BICI-HK Collaborative Research Program
The Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI) is a pioneering new institute in China who endeavours to bring research outputs to market. It employs innovative approaches to fund for translational researches aiming to improve the probability of commercialization success. It has established collaborations with both major domestic and overseas institutions. The most recent cases include partnership programs with the University of Michigan and ASTRI.
The institute has also set-up a branch in Hong Kong (BICI-HK) that aims at funding on research projects in local universities for commercialization, investing in start-up companies founded in universities, and facilitating those companies by connecting with business networks and markets in Mainland China.
For more information, the PowerPoint presented by BICI in the BICI Funding Briefing Session on 20 May, 2016 can be downloaded here.
Key Research Area of Interest
The BICI now calls for collaborative research proposal in the following areas:
  • Water Treatment – the R&D and application service in fields of the treatment of municipal wastewater, light-polluted river and lake water, and industrial wastewater
  • Intelligent Robot – the R&D and technical services of high end robots such as rehabilitation robot, surgical robot, and specialized robot
  • New Material for Energy Storage – the phase change energy storage materials, fuel additives and clean energy technology, lithium-ion battery materials, hydrogen fuel cell materials, flexible solar cells and energy storage materials, and photovoltaic materials
  • Visible Light Communication & Positioning System the development of visible light communication and positioning technology and system
  • Photonic Semiconductor the development and application of key device, ASIC, interconnect & network technology, laser display, narrow band gap, semiconductor device and related applications
  • Medical Imaging Equipment the development of medical imaging equipment
  • Genomics & Health Management the field of omics technologies, precision diagnosis, antineoplastics, and application of Chinese medicine
  • Intelligent Manufacturing the areas of micro/nano-scale materials or fiber reinforced matrix composites for design, manufacturing, measurement or molding control, etc., or implement into 3D printing. 
Moreover, the proposals related to the following research fields of the 18 Collaborative Innovation Centers at BICI are also welcomed:
  • Simulation & Design
  • Intelligent Robot
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Laser Technology
  • Smart Grid
  • Space Information
  • Modern Communication Technology
  • Financial Technology
  • Optoelectronics Technology
  • New Energy Material
  • Nano-meter Materials & Carbon Materials
  • Energy Saving & Emission Reduction
  • Water Treatment
  • Air Pollution Control
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Omics & Health Management
  • Photovoltaic Agriculture
  • Food Science and Engineering.
Application Procedure
Faculty members of HKUST are eligible to apply. The application process consists of two stages.
Stage I – Project Briefing & Project Pre-screening (Step 1-2): Applicant is required to fill-up the application form – “Project Briefing Form” in Chinese (the English version for reference only) and e-mail it to Technology Transfer Center (TTC) at together with the applicants' biography.
The submission deadline for BICI-HK Collaborative Research Program is every 2nd day of each quarter in a year. i.e.:
  • 2nd January
  • 2nd April (the next submission)
  • 2nd July
  • 2nd October
TTC will group up all the applications for official submission. Please send us the Project Briefing Form one week before the BICI-HK submission deadline.
The BICI will complete the project pre-screening in one month time after the submission of Project Briefing and issue the “Call for Full Proposal” to approved projects by the end of this Stage.
Stage II – Call for Full Proposal & Project Vetting (Step 3-5): After receiving the “Call for Full Proposal” from BICI-HK, applicants of approved projects are requested to provide detailed project proposal by filling-up the “Full Proposal Template” in Chinese in 1-month time (English version for reference only) and e-mail to TTC at BICI-HK would facilitate the applicants completing the Template and going-through the project vetting process.
Please refer to the application flow illustrated below:

BICI-HK Collaborative Research Program - Application Flow

Assessment Criteria

In the Project Briefing stage, BICI-HK will evaluate each initial proposal on the basis of technical strength, potential impact and significance, and the potential for commercialization in global market.

In the Full Proposal stage, the BICI vetting committees will judge the projects base on the following criteria:

  • Project Rationale: Target Market/ Unmet Need – The unmet industrial needs that are met by new technology/product developed from the proposed translational research,
  • Competing technologies and benefit analysis – Beneficial to create a holistic view of all relevant technologies. Running analysis of competing technology, including performance comparisons, benefits, and risks, will identify the best technical approach and, ultimately, generate technical and commercial impacts.
  • Research Stage/Description of Technology  The translational research designed to either accelerate commercialization of promising technologies or develop innovative technologies/approaches with clear applications. All but very early stage (i.e. hypothesis testing) projects will be considered. Describe the technology, early research findings and evidence to justify the translational research plan. There isn’t a preference/score for the research stage—the committee needs to understand the stage and technology identified and translational vision for the technologies.
  • Translational Research Plan  Is the research plan based on sound principles? Is the research plan feasible? Is the research plan clearly presented? How will the research plan support go/no go decisions to continue product development, and to what extent will results generate investor interest?
  • Quarterly Milestones – Expect specific milestones per quarter and plan for achieving the project development. These should align with the Translational Research Plan.
  • Commercialization Potential – What is the commercial product envisioned by applicants? What are the competing products and technologies? What is the earliest likely timeframe that a product resulting from this research could make it to market? What are the perceived barriers to commercialization? 
  • Intellectual Property Has an invention disclosure been filed with the Office of Tech Transfer (OTT) of the university? What is the IP protection strategy for the idea (patent, copyright, trade secret)? A high-level patent search of competitive technologies is strongly encouraged.
Project Execution and Management

This program is considered as industrial research collaborations run under the auspices of Technology Transfer Center. Contract execution and management of the funded projects will be handled by HKUST R and D Corporation Ltd. (RDC).

For enquiry, please contact Mr. Stephen IP of Technology Transfer Center on ext.5899 or at email: