Lingnan University and PKU kick off joint venture “Lingnan-Yuanpei STEM Summer Academy” to turn creative ideas into grant-winning business plans

26 Apr 2024

The launch ceremony for the Lingnan-Yuanpei STEM Summer Academy (LYSSA), jointly organised by Lingnan University and Yuanpei College (Yuanpei) of Peking University (PKU), was held recently on the Lingnan campus. Over 50 experts, project advisors and students from both universities attended in person or virtually. A hub cultivating Hong Kong’s and Beijing’s innovative and entrepreneurial talents, LYSSA encourages students from both universities to transform their creative ideas into grant-winning business plans. At the same time, they are expected to acquire liberal arts qualities and an entrepreneurial spirit.


At the launch ceremony, Prof S. Joe Qin, President and Wai Kee Kau Chair Professor of Data Science of Lingnan University delivered a speech online congratulating all the students embarking on the journey of innovation, science, and technology. He said that the close cooperation and relationship between the two universities over the years, as well as their shared belief in a liberal arts education, have laid a solid foundation for the success of LYSSA. Prof Qin encouraged the first cohort of students to take part in the activities, and make good use of the resources and guidance available, in order to become visionary leaders. Prof Li Meng, Dean of Yuanpei of PKU, also expressed online his best wishes for LYSSA. He is confident that the knowledge spread by the experts and scholars of both universities will transform the innovative skills of LYSSA students into successful business plans.


At the launch, Prof Li Donghui, Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs) of Lingnan University, was invited to highlight the distinctive features of LYSSA, and explained that not only will the students acquire STEM knowledge, but they will also be taught management, business planning, marketing, interpersonal relations, and communication skills. Prof Eric Lam, Director of the Entrepreneurship Education Section in the Faculty of Business of Lingnan University, then talked about the relationship between Hong Kong's innovation and entrepreneurship. The climax of the ceremony was the simultaneous gong-striking in Hong Kong and Beijing by Prof Li and Prof Chen Xi, Dean of School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Yuanpei’s Mr Li Boqiao, Vice Dean and Ms Qi Liping, Manager of Office of General Affairs. It symbolised the successful marketing of products and services developed by LYSSA. At the end of the ceremony, Prof Paulina Wong, Head of Science Unit of Lingnan University, assistant professor Huang Peiyuan of PKU’s Guanghua School of Management, and the student representatives of Yuanpei discussed the six innovation and entrepreneurship themes proposed by the two universities. Breakout sessions were conducted afterwards to allow students an in-depth exchange of ideas on- and offline.


The launch ceremony was held on 20 April. Lingnan and Yuanpei have high hopes for the first LYSSA, and are committed to building the programme into a platform for cultivating and delivering the talents needed in this digital age. The two universities plan to hold the programme alternately every year, and look forward to it encouraging cultural exchanges among the teachers and students in both places.

About the Lingnan-Yuanpei STEM Summer Academy (LYSSA)

The Academy consists of two parts. The first, which takes place from April to June, includes a launch ceremony, pre-academy workshops, and individual guidance, etc. The second is a seven-day Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Camp and STEM Competition at the end of June. The first session received an overwhelming response, and, after a careful selection process, 30 outstanding students from both universities were admitted. They come from different disciplines such as artificial intelligence, data science, business and finance, and philosophy.  


Part 1:  
Eminent professors and scholars will be invited to preside over seminars and talks, some from Peking and Tsinghua Universities, and others from the Lingnan University School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Science Unit, Entrepreneurship Education Section under the Faculty of Business, and the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI). Students will develop a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, enhance their skills in their assigned project theme, and integrate theoretical knowledge with practical application.


Part 2:
Students from the two universities will be able to jointly attend a series of immersive workshops and site visits. With guidance from project advisors, experienced entrepreneurs, and top scientists, they will be able to develop workable business plans for the STEM competition. The winning team not only receives a cash prize, but their project may be nominated for the Lingnan University Entrepreneurship Fund (LUEF) and apply for various seed or incubation funds.