Computer, IT research gets most funding

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Issue 972, Page 3
Word count: 556
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) approved 34 research projects in 2009 and of which, a majority involving MOP17 million of sponsorship were on computer and information technology.

According to FDCT’s administrative committee member Cheang Kun Wai in the press conference yesterday, nearly MOP200 million were granted to a total of 157 scientific research projects over the past five years.

In 2009 alone, FDCT had received 92 funding applications, involving some MOP156 million.

However, only 66 applications could be assessed in the year and 34 of them got the okays for more than MOP33 million of government funding.

The 34 scientific research projects were mostly on computer and information technology (10) amounting to MOP17.2 million, which was followed by patents (8) at MOP100,000, biotechnology (6) at MOP4.5 million, manufacturing technology (4) at MOP1.3 million, nanotechnology (2) at MOP5.5 million, Chinese medicine (2) at MOP3.3 million, as well as materials science (1) and others (1) at respectively MOP700,000 and MOP300,000.

The University of Macau (UM) was the entity that received more than MOP18 million of funding for its 10 research projects last year. Eight of the approved projects, involving MOP8.5 million, were applied by the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) whilst the Macao Polytechnic Institute (IPM) had one amounting to MOP480,000.

The rest of the projects were from the United Nations University or international software technology research institutes, private institutes or enterprises, and individuals.

In addition, Cheang said in 2009 FDCT received conclusion reports from 37 scientific research projects and also approved other 41 projects to start compiling a conclusion.

The 41 projects included research on automatic ultrasonic washing machines without the use of detergent, the development of a methodology to evaluate the pathological conditions of the exposed façades of buildings in Macau, the development of small turbojet engines in Macau, a forecast system for Macau’s gaming industry, and protecting e-Government from fraud and cyber attack.

Meanwhile, president of the FDCT administrative committee Tong Chi Kin said under the cooperation framework with the mainland, the Fund has implemented work to “recommend Macau experts to enter the expert database of China’s National Science and Technology Program”.

In 2009 six experts from UM, IPM and MUST have successfully got into the database.

In addition, UM and MUST have made a joint declaration to become the partner laboratory with the Beijing University’s State Key Laboratory of Natural and Chinese Medicine.

UM has also filed an independent declaration to become the partner laboratory with the Fudan University’s State Key Laboratory of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) and System.

Tong said the two Macau laboratories have already signed a letter of intent with the mainland partners.

At present, chairman of the Mainland-Macau Science and Technology Cooperation Committee and Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io has formally recommended the establishment of the two partner laboratories to the National Ministry of Science and Technology.

In response to the Ministry’s request, one staff worker has been arranged to learn Portuguese at the Macao Polytechnic Institute.

The first year of learning is in Macau while the second year will be in Portugal.

In regard to internal research, Tong said FDCT has initiated an investigation into the progress of science and technology in Macau since its 1999 handover and also an analysis and review on the funding applications over the past years.

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