The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) today (24 November) held the first Hong Kong-Macao Ocean Forum and an inauguration ceremony for the Department of Ocean Science and Technology. A number of renowned experts and scholars joined the forum to exchange ideas on the theme of marine environmental safety and sustainable development, while the inauguration ceremony marked the official establishment of the Department of Marine Science and Technology at UM for promoting research in regional oceans in Macao and nurturing talent in this field.
At the ceremony, Huang Jing, director general of the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21; Yonghua Song, rector of UM; Chen Dake, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Xu Chengzhong, dean of the FST; Gan Jianping, director of the Center for Ocean Research Hong Kong and Macau; and Xu Jie, interim director of the Centre for Regional Oceans, unveiled the plaque of the Department of Ocean Science and Technology. The ceremony attracted many faculty members, students, and industry practitioners.
In his speech, UM Vice Rector Ge Wei said that the development and utilisation of Macao’s wasters, costal environmental protection, and disaster prevention and mitigation have always been a hot topic in the local community. To this end, UM has been actively promoting marine research and has made regional oceans one of its three key research areas. In 2020, UM established the Centre for Regional Oceans to develop cutting-edge theories and innovative technologies in offshore civil engineering, ocean environment and ecology, and ocean disaster prevention. In 2022, UM played a leading role in the establishment of the China-Portuguese Speaking Countries Ocean Research Alliance to promote cooperation in ocean science and education between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. According to him, to further promote talent and research development in this field, UM decided to establish the Department of Ocean Science and Technology with a focus on ocean environment, disaster prevention and mitigation, and smart ocean technology research. The department offers a master’s degree programme in coastal environment and safety, with the goal of nurturing professionals in the field to meet the needs of the local community and integrating into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the national ocean science and technology innovation platform. This effort will also help build an international platform for cooperation in ocean science and technology and support national strategies such as the ‘Ocean-oriented nation’ policy and the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
In his speech, Lionel Ni, president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), said that he is delighted to see the opening of the first Hong Kong-Macao Ocean Forum. He pointed out that marine development and technology research are of great significance to the GBA and the entire country and expressed hope that all parties would jointly contribute to the development of the GBA and marine development of the country.
During the forum, experts and scholars gave presentations on the theme of marine environmental safety and sustainable development. Chinese Academy of Sciences members Wu Lixin, Jiao Nianzhi, Chen Dake, Zhang Renhe, Dai Minhan, and Dai Yongjiu, as well as Chinese Academy of Engineering member Zhang Si, also joined the forum either virtually or in-person to discuss advanced scientific issues related to ocean environment, disaster prevention and mitigation, and smart ocean technology research.
Other guests attending the forum and the ceremony included Huang Shengbiao, deputy head of the economic affairs department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; Ip Kuai Lam, member of the Administrative Committee of the Science and Technology Development Fund of Macao; Mok Kai Meng, vice rectors of UM; Tang Iu Man, deputy director of the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau; Ng Si Io, a division head of the Environmental Protection Bureau; Wu Chu Pang, head of the Maritime Activities Department of the Marine and Water Bureau; as well as Wong Kuan Lon, head of the Marine Technology Division of the Marine and Water Bureau.
The master’s degree programme in costal environment and safety is now open for applications. For applications and for more information, please visit the website of UM Graduate School at https://bit.ly/3U4ZPCG , or the website of the Department of Ocean Science and Technology of the Faculty of Science and Technology at https://www.fst.um.edu.mo/ost/.