Hong Kong Life Sciences Society (HKLSS or The Society) established Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards earlier, which are set to encourage outstanding undergraduate students to pursue a life sciences or biomedical science program in a UGC-funded institution. Thirteen awardees, chosen by the professional selection panel, are from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The University of Hong Kong. The Presentation Ceremony was held on 26 November 2022. Hon Mr Duncan Chiu, The Legislative Council Member (Technology and Innovation), attended the Ceremony as the Guest of Honour to commend all the awardees. He stated in his speech, “The development of science and technology is highly valued both locally and in Mainland China right now, the Hong Kong government even aims to become an international centre for science and technology. We are therefore most in need of such talents. We are grateful to HKLSS for setting up the Scholarship Awards timely to nurture talents for the future science and technology industries.” After presenting the awards to the students, Mr Vincent Cheung, Founder and Chairman of HKLSS and CEO of Nan Fung Group shared that the focus of HKLSS in the coming years will be on facilitating the development of biotechnology. The Society will strive to develop young talents to help them integrate into the life sciences sector. Representatives from different institutions also attended the Ceremony to recognize the outstanding academic achievements of the awarded students. They included Prof Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) of The University of Hong Kong; Prof Daniel Lee, Associate Vice-President and Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer of The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Dr Ann Lau, Assistant Dean (Education), Faculty of Medicine and Associate Director (Undergraduate Education) , School of Biomedical Sciences of The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Prof Kai Liu, Cheng Associate Professor of Science of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and Dr Rosa Tang, Deputy Director of Student Affairs and Head of Career Centre of Hong Kong Baptist University. HKLSS set aside HKD$1 million in the first year of the scholarship awards. Each awardee will receive a scholarship of HKD50,000 in the current academic year with other complimentary entitlements, including the access to the Society’s Mentorship Scheme, and priority in enrolling onto the Society’s Summer Internship Program. All awardees expressed that they have benefited immensely from Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards, not only in academic terms, but also in terms of learning more about the life sciences industry. Charlton Sullivan, one of the award recipients commented, “The Scholarship Awards are designed to equip life sciences students with knowledge and experience in the biotech sector. The Mentorship Program and Internship Scheme will provide us with an understanding of how biotech companies operate so I will be well prepared for my future career.” Another awardee, Charmaine Tsang expressed gratitude to HKLSS for the valuable learning opportunities that nurtured students to become life sciences professionals. She said, “Although my university offers plenty of educational resources, there are limited occasions to obtain real-world experience. The Scholarship Awards fill the gap by providing opportunities for students to apply their learning, so they can gain insights into areas of their future study and career development, including R&D, entrepreneurship and the healthcare sector.”
Hong Kong Life Sciences Society (HKLSS) announces its collaboration with local craft beer brand Mak’s Brewery to launch the limited edition of Honey+Goji Pale Ale, and Honey+Goji Carbonated Hops Tea. They will make their first appearance at ‘Halloween Festival: The Lingering Fine Wine’, a festival-themed event presented by Nan Fung Group between 28 and 30 October 2022. HKLSS hopes to connect life sciences with everyday life through the launch of these local brews. Launching Science Brewed Craft Beer to Connect Daily Life With craft beers going viral among the new generation, the chemical reactions that occur in the brewing process and the application of brewing principles are closely related to our daily lives, which echoes HKLSS’ philosophy of fostering the connection between life science and everyday experiences. 'The Scientist's Brew' Beverages About ‘The Scientist’s Brew’ Two new beverages will be introduced at the event: Honey+Goji Pale Ale and Honey+Goji Carbonated Hops Tea. Honey+Goji Pale Ale is made with a natural form of sugar - fermented honey, alongside other ingredients like water, malt, hops, yeast, honey and goji berries, containing several minerals and vitamins, including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B and C. This honey-made pale ale also has higher nutrient value and lower glycemic index than refined sugar. With benefits to the liver and eyes, Goji berries are added at the early stage of the brewing process to preserve bioactive substances and maximize the antioxidant effect. During the production, changes in water temperature will react differently with pH value, creating a variety of pale ale flavors. Honey+Goji Carbonated Hops Tea is brewed with the process of tea making, featuring ingredients of water, tea leaves, hops, honey, goji berries and malic acid. From this non-alcoholic beverage, CO2 is released and forms beer-like bubbles, resembling the aroma and flavor of craft beer; honey is cooked to remove enzymes, and hops act as natural preservatives that help extend the shelf-life of the product and provide calming properties. Visit Tasting Booth and Join Workshops for A Joyful Experience HKLSS will run a tasting booth at the event, where the interns from HKLSS will share related brewing facts. To add more fun, participants can play a mini-game of identifying the taste of Pale Ale and Carbonated Hops Tea from different essential oils, and guessing the ingredients of the beverages. To provide the public with a better understanding of the biochemical reactions that took place in the brewing process, HKLSS invited a brewer from Mak’s Brewery to hold the ‘Principles of Brewing and Tasting’ workshop on Saturday afternoon. Participants will explore the process of beer making and techniques of craft beer tasting with registered participants. Moreover, the public is welcome to attend the ‘Beer Candle DIY’ workshop for a delightful handcrafting experience. Under guidance from a professional instructor, registered participants can craft, scent, and color their one-of-a-kind ‘Beer Mug Candle’ by learning about the principles and attributes of handcrafted candles. This public event is organized by the students from HKLSS Summer Internship Programs 2021 and 2022. They are university students pursuing biotechnology and nutrition-related studies who have spent 18 months designing, researching, sourcing, and negotiating for the event after being selected by HKLSS and completing a six-week full-time internship program. For more details about ‘Halloween Festival: The Lingering Fine Wine’, please refer to this link and follow @hklifesciencessociety @intimeofhk @nanfungplace #HKLSS #TheScientistsBrew #LifeSciencesInEverydayLife #InTimeOf #InTimeOfFood #NanFungGroup #Resilientcity #InTimeOfHalloween #Halloween #localcraftbeernwine #popupmarket.
Hong Kong Life Sciences Society (HKLSS) has put immense efforts in nurturing life sciences talent, which is crucial to fulfilling Hong Kong’s biotech ambition. Riding on its previous success by bridging the gap between academic study and career development, the Scheme received hundreds of applications last year. Applications for HKLSS Mentorship Scheme 2023 will soon open on 10 October. Offering Career Development Insights by Individual Mentoring and Coaching To enhance learning beyond the classroom and nurture career success, the Mentorship Scheme has fostered connections between industry practitioners and life sciences students. Lasting for one full year, the Scheme is a structured, one-on-one partnership between a mentor and a mentee, enabling both parties to have a close and engaging relationship. Moreover, the Scheme facilitates mentees to make relevant connections, develop workplace knowledge and soft skills, and gain insights about biotech developments in preparation for a thriving life science career in Hong Kong and mainland China. Empowering Mentorship Experience with Extensive Support from Industry Experts The scheme is introduced for undergraduate and postgraduate life sciences students. Graduates with a non-life sciences background will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All mentors are industry experts, young entrepreneurs and senior executives from a wide range of professions in the life sciences industry in Hong Kong and mainland China, including but not limited to consulting, data analysis, healthcare, investment and finance, law and compliance, NGO, research and development, and start-up. Moving into its fourth year, HKLSS Mentorship Scheme has successfully established a network of over 100 mentee alumni and over 50 mentors. Our industry experts from leading companies include Mr Antony Leung, Group Chairman of Nan Fung Group, Ms Irene Chu, Partner, Head of New Economy and Life Sciences of KPMG China, Mr Tony Yung, Chief Executive Officer of Take2 Health Ltd, Dr Lydia Leung, CEO of Belun Technology, Prof Tom Cheung, Associate Professor of Division of Life Science at HKUST, etc. Student-Industry Partnership Sparks Mutual Benefits Mr Vincent Cheung, Founder and Chairman of HKLSS, said, “HKLSS is dedicated to supporting life sciences talent in identifying academic and career opportunities. Through the student-industry partnership initiated by the Mentorship Scheme, mentors will be able to give mentees invaluable advice and insights to their personal growth and professional development while getting fresh perspectives and inspirations from the mentees. The spark is invaluable in driving the life sciences industry forward.” Noreen Chui, a year 2 student studying MBBS at HKU and Tammy Pham, a year 3 student studying Applied Biology with Biotechnology at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, are the mentees of Dr Wolf Cheung, Senior Scientist of Bio-Cancer Treatment International this year. Noreen said, “HKLSS Mentorship Scheme gave me a unique opportunity to get to know scientists working in the industry. It was eye-opening for me to learn how a local company invented a biological drug in Hong Kong and is now proceeding to stage III clinical trial internationally for cancer treatment. Through my mentor, I managed to have a glimpse into this company, learn about how they became a successful company and the challenges they have faced in the last decade.” Tammy said, “I’m so grateful to be a part of the Scheme for two consecutive years. Joining this program is such a meaningful experience to get more insights into the outcomes of the pre-clinical research at the industry level. Our mentor offered a company visit where I learned a lot about the operation pipeline and the systematic organisation of any clinical trials before launching a drug into a market.” Applications for HKLSS Mentorship Scheme 2023 will soon open on 10 October. Interested individuals are welcome to submit their application online. For more details about the Mentorship Scheme, please refer to this link.
Hong Kong Life Sciences Society (HKLSS or the Society) is happy to announce the establishment of Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards, which are set to encourage outstanding undergraduate students to pursue a life sciences or biomedical science program in a UGC-funded institution. HKLSS is offering HKD$1 million in the first year of the scholarship awards. Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards are open to Bachelor of Science (BSc) students from the six local universities: The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University, who are completing their first year of study in 2021-2022 academic year, with a CGPA of 3.5 and above; and having selected a life sciences or biomedical science major in their second-year study. Each of the awardees will receive a scholarship of HKD50,000 in the second- or third-year undergraduate study with other complimentary entitlements, including the access to the Society’s Mentorship Scheme for equipping with workplace knowledge and soft skills, and priority in enrolling onto the Society’s Summer Internship Program. Since its establishment in 2018, the Society has put in a lot of efforts to attract, nurture and retain talent in Hong Kong’s life sciences sector. The Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards are uniquely comprehensive that they provide more than just financial support to awardees, but also the benefits of our mentorship and summer internship, addressing students’ expressed concern over life sciences career prospects. Mr Vincent Cheung, Founder and Chairman of Hong Kong Life Sciences Society said, “With a surge of global attention to biomedical innovations, nurturing life sciences talent is critical to cope with the rapid industry growth. The Society is happy to unveil Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards to encourage outstanding students in advancing life sciences or biomedical science studies, by offering financial support, alongside work and networking opportunities. We hope that the scheme can benefit life sciences talent aspiring to contribute to the society, in fields of life sciences and biomedical science. This would help achieve our long-term objective to build a pipeline of life sciences talent in Hong Kong, and in turn catalyzing a vibrant life sciences ecosystem.” Nominations can be submitted by relevant Faculty Deans or by self-nomination. All nominees will need to submit a CV and 300-word statement outlining their academic and career aspirations. The nomination deadline of the Scholarship Awards is 29 July 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend an interview in August / September, and the results will be notified in October 2022. For more details about Hong Kong Life Sciences Scholarship Awards, please refer to this link. Prof Ken Wong, Executive Director of Hong Kong Life Sciences Society said, “According to the Hong Kong Annual Digest of Statistics, there were around 2,300 graduates from life sciences and biomedical science programs in local universities in 2020; while the number of biology and medicine research output by local universities is subsequently decreasing. In fact, the rapid development of biotechnology in Hong Kong has provided ample opportunities; through the establishment of the Scholarship Awards, the Society hopes to attract more students to enroll into life sciences-related programs, and to devote to the industry to cater for the booming market development.” Summer Internship Program 2022 Received Record-high Applications HKLSS is also committed to advancing opportunities for the study and practice of life sciences, and thus offering a 6-week Life Sciences Summer Internship Program through collaborations with renowned biotechnology companies in Hong Kong and mainland China. The program offers a unique life sciences/ biotech internship opportunity to university students and recent graduates to explore cutting-edge research, technology and the future of life sciences, enabling them to get out of the laboratory and acquire knowledge from various types of companies within the biotech sector. Over four years since its debut, the program has been highly regarded and supported by university students and the business community. This year, the program received record-high 300 applications, with remarkable participation of top-tier undergraduate and postgraduate from more than 30 institutions in Hong Kong, United Kingdom and United States. Aligning the candidates’ academic profile with the needs of the participating companies, HKLSS plays an important role to offer the best internship match between employers and interns. After rounds of interviews and evaluation, 35 interns were selected for 20 renowned life sciences companies and local start-ups, including Nan Fung Life Sciences, Novus Life Sciences, Take2 Health, Belun Technology and Opharmic Technology (HK). Through this six-week internship program starting from July, interns will work with experienced researchers and practitioners, participate in weekend activities and network with C-level executives to acquire practical knowledge, soft skills and latest industry trends. The opening ceremony of the Summer Internship Program 2022 took place on 28 June at The Mills Fabrica. A panel discussion was held to spark ideas on how the GBA creates opportunities for Hong Kong young talent pursuing a life sciences career. Interns had also taken the opportunity to join the guided tour at The Mills to learn about the integration between innovative technology, business development and the local community. Opening Ceremony of the Summer Internship Program 2022 For more details about the Summer Internship Program, please refer to this link.
