The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Accel Group Holdings Limited (Accel Group) have established the “PolyU-Accel Group Metaverse+ Joint Laboratory” (Joint Lab). The Joint Lab aims to foster the research and application of metaverse technology in various sectors, accelerate the ongoing development of Hong Kong as a green and smart city, strengthen industry-academia-research collaboration and cultivate professional talents. The Accel Group plans to donate HK$10 million to PolyU in the next five years to support the project development and operation of the Joint Lab.
The kick-off ceremony was held on 8 Aug on the PolyU campus, officiated by Ms Lillian CHEONG, Under Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry; Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU; Mr KO Lai-hung, Chairman and CEO of Accel Group; Ms Iris Ping-fan WONG, Hong Kong delegate to the National People’s Congress; Mr CHAN Han-pan, LegCo Member; Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President of PolyU; Prof. LI Qing, Chair Professor of Data Science and Head of the Department of Computing; together with other guests.
Prof. Jin-Guang Teng said, “To better equip students for societal needs, PolyU has taken the lead in launching new Master’s degree programmes in areas including blockchain technology, metaverse technology, and artificial intelligence and big data computing. ‘Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics’ (AIDA) and ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ (IE) have also been incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum. PolyU is committed to becoming an innovative world-class university and its contributions to blockchain technology and Web3 development have been widely recognised. The University topped the ‘Best Universities for Blockchain 2022’ list by CoinDesk, and our scholars recently won the international ZPRIZE award to recognise the breakthroughs achieved by the team in zero-knowledge crypto technology in Web3.”
Dr KO Lai-hung said, “The establishment of the Joint Lab with PolyU will benefit the diversification of our business development and as such is a milestone in the Group’s process of technological innovation. We will cooperate with academia by integrating our extensive industry experience and leveraging our financial resources into research in order to propel the construction of a more competitive and sustainable Hong Kong with the utilisation of metaverse technology. Our Group will also seize the enormous business opportunities brought by the metaverse and actively apply innovative outcomes in our business so as to increase our competitive advantage and support our long-term development.”
Dr ZHANG Chen Jason, Assistant Professor of COMP and the principal investigator of the Joint Lab, introduced the three initial directions that the Joint Lab are taking – new energy materials, industrial training, and financial technology. He explained that the plus sign (i.e. +) in the Joint Lab’s name is symbolic of the integration of metaverse technology into various kinds of industrial application.
The Joint Lab will conduct diversified research, including into the metaverse’s role in enterprise cooperation, industrial applications, green and smart city initiatives, energy management, and sustainable supply chain systems. It is expected that the establishment of the Joint Lab will improve production efficiency and quality while at the same time reducing risk and cost, accelerating the ongoing development of Hong Kong as a green and smart city, and cultivating professional talents. Weaving together the knowledge and research capability of academia with the experience and resources of industry, this collaboration between PolyU and Accel Group will further strengthen cross-disciplinary cooperation and explore the potential and value of metaverse technology in industrial applications and environmental protection.