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Innovation through Collaboration

Excelling together through interdisciplinary research has long been a goal of The University of Hong Kong (HKU) as it seeks to develop strategically relevant research themes.

Since 2004, the University has been identifying themes of current or potential strength for strategic development to maximise the impact of its research. These themes build on expertise and interests that cross disciplines—utilising the synergies that such collaborations can bring—and address issues of importance to the community here in Hong Kong and Greater China as well as around the world. The task of identifying the themes is undertaken by the University Research Committee, a multi-disciplinary team of experienced researchers, chaired by the Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research).

The current 16 strategic research themes and 5 emerging themes—which form 5 strategic research areas of Community, Biomedicine, Environment, Frontier Technology and China—build on two previous rounds of the initiative in 2004–07 and 2008–11. Over the three cycles we are enriching and refining areas of expertise and nurturing emerging topics of potential strength and importance.

As well as stimulating productive working relationships within these themes, there is also interrelation with major work at the University funded from external sources. The table on related projects provides an indication of the links between the strategic research themes and current large-scale projects under the HKSAR government-funded Areas of Excellence and Theme-based Research Scheme, and the National Key Basic Research Development Program (973 Program) of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China; and also HKU’s Partner State Key Laboratories, which work closely with research institutions in Mainland China.

Research at the University spans its 10 Faculties and numerous departments, research centres and institutes. This wide range of experience is reflected in the membership of the themes outlined in this website and the associated publication, which it is hoped may encourage interest in HKU’s research and potential collaboration. More information on research at HKU can be found at

(For hard copies of the associated publication, please email