Talking about HKU’s KE direction

Senior Management talking about HKU's KE direction

Universities are knowledge organizations. In the continuous pursuit of excellence in research, the University strives to ensure that our innovations and the new knowledge we create can be shared with our society. Knowledge that is shared is the power that holds the promise of a better future for our society.

Knowledge exchange (KE) is certainly not new to HKU.  Our faculty members have been engaging in a wide range of KE activities through applied research, technology transfer, contract research, professional and continuing education courses, public lectures, arts appreciation programmes, policy advice to the Government, and expertise sharing through the media, etc.

What may be considered new is that KE has been made an explicit part of the HKU Strategic Plan 2009-2014. 'The University is committed to enhance KE development not because of the UGC's request, but because we want to maximize the value of our research to society,' said Professor Paul Tam, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research). 'It is nevertheless encouraging that the UGC has recognized the importance of knowledge transfer by providing some funding support to institutions.'

Professor John Malpas, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Infrastructure), said, 'The University uses the term KE rather than knowledge transfer, as used by the University Grants Committee, to emphasize the two-way flow of knowledge between the University and non-academic sectors of society for mutual benefit. HKU's KE strategy not only includes technology transfer but also encompasses all disciplines, including the arts and humanities and the social sciences. Knowledge Exchange is a vital part of the University's activities, and in future KE will be assessed and included as a measure of a Faculty's success in the budgetary process.''

The University has defined the internal structure to support the KE strategy. At the management level, the Executive Group comprising PVC Tam, PVC Malpas, Professor John Bacon-Shone and Professor Paul Cheung oversees strategic developments in KE. The KE Working Group with Faculty representation has also been formed to co-ordinate the implementation of strategic KE initiatives. On the administration side, there is a small Knowledge Exchange Office set up under PVC Tam.

Looking ahead, Professor Tam said, ''There is a lot of good KE work done by our Faculty members. Building on that, we will further enhance an institutional culture that is conducive to knowledge sharing through a continuous process of staff engagement. We will strive not only to strengthen technology transfer, but also to foster the development of high-impact KE initiatives in all disciplines.''