Theme-based Research Scheme Public Symposia 2013

Theme-based Research Scheme Public Symposia 2013

The first in a series of public symposia on Theme-based Research Scheme (TRS) projects was held at The University of Hong Kong on December 14, 2013. The symposia aim to communicate and share the achievements of the TRS projects amongst the research community and other stakeholders.

The objective of the TRS—launched in 2010 by the Research Grants Council (RGC) and financed by income from a Government Research Endowment Fund—is to focus research on themes of strategic importance to Hong Kong’s long-term development. To date, three rounds have been completed, with 14 projects funded. 

This first symposium covered 11 projects funded in the first two rounds of the TRS under 3 themes: Promoting Good Health, Developing a Sustainable Environment, and Enhancing Hong Kong’s Strategic Position as a Regional and International Business Centre.

The event was opened by the RGC Chairman, Professor Benjamin Wah. As well as welcoming the more than 200 participants and RGC panel members from across Hong Kong’s universities, Professor Wah also outlined the background and aims of this important funding scheme. “A successful TRS project not only brings long-term benefit to Hong Kong, but also builds up international recognition during the research period,” Professor Wah said. He encouraged communication on the projects, such as through the symposia, particularly given the relevance of the research to the community.

More remarks on the TRS were then provided by the Chairman of the Major Projects Steering Committee, Professor Yip-wah Chung. He emphasised the dual role of such projects in providing high-impact, cutting-edge research alongside quality research education and training, to both “solve problems and train and nurture problem solvers”.

Following the opening speeches, participants split into three parallel sessions reflecting the three themes of the TRS. Each session comprised presentations by the Co-ordinators and team members of the awarded projects, with time after each presentation for discussion.

Under Promoting Good Health, the presentations on the six TRS projects awarded in the first and second rounds of TRS (in 2011/12 and 2012/13) were on a liver cancer genome project; plasma nucleic acids in cancer diagnostics; personalized medicine for cardiovascular diseases; cell-based heart regeneration; a stem cell strategy for nervous system disorders; and genomic variation and degenerative skeletal disorders.

Presentations on three projects under the Developing a Sustainable Environment theme were given, on organic photo-voltaics and light-emitting diodes; sustainable lighting technology; and an LED system-on-a-chip.

Two projects were presented under Enhancing Hong Kong’s Strategic Position as a Regional and International Business Centre: one on Hong Kong as an international financial centre, the other on ocean container transport logistics.

Alongside the presentations, the project teams also outlined their research in posters, which were displayed throughout the day.

Full project titles and a synopsis for each project can be found in the brochure for the event:


Find out more