In Focus - Issue 29 (Spring 2018)

05 IN FOCUS C’est une très bonne idée! France-HKUST Innovation Hub to spark closer ties with French industry n an international partnership initiative to build technological research and entrepreneurship across borders, HKUST and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau have joined together to form the France-HKUST Innovation Hub. The hub seeks to provide a one-stop platform to encourage ties between French and Hong Kong partners in education, science, technology and entrepreneurship, serving initially as an incubator of ideas and opportunities; and in the longer term as a catalyst for research and development projects within HKUST. The move builds on earlier successful projects between French companies and the University, including smart city research together with Thales, a major French aerospace and transportation company, and a collaboration between Schneider Electric, a French energy management and automation specialist with global reach, and the HKUST-MIT Research Alliance Consortium. Leaders from both the University and Consulate were delighted by the development. HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan described the hub as “a great platform for both sides to collaborate and spur innovation and technology development in tandem with many French industries”. For Consul General Mr Eric Berti, the prospect of matching the talent of HKUST students with the experience and business culture of French industry to develop innovation, science and technology would be “very exciting”. As an indication of the signi cance of the new center, Prof Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council, delivered the inaugural lecture at HKUST. His talk focused on “When Fundamental Discoveries Meet Daily Life”. The School of Engineering later invited Prof Laurent Boutillon, Scienti c Director of Vinci Construction Grands Projets, to give a presentation on “Chernobyl’s New Sarcophagus”. This recent company project provided a pioneering con nement shelter to assist site clean-up at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, which su ered a catastrophic explosion in . In October , an executive delegation from Orange, a major French telecoms company, visited HKUST Robotics Institute and introduced the company’s innovation strategy. A quarterly hub newsletter has also been launched. I Strengthening links: Dean of Engineering Tim Kwang Ting Cheng (left), President Tony F Chan (center) and French Consul General Eric Berti (right) launch the enterprising joint technological research initiative.