By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The MOP 62 million funding for the two state key laboratories in Macau will be closely monitored in order to avoid improper spending, a senior Government official assured.
The State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Quality Research, jointly developed by the University of Macau (UM) and the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), and the State Key Laboratory of Analog and Mixed-Signal Very-Large-Scale Integration (VLSI), established by the UM, had their plaques unveiled in a ceremony held at the Cultural Centre yesterday.
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, vice-minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology Cao Jianlin, director of the Chinese Liaison Office in Macau Bai Zhijian, and Secretary for Transport and Public Works of Macau Lau Si Io were among the officiating guests.
According to president of the Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT), Tong Chi Kin, on the sidelines of the ceremony, the Macau Government has already granted each of the two state key laboratories the first phase of the MOP 12 million funding.
The Chinese medicine lab and the analog lab 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.
After that they will acquire half the remaining amount in 2012 and the remainder in 2013.
Tong told reporters FDCT has “clearly defined” the use of the funding and will “strictly monitor” the expenditure of the labs.
The work of the labs will also be reviewed each year and if irregularities are found, the “state key lab” title could be removed, he stressed.
Meanwhile, Tong pointed out that the two labs currently do not have sufficient human resources and thus do not yet meet the requirements of a state key lab.
However, he said the number of personnel needed would depend on the research topics assigned by the Chinese Government in the future, adding that experts from abroad will be invited if necessary.
Since the Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences of UM and the Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health of MUST are in partnership in operating the Chinese medicine lab, Tong said he hoped the two universities can share the research work based on their respective advantages.
“It’s not a competition [between UM and MUST] but division of labour,” he said.
On the other hand, Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io said in his welcome speech that the establishment of state key labs in Macau will “expand the room for technology development, create better conditions for research, foster talents as well as attract outstanding researchers from abroad”, which consequently can “significantly raise the research capacity and standard of Macau”.
The secretary also said research outcomes of Chinese medicine and integrated circuits are “relatively easy to be transformed into products or technical services”, thus providing support to Macau’s economic diversification.