Photo: Larry Goldstein
David T. Fung has mastered an advanced form of math. To Fung, Capilano University’s chancellor-elect, one plus one equals five. Fung has practiced this formula in his role as chair and CEO of the ACDEG Group of companies, a global technology integrator.
A global technology integrator isn’t an inventor, Fung explains. Instead, an integrator identifies, assembles and applies the best combination of technologies in the world to solve a complicated problem.
In a case of shrimp farming in China, overproduction had led to poor water quality because shrimp produce a copious amount of organic waste as they grow.
Fung and his partners identified a technology from Belgium that enabled common strains of bacteria to work together to digest the waste, instead of the strains fighting each other. They also pinpointed technology from Japan that provided oxygen so the bacteria could work its magic, and Canadian technology that provided oxygen to the dead corners of the shrimp ponds.
“By combining three different technologies, we turned many, what we call dead, unproductive shrimp ponds back into productive shrimp ponds, without creating the waste that would otherwise contaminate the environment,” Fung says on the phone from a hotel room in Bucharest.
“Independently, all these technologies had some utility solving one problem at a time. By combining them, we create a sustainable solution for a major food production system in the world,” he says. “One plus one no longer equals two. One plus one now equals five. It’s solving a problem that had no other good alternative. We act as a bridge to bring together different elements of the technology to solve a complex problem.”
The path to bridges
Fung didn’t anticipate exerting such a global influence when he was young. He expected to study civil engineering and dreamt of building bridges.
But his horizons swiftly expanded as an engineering student. He went on to receive a doctorate of chemical engineering from McGill University. Fung initially worked as a research scientist and an inventor before he founded and co-founded more than 30 business ventures in North America, Europe and Asia and became a technology integrator.
“I ended up doing exactly what I thought I would do,” Fung says. “I ended up building bridges, except these are not the physical bridges, but much more social bridges.”
Capilano University foresees Fung building strong bridges to the community and beyond as one of the University’s key ambassadors. He will be invested as chancellor of Capilano University on June 6, 2016.
Submitted by Communications & Marketing
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