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PolyU receives staunch support from the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation for the establishment of the Smart Cities Research Institute and the Research Institute for Smart Energy

Thanks to a generous donation from the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation (the Foundation), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has established two research institutes in support of the University’s research endeavours in the areas of smart cities and sustainable energy. The two research institutes are named the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI) and the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Research Institute for Smart Energy (RISE) in appreciation of the Foundation’s significant contributions. Officiated by Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, the naming ceremony was held earlier this month. It was attended by Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to, Founder of the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation, Dr Lam Tai-fai, PolyU’s Council Chairman, Professor Jin-Guang Teng, PolyU’s President and others. In his welcoming remarks, PolyU’s Council Chairman Dr Lam Tai-fai extended his heartfelt gratitude to Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to for his long-standing support to PolyU, “Dr Poon is a strong advocate of using innovation and technology to solve societal problems. Smart cities and energy challenges are two topics of great importance to society today. We are excited to join hands with Dr Poon to set up two research institutes focusing on these strategic areas in order to contribute to the further development of Hong Kong, the Nation and the wider international community.” The Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr David Chung, said that the Government had been collaborating with the two Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Research Institutes in conducting trials and pilots in a number of smart city projects, ranging from the application of urban informatics to smart and sustainable energy, in order to improve the quality of life of our citizens. “The Innovation and Technology Bureau will continue to develop Hong Kong into a smart city and to make space for our local talents to help contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong as well as our country. I urge all of you to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the National 14th Five-year Plan and development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. There is much to gain from collaboration with our neighbour cities and we have much to learn from each other, especially on the new frontier of smart city development. PolyU, with its outstanding research institutes and academics, will have a big role to play in building Hong Kong into an international I&T hub,” Dr Chung added. Founder of the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to remarked that “the notion of smart cities embraces a wide array of topics. The establishment of SCRI will serve as a catalyst to blend the various elements of smart cities together in order to contribute to the success of Hong Kong’s Smart City Blue Print 2.0.” Ir Dr Poon also raised concerns regarding climate change, and noted that renewable energy and energy storage were two essential research topics. He appreciated PolyU researchers' dedicated commitment to advancing the frontiers of technology and knowledge to cope with energy challenges. Professor Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU, thanked Ir Dr Poon for his unwavering support to PolyU over the years and said “Interdisciplinary collaboration can provide solutions to address societal challenges. Against this backdrop, the University has established the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR), a hub to promote research and innovation across disciplines. To date, ten research institutes and five research centres have been established to offer impactful solutions in areas including land and space creation, smart ageing, advanced manufacturing, smart cities, smart energy and more.” Established in 2020, SCRI and RISE will bring together PolyU experts from diversified fields to develop impactful interdisciplinary research. SCRI aims at being a global centre of excellence in urban informatics and a living smart cities laboratory for Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in order to promote smart cities development in Hong Kong and in the country. Its research focus areas include Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Government, and Smart Economy. SCRI is collaborating with some of the world’s top universities including the University of Cambridge and University College London, as well as major industrial players to develop innovative solutions. SCRI’s innovations have received worldwide recognition and won two Gold Medals at 2021 Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days and two prizes in the 2021 Smart 50 Awards. RISE strives to pursue translational research on innovative solutions for energy-related problems. Its five research focus areas include District Energy Systems and Smart Grid, Smart Buildings and Smart Energy Systems, Advanced Energy Storage Technologies, Advanced and Renewable Energy Conversion Technologies, and Advanced Energy Materials. RISE’s world-class research has been recognised in various global research rankings. According to a recent report by Stanford University, 16 RISE members have been listed among the top 2% of scientists in relevant research fields globally, with three members ranking in the top 25 places. In addition, three RISE scholars have been acknowledged in the Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list by Clarivate Analytics. For more details about the research institutes, please visit the respective websites: Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI) https://www.polyu.edu.hk/scri/ Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Research Institute for Smart Energy (RISE) https://www.polyu.edu.hk/rise/   ***** End *****

