HKUST, PhIRDA Launch Innovation and Research Platforms

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association (PhIRDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to establish two innovation and research centers. The collaboration aims to enhance Hong Kong’s pharmaceutical innovation and commercialization capabilities, as well as making wider contributions to pharmaceutical innovation and development in the Greater Bay Area and beyond.

A delegation of PhIRDA members, comprising of representatives from over 20 well-known pharmaceutical companies including Fosun Pharma, Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, RemeGen, Ascentage Pharma, visited HKUST to learn about the University’s latest research outcomes in the area of life and health sciences.

Witnessed by HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP, PhiRDA Chairman Mr. LI Jia, HK Bio-Med Innotech Association President Prof. LO Yuk-Lam and other representatives, HKUST Vice-President for Research and Development (VPRD) Prof. Tim CHENG and Executive President of PhIRDA Prof. SONG Ruilin signed the agreement.

According to the MOU, the two parties will ride on the University’s strength in basic research and the Association members’ knowledge transfer capabilities in pharmaceutical innovation, to jointly establish the “Greater Bay Area Center for International BioMed Innovations” in promoting basic research and expedite the commercialisation of the research outcomes.

Meanwhile, HKUST and PhIRDA will also establish the “Greater Bay Area Center for Policy Research on BioMed Development” to embark on studies of the regulatory science of drugs and medical devices, as well as advising the relevant mainland and Hong Kong authorities on policy matters. This Center will consider hosting courses to nurture talent on pharmaceutical innovation, regulation and R&D management. It will also promote the establishment of a review and approval mechanism for drugs and medical equipment in Hong Kong, as well as the alignment of the regulatory mechanisms between Hong Kong and the Mainland.

HKUST President Prof. Nancy Ip said, “The HKSAR Government has set aside HK$6 billion for the establishment of life and health technology research institutes in the Budget announced last week to promote collaboration between universities and institutions, HKUST is very pleased that we partner with the PhIRDA on establishing two innovation and research centers I am sure with our unique strength in life and health tech research, as well as the R&D and commercialization capabilities of PhIRDA’s member organizations, we will be able to propel Hong Kong and the Mainland’s R&D in pharmaceutical innovation, contribute to the advancement of pharmaceutical regulations across the borders, and advance life and health tech development in the region.”

PhIRDA Executive President Prof. Song Ruilin said, “Biomedical Science has always been an area of great concern to the world’s developed economies. With strong support from its Motherland and the city’s own strength in basic research, Hong Kong will take the lead in making breakthroughs in biomedical innovations. PhIRDA is delighted to collaborate with HKUST on establishing the ‘Greater Bay Area Center for International BioMed Innovations’ and the ‘Greater Bay Area Center for Policy Research on BioMed Development’ to promote the commercialization of higher education institutions’ basic research outcomes and the alignment of regulatory mechanisms between the Mainland and Hong Kong, facilitating the innovative development of drugs and medical devices in the Greater Bay Area.”

Members of the visiting PhIRDA delegation also discussed with HKUST VPRD Prof. Tim Cheng and other members of the university management the needs in the development of Hong Kong’s biotech and related industries, and ways to deepen strategic cooperation between the two parties. Meanwhile, HKUST faculty and start-ups also showcased multiple biomedical research projects to the delegation, introducing HKUST’s latest discoveries on drug therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, cancers and aging-related diseases.

About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 30th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2022. As of 2022, HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 8 IPO companies, generating economic impact worth over HK$400billion. InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.

About China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association

Founded in 1988. China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association (PhIRDA), is registered as a non-profit 4A social organization by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China at national level. PhIRDA has been exerting great effort on “academia-industry-investment collaboration”, which centers on the principle of “innovation, industrialization, internationalization”, and persists in innovation to achieve unmet clinical requirements. As a platform facilitating the industrialization of pharmaceutical innovation, PhIRDA currently has 182 members mainly consists of pharmaceutical R&D enterprises, research institutions, clinical institutions, R&D Services companies and investment institutions focusing on pharmaceutical innovation. Moreover, PhIRDA has established the following Specialty Committees: Drug R&D, Clinical Trial Research, Medicinal Policy, Pharmaceutical Innovation Investment and Innovation R&D Services, Clinical Research on Cardiovascular Drugs, International Regulatory Science, Clinical Research on Oncology Drugs, Clinical Research on Cranial Nerve Drugs, Ethics and Business Compliance, Clinical Research on Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, forming a fully functional organization structure focusing on innovation, aiming to promote the development of innovation, covering the whole industrial chain, including drug R&D, manufacturing, using, investment and capital market. PhIRDA is also a member of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) to continuously broaden channels of international collaboration.

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