University of Hong Kong and Guangdong Pharmaceutical University collaborate on bio & health technology and translational medical R&D

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Guangdong Pharmaceutical University (GDPU) have cooperatively announced the launch of the GDPU-HKU Innovations Platform (the Platform) in Zhongshan. The two universities will collaborate on bio- and health technology and translational medical research and development in Guangdong-Zhuhai-Macau Greater Bay Area.

A Satellite Branch of HKU’s Partner State Key Laboratory of pharmaceutical biotechnology will also be set up at GDPU.

The move is of great strategic importance to HKU especially in terms of the technology transfer and commercialisation of the University’s cutting-edge research particularly in the field of bio-medicine. The step is even more significant as it reinforces the University’s presence and contribution to development in the Greater Bay Area.

The Platform will take part in and ride on the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint and other national strategic documents to define the development plan of bio-medicine in China, which will capacitate the growth of its medical health industry to S$16.3 trillion by 2020 and S$32.7 trillion by 2030.

Zhongshan Municipal People’s Government has pledged its support to the move and has committed to growing its national medical base and bio-medical industry. The Platform will play a major role in the development of the Greater Bay Area by leveraging on HKU’s technological innovations and cutting-edge research as well as utilising GDPU's expertise in translational medicine development and incubation facility operation. GDPU has established an extensive and influential industrial network in the area and steers the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau pharmaceutical industry collaborative alliance which has nearly 200 members from enterprises, associations, and educational institutes.

The Platform has been established at the “Torch High-Tech Industrial Zone”, a national health technology park supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the People’s Governments of Guangdong and Zhongshan City. Three core units – the Incubation Facility, the joint-laboratory, and the Technology Transfer Unit – will be set up. The target is to develop the Platform into a National level technology enterprise incubator capable of hosting a minimum of 50 spin-off companies as well as incubating at least 10 HKU technologies within the next 5 years.

A ceremony to celebrate the Platform’s was held on July 6 in Zhongshan. HKU Acting President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Tam, President of GDPU Professor Guo Jiao and Mayor of Zhongshan Government Mr Jiao Lansheng officiated at the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Professor Tam said the Platform signifies a new stage in the University’s effort to excel in research, innovation, and technology. “The Platform has provided us with enormous opportunities. Not only opportunities for our researchers and students to exchange and collaborate with medical industry clusters in Zhongshan City and companies in Greater Bay Area, but also technology transfer and commercialisation opportunities of HKU inventions and know-hows on biotechnologies and medical research to local companies, which will allow us to better serve the community in the long run,” he added.

The Incubation Facility (the Incubator) is expected to be set up under the Platform and will develop into a municipal-level technological enterprise incubator in Zhongshan in the next couple of years. That is, it will house 5 to 10 companies by 2019/20. Later, by 2022/23, the facility is expected to develop into a provincial-level technological enterprise incubator in the Guangdong Province, with a total of 20 to 30 companies housed in it. The ultimate goal is the development of a national-level technological enterprise incubator in China by 2023 with more than 50 companies operating within the facility.

The Technology Transfer Unit will provide services to both HKU and GDPU researches in areas related to technology transfer. Moreover, it will help commercialise HKU’s IPs as well as GPDU’s translational research to industrial enterprises and technology companies in Zhongshan City and in the Greater Bay area.

The Joint-Laboratory, equipped with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facilities, will provide space and laboratory facilities for researchers from HKU and GDPU to conduct joint-research projects.

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