre” and “RFIC and Systems Engineering Research Centre of Ministry of Education” in the research and development of IC engineering, promotion of R&D results and services, and operation and management.
Dr Cheung said that by setting up the Hong Kong Branch of the National ASIC System Engineering Research Centre, ASTRI hopes to connect its solid technological foundation and international tie, as well as the unique advantages of Hong Kong, with SEU's distinguished research team and successful commercialisation records to strengthen the competitiveness of the IC industry of China and contribute to the economic development of Mainland and Hong Kong.
Over the past 10 years, China's IC industry experienced a speedy growth. The size of the China IC market exceeded RMB 800 billion in 2011, and was estimated to reach RMB 1,200 billion in 2015.