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SED visits European Research Council (with photos)

     The Secretary for Education (SED), Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, visited the European Research Council (ERC) in Belgium yesterday (July 30, Brussels time).
     Mr Ng met with the ERC President, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, and other senior representatives to exchange views on the strategies for funding research for excellence.
     Also present were the Chairman of the Research Grants Council of the University Grants Committee (UGC), Professor Benjamin Wah; the President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Timothy Tong; the President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Professor Tony Chan; and the Political Assistant to the SED, Mr Jeff Sze.  
     As the first pan-European funding body for frontier research, the ERC was set up in 2007 to encourage high quality research in Europe through competitive funding. Since its inception, the ERC has funded some 4 500 projects and counted eight Nobel laureates.
     Mr Ng said, "The HKSAR Government attaches great importance to supporting research work conducted by the post-secondary sector. Funding commitment from the Government has been a rising trend since 2004/05.  

     "In 2012/13, the reported aggregate expenditure on research of the UGC-funded institutions amounted to some $7.58 billion, representing an increase by six per cent compared with the previous year. Of the amount, 82 per cent came from the Government."
     Noting that the publicly funded institutions in Hong Kong have some 600 research collaborations with 28 member countries of the European Union (EU), Mr Ng said he hoped that Hong Kong-EU co-operation in education could be further enhanced.
     Mr Ng will return to Hong Kong on August 1 (Saturday).

Ends/Friday, July 31, 2015
Issued at HKT 10:51


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