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Fish and Bear Paw – A Reflection on the Role of Technology Transfer in University

Date & Time:

April 28, 2010 (Wed) | 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.


Room 603, Graduate House


Professor Paul Y S Cheung
Director, Technology Transfer Office
Associate Director, Knowledge Exchange Office



生亦我所欲也,義亦我所欲也;二者不可兼得,舍生而取義者也。” - 孟子

"Fish is something I desire; bear's paw [a Chinese delicacy] is also something I desire. If I cannot have both, I will forsake fish and select bear's paw.
Life is something I desire; righteousness is also something I desire.  If I cannot have both, I will forsake life and select righteousness. " – Mencius.

Chinese had an ancient parable of choosing between fish and bear paw to signify when confronted with difficult choices, the true core value should dictate the decision.  The relevance here with respect to commercialization of inventions and research results from universities (and it is not limited to technology) is the frequent dilemma in whether to publish the results so that the academic community can benefit from the work, or to protect the Intellectual Property so that it can turn into something significant and yield monetary return.  There are many cases where this does not need to be a conflicting choice.  In this talk, I shall share with colleagues on how Intellectual Properties and technology transfer can play a beneficial role to the university and individual alike, and at the same time advance our academic objectives.  I shall also introduce the process of technology transfer and the work of the TTO at HKU.  I hope to make this a light hearted informal sharing, instead of a formal presentation.  Your input is most welcome.

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