18 Oct, 2021

Events Communications and Public Affairs Office

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PolyU innovations in advanced textiles, new materials synthesis and centimetre-precision positioning win TechConnect awards

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) was awarded three prestigious prizes at this year’s TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo (TechConnect) in Washington DC. PolyU research teams excelled in the area of “Materials & Manufacturing” with two innovations being awarded TechConnect 2021 Global Innovation Awards. The PolyU innovators had developed a nature-inspired ‘sweatable’ textile material capable of ultra-fast sweat dissipation; as well as inventing an environmentally friendly technique to synthesizing MXenes – a promising energy storage material designed to meet rising global energy demands. In the area of “AI, Data, Cyber & Software”, PolyU has developed 3D LiDAR-aided GNSS precise positioning technology that allows highly robust centimetre-level global positioning in urban environments for automated driving, which also received a TechConnect 2021 Global Innovation Award. PolyU is the only higher education institution in Hong Kong this year that received the awards, which recognise the top 15% of submitted technologies based on their potential positive impact in different technological areas. Other awarded innovators include those from global-renowned universities, institutes and laboratories, including several national laboratories affiliated with the US Department of Energy. It is the fifth year that PolyU research teams have been awarded the prestigious prizes at the world's largest multi-sector event for fostering development and commercialising innovations. Professor Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, congratulated the teams. He said: “I am delighted that PolyU’s latest innovations – from advanced manufacturing, materials and electronics micro-systems to AI, data and software technologies – have been recognised and showcased at TechConnect. Not only does this acknowledge the value of PolyU’s impactful research and the innovations that shape smart city development and tackle various environmental and public health issues, but it also paves the way for further research collaboration in the global arena.” PolyU’s three award-winning innovations are: Sweatextile: A Nature-Inspired Textile of Unidirectional Water Transport and Dissipation for Moisture Management, Comfort and Protection by Dr SHOU Dahua, Professor FAN Jintu and Dr WEI Xin, Institute of Textiles and Clothing Going beyond the capabilities of existing wicking textiles, Sweatextile mimics the perspiration action of human skin, quickly directing and dissipating excessive sweat as water droplets on the outer surface, keeping the wearer dry, comfortable and having greater energy and endurance. In addition to enjoying fast wicking and moisture dissipation, Sweatextile protects wearers from external liquids such as rain and contaminated water. This innovation can benefit a wide range of consumers including outdoor enthusiasts and highly-active professionals. HF-free facile and rapid synthesis of MXenes related materials for Efficient Energy Conversion and Storage Applications by Professor HAO Jianhua and Ms PANG Sin-Yi, Department of Applied Physics MXenes have widespread uses in electrochemical energy storage and biological application due to their high robustness and non-toxicity. Traditional synthetic routes require the use of highly toxic hydrofluoric (HF) acid to synthesize MXenes, which raises considerable safety and environmental concerns. To overcome this problem, a HF-free electrochemical method has been developed to synthesize MXenes. The resulting MXenes exhibit stable and highly efficient energy storage and hydrogen gas synthesis capabilities, offering promising applications aiming to address the fast-approaching energy crisis and increasing energy demands. 3D LiDAR Aided GNSS Precise Positioning for Level 4 Autonomous Driving by Dr HSU Li-Ta and Dr WEN Weisong, Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering The 3D LiDAR-Aided GNSS Precise Positioning technology developed by PolyU tightly couples its environmental perception capability with high-precision satellite positioning technology to achieve an intelligent self-adjusting satellite ranging measurement modeling and correction. This allows highly robust centimetre-level high-precision global positioning in urban environments to be achieved for Level 4 autonomous driving. Besides the three award-winning innovations, a number of other PolyU inventions were also shortlisted in the TechConnect Innovation Showcase which recognises promising technologies within their respective fields. The PolyU showcase included advanced material and manufacturing innovations, such as: an integrated microfluidic system that can replicate natural photosynthesis with greater energy efficiency; an eco-friendly smart coating material which adopts a “smart” cooling mechanism that can both enhance daytime cooling and minimize nighttime heat loss; and a novel antimicrobial 3D printing technology that enables new medical usage of 3D printing products to combat contact transmission of lethal microbes in public areas. For more details of the event and the awards, please refer to the official website of TechConnect at https://www.techconnectworld.com/World2021 and the list of awardees at https://www.techconnectworld.com/World2021/participate/innovation/awards.html.   ***End***

