Significant opportunities for SMART researchers – and the University of Wollongong – are about to open up in Hong Kong after a visit by SMART director, Senior Professor Pascal Perez.

Senior Professor Perez has just returned from an intensive five-day trip where he attended 26 meetings at the invitation of the Hong Kong Government.

“The idea was to invite thought leaders from around the world to meet as many relevant people as possible,” Senior Professor Perez said.

“I was able to request specific meetings, but there were others that were organised for me as part of the visit.”

Senior Professor Perez was chosen because of his expertise in smart cities and the Internet of Things, but also as a representative of the University of Wollongong, which has just taken over management of City University Community College in the city.

“Just as we already have a campus in Dubai, this college has the potential to become our campus in Hong Kong,” he said.

“The Chinese government is investing $80 billion in the region that includes Hong Kong, Macau and nine municipalities of Guangdong.

“We need to be a part of that.”

As a part of this, the trip included visits to two technology parks, Cyberport and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, as well as a trip to the city’s former airport, which is set to be developed into a second CBD.

SMART already works with MTR, a Hong Kong corporation that provides mass transit systems across the world, where Professor Perez also found time to catch up with senior executives.

Further opportunities may come through the Australian Business Chamber, which invited Senior Professor Perez to be the keynote speaker at a mentoring program that is sponsored by the University of Wollongong.

“This was an exciting trip that showed me the massive potential in Hong Kong for partnerships both with SMART and the University more broadly,” Senior Professor Perez said.

“This fits perfectly with our plan to become an influential research and teaching facility on regional, national and international levels.”