PolyU’s Competitive Edges

Our Pioneering Vision

Steered by its pioneering vision, “be a leading university that excels in professional education, applied research and partnership for the betterment of Hong Kong, the nation and the world”, PolyU is destined to accomplish its mission “to advance knowledge and the frontiers of technology to meet the changing needs of society”. It lays down a solid foundation steering knowledge transfer, enlightening innovation as well as nurturing technology development from which PolyU capitalizes on sustaining its research outcomes with high applicability.

Fruits of Our Research Efforts

We would like to share with you some of our footprints along PolyU’s trail of innovation. Only some of the examples are highlighted here with plenty of other cases and ongoing ventures not entirely covered below.


This area encompasses drug research and development, rehabilitation and biomedical engineering, biomedical science and diagnostic technologies, optometry as well as other areas related to the health and well-being of the global community.

3D Ultrasound Imaging for Diagnosis and Assessment

The pioneering breakthrough attained by PolyU’s Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering renders Scoliosis patients unprecedented clarity and accuracy by providing 3D images for diagnosis in a radiation-free yet cost-effective way. This applause-wining project received a silver medal in the 62 nd International Trade Fair “Ideas – Inventions- New Products” (ENA) of Nuremberg, Germany in 2010. A novel automated 3D annotation method for breast ultrasound imaging has also been developed to aid screening and diagnosis. The application has been further extended to corneal assessment, scar evaluation, sonomyography as well as elasticity evaluation for diabetic foot and liver fibrosis.

Exoskeleton Hand Robotic Training Device


A novel design of hand function task training robotic system developed for active stroke rehabilitation, through detection of hand opening or closing from the stroke patient using muscle signals measured from the hemiplegic side, allowing activity using their own intention to practice daily living tasks.

KineLabs for Elderly Exercise and Stroke Rehabilitation


Coordinated upper limb, lower limb and trunk balance training tasks for elderly exercise and stroke rehabilitation; performance data and 3D information of body segments of the players could be captured and analyzed using a specifically designed evaluation platform.

Novel Anti-cancer Treatment


Two effective novel anti-cancer drugs developed through engineering arginine-depleting enzyme, with BCT-100 under clinical trials for liver cancer and BCA-PEG20 ready for further development and preclinical on a wide range of cancer types such as lung and colorectal.

Novel Optical Method for Retarding Myopia Progression


The novel Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lens takes advantage of the natural homeostasis of the eye and can be incorporated into wide-accepted forms of contact lens, providing clear vision and retarding myopia progression in children and youngsters. It also opens up new opportunity for treating other refractive error such as hyperopia using suitable defocus.




A number of technologies have been developed in response to the growing concerns about social safety against disasters. Our expertise in food, environmental, mega-structure, transportation and the like ensure your safety is safeguarded from what you eat to where you go.

Mega-structure Diagnostic and Prognostic System


Developed by PolyU researchers, this system is a package of technologies for structural monitoring, control, maintenance and management of high-rise structures.

PolyU Food Safety and Technology Research Centre


The Centre was established for the development of advanced technologies to assure the public food safety.



Aviation and Aerospace

PolyU has laid down plenty of milestones in this area spanning from transportation on earth to exploration in the space. The triumphs are not only confined to the quest for knowledge but also built for real-life applications.

Camera Pointing System


Jointly developed by PolyU and China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the CPS has been carried on board of Chang'e-3 lunar probe in the third phase of China's lunar exploration programme. It is the first Hong Kong-made and developed instrument being deployed for the country's lunar exploration programme since its launch in 2007.

Space Exploration


Scientists at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University have got a chance to design their state-of-the-art space tools for a mission to Mars onboard a Russian spacecraft.

The Aviation Services Research Centre (ASRC)

ASRC was established by PolyU in collaboration with The Boeing Company. It serves to enhance Hong Kong’s leading position as a world-class service provider in MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) and steer the development of aviation related industries in China.




With the escalating pressure on the transportation system attributed to rapid urban development, we have anchored our research focus in tackling imminent issues on our busier-than-ever traffic from both micro and macro perspectives.

Advanced Optical Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Systems for Railway Monitoring


Based on the Optical Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Sensor, a Smart Railway Monitoring System has been developed to allow real-time and continuous monitoring of the structural and operational conditions of trains and tracks of railway systems. It can effectively and efficiently improve the system reliability, availability, maintainability as well as safety.