18 Oct, 2021

Achievements Research and Innovation Office

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PolyU to launch three research centres under InnoHK Clusters

In support of the Hong Kong government’s new initiative, InnoHK Clusters, which aims to develop Hong Kong as a hub for global research collaboration, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has joined forces with world-leading institutions to develop research centres under two newly established research clusters – AIR@InnoHK (focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies) and Health@InnoHK (focusing on healthcare related technologies), in a bid to bring together leading researchers from around the world to conduct impactful collaborative research in Hong Kong.

11 Oct, 2021

Research & Innovation Research and Innovation Office

Statement by the Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM)

The Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM) welcomes the various new initiatives announced by the Chief Executive in the 2021 Policy Address to further enhance the competitiveness of the higher education sector in Hong Kong and to support the development of Hong Kong into an international innovation & technology hub. The Committee believes that with these new initiatives, the UGC-funded universities in Hong Kong will be able to scale new heights in their pursuit of research and educational excellence, talent development, and to support the socio-economic development of Hong Kong as part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as well as the development of the nation and the world.

6 Oct, 2021

Others

PolyU welcomes 2021 Policy Address initiatives on education, innovation and technology

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) welcomes the Chief Executive’s initiatives in the 2021 Policy Address that charted a roadmap to build a brighter future for Hong Kong in collaboration with all sectors of the community. The initiatives outlined in the Policy Address will enable Hong Kong to turn a new chapter by leveraging on the central government’s favourable policies and the city’s unique advantages. PolyU is grateful towards the current administration’s staunch support in nurturing talents and promoting innovation and technology, particularly its investments of more than HK$130 billion in innovation and technology over the past four years, as well as the development of a more comprehensive innovation and technology ecosystem. These have made innovation and technology a new impetus for the city’s economy. Dr LAM Tai-fai, Chairman of Council of PolyU, said: “This year’s Policy Address deserves our praise. It is forward-looking, comprehensive, visionary and underscores the Government’s astuteness. Despite the headwinds and grave challenges in the past four years, Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam has displayed her resolve in correcting any shortcomings, and her efforts have been approved and supported by the central government.” Dr Lam said this Policy Address demonstrated that the Chief Executive has seized the tremendous opportunities presented by the Nation’s 14th Five-year Plan and the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), at a time when the “One Country, Two Systems” principle is being restored in the wake of the enactment of the national security law and changes to the electoral system in Hong Kong. Dr Lam added that: “with the comprehensive and correct implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, I believe the Chief Executive will lead Hong Kong in embarking on a new venture through this Policy Address, seizing new opportunities and taking the city forward. I am sure the Policy Address initivatives will also bring about long term prosperity and stability, and help solve deep-rooted social problems.” He thanked the Chief Executive for recognising PolyU’s contribution to the Nation’s space programmes in the Policy Address, and is particularly grateful to the Government for supporting the University in exploring the new use of its Hung Hom Bay Campus for academic and research development. In the Policy Address, the Government set out initiatives including the provision of additional land for innovation and technology use, the setting up of an InnoLife Healthtech Hub, and other measures to promote the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong. The Government also announced initiatives to encourage young people to pursue careers in research and innovation, and to support them in participating in the Nation’s development. Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU, said: “PolyU is encouraged by the Government’s commitment in promoting the development of innovation and technology, which will enable local universities to give full play to Hong Kong’s edge in scientific research.” Besides the two state key laboratories, PolyU has set up a number of inter-disciplinary research institutes in areas including advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, smart cities, smart energy, as well as land and space. Its new Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation will be dedicated to the advancement of the GBA’s basic, applied and translational research on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Meanwhile, PolyU is actively supporting several research clusters of the Government’s flagship InnoHK project. The University is pleased about the Government’s continuous increase in local healthcare training places. The new PolyU teaching facility under construction at Ho Man Tin is expected to be completed by 2026, which will enable the University to nurture more future healthcare professionals for Hong Kong. PolyU also welcomes the Government initiatives to invite the University Grants Committee to assess the supply of and demand for UGC-funded research postgraduate places, as well as the relaxation of the over-enrolment ceiling for these places. PolyU believes these will help the University in nurturing more high-calibre research talents. Regarding the Global STEM Professorship scheme introduced in last year’s Policy Address, PolyU has been very supportive and has actively participated in the scheme, resulting in a number of scholars being hired. The University will continue to strengthen its efforts in attracting global talents in innovation and technology to work in the GBA. In conclusion, Professor Teng said: “In the next academic year, we will reform our undergraduate programme to strengthen education in artificial intelligence, data analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship, while enhancing our support to students’ entrepreneurial endeavours in the GBA. We believe these efforts will promote technological innovation and nurture young research talents for the region. Furthermore, PolyU has been committed to offering holistic education, and has been emphasising both integrity and professional excellence as our educational objective, with integrity coming first. We strive to nurture more future talents that are socially responsible, dedicated to Hong Kong and the Nation, and with a global outlook. Looking forward, PolyU will make greater contributions to Hong Kong, the GBA and the Nation, through supporting the Government’s efforts in developing the GBA and promoting innovation and technology; and advancing our initiatives in education, research collaboration and knowledge transfer in the GBA.”   ***End***

