Alibaba - PolyU Big Data & Cloud Computing

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)
  • 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.
    AIR Leaflet

    1. Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR)

    Several PolyU proposals are successfully selected for AIR funding since 2017. In AIR 2021, a collaborative research project “Identification, Tracking and Behavior Mining in Retail Store Powered by COTS RFIDs” led by Dr. Lei YANG, Assistant Professor, Department of Computing is supported by Alibaba.

    Please check for
     AIR programme 2021 for details

    2. Alibaba Research Fellow (ARF) - for research scholars

    3. Alibaba Research Intern (RI) - for PhD students 

    Enquiry: Ms. Karen Jiang, ITDO 


2016 - 2017
  • 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
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2018 - 2019
  • 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.

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  • January 2020: PolyU students leverage industry experience and shine at AI challenge
  • March 2020: A collaborative research project of modelling the COVID-19 pandemic led by the research team from PolyU Department of Applied Mathematics and the PolyU School of Nursing is supported by Alibaba.
    Please click HERE for more detail

Huawei – PolyU Communication & Advanced Computing

PolyU's collaboration with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei) has commenced since 2007. The research areas include but not limited to communication, big data, crowdsourcing platforms, mobile networks, wearable devices, algorithms as well as materials. Numerous collaborative projects involved joint efforts from Huawei and different PolyU academic and research experts, including Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Computing, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Applied Mathematics and Department of Applied Physics. Collaborative research seminar & workshop series is organized annually at PolyU to explore the respective strategic collaborations between PolyU and Huawei.

Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP)

Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) is an innovation initiative, a sponsorship program targeted at funding leading universities and research institutes conducting innovative research in ICT areas. It seeks to identify and support world-class, full-time faculty members, sets up win-win collaboration and pursues technology innovation of mutual interest. It has been launched for over 12 years and more than 700 innovative research projects from hundreds of world-class research organizations were awarded.

The HIRP 2020 call for proposal will be announced soon. The main fields include but not limited to the below:

  • Advanced Semiconductor Technology
  • Compiler & Programming Language
  • BlockChain
  • Software Engineering
  • Operation System
  • Engineering Technology
  • Data Management and Process
  • Wireless Communication Technology
  • Future Networks
  • Optical Technology Computing Technology
  • BigData & Artificial Intelligence
  • Media Technology
  • Storage Technology

Please visit HIRP website for more details. 

Enquiries: Victor Zhao [Image: Email] 3400 2862  [Image: Email] or Steven Lam [Image: Email]  3400 2864 [Image: Email]

PolyU-Huawei Joint Laboratory for Optical Interconnection Network and Advanced Computing System

PolyU and Huawei's partnership is further fostered through the set-up of "PolyU-Huawei Joint Laboratory for Optical Interconnection Network and Advanced Computing System" (Joint Lab) on 30th Nov 2016. Both will work on researches relating to high-capacity optical communication systems including long-haul and short-reach data center transmission systems, computer networks and systems, and big data computing. It aims to pioneer the research in the field of optical communication systems and advanced computing systems by leveraging synergy of the industry and the university. It targets at bolstering significantly the capacity of internet systems through technological breakthroughs, as well as developing system infrastructure and algorithmic solutions for computing-driven innovation.

Through close collaboration, PolyU and Huawei will be able to further develop high-impact translational research and next-generation technological advances in the telecommunications and advanced computing industry.

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Please visit to explore opportunity for collaborative research or tell us your idea if you are interested in any collaborative research program or faculty exchange opportunity.