[Photo]: Timothy W. Tong, Ph.D. President
Welcome to PolyU’s 2014/15 Sustainability Report.
As the largest government-funded tertiary institution in Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is devoted to contributing to the sustainable development of society, the environment and the world through professional education, ground-breaking research and innovative technologies. During the year, we adopted “Opening Minds • Shaping the Future” as our promise for education and research, reflecting our relentless efforts to empower our students, staff and graduates to turn today’s potential into tomorrow’s accomplishments. We are committed to inspiring today’s younger generation, and opening their minds by a combination of professional knowledge with service-learning and real-world experience to broaden their perspectives and develop a serving heart. From improving daily life through medical breakthroughs to opening up new horizons in space, from setting fashion trends to creating a greener globe, we endeavor to continuously shape the future through cutting-edge research and knowledge-sharing collaborations with stakeholders both locally and from around the world.
The younger generation can become drivers of innovation and change that brings about the advancement of our society. In view of this, we will continue with our efforts to explore innovative teaching models and learning practices to inspire and engage our students as active learners. In addition to equipping our students with the skills and professional knowledge that help them excel, PolyU aims to infuse a strong sense of social responsibility through our curriculum and initiatives such as Service-Learning and Work-Integrated Education. The University also offers academic programmes in environmental management and sustainable development. Students at PolyU are offered a wide range of programmes and courses related to green buildings, environment, climate change, renewable energy and others with focus on sustainability.
Advanced research and technology development are PolyU’s hallmarks which can help create a more sustainable future for our society. In 2014/15, we pushed the frontiers of technology once again with a number of scientific discoveries and innovations. We made inroads into the field of green technology: a breakthrough in renewable energy technology in the form of a revolutionary catalyst that can convert impure crude oil into biodiesel fuel in one step; and our first in-building hydropower system to harness hydroelectricity from water pipelines. We have also developed wearable technologies like a posture correction girdle for adolescents suffering from spinal curve progression, and a robot hybrid rehabilitation sleeve for stroke patients. Our insightful innovations stand at the forefront of safeguarding health and improving people’s lives.
We understand that a sustainable and prosperous future demands concerted efforts by stakeholders from various sectors. The University offers a collaborative platform for knowledge sharing and technology transfer between academia and industry. University-industry collaborations yield mutual benefits. Industry can acquire expertise and techniques at the forefront, while working together with industry can create impetus for PolyU’s outstanding research that can then be translated into powerful solutions. In December 2014, we organized the International Knowledge Transfer Conference during the APAC Innovation Summit, and held a Presidents Forum for heads of institutions to facilitate university-industry knowledge transfer. Our Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development initiated collaborative and inter-disciplinary research projects with government departments and industry to support smart city development. Through collaboration, we are able to identify promising research directions to benefit our world and shape a better future for us all.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the PolyU community, industry partners and other external stakeholders for their support for the University’s continual striving for excellence and contribution to the sustainable development of society and environment. In the years to come, we will endeavour to embed sustainability principles and practices throughout our planning and operations, with a view to developing a sustainable campus, retaining talents, facilitating knowledge transfer and serving the global community. We are ready for the ever-changing social, environmental and economic challenges, and we are excited to forge ahead and stride forward on the path of sustainability to bring ideas to life for the benefit of mankind.