UM inaugurates alliance for technological innovation and talent development in western GBA, Tam Chon Weng: UM has a unique status and advantage in western GBA

UM inaugurates the Alliance for Technological Innovation and Talent Development in Western GBA

An inauguration ceremony for the Alliance for Technological Innovation and Talent Development in Western Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the first Alliance Forum on Collaboration in Technology and Education were held today (19 August) at the University of Macau (UM). Over 70 members of senior management teams of universities and government representatives from western GBA attended the ceremony to witness the inauguration. In his speech, Tam Chon Weng, secretary for social affairs and culture of the Macao SAR, said that the SAR government places equal emphasis on ‘enhancing Macao’s own capacity’ and ‘strengthening regional collaboration’, adding that the establishment of the alliance is an important measure aimed to promote technological innovation and personnel training in western GBA.

According to Tam, the quality of teaching and research at UM is constantly improving in recent years, earning the university a spot among the top 400 in the world, both in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings, as well as an strategically important status and advantage among universities in the western GBA. So far, Macao has established four state key laboratories, which focus on chip research and development, quality research for traditional Chinese medicine, Internet of Things applications for smart cities, as well as lunar and planetary sciences, respectively. Some of these labs have reached the highest standards in the world. Tam hopes that the various cities in western GBA will work closely together in technological innovation and personnel training, adding that the Macao SAR government will continue to support the universities in the GBA in collaborative innovation.

In his speech, UM Rector Yonghua Song said that the establishment of the alliance reflects UM’s effort to grasp the opportunities brought about by the development of the GBA and to support the SAR government’s strategic plan. According to Song, UM hopes to integrate the teaching and research resources of the various cities in western GBA in order to promote technological innovation, personnel training, and the sustainable development of Macao and the GBA. UM will focus its efforts on two fronts. First, UM will make full use of its strengths in scientific research to attract high-quality resources in education and research from around the world through an open and interconnected regional innovation system, in order to inject new energy into higher education and industry-academia collaboration in western GBA. Second, UM will build closer relations with governments, universities, and research institutes in western GBA and will work closely with the University Alliance of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to integrate teaching and research resources in the region, in order to promote innovation and deepen collaboration.

Liao Jingshan, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province; Li Weimin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Jiangmen Municipal Committee and head of the CPC Jiangmen Municipal United Front Work Department; Yan Wu, vice mayor of Zhuhai; and Na Jia, deputy head of the Department of Education of Guangdong province, said that the alliance will help to combine the strengths of universities, research institutes, and companies in the western GBA and deepen technological innovation and collaboration in education.

The inauguration ceremony was followed by the first Alliance Forum on Collaboration in Technology and Education. According to Rector Song, UM will fully support the Macao SAR government’s effort to participate in the development of the GBA as well as Macao’s development into a world centre for tourism and leisure and an economic and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

Tang Tao, president of Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, and Zhang Yunhua, president of Wuyi University, each gave a speech on the current development of their institutions in the GBA. They pointed out that serving as a platform for collaboration between industry and universities in western GBA, the alliance will help to promote exchange and collaboration in personnel and technology among cities in the region.

The alliance was initiated by UM and jointly established with Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College and Wuyi University. Earlier, the three parties signed a collaboration agreement at UM. Currently comprised of 17 member universities in the GBA, the alliance will first promote teaching and research among universities in western GBA before shifting its focus to building relations between companies, research institutes, and universities in the region so that they can work closely to integrate teaching and research resources in western GBA, in order to jointly promote innovation and deepen collaboration. In addition, the alliance will support the effort of the University Alliance of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to enhance the quality of technological innovation and personnel training in western GBA in order to develop the region into a centre for technological innovation and personnel training.

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