6 Oct, 2021

Others Communications and Public Affairs Office

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PolyU holds flag-raising ceremony to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today held a flag-raising ceremony on campus in celebration of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

1 Oct, 2021

Events

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PolyU signs MoU with three strategic partners in support of “GBA PolyVentures 2025”

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with three strategic partners to further propel the “GBA PolyVentures 2025” blueprint laid down by the University to leverage PolyU’s experience in innovation and entrepreneurship education to provide the necessary support for nurturing deep tech ventures and accelerating their growth. The collaboration also aims to translate research excellence into societal impact to contribute to the development of innovation and technology in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The MoU were signed between PolyU and its strategic partners, namely Everbright Limited, StartupHK Fund and Hai Robotics. Dr Lawrence Li Kwok-chang PolyU’s Deputy Council Chairman In his welcoming remarks at the signing ceremony, Dr Lawrence Li Kwok-chang, PolyU’s Deputy Council Chairman, said, “The signing of the MoU between PolyU and its strategic partners echoes with the needs of our Nation and leverages the strengths of PolyU and other parties in working together for the development of innovation and technology in the GBA. Hai Robotics, one of our strategic partners today, was nurtured under PolyU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and has recently become a unicorn.” Hai Robotics is a start-up that provides autonomous case-handling robotic systems. It was founded in 2016 by 2012 graduate Mr Richie Chen and 2014 graduate Mr Bing Fang of PolyU’s Department of Electronic and Information Engineering. The start-up witnessed rapid growth by making use of the manufacturing advantages of the GBA and benefitting from the enormous opportunities of the Mainland China market. Hai Robotics announced last week that it has completed two rounds of financing garnering US$200 million in total, and its valuation has exceeded US$1 billion. Mr Alfred Sit The Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government The Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, Mr Alfred Sit, commended the GBA PolyVentures 2025. He said that the National 14th Five-year Plan indicates clear support for Hong Kong’s development into an international I&T hub and integration into the overall development of the country. The deepening collaboration with the Mainland, active participation in the development of the GBA and the integration into the nation’s development are pivotal to the future innovation and technology development in Hong Kong. The HKSAR Government has all along attached great importance to university-industry-research collaboration. It is hoped that the synergies generated can enhance the innovation power in Hong Kong, drive the innovation and technology development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and contribute to national innovation and achieve high-quality technological self-reliance. Professor Jin-Guang Teng PolyU’s President PolyU’s President, Professor Jin-Guang Teng, said, “In order to further promote the development of research and entrepreneurship in the GBA and to nurture future research talents to address the market needs, PolyU continues to collaborate closely with industry partners through ‘GBA PolyVentures 2025’, providing comprehensive support for start-ups in different stages from education and incubation, to accelerating and strengthening their development. The goal is to distil more than 300 seed stage innovation start-ups into at