City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited (GPHL) signed a framework agreement and announced the formation of a strategic alliance on 20 December. The aim of the alliance is to pursue collaboration in areas including business, economic and financial policy research; new drugs and diagnostic and therapeutic technologies development; and the training of healthcare management professionals.
At the same event, CityU announced its new Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Science and Engineering, which will be set up next January. The aim is to nurture highly educated and skilled professionals and researchers in the field of biomedicine, utilise the results of basic research in healthcare and nursing business, and cooperate with the School of Veterinary Medicine under preparation to enrich its pre-clinical veterinary medicine programme.
The framework agreement was signed by Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU, and Mr Li Chuyuan, Chairman and CEO of GPHL, at a ceremony held at CityU. The agreement demonstrates once again CityU’s commitment to collaborating with industries in mainland China to support social and economic advancement, create applicable knowledge, and nurture and develop the talents of students.
The guests attending the ceremony included Dr Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health, Hong Kong SAR Government; Dr Cecilia Pang Wai-bing, Biotechnology Director of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Hong Kong SAR Government; and Mr Ji Jianjun, Deputy Director-General of the Education, Science and Technology Department, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR.
Guangzhou officials included Mr Diao Ailin, Deputy Secretary General, Guangzhou Municipal Government; Mr Tang Guocai, Deputy Director-General, Foreign Affairs Office, People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality; Ms Zhong Guangjing, Deputy Secretary, Food and Drug Administration of Guangzhou Municipality; Mr Chen Xiongqiao, Deputy Director, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Guangzhou Municipality; and Mr Liao Jincheng, Deputy Inspector, Bureau of Science and Information Technology of Guangzhou Municipality.
Representatives from GPHL included Mr Chen Mao, General Manager, and Ms Liu Juyan, Deputy General Manager.
All guests were received by Professor Way Kuo, Professor Arthur Ellis, Provost, Professor Roderick Wong Sue-cheun, Vice-President (Development and External Relations), Professor Lu Jian, Vice-President (Research and Technology), Professor Horace Ip Ho-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Chief-of-Staff, Professor Yan Houmin, Dean of the College of Business, Professor Yan Hong, Acting Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Dr Howard Wong Kai-hay, Executive Director of Life Sciences Programmes, and Professor Michael Yang Mengsu, Acting Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences.
In congratulating the two parties, Dr Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health, Hong Kong SAR Government, said: “The Hong Kong SAR Government has been promoting cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong and fostering close ties and cooperation in the areas of public health, medical and related scientific research between the mainland and Hong Kong for mutual benefit.” .
“In addition to the government level cooperation, we encourage local institutions to collaborate with mainland institutions, taking advantage of the strengths of the two places and individual institutions. This strategic collaboration between CityU and GPHL will provide a valuable experience for the further development of related areas,” he added.
Mr Diao Ailin, Deputy Secretary General, Guangzhou Municipal Government, said: “Guangzhou government has been promoting the cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong, especially the cooperation between Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and offers strong support for the collaboration between universities and enterprises.”
“The strengths in scientific research of the world-class universities in Hong Kong combine well with the industry’s experience in business operation and marketing. The cooperation will enhance the innovation ability of enterprises, accelerate the industrialisation of the research results of the universities, and contribute to China’s economic development and the building of innovative society,” he added.
Mr Li Chuyuan, Chairman and CEO of GPHL, said he was very glad to be fostering the development of business, healthcare and biomedical industries with CityU. “I believe our knowledge and experience in researching, developing and manufacturing high-quality medical and health products will complement CityU’s scientific research projects, creating cross-functional synergies,” he said.
Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU, welcomed the strengthening of cooperation. “CityU has been taking the lead in teaching and research in business as well as in biomedicine, and has established close relationships with relevant industries,” he said.
“The formation of a strategic cooperative partnership between CityU and GPHL is bound to bring out the best in each other, and stimulate the advancement in business studies and biomedical sciences. It will contribute to the well-being of Hong Kong, mainland China and the Asian-Pacific region,” he continued.
Under the agreement, the College of Business at CityU, in collaboration with GPHL, will explore the possibilities to establish a China business and economic development research centre. The centre will aim at carrying out research in regional economic development, financial policy studies and business model innovations. Another key collaboration with GPHL will be the development of executive training programmes and student internships.
Both parties will establish a joint research centre on biomedical sciences, which will boost research and development into new medicine and diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. These advances will help prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and tumours, as well as enhance research into veterinary medicine, including infectious diseases and vaccines.
As a large enterprise supported by Guangzhou Municipal Government, GPHL focuses on the research and development of Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, chemical materials for medicine and preparations, and bio-pharmaceutical preparations, as well as the manufacturing and distribution of related products. It is the second largest enterprise in Guangzhou and ranks 1st in the Top 100 Companies of the National Pharmaceutical Industry announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
The mission of the newly established Department of Biomedical Sciences at CityU is to become a leading academic department in the Asia Pacific region, specialising in biomedical research and education, and to nurture well-qualified talent in the fields of healthcare, biotechnology and medicine, diagnostic medical equipment, and food and environmental industries.
The Department of Biomedical Sciences will focus on basic and translational research in brain and neuroscience, regenerative biology, and cancer biology, helping society to meet the challenge of an ageing population and the changing regulatory environment.
CityU’s School of Veterinary Medicine under preparation will work closely with the Department of Biomedical Sciences to further enrich the content of the pre-clinical teaching and learning of the veterinary programme, as well as the research services, unleashing the University’s strengths and diversity.