Donation of $500 million from HKJC Charities Trust to boost One Health at CityU

A $500-million donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust) to City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will be used to build a top-notch facility for One Health in Hong Kong. It is the largest single donation received by the University in its 33-year history.

The integrated approach embedded in the One Health concept emphasises multiple disciplines working together to promote the health of humans, animals and the environment.  The concept is strongly endorsed by the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the World Organisation for Animal Health. One Health is also a core focus of the interdisciplinary research identified in CityU’s 20152020 Strategic Plan.

The Jockey Club One Health Tower will house Hong Kong’s first College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences. The College, to be named The Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, is a strategic initiative of CityU developed in collaboration with Cornell University, our long-term academic partner. The aim is to create a world-class institution that will enhance CityU’s research capabilities, train high-level veterinary professionals, and address critical public health issues under the One Health paradigm.

The officiating guests at a ceremony to mark the donation on 21 November were The Honourable Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR Government; Dr Simon S O Ip, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Club’s Chief Executive Officer; Mr Herman Hu Shao-ming, Chairman of the CityU Council; and Professor Way Kuo, CityU President.

“The global scientific community has to gear up for the challenges ahead by adopting a more holistic approach in health risk management which can be achieved by further developing the ‘One Health’ concept. The establishment of the One Health Tower is therefore a timely and wise move. The government recognises that expenditure on education is the most meaningful investment for our future and we will continue to give full support to the researchers and students of local universities.” Mr Cheung said.

Dr Ip told the audience that education had been a major focus for the Club. “The Jockey Club One Health Tower is important. Not only because it will provide additional and much-needed space for CityU, but because it will provide a home to the new Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences,” he said. “This College represents an innovation in Hong Kong medicine. Under the banner of ‘One Health’ it brings together veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences in one institution. As such it embodies the important insight that the health of human beings is intimately connected with the health of animals and with the environment in which they co-exist.”

In thanking the Trust for its generous donation, Mr Hu said, “CityU and the Trust share a common mission to improve quality of life and community well-being. The Jockey Club One Health Tower will establish a unique hub whereby CityU can bring together valuable resources and international expertise that will contribute both to the prevention of infectious disease as well as to the sustainable development of Hong Kong and the region.”

Professor Kuo added that the Chief Executive of the HKSAR had expressed concerns in her 2017 Policy Speech about public health challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance and the sustainable development of local farms and fisheries in Hong Kong.

“In response to these local and global challenges, the Trust’s donation to CityU will have a transformational impact on boosting research, education and innovation in veterinary medicine and life sciences at CityU through working with the Government, NGOs and community partners,” the President said.

Cornell University’s Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine, Professor Lorin D. Warnick, who could not join the ceremony, sent his congratulatory message to the Trust, Professor Kuo and CityU.

“Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is looking forward to working with all of you to train generations of veterinary students and scientists to provide these critical services to the people of Hong Kong and mainland China, and to set the standard for excellence in veterinary medicine and One Health science throughout Asia.” Professor Warnick said.

The 12-storey Tower, with a floor area of approximately 16,500 square metres, will add extra space for learning and research, an elegant 1,500 seat-auditorium for international conferences and cultural performances, and an enhanced sports hall for training. The Tower is planned for completion in the last quarter of 2022.

 

About the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust

Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. It is Hong Kong's largest single taxpayer, one of the city’s major employers and one of the world's top ten charity donors.

Working with Government, non-governmental organisations and community partners, the Club is committed to improving the quality of life of Hong Kong people through its Charities Trust donations, and providing immediate relief to those most in need. The Trust also proactively seeks out the root causes of social issues and brings multiple and cross-sectoral parties together to tackle them, pioneering innovative approaches that transcend disciplines and skills. While the Trust continues to fund a wide range of projects, it is placing special emphasis on four areas of strategic focus:

Youth – Empowering youth for a hopeful future
Elderly – Building an age-friendly Hong Kong
Sports – Promoting active participation and sportsmanship, making sports fun and accessible to all
Arts, Culture & Heritage – Building a culturally vibrant Hong Kong, enriching lives and promoting social inclusion

 

About City University of Hong Kong

With an emphasis on professional education and research, CityU produces graduates with the ability to anticipate and precipitate change in a rapidly-evolving, globalised world.

In recent years, CityU has performed strongly in university rankings and is currently among the top 10 in Asia and the top 50 in the world. The unique Discovery-enriched Curriculum and its emphasis on innovation and creativity underlies all aspects of the University’s professional education and problem-driven research in science and engineering, business, creative media, law, the humanities and social sciences, energy and environment, and veterinary medicine and life sciences.

CityU’s proximity to, and close ties with, mainland China, as well as its international partnerships and outlook, make the University ideally positioned to provide a dynamic learning and research environment for students and faculty from all over the world.

The Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences at CityU is a centre of excellence for animal health in Asia. It will contribute significantly to public and animal health, food safety, aquaculture and animal welfare in Hong Kong and the region. Its Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) programme, in collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and the first of its kind in Hong Kong, trains students as professionals in veterinary medicine based on the integrated perspective of the “One Health” approach. “Provisional accreditation” has been granted to the BVM by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council with the expectation that full accreditation will be granted as soon as the first cohort of students graduates.

Media enquiries:
Karen Cheng (3442 6805 or 9201 8895) or Terry Lam (Tel: 3442 5228 or 6183 0947), Communications and Public Relations Office, CityU