2021 Pilot HKUST Innovation Leaders Program (2021 ILP)


- Application Closed for Submission -


All postgraduate students are cordially invited to apply for the 2021 Pilot HKUST Innovation Leaders Program (2021 ILP) to enhance and enrich their entrepreneurial experience. The 2021 ILP is jointly offered by HKUST and Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI), administrated by the HKUST Collaborative Innovation Center (HCIC).​

1)    Eligibility

All HKUST postgraduate students

2)    Key Frontier Technology Areas

-    Optoelectronics Technology

-    Biomedical Engineering

-    Materials Engineering

-    Environmental Engineering

-    Any relevant interdisciplinary fields

3)    Admission

2021 ILP will commence in September 2021 and will accept a maximum of 30 students (10 in Optoelectronics, 10 in Biomedical Engineering, 10 in Materials and Environment).

4)    Admission criteria

Interested students may submit their application to HCIC or BICI. HKUST will shortlist candidates in accordance with the admission criteria of the four Key Frontier Technology Areas, BICI would conduct innovation ability assessment. Applicants who have passed the assessments will be admitted to the 2021 ILP.


-    One’s admission status to HKUST will not be impacted if they are not admitted to the 2021 ILP.

-    RPG students shall seek consent from their supervisor before accepting the admission offer from the 2021 ILP.

5)    Mode of Study

ILP students will receive education at HKUST, take innovative entrepreneurial methodology courses at BICI, and form a cross-school and cross-professional team for practical innovation and entrepreneurship trainings based on real projects, to develop their entrepreneurial spirit. The curriculum of a master's degree is generally 2-3 years, and that of a doctoral degree is generally 3-4 years. The exact time period is subject to the length of study prescribed by HKUST, while the length of study in BICI shall not be less than 12 months (executed simultaneously).


-    Innovative entrepreneurial methodology courses include "Product Management and Design", "Technical Analysis", "Business Model Innovation" etc. Online or face-to-face (Beijing) teaching would be arranged according to the teaching needs.

-    Innovative entrepreneurial practical courses include project planning, scientific research and transformation training and other interdisciplinary innovation practical training. Classroom teaching in BICI is mandatory, location will be subject to the needs of the selected project.

-    The study period of Doctoral degree students may be extended to 24 months depending on the actual needs of the selected project. Specific arrangements will be determined by HCIC and BICI after consultation with students’ supervisors.

6)    Registration and student status management measures

Students accepted to 2021 ILP will need to sign the "2021 Pilot HKUST Innovation Leaders Program Admission Notice and Student Confirmation Receipt”. ILP students should abide by relevant laws and regulations of Hong Kong and the Mainland, as well as the regulations and disciplines of HKUST and BICI.

ILP students are expected to be on board in Beijing in May 2022 (tentative). Actual arrangement will be made by HKUST depending on the epidemic situation.

ILP students will need to make appropriate arrangement with HKUST to retain their student status for their time in Beijing, either by register into internship program or ENGG6200 (MSc Practical Learning and Enrichment (0 credit)).

After completing the study in BICI, students are required to complete (if any) all the requirements of HKUST before applying for graduation.

7)    Intellectual Property

HKUST is the de facto first author for any publication made by ILP students during the program period.

The intellectual properties generated by ILP students during the program period (including the intellectual properties generated by the research institute student attached) would be based on (1) the relevant policies of BICI, (2) the relevant policies of HKUST, and (3) the relevant provisions signed by HKUST and BICI, a tripartite consultation decision has been made by relevant departments of the Research Team, BICI and HKUST. A separate agreement should be made for the actual arrangement.

For cases which involve patent application for scientific research results, a tripartite consultation decision and a separate agreement for implementation must be made by relevant departments of the Research Team, BICI and HKUST. The content of the agreement must comply with the relevant policies of HKUST and BICI, and the agreement must be submitted to HKUST and BICI for record.

8)    Assessment and degree award

A corresponding degree would be awarded by HKUST to students who meet the requirements of HKUST courses.

A certificate would be awarded by BICI to students who complete the innovation and entrepreneurship courses and meet the practical training requirements.

9)    Financial Support

2021 ILP students would be treated equally in terms of tuition fees, grants and insurance for their time studying in Hong Kong. For their time studying in BICI, they would not be charged additional tuition fees. Scholarships would be provided according to relevant BICI regulations. Further assistance in dormitories in Beijing (students must bear the accommodation fees) and housing allowances would be provided. Students must be responsible for the travel expenses between Hong Kong and Beijing, as well as the daily expenses in Beijing.

10)    Application method

Interested students please click [here] to register as soon as possible, interviews are scheduled to be at the end of August and early September. 

For details, please check the website of BICI: http://www.bici.org/en/onepage481.html 

11)    Contact

HKUST Collaborative Innovation Center (HCIC):

Mr. Leung                 hcic@ust.hk                   (852) 2358 6164

Teaching Department, Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI):

Ms Lu                        student@bici.org          (8610) 6097 6578


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HKUST Collaborative Innovation Center

March 2021