least 20 deep tech ventures each year and to nurture 25 impactful scale-ups in the GBA in the next few years through collaboration with strategic partners and various supporting initiatives.” According to the MoU, PolyU and Hai Robotics will explore establishing a joint innovation centre to promote PolyU’s education in innovation and entrepreneurship, nurture talents in “New Engineering”, and conduct applied research in robotics-related topics. PolyU and Everbright Limited will invest resources to help start-ups develop through collaboration between technology and industry, provide support to promising research projects, and roll out an internship programme for nurturing innovation talents. PolyU and StartupHK Fund will co-invest in PolyU’s start-ups and help them enter the GBA market as well as launch initiatives to strengthen entrepreneurship education. PolyU is also committed to providing high-quality education that keeps pace with the times and meets societal needs. The University will implement departmental scheme-based admissions from the 2022/23 academic year onwards, introducing two new elements of “Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis” and “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. In addition, PolyU established the College of Undergraduate Researchers and Innovators and Residential College to encourage undergraduate students to conduct scientific research under the guidance of PolyU’s professors. These initiatives are all designed to inspire students’ scientific curiosity and enhance their innovation capabilities. PolyU places high importance on nurturing technology ventures. PolyU recently signed an MoU with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) to kick off pre-incubation at university through the PolyU Micro Fund Scheme 2.0, which provides six months of entrepreneurship training to help entrepreneurial projects enter HKSTP’s start-up incubation programme directly. In addition, PolyU has launched two key programmes that leverage on the unique advantages of the technology and innovation ecosystem in the GBA. The first is PolyU’s GBA Startup Postdoc Programme targeted at PhD graduates who are determined to start their own businesses. Under dual academic and industrial mentorship, participants can simultaneously continue with their research and start their own business for commercialisation of their research outputs. Since the launch of the programme over a year ago, six PhD students have won nine awards in total. Six start-ups have been established to receive post-incubation support; some of them have even received angel investment. PolyU will extend the programme to both Shenzhen and Hong Kong to attract more technology and innovation talents to develop in the GBA. The second key programme is the GBA Maker Programme for hardware start-ups. PolyU makes full use of its unique advantages and facilities in manufacturing engineering, such as PolyU’s Industrial Centre, to combine Hong Kong's edge in innovation technology and the manufacturing capabilities of the GBA to nurture top-notch hardware start-ups. Through “GBA PolyVentures 2025”, PolyU aims to systematically accelerate the growth of start-ups through education and incubation and ultimately contribute to the development of innovation and technology in the GBA by deepening the collaboration with strategic partners and leveraging their resources, experience and network, with the support of PolyU’s new “Entrepreneurship Investment Fund”.   ***** END *****

30 Sep, 2021

Events Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office

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PolyU Undergraduate Info Day 2021 to be held on 9 October offering updated information including the new departmental scheme-based admissions arrangement from the 2022/23 academic year

