According to the South China Morning Post, HKU's vice-president and pro-vice-chancellor Professor W. John Kao, said, "Beijing and Hong Kong can leverage the entire ecosystem whether it’s policy, education or finance. So it’s more than just two universities coming together, but two cities working on this very complex issue."
The central government has reportedly supported Hong Kong's initiative to build innovation and technology and to reduce its reliance on the financial industry.
With this new partnership, the Institute of Automation, the nation's AI research leader, will create a branch at Hong Kong's Science Park. The Ministry of Science and Technology, meanwhile, will work with SenseTime, a Hong Kong start-up, on AI endeavors like intelligent vision and face recognition.
Additionally, the Chinese University and Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology have co-built the Engineering Laboratory of Robot and Intelligent Manufacturing.
Kao said, "[AI] is a tremendously complex and large field. It is not something that one university or even 100 universities can tackle. This has to be collaboration."
He explained HKU and Tsinghua are well suited to collaborate, as HKY had strength in medical, finance, and manufacturing technologies, while Tsinghua had strong technical research and development accomplishments.
Kao added, "As Hong Kong is trying to reposition itself [...] what we really are looking at is not only the technological development, but the [development of] a new breed of students and talents that can tackle both the technical question as well as the application question."
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