Task Force on Review of Research Policy and Funding submits review report (with photo)

The following is issued on behalf of the University Grants Committee:

     At the invitation of the Chief Executive as announced in her Policy Address last October, the Task Force on Review of Research Policy and Funding was immediately set up under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC). The Task Force submitted to the Government today (September 11) its Review Report on Research Policy and Funding.
     In addition to reporting the review findings on the existing research support strategy in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions, the Task Force put forth an array of recommendations which aim to:

(a) allocate research funding in a more streamlined and transparent manner;
(b) incentivise the higher education sector to conduct more cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional research collaborations; and
(c) encourage the higher education sector to engage in research commercialisation as well as knowledge transfer with the industry and the community.

     Having considered carefully the views received from the consultation exercise, the Task Force submitted recommendations for the Government's consideration, which include:
  • increasing research funding substantially;
  • setting up a Research Matching Grant Scheme;
  • introducing three new fellowship schemes for researchers;
  • augmenting support for research infrastructure by a review of the Research Grants Council (RGC)'s mode of operations and enhancing the effectiveness of the UGC's Research Portion grant;
  • streamlining and rationalising the existing three collaborative research funding schemes under the RGC;
  • setting up an internal government liaison group for enhancing and improving the co-ordination among different funding bodies; and
  • adopting a common researcher identity for grants applications prior to the setting up of a central database on research in the long run.

     The Chairman of the Task Force, Professor Tsui Lap-chee, said, "Hong Kong is now presented with the most advantageous environment to become a research hub of the region over the next few years. I hope the Government's adoption and timely implementation of the recommendations made by the Task Force will help improve the research policy and further the research excellence of Hong Kong with enhanced support for research work."

     The Review Report has been endorsed by the UGC and its English version, as well as the Chinese version of its Executive Summary, is available at the UGC website: www.ugc.edu.hk/eng/ugc/index.html. The Chinese version of the full report will be published as soon as possible.

     The Task Force was led by Professor Tsui Lap-chee to conduct a holistic review on the existing research support strategy and the level and allocation mechanism of research funding for the higher education sector in Hong Kong. Along with the invitation, the Government had set aside no less than $10 billion as additional funding for university research.

     After it was set up, the Task Force proceeded in full swing to review the existing funding allocation mechanism in Hong Kong and study closely the experience of the research ecosystems in other regions. To converge the insights from the research community, the Task Force published an Interim Report for Consultation in order to gauge views from the various sectors on its observations and preliminary recommendations. The Interim Report was published for consultation on June 6 this year and the consultation period ended on July 10. A series of consultation activities were conducted during the two months. The Task Force studied and duly considered all feedback and views collected during the consultation period, and submitted the review results together with the final recommendations to the Government.

Ends/Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Issued at HKT 12:35