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) will hold the Undergraduate Info Day (Info Day) face-to-face and online on 9 October 2021 (Saturday). The Info Day will provide students with the most up-to-date information about PolyU full-time undergraduate programmes. A broad range of activities, such as admission seminars, programme seminars, virtual booths, student sharing, guided tours and consultations with PolyU academic staff, will be arranged to help prospective students make an informed choice about their future academic pursuits at the University. Departmental scheme-based admissions to be implemented from the 2022/23 academic year onwards Starting from the 2022/23 academic year, PolyU will adopt departmental scheme-based admissions to provide a more flexible progression pathway for students in order to meet changing societal needs. The new arrangement will provide greater flexibility for students in their choice of degree programmes and specialisations. Furthermore, two new elements, namely "Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics"(AIDA) and "Innovation and Entrepreneurship"(IE), will be incorporated into the undergraduate programme curriculum from the 2022/23 academic year. At the end of the first academic year, students can choose to take a Secondary Major in either AIDA or IE if these options are available in their scheme, or opt for a Minor in one of the two subject areas. To encourage undergraduate students to undertake research, PolyU also launched the “Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scheme” (URIS) in the summer of 2021, providing funding for participating students to conduct scientific research projects. PolyU will also provide other supports such as auto admission to the College of Undergraduate Researchers and Innovators (CURI), priority in the allocation of hostel places and access to related research seminars and sharing sessions. The flexibility towards the minimum score requirement for JUPAS admissions will be continued, including for special talents with outstanding non-academic achievements such as sports talents under the Outstanding Sportsmen Recommendation Schemes (OSRS). Students who fall slightly short of the general entrance requirements for degree programmes (i.e. with one HKDSE subject result falling one level below the required level - “3-3-2-2-3-3” - level 3 in both languages and level 2 in Mathematics and Liberal Studies together with level 3 in two additional electives) will be given special consideration for admission. The School Nominations Direct Admission Scheme (SNDAS) will be introduced in 2022/23, which aims at recognizing the exceptional talent of students in specific disciplines that may not be fully assessed by the HKDSE Examination with opportunities to be considered for direct admission to local universities. Secondary school principals are invited to submit their nominations to PolyU via an online system between 6 October and 8 December. The PolyU Undergraduate Info Day 2021 will start at 9:30 a.m. and run until 5:30 p.m. on 9 October. Highlights of the event include: two JUPAS admissions talks for Secondary Six students; two admissions talks for non-JUPAS applicants with international qualifications or sub-degree qualifications; around 70 programme seminars organized by various academic faculties, schools and departments; around 30 guided tours to various laboratories or facilities; and student sharing and consultation sessions arranged by the Academic Registry and academic departments. Online registration is required for participating in the Info Day. To register and get more information, please visit: www.polyu.edu.hk/infoday/ Undergraduate admission in 2021/22 academic year Among PolyU’s full-time public-funded undergraduate programmes offered in 2021/22, “Scheme in Design” was the most popular, being chosen by 575 JUPAS applicants as their first choice. “Hotel Management” and “Nursing” placed second and third, attracting 435 and 397 applicants respectively. More than 91% of PolyU admittees this year chose the University’s programmes as their Band A choices. Among JUPAS applicants admitted in 2021/22, the average score for the Best 5 DSE subjects is 24.0. Among the undergraduates admitted in 2021/22, 331 scored at least 5** in one subject or with an aggregate DSE score of 32 or above for the Best 5 subjects, with both Chinese and English at level 3 or above, in the DSE examination, attaining a notable admissions profile. Details of the average DSE scores for PolyU’s 2021/22 admittees will be released by 9 October 2021 at Study@PolyU (http://www51.polyu.edu.hk/eprospectus/ug/jupas).   ***** End *****

28 Sep, 2021

Events Academic Registry

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PolyU strengthens community COVID-19 prevention and rehabilitation with Health and Medical Research Fund studies

