The opening of the HKUST Shenzhen Industry, Education and Research (IER) Building and the topping out of HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School Building in Nansha signify a new milestone in HKUST's development. The buildings serve as the University's education and research bases in Mainland China.
HKUST is among the ﬁrst eight local and Mainland universities which obtained approval from the Shenzhen Municipal Government to establish bases in the Shenzhen Virtual University, National University Park for Science and Technology. The seven-storey Building, opened in September 2011, has a construction area of 15,000 sq m and is equipped with state-of-the-art research laboratories and teaching facilities. Research institutes and corporations in the Building include the HKUST Shenzhen Mechanical Engineering Laboratory and the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience.
HKUST President Tony F Chan said that Shenzhen has been playing a pioneering role since the economic reform kicked off on the Mainland. HKUST has been participating in Shenzhen's innovative efforts since the 1990s as Shenzhen launches a wide array of research and innovative initiatives.
A topping-out ceremony for HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School Building was held at Nansha IT Park in November 2011. With a construction area of 31,500 sq m, the ﬁve-storey Building is home to advanced laboratories, central research facilities and lecture theaters. HKUST Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies Prof Joseph Hun-wei Lee said, "The 12th Five-Year Plan sets out a clear position for stepping up the development of Nansha New District. We ﬁrmly believe that under the Mainland's policy, our Graduate School in Nansha will make greater progress."
The Graduate School was founded with the generous support of the Fok Ying Tung Foundation four years ago. It focuses on cultivating four major research areas encompassing Internet of Things, Advanced Manufacturing and Automation, Advanced Engineering Materials as well as Environment and Sustainable Development. It has secured more than 100 projects including the 973 and 863 programs, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) projects, and 'Guangdong- Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Projects'. The Foundation stated that the topping-out of the Building is a manifestation of the pioneering spirit advocated by the provincial government. It is also a key initiative of the Guangzhou Municipality and Nansha District governments to drive Guangdong-Hong Kong collaborations in innovation and technology.