September saw a quantum leap in CityU's IT infrastructure with the generous help from numerous industry giants: IBM, EMC, PCCW and Sun.
IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd has donated an e-business software package worth more than HK$14 million to CityU to support both teaching and research. The package, comprising IBMs flagship products for application in e-commerce as well as Internet security management, will be used to support a number of e-business related courses offered by the Department of Computer Science. The products will be installed in the Department's E-Commerce System Development Laboratory and the Internet Security & PKI Application Centre, to support applied research projects. They will also provide an upgraded IT environment where students will be able to put e-business theory into practice.
"At CityU we are committed to producing a new generation of computing professionals," said Professor P S Chung, Vice-President (Research). "By signing up for the IBM e-generation @ CityU programme we are providing students with the opportunity to carry out laboratory work using state-of-the-art e-business software."
"We understand that making a success of e-business requires more than good software, it also requires great talent," said
Mr Tony Tai, Director of Marketing, IBM Greater China Group.
Recent manpower surveys in Hong Kong reveal that the IT industry will need a workforce of 106,000 in the year 2004. An annual entry of 8,000 to 11,000 IT professionals, half of them at degree or higher level, will be needed to keep pace with the upsurge in demand.
Meanwhile, CityU has adopted the EMC E-Infostructure, a centralized and consolidated storage system, to manage its ever-growing information demands on teaching, administration and research. Implementing EMC's networked storage infrastructure means the University's Computing Services Centre can now handle more complicated information management tasks more efficiently and without hiring extra staff. The EMC E-Infostructure at CityU has a storage capacity of seven terabytes and is the largest academic networked information infrastructure in Hong Kong.
And CityU and PCCW have initiated research and development into new Web-based 3D collaborative technologies in conjunction with the support of the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF). Under a grant from the ITF's University-Industry Collaboration Programme, PCCW's Business eSolutions and the ITF have provided HK$2 million and HK$1.9 million respectively to CityU to develop 3D collaborative technologies in the next two years. Sun Microsystems will provide server-class hardware, valued at HK$1.2 million, as the implementation platform. High-performance, Web-based 3D collaborative technologies will speed up the transmission time of complex or changing objects, enabling collaboration on designs by participants in remote locations. Fashion designers and overseas contract manufacturers, for example, could work together online at speeds several times those currently used to refine computer-drawn designs.