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) received HK$55.9 million in funding from the government’s Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) for new studies that aim to better prepare Hong Kong for the recovery stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-disciplinary studies range from exploring a new holistic approach in preventing infection and enhancing recovery, to developing more effective strategies in strengthening community-level protection against the coronavirus, especially for vulnerable groups. The studies will engage and collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders in the community. The new studies follow the previous round of HMRF backed COVID-19 research conducted by PolyU, several of which have yielded impactful outputs that have contributed to better informed public health measures and responses, while other ongoing studies are making good progress. Professor Wing-tak WONG, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, said the dedication of PolyU’s researchers has led to substantial research output on COVID-19, particularly in areas like rapid diagnostics, transmission tracing, and outbreak trend forecasting. The University is grateful to the Food and Health Bureau for supporting and approving PolyU’s research efforts. “We are also honoured to be invited by the Bureau again this year to submit COVID-19 research proposals. This gives PolyU the opportunity to leverage our multi-disciplinary research strength, especially in the areas of social sciences, health, and nursing, to support the government’s anti-pandemic efforts,” Professor Wong said. Among the findings of the previous round of HMRF financed studies conducted by PolyU, Professor Elsie YAN Chau-wai, Associate Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences, examined public compliance with disease prevention measures to control COVID-19 using a two-wave 6-month longitudinal study. The study shed light on the reception of vaccines among different population segments and the findings were published in the internationally renowned journal Vaccines. In addition, the rapid whole-genome sequencing technique developed by Dr Gilman SIU Kit-hang, Associate Professor of Department of Health Technology and Informatics, has played an important role in identifying and stopping transmission chains in Hong Kong, including those of variant strains. Professor David SHUM, Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, said these HMRF backed studies demonstrate PolyU’s strength in producing research that addresses societal challenges and creates a positive impact, particularly with respect to anti-pandemic efforts in the community. “The new studies supported by HMRF in its latest round of funding underscore the Fund’s approval of PolyU’s research capability,” Professor Shum said. “The novel coronavirus pandemic might have stabilized, but it is far from finished. There are new variants that continue to pose new threats, prevention is still a priority area that we need to work on; while the growing number of COVID-19 survivors also calls for better understanding of and strategies for their long-term rehabilitation needs.” In the third and latest round of HMRF COVID-19 studies announced this month by the government’s Food and Health Bureau and the Research Council, PolyU’s large multi-disciplinary research studies led by Professor Alex MOLASIOTIS, Chair Professor of Nursing and Head of School of Nursing, were granted HK$27.6 million. The studies will explore “a community-based participatory research approach to reduce the COVID-19 risk in Hong Kong: developing and testing social and behavioural interventions”. Another set of large multi-disciplinary research studies led by Professor David MAN, Associate Head of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, were awarded HK$28.3 million. The studies will explore “the Prevention-Protection-Promotion approach as a novel and effective strategy to prevent infection and enhance recovery in individuals with COVID-19”. These research studies will address comprehensive follow-up of novel coronavirus survivors and their caregivers’ physical and mental wellness and long-term health issues; social and behavioural interventions to reduce the spread of infection; and the development of novel and effective strategies to enhance recovery and implementation models to prevent such infection. PolyU welcomes public participation in the two new studies and interested community members and groups can contact the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences on telephone numbers 3400 3184 or 3400 3973, or by sending an email to fhss.community@polyu.edu.hk.   ***End***

27 Sep, 2021

Achievements Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

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PolyU to enhance undergraduate curriculum from the 2022/23 academic year onwards, strengthening students with diverse capabilities to meet future societal needs

