Innovation at heart of new uni program

Local | Sum Lok-kei 12 Apr 2017

The Chinese University of Hong Kong is set to launch the SAR's first university- wide minor program in entrepreneurship and innovation in September.

Three tailor-made introductory courses will be available in the next semester, with a total of 20 courses to be rolled out in the future, the university said.

The program was developed based on a decade-long "match-making" initiative involving the business administration and engineering faculties, where engineers were paired with aspiring businessmen to work on new products or start companies.

It will bring in students from even more disciplines and hopefully nurture a "creative culture" at the university, said program co-director Andy Wong Ka- chat.

"Some say creativity is innate," said the professor in business administration. "But we don't believe in that - we think students can learn to be creative."

For example, in the course on "Design Thinking and Practices," students will be asked to solve daily problems by developing tools and construct prototypes using 3D printers and design software.

The university will also provide round-the-clock access to a co-working space called "Pi Center," where students will be able to exchange ideas and work on their projects.

Students can also go on trips to start- up hot-spots such as Silicon Valley in California, Jerusalem in Israel and Shanghai and Shenzhen in the mainland.

Students will meet with entrepreneurs in innovative industries, Wong said, adding that those with financial difficulties will be subsidized on these study trips.

Co-director Wong Kam-fai stressed that it is "not vocational training."

The engineering professor said it is not a must for every student in the program to become start-up founders, but it is important they learn the spirit of innovation and the correct mind-set in running a business.

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