“FlexiBOL” – a flexible railing system keeping traffic and people safely apart

FlexiBOL is a system of traffic bollards for guiding or separating groups of people or vehicles. It is flexible for it can be reshaped or removed quickly. They have been installed in different busy districts of the city.

“mycar” – the first Hong Kong-developed electric vehicle


Obtained the World Manufacturer Identification Code and went on sale in many European countries such as UK, France, Italy and Denmark.

PolyU’s Optical Sensor Technology put to trail use in High-speed Rail


PolyU researchers and their mainland partners have already installed the "Advanced Fibre Bragg Grating Railway Monitoring System" in several parts of the high-speed rail in the Chinese mainland. The hundreds of optical sensors will provide information on vibration, acceleration and temperature change for engineering staff, helping them to monitor the condition of tracks and railcars as well as structural health of the rail foundation.



Sustainable Development

To address rising concerns from the society to strive for a sustainable quality of living, PolyU spares no efforts in nurturing the research of this strategic area.



A new environmentally friendly construction material which can remove air pollutants.


Solar-powered Air-conditioning System for Vehicles (SAV)


Jointly developed by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Green Power Industrial Ltd, the system turns sunlight into electricity for the air-conditioner on vehicles, allowing the air-conditioner to run even when the engine is off. The system has now been widely deployed in minibuses and taxis. It also claimed two international awards from the 39 th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in April 2011.


The Establishment of Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD)

The rapid urbanization necessitates our due concerns on how to achieve it in a sustainable manner so that the natural environment is well protected and the built environment functions in an efficient manner in terms of energy and resources. RISUD is commissioned to develop innovative solutions for sustainable high-density cities by capitalizing on the living laboratory of Hong Kong's urban environment and the multidisciplinary expertise of PolyU. Research initiatives are clustered around potential focus areas such as life-cycle performance of infrastructures, regional air quality, space creation and reuse, underground asset management and so on.



Other Technological Highlights

PolyU’s research outputs and applications are not only confined to its strategic areas but also cover a range of disciplines and interests such as the School of Design, Institute of Textile and Clothing and so forth.

Digital Video Signals Optimization System


PolyU experts have developed a Digital Video Signals Optimization System which can be applied for digital camera, HDTV and other consumer electronics, enabling consumers to enjoy higher-quality digital images and videos.

Electronic Bat Ears


The Electronic Bat Ears simulates bats echo-location ability. It partially replaces sight with hearing. Thus, the visually-impaired may have a better grasp of space and directions.



Developed by Dr Allan Chan, Associate Professor at PolyU's Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC), and his team members, this sophisticated mannequin can change its body shape and size or even elongate at the point of a fingertip on computer. It is expected to streamline the operations of the apparel and garment industry, which rely strongly on the use of dummies for designing and fitting different sizes of apparel products before mass production takes place.

Lotus Nano Fabric


Nano-technology gives the fabric oil-proof, water-proof and dirt-proof properties.

Nu Torque


The patented spinning technology enhances manufacturers’ productivity by 20-40% at the same time improved quality in softness and resistance to tearing.



A new era in Asian product design is about to begin. For the first time ever, designers now have access to authentic ergonomic data on the head and face shapes of Chinese populations. SizeChina offers designers access to a precise digital 3D database of Chinese head and face shapes, based on sophisticated analysis of raw data gathered from more than 3000 individuals at six different mainland China locations.

Smart Dressing System


This smart dressing system was developed by using artificial intelligence techniques and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies.



Our Expertise

PolyU has also developed multi-disciplinary yet in-depth specialized expertise through a myriad of research institutes and centres in particular research areas.

Please refer to the detailed list of research institute and centres of PolyU here.

Mature Network of Both Research Luminaries and Industry Pioneers

PolyU has established solid, multidimensional and interactive relationships bridging the circles of the experienced research experts from the academia together with the pace-setting entrepreneurs and professionals from the industry. Thanks to the continuing efforts and dedication from different contributors in PolyU community including students, teaching and research experts, alumni and executive leaders, PolyU has marked outstanding success in fostering interdisciplinary and university-industry collaborations.