Given the emergence of Industry 4.0 as a key trend that is shaping the future, innovation and technology have become the new driving force for the economy of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. In addition to acquiring professional knowledge, young people are required to master the skills needed by contemporary society and to possess an entrepreneurial spirit, in order to demonstrate diverse strengths such as creativity and problem-solving capability on different occasions. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is committed to providing high-quality education that keeps pace with the times. To better equip our students for societal needs, the University will fully implement departmental scheme-based admissions from the 2022/23 academic year onwards, thus providing students with more flexible study options and helping them to enhance their competitiveness. Starting from the 2022/23 academic year, the new departmental scheme-based arrangement will be applied to all programmes (except for some specialised programmes such as Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nursing). Under the new arrangement, when students apply to PolyU, they will first select a scheme from a department. Upon enrolling to the University, students only need to undertake the common courses of the department in their first academic year. They will then select their Major in the second academic year. This will offer them more time to gain a better understanding about their own interests and aspirations, so as to make the most suitable choice in selecting their Major. Furthermore, two new elements, namely “Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis” (AIDA) and “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” (IE), will be incorporated into the General University Requirement (GUR) from the next academic year. All undergraduate students must complete at least 2 credits of the AIDA courses and at least 1 credit of the IE courses within their 4-year study period to fulfil the minimum requirements for graduation. Under the departmental scheme-based arrangement, students can choose to take a secondary Major in AIDA and IE. They are required to complete at least 66 credits for their primary Major, and at least 36 credits should be from AIDA or IE. The former includes Artificial Intelligence, Programming and other related subjects; while the latter features initiatives such as a 12-week company attachment and visits to the Greater Bay Area to learn about the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In addition, they must also acquire 30 credits from the GUR, totalling at least 132 credits to meet the graduation requirement. Students can also opt for a Minor in either AIDA or IE by taking 18 credits from the chosen subject area. PolyU’s Vice President (Education), Prof. Kwok-yin WONG, said that by enhancing the undergraduate curriculum, PolyU aims to provide students with more flexible and customised programmes to meet societal needs. He explained, “University education aims to nuture future-ready leaders for society. We hope PolyU graduates will not only gain solid academic knowledge, but also have the diverse strengths that are essential for the future development of society. Therefore, PolyU is keen to promote a series of strategies to enhance the undergraduate curriculum in this respect, to be fully implemented in the next academic year. I believe these initiatives will help students acquire vital interdisciplinary knowledge, and also equip them with creative thinking to cope with the rapid changes in our world.” To encourage undergraduate students to undertake research, PolyU launched the “Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scheme” (URIS) in the summer of 2021, providing funding for participating students to conduct scientific research projects. Students can submit applications individually or in groups, and each approved project will receive funding ranging from HK$50,000 to HK$100,000. Since the launch of the scheme, more than 110 projects have been approved, covering different research fields including Applied Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, etc. A total of more than HK$ 5 million in funding has been granted so far. In addition to research funding, PolyU will also provide additional types of support to participants, such as guidance on research, as well as auto admission to the College of Undergraduate Researchers and Innovators (CURI). They will furthermore be given priority in the allocation of hostel places at PolyU’s new Residential College in the Homantin Student Halls of Residence, and will be provided access to seminars and sharing sessions on different topics with resident researchers. Prof. Daniel SHEK, Associate Vice President (Undergraduate Programme) of PolyU, said: “Through the scheme, we hope to strengthen students’ curiosity in academic research and nurture the next generation of researchers. The first cohort of the scheme was launched in the summer of 2021, and drew a positive response with close to 250 applications. Among the more than 140 proposals received, over 80% were approved. We are pleased to see students demonstrate interest and enthusiasm in scientific research, and we hope they can learn from the experience and acquire knowledge to lay a solid foundation for their future career in research.” PolyU will hold an Undergraduate Education Info day on 9 October 2021 (Saturday) to provide students with the latest information about its full-time undergraduate programmes, and will share further details of the new departmental scheme-based arrangement. For more details of the PolyU “Undergraduate Education Info Day 2021”, please visit: www.polyu.edu.hk/infoday/   ***** End *****

20 Sep, 2021

Teaching & Learning

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