Dear Colleagues,

The opening of ARTS+iNNOVATION (A+i) at the City University of Hong Kong Chengdu Research Institute (CityUCRI) on 11 May was cause for great celebration. Supported by the Centre for Applied Computing and Interactive Media, Chengdu and the Centre for Innovative Applications of Virtual Reality Technologies, CityU’s A+i provides a strategic platform from which the University can further capitalise on its strengths in creative media and virtual reality (VR), and thereby promote pioneering technology in response to societal needs in the region and the mainland.

We are deeply grateful to the government of Sichuan Province for helping to transform CityUCRI into a technology and innovation base for Sichuan and Hong Kong. We also thank the distinguished guests who officiated at the opening ceremony, among whom were Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Mr Huang Jianfa, Member of the Sichuan Provincial Party Standing Committee and Minister of the Organisation Department of the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee; and Mr Lester Garson Huang, CityU Council Chairman.

Over the years, CityU scholars’ groundbreaking discoveries have translated well into real-world applications, enhancing economic development and improving the quality of life. Their innovations, ranging from energy-saving flying robots to the discovery of novel materials and the invention of green technologies, have won international acclaim. They deliver solutions and products that advance areas such as healthcare, biomedical engineering, information technology, new media, and sustainable energy, among others.

CityU graduates have demonstrated comparable levels of entrepreneurship. For example, one of our PhD graduates in 2013 founded a leading international high-tech company in Shenzhen called Orbbec that specialises in 3D technology. That company now employs close to 400 employees and runs offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an and the US. Another CityU PhD graduate made use of technology developed at CityU to set up in 2010 Vitargent (International) Biotechnology Limited, a company that specialises in food safety through testing for toxicity.

Investment in innovation and entrepreneurship will continue in strategic areas such as data science, artificial intelligence, robotics, green technology, block chain, healthcare, cultural preservation and the creative industries. I have asked our Vice-President (Research and Technology) and his team to increase incentives for boosting innovation and fostering entrepreneurship.

Best wishes for the summer!

Way Kuo
President and University Distinguished Professor