The purpose of this platform is to develop collaborations to promote and develop academic collaborations which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Exchange of research and professional knowledge;
  • Visiting academic staffs and students;
  • Joint supervision of research students;
  • Joint seminar/workshop/conference;
  • Collaboration in technology development and the promotion of research outputs; and
  • Joint participation in internationally funded projects.

Brief of the Current Collaborative Areas/Projects:

Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) is a global research program initiated by Alibaba Group, aiming at exploring innovative science and technology. To cultivate collaborations, a variety of programs are designed to provide resources and support to the academic and research communities.

Several PolyU proposals are successfully selected for funding in AIR program 2017 and 2018. 

Please check for AIR programme 2019 details

Deadline for submission: 23:59 July 15th, 2019, GMT+8.

Enquiry: Ms. Karen Jiang (Tel: 3400 2863 / Email:

Events & Highlights:

  • June 2016: 1st Alibaba Technology Forum on Big Data and Cloud Computing Technologies in Hong Kong @PolyU
  • August 2016: Collaborative Research Seminar held at Alibaba Hangzhou HQ for PolyU
  • September 2016: Alibaba has been a member of Departmental Advisory Committee (DAC) of the Department of Computing @PolyU since September 2016
  • April 2017: 1st Alibaba – PolyU collaborative project kicks off, which is also Alibaba 1st joint project with University outside mainland China
  • August - October 2017: ITDO coordinates Alibaba Innovation Program call for proposal, and technology match-making meeting with faculty members
  • October 2017: Alibaba VP Dr. Hua Xianshen public lecture at PolyU
  • April 2018: Professor Alex Wai, Vice President (Research Development) of PolyU led the team from the Faculty of Engineering and the Innovation and Technology Development Office to have in-depth discussion with Mr. Zhang Jianfeng, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba for more high-impact collaborations. 
  • April 2018: At Alibaba Annual Research Collaboration Summit, Professor Cao Jiannong, Chair Professor of Department of Computing gave a keynote speech on Smart Internet of Things.  Professor Zhang Lei, the Chair Professor & Associate Head of Department of Computing, was presented with The Best Partner Award in Alibaba-Academic Collaboration at the Summit, with technology successfully applied in Alibaba “City Brain” Initiatives.
  • September 2018: At Alibaba's Computing Conference 2018 held at Hanzhou, Professor Zhang Lei, the Chair Professor of Computer Vision and Image Analysis of Department of Computing, delivered a speech and shared his views on deep learning and a PID controller approach for optimization of deep networks.
  • November 2018: MoU Signing Ceremony between PolyU - Alibaba Cloud on Artificial Intelligence Collaboration
    PolyU and Alibaba Cloud signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)to strengthen their cooperation in Artificial Intelligence research, particularly focusing on the areas of smart cities and smart healthcare. The two parties hope to translate research findings into real applications which can be initially adopted in Hong Kong as a pilot and then rolled out to the rest of the Greater Bay Area and other overseas cities.
  • January 2020: PolyU students leverage industry experience and shine at AI challenge


Please visit to explore opportunity for collaborative research or tell us your idea if you are interested in Alibaba Research Program or Faculty Exchange Opportunity