The 2022-23 Hong Kong Budget reinforces a number of policies to promote life and health scientific research, fostering the development of innovation and technology. Hong Kong Life Sciences Society (HKLSS or the Society) is dedicated to building a dynamic life sciences ecosystem in Hong Kong. To cater industry booms, HKLSS has put in a lot of efforts in nurturing life sciences talent over the past few years, including the implementation of the summer internship program and mentorship scheme. HKLSS announces the survey results of “Nurturing Life Sciences Talent” today. The survey “Nurturing Life Sciences Talent” collected 201 responses between early-December 2021 and mid-February 2022. The results were compared with our relevant survey conducted between early-December 2018 and mid-February 2019, with 337 responses. Respondents of both surveys are undergraduate, postgraduate and recent graduate pursuing life sciences-related studies. Almost 60% of respondents are females. Nearly 60% of 2022 survey respondents come from local universities, including the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, etc. The survey mainly investigates the opinions of life sciences students about internship opportunities in Hong Kong and mainland China, including their preference on the destination, type of company and scope of work when undertaking an internship, as well as their insights into future career prospects. This helps the Society better understand key needs of emerging talent in the field of life sciences, optimize talent cultivation activities and provide timely support to cope with the rapid industry growth. More Life Sciences Talent Hold a Positive Outlook of the Industry The two surveys explore students’ career aspirations in life sciences. A surge of optimism is showcased regarding the outlook of the industry. The number of students being “Extremely Optimistic” and “Very Optimistic” about the industry prospects has risen from 25% in 2019 to 54% in 2022. There is also a sharp increase for the number of students being “Extremely Determined” and “Very Determined” in staying in the industry after graduation, from 30% in 2019 to 69% in 2022. Internship Opportunities in Great Anticipation to Advance Future Career Development The 2022 survey indicates that 84% of students consider life sciences internship opportunities in Hong Kong to be “Extremely Attractive” and “Very Attractive”, with an average rating of 4.26 (out of 5). For the internship opportunities taken place in mainland China, 46% of students consider it to be “Extremely Attractive” and “Very Attractive”, with an average rating of 3.45. 83% of students reflect that “To Advance Future Career Development” will be the biggest motivation to apply for a life sciences internship program. Hong Kong Ranked as the Most Preferred City to Undertake Internship Pharmaceutical Companies and Biotech Start-ups Top the Priority The 2022 survey indicates Hong Kong to be the most preferred mainland China city to undertake internship, followed by Shanghai and Shenzhen. 41% of students opt for “Working at a Multinational Company”, with “Pharmaceutical Companies” (30%) and “Biotech Start-ups” (31%) as popular choices. 82% of respondents are most interested in “Research and Development”. Other selections are “Business Development” (54%), “Lab-based Research” (49%) and “Communications and Government Affairs” (42%). Professors and Industry Mentors Offer Study and Career Guidance 48% of students find the on-campus career services only “Fairly Useful” in helping with post-graduation or career plans in life sciences. Majority of respondents choose to “Research on Their Own” (76%) or “Turn to Professors for Advice” (73%). The results also witness an increase in “Seeking Advice from Industry Mentors”, from 48% in 2019 to 71% in 2022. HKLSS Continues Scaling Talent Cultivation Activities to Expand the Talent Pool “Global Internship Program” is considered to be most helpful (84%) if organized by the Society. There is also a significant increase of students favoring the “Mentorship Scheme” (2022: 81%; 2019: 49%) and “Cross-disciplinary Activities” (2022: 76%; 2019: 59%), followed by “Networking with Researchers and Entrepreneurs” (67%) and “Scholarship for Students Majoring Life Sciences / Biomedical Science” (64%). Prof Ken Wong, Executive Director of Hong Kong Life Sciences Society made the following conclusions and recommendations at the survey results announcement press conference: 1. There is a surge of confidence in life sciences prospects and stronger determination to stay in the industry 2. Students in both surveys are very career oriented 3. Professors and industry mentors help career development 4. HKLSS will work more closely with career centers and relevant academic departments of local universities in career preparation 5. Establish scholarship awards to support outstanding students to pursue a life sciences or biomedical science major, and build a sustainable talent pipeline in Hong Kong’s life sciences sector 6. Explore to expand internships in Hong Kong and mainland China into a global internship program, covering research centers in Europe and the US 7. Continue bridging the gap of relevant local subsidized internship programs, e.g. to complement the STEM Subsidized Internship Scheme by the Innovation and Technology Commission. The Society’s summer internship program attracts more Hong Kong students pursuing life sciences / biomedical science overseas to come back and work in Hong Kong / mainland China 8. Collaborate with the private sectors and universities to create more “wet-lab” R&D opportunities / job diversity (interdisciplinary: investment, public health, AI or machine learning) 9. Join forces with local pharma companies to create more short-term job / internship opportunities 10. HKLSS supports the HKSAR government to attract more multinational companies and biotech start-ups to have their regional headquarters in Hong Kong, and promote Hong Kong as a biotech R&D and investment hub For detailed survey results, please refer to this link. (Only available in Traditional Chinese)