• The President-led delegation from the prestigious Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) aims to strengthen connections with the UAE in Research, Tech Transfer as well as Talent Development in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Clean Energy

A high-level delegation from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) - a world-class research-intensive university that focuses on science, engineering, business, as well as humanities and social science, will visit the UAE from April 15th – 18th 2024.

Led by the University President, the delegation aims to establish relationships with the UAE’s higher education and innovation sectors to explore opportunities for research and technology transfer collaboration in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and clean energy. Additionally, the delegation seeks to identify potential synergies between HKUST’s expertise in engineering and technology and the UAE’s investment in these essential areas for the future.

Over the past decade, Hong Kong and the UAE have formed strong economic partnerships, with the UAE emerging as one of Hong Kong’s main trading partners and the largest in the Middle East. Demonstrating the commitment to strengthening connections, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Mr. John Lee, embarked on his first overseas visit to the nation last year. Earlier in March, Hong Kong's Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, visited the UAE to foster collaborations, particularly in the fields of technological innovation. Consequently, building upon these efforts, HKUST's President, Professor Nancy Ip, is set to lead a delegation to the UAE, marking a significant milestone as the first leader among Hong Kong's universities to reinforce the city’s commitment to advancing research and innovation with the UAE.

The HKUST delegation will establish new connections with key partners and stakeholders in the UAE’s higher education and innovation systems through various meetings and discussions with government representatives, various companies and other partners dealing with innovation, research, technology, and technology transfer in the fields of robotics, AI, clean energy, and start-up incubation. These key institutions include the Dubai Future Foundation, University of Sharjah, Khalifa University and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

Given HKUST's plans to establish Hong Kong's third medical school, the delegation will also visit the state-of-the-art medical-related research facilities of these key UAE institutions to gain insights and explore potential collaboration opportunities.

In addition, the delegation will host a reception to engage with alumni groups in the region and strengthen their ties with their alma mater. This event provides an opportunity for alumni to connect with HKUST and learn about the University's latest developments and initiatives, while also fostering a sense of community among alumni in the UAE.

Having consistently ranked within the world's top 70 universities and top 3 young universities, HKUST is renowned for its strength in Innovation & Technology. It is the first university in the region to embrace Open AI and has recently established one of the most advanced AI Computing Facility for cross-disciplinary research in AI, large language model training, drug screening and more. HKUST members are also known for successfully applying their basic research results in real-world applications to benefit society. To date, HKUST has nurtured more than 1,700 active startups, 9 unicorns and 13 successful exits, including the world's largest drone empire, DJI, founded by HKUST graduate Frank Wang.

“HKUST is a distinguished global research institution with leadership in the field of AI, there is tremendous potential for collaborative ventures that span education, research, and knowledge transfer with the UAE, which has made substantial investment in the field. Together, we can make meaningful contributions to the advancement and betterment of humankind,” said Prof Nancy Ip, President of HKUST.

HKUST aims to recruit more talented UAE students to its undergraduate and postgraduate programs while aligning with the UAE’s rapid pace of technology progress and fostering advancements in common goals of developing and nurturing talents in the I&T sectors.

“Being home to the most diverse undergraduate student population in Hong Kong, and a trailblazer in innovation, AI, and entrepreneurship, HKUST stands as a preferred partner for the UAE in their pursuit of technological advancement and talent cultivation within the I&T ecosystem. We are committed to providing exceptional education and research opportunities for aspiring UAE students seeking to pursue their studies abroad,” Prof Ip added.

Linking back to synergies between the university and the UAE, national plans such as the UAE's National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 and National Program to Transform Technology that aims to cultivate talent transformation for future jobs align with HKUST's 3.0 vision for advancing the future of living, work, and people. HKUST’s 3.0 vision includes the proposal of establishing a medical school, an InnoTech park to collaborate with industry partners, and an additional research base in mainland China. In this regard, the UAE’s strong commitment to driving technological advancements and becoming a world industrial technology center and global innovation hub complements the goals of China's Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to promote cross-border connectivity and collaboration in I&T as well as Hong Kong’s emergence as a global powerhouse in life sciences, artificial intelligence, and robotic technology. The UAE has been an active partner in the Belt and Road Initiative since its launch.

In the past year, HKUST enhanced its efforts to connect with UAE stakeholders and hosted prominent officials from the nation including the His Excellency (H.E.) Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE's Economy Minister and H.E. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to China. More recently, one of the innovation centers under HKUST, the Hong Kong Center for Construction Robotics (HKCRC), along with its incubated start-up, recently participated in the LEAP 2024 technology conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where it showcased how its advanced robotic technology could contribute to the construction development in the Middle East, thereby displaying the university’s active involvement in commercializing technologies and contributing to the growth of the Middle East region.

For more information about HKUST, visit https://hkust.edu.hk

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a world-class research-intensive university that focuses on science, engineering, and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking.

Over 80% of its research work was rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. It was ranked 2nd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2023, and its graduates were ranked 29th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking 2023. As of September 2023, HKUST members have founded 1,747 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 13 exits (IPO or M&A). InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five of the world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.

Website and Social Media:
Website: https://hkust.edu.hk/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hkust/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hkust
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/school/hkust/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hkust

For more information, please contact:
Edward Priyan
Zainab Imichi Alhassan