By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) will offer a total of MOP 62 million in funding to the two state key laboratories in Macau in the next three years.
The FDCT announced at a press conference yesterday the “Partner Laboratory of the State Key Laboratory of Natural Drugs and Chinese Medicine” set up by the University of Macau (UM) and the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), and the “Partner Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal Very-Large-Scale Integration [VLSI]” set up by the UM have been granted the Ministry of Science and Technology’s approval to upgrade their titles to become state key laboratories of mainland China.
They will be renamed respectively the “State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Quality Research” and the “State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal Very-Large-Scale Integration”.
According to FDCT president Tong Chi Kin, the Chinese medicine laboratory and the analog lab have respectively requested MOP 32 million and MOP 30 million of funding between 2011 and 2013 to be used on purchasing basic facilities, apparatus and also maintenance.
Therefore, Tong said in 2011 each of them will receive the first phase of funding worth MOP 12 million, and they will acquire half the remaining amount in 2012 and the remainder in 2013.
However, the funding is pending approval from the Chief Executive, who Tong quoted has pledged “full support” to the two state key laboratories.
The Chinese medicine laboratory occupies 5,200 square metres with apparatuses and equipments worth around MOP 100 million.
It currently has 15 professors, seven associate professors, 11 assistant professors and seven PhD researchers.
Meanwhile, the analog laboratory has 11 full-time staff members including two IEEE fellows. It has applied for a number of patents and delivered nearly 150 “high quality and influential” dissertations regarding microelectronics research, the FDCT said.
The FDCT said the state key laboratories enable Macau to have “better research conditions, cultivate technology talents and attract outstanding researchers from abroad”.
It added that they pose an “iconic meaning” to the development of science and technology in Macau and will also create a “far-reaching influence” on the territory’s education and economic development.