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MIT to launch Hong Kong Innovation Node in June

Launch celebration and inaugural program for students marks the beginning of MIT’s long-term presence in Hong Kong.
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MIT will announce the official launch of its new Hong Kong Innovation Node this summer with a unique hardware accelerator program designed to educate students in key areas of innovation practice.

To commemorate the occasion, a launch celebration will be held on Tuesday, June 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. MIT Provost Martin A. Schmidt will provide welcoming remarks, followed by Fiona Murray, the Bill Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship, associate dean of innovation at MIT Sloan School, and co-director of the MIT Innovation Initiative; and Charlie Sodini, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering and faculty director of the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node. 

“The launch of the Innovation Node marks the beginning of MIT’s commitment to building a long-term presence in Hong Kong. The node will serve as an important gateway for MIT in China, and continues MIT’s efforts to build out a global classroom for our students. It will open the doors for MIT students and faculty to access the unique resources and opportunities available in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta,” says Schmidt.

The node’s inaugural program, MIT Kickstart, brings together students from MIT and Hong Kong for a week-long immersive experience in technology-based entrepreneurship June 5-11. Students will form international teams, refine an idea, build a prototype, learn from industry experts, and explore the thriving startup scene in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The program will culminate with a final showcase where students will present their work and demonstrate their prototype.

“Students working in the node will not be typecast as engineers, business people, manufacturers, or designers. Rather, they will be engaged in all these aspects of an integrative education, guided by the principle of ‘learning by doing,’” says Sodini. “Through programs like MIT Kickstart, we’re creating new opportunities for students to study and practice methods of accelerated innovation so that we can help them take their ideas to impact more effectively.”

The announcement of the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node was first made by MIT President L. Rafael Reif last November, who shared his vision of adding innovation to the traditional roles of teaching and research in higher education. Conceived of and run by the MIT Innovation Initiative, the Innovation Node builds on the Institute’s long record of engagement in the region and will enable MIT students, faculty, and alumni to better connect with local universities, entrepreneurs, and companies in the region’s rapidly-developing innovation ecosystem.

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