Talented individuals with innovative thought and vision can help a company weather any storms in the highly competitive global economic environment.
Industry know-how alone is inevitably insufficient for a company to excel in its specific field. As a result, corporations must utilise high-tech products and services, and capitalise on new business opportunities via technologies.
The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), has launched a Master of Science in Technology Management programme to meet the increasing need for technology management training. The programme aims to attract executive and managerial staff and engineers from all professional backgrounds, including the manufacturing, finance, public utilities and service sectors.
"Unlike programmes in information technology management, this programme does not focus exclusively on a particular technological aspect," says Chan Kang-cheung, professor and associate head, the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, PolyU. "Instead, we seek to address an array of core technology-related challenges, including technology identification, technology selection, technology acquisition, technology exploitation and technology protection."
The programme aims to help students become skilled at understanding innovation cycles in order for them to ultimately achieve commercial success. It also helps students understand the financial and strategic frameworks for the development, acquisition and adoption of technology in an organisational context. Students are kept abreast of technological developments in their fields of interest.
"Technology is a vital part of any contemporary industry. The programme not only demonstrates the impact of innovation and technology, but also illustrates effective technology management methods to students who learn how to converge technology with corporate strategies in order to improve a company's competitiveness," points out Hamid Noori, visiting chair professor, the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, PolyU.
"Technology is crucial in practically every field. Students gain the necessary knowledge of technology management, which they are later able to apply professionally, benefiting both their own careers and the companies they work for," Professor Chan explains.
"Innovation and technology in business are gaining global momentum. This means company decision makers should pay particular attention to technology development and its application in future," Professor Noori notes.
The programme curriculum consists of three major parts. These are the management of innovation and technology, technology audit and assessment; and technology transfer and commercialisation, providing learners with the basic foundation. A range of core subjects include systematic innovation for product development, managing six sigma, managing strategy, enterprise resource planning, managing and measuring intellectual capital, principles of knowledge engineering and management, customer relationship management and technology, global operations and logistics management. Students can also broaden their expertise by choosing additional elective courses.
"We aim to teach our students how global corporations are applying technology in the current environment where geographic boundaries are disappearing. In order to help them grasp these concepts, we make use of plenty of international case studies."
Apart from conventional lectures, the programme incorporates a number of different teaching modes, including guest lectures and seminars offered by visiting academics and field trips to help learners acquire first-hand knowledge.