State of the Faculty Address 2021

4 This September, the University signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a second campus in Nanshan district of Shenzhen that would complement the Hong Kong campus in Pokfulam. Whereas the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese preceded the University by 25 years, HKU-Shenzhen Hospital is already celebrating its tenth anniversary. HKUMed has been and will always be pioneers, opening up fresh tracks with our own footprints. Those tracks were paved with the gut, sweat and tears of our colleagues who had hand-carried scarce supplies every day they crossed the border, held their heads high when all around them deemed the project infeasible, resolved a long-running debt repayment crisis, fought off a corporate takeover bid, calmed labour unease with the introduction of modern human resources best practice, and kept faith and rallied the crew when support on the home front has been less than embracing. While University Central has not planned for HKUMed to be amongst the first group of faculties venturing into Shenzhen, we plough on readying ourselves for a full-fledged northern medical campus that is now more than three years in the making and counting. Some worry that much time has been lost and opportunities forgone; I nevertheless remain confident that there is a bright future ahead. The 14th Five-year Plan envisions health innovation and technology as a national strategic cornerstone for the Greater Bay Area. Shenzhen is arguably becoming more dynamic than Silicon Valley for digital technology companies, and has invested very substantially in health care infrastructure and training. Hong Kong retains its leading edge as Asia’s medical hub. All the ingredients for integrated success are ripe for harvest. Our job is to ensure the fruits are picked in good time. As the Director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office said in August: 「不進則退,慢進也是退」, whereas the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office summed it up more parochially as 「蘇州過後無艇搭」. Reassuringly, I am pleased to report that we are well on our way to renewing our collaborative agreement with the Shenzhen municipal government in operating the HKU-Shenzhen Hospital. Vice President Professor Peng Gong is leading that effort on the University’s behalf. And by 2027, on the 140th anniversary of HKUMed, a new clinical block of 1,000 additional beds and a research block equivalent in floor area to the Laboratory Block at 21 Sassoon Road will be completed at the Hospital. This enhanced capacity for clinical service delivery and evolution towards a truly research-led academic health science complex is a milestone to which we all look forward. The China Dream: Health care and health tech in the Greater Bay Area