The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) received an HK$40 million donation a foundation.
The gift is set to empower HKUST students in solving real-world problems with innovative thinking and technology know-how, and to deliver social impact with tangible solutions in resource-limited communities.
The generous gift from the Foundation – a charitable organization dedicated to helping others with projects mostly focused on supporting education and the underprivileged in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia – will be used to set up an endowment fund called the ‘Seal of Love Foundation Student Innovative Service Fund’.
In appreciation of the foundation’s support, the University has named a wing of its semi-circular Academic Building ‘Seal of Love Charitable Foundation Wing’.
The Founder of the Foundation along with members of his family officiated at the naming ceremony earlier to unveil the commemorative plaque of the Wing.
At the ceremony, the foundation’s Director stated that the HKST was the best fit to achieve the vision with its bright and promising young scholars of HKUST.
It is hoped that the new fund will allow HKUST students to use their imagination and technological know-how to come up with disruptive tangible solutions to the world’s most pressing problems with maximum social impact.
It was noted that HKUST shares a common goal with the foundation on driving self-expectation on having a positive social impact with what HKUST is good at, namely, innovation, design thinking and science and technology.
The institution encourages its students to apply their ideas and knowledge with the goal of serving people; hence, it is a combination of service and learning for them. The university noted that the generous donation is a testimony of confidence in the devotion and capabilities of HKUST’s faculty and student.
Established in 2010, the Foundation has devoted efforts to serving the underprivileged in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, building schools and sponsoring students to earn vocational and university degrees in Cambodia, as well as supporting a Chinese medicine mobile clinic for elderly in Hong Kong.
Student Innovation for Global Health Technology (SIGHT) is a program that was launched in 2014. It aims to empower HKUST students to tackle global health issues both locally and overseas. SIGHT will be the first project to be supported by the aforementioned fund.
In collaboration with various partners, SIGHT students devise creative and affordable solutions for real-world problems.
Their inventions include a diagnostic software for diabetic retinopathy in Indonesia, a tailored keyboard for students with special educational needs (SEN) to enter Math formula in Hong Kong, and a mobile electronic health record system for medical teams who serve the slums and rural provinces of Cambodia, which has since found its way to Gambia.
Other upcoming projects include medicine and equipment transport for mobile clinics in Cambodia, learning aids for SEN students in Hong Kong and tackling anaemia in tribal villages of Gujarat, India.
Hong Kong working to sustain the I&T sector
Support in all its forms is necessary for innovation and technology is flourish in Hong Kong. In an earlier article, OpenGov Asia reported that in order to sustain the growth momentum of Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology (I&T) sector, the HKSTP will also be focusing on further strengthening the I&T ecosystem by creating a culture and environment where tech entrepreneurs and enterprises can flourish.
Acquiring high-calibre talent, investing in their development and enabling the exchange will be crucial if Hong Kong is to leapfrog and accelerate I&T development into new areas.