PolyU’s Competitive Edges

Our Pioneering Vision

Steered by its pioneering vision, “be a leading university that excels in professional education, applied research and partnership for the betterment of Hong Kong, the nation and the world”, PolyU is destined to accomplish its mission “to advance knowledge and the frontiers of technology to meet the changing needs of society”. It lays down a solid foundation steering knowledge transfer, enlightening innovation as well as nurturing technology development from which PolyU capitalizes on sustaining its research outcomes with high applicability.

Fruits of Our Research Efforts

We would like to share with you some of our footprints along PolyU’s trail of innovation. Only some of the examples are highlighted here with plenty of other cases and ongoing ventures not entirely covered below.

Aviation and Aerospace

PolyU has laid down plenty of milestones in this area spanning from transportation on earth to exploration in the space. The triumphs are not only confined to the quest for knowledge but also built for real-life applications.

[Image: Camera Pointing System]

Camera Pointing System

Jointly developed by PolyU and China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the CPS has been carried on board of Chang'e-3 lunar probe in the third phase of China's lunar exploration programme. It is the first Hong Kong-made and developed instrument being deployed for the country's lunar exploration programme since its launch in 2007.

[Image: Space Exploration]

Space Exploration

Scientists at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University have got a chance to design their state-of-the-art space tools for a mission to Mars onboard a Russian spacecraft.

The Aviation Services Research Centre (ASRC)

ASRC was established by PolyU in collaboration with The Boeing Company. It serves to enhance Hong Kong’s leading position as a world-class service provider in MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) and steer the development of aviation related industries in China.


This area encompasses drug research and development, rehabilitation and biomedical engineering, biomedical science and diagnostic technologies, optometry as well as other areas related to the health and well-being of the global community.

3D Ultrasound Imaging for Diagnosis and Assessment

The pioneering breakthrough attained by PolyU’s Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering renders Scoliosis patients unprecedented clarity and accuracy by providing 3D images for diagnosis in a radiation-free yet cost-effective way. This applause-wining project received a silver medal in the 62 nd International Trade Fair “Ideas – Inventions- New Products” (ENA) of Nuremberg, Germany in 2010. A novel automated 3D annotation method for breast ultrasound imaging has also been developed to aid screening and diagnosis. The application has been further extended to corneal assessment, scar evaluation, sonomyography as well as elasticity evaluation for diabetic foot and liver fibrosis.

[Image: Exoskeleton Hand Robotic Training Device]

Exoskeleton Hand Robotic Training Device

A novel design of hand function task training robotic system developed for active stroke rehabilitation, through detection of hand opening or closing from the stroke patient using muscle signals measured from the hemiplegic side, allowing activity using their own intention to practice daily living tasks.

[Image: Novel Anti-cancer Technology for Treating Various Cancers]

Novel Anti-cancer Technology for Treating Various Cancers

The research team of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at PolyU has successfully developed a new-generation anti-cancer drug with engineered arginine.

[Image: Intelligent system for speedy diagnosis of strokes]

Intelligent system for speedy diagnosis of strokes

Combining artificial intelligence, pathology and a sophisticated algorithm, the computer intelligence system for acute stroke detection can diagnose strokes in three minutes via multiple X-ray images, allowing physicians to quickly detect dangerous but subtle changes in the brain.

[Image: Novel Optical Method for Retarding Myopia Progression]

Novel Optical Method for Retarding Myopia Progression

The novel Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) lens takes advantage of the natural homeostasis of the eye and can be incorporated into wide-accepted forms of contact lens, providing clear vision and retarding myopia progression in children and youngsters. It also opens up new opportunity for treating other refractive error such as hyperopia using suitable defocus.


A number of technologies have been developed in response to the growing concerns about social safety against disasters. Our expertise in food, environmental, mega-structure, transportation and the like ensure your safety is safeguarded from what you eat to where you go.

[Image: Mega-structure Diagnostic and Prognostic System]

Mega-structure Diagnostic and Prognostic System

Developed by PolyU researchers, this system is a package of technologies for structural monitoring, control, maintenance and management of high-rise structures.

PolyU Food Safety and Technology Research Centre (FSTRC)

Food Safety and Technology Research Centre (FSTRC) serves as a platform to strengthen local and international collaborations. Their goal is to safeguard public health and rebuild public confidence by applying cutting-edge skills and tools in research, risk analysis and assessment and offering one-stop food-related services.

Sustainable Development

To address rising concerns from the society to strive for a sustainable quality of living, PolyU spares no efforts in nurturing the research of this strategic area.

[Image: Tandem solar cells with high power conversion efficiency]

Tandem solar cells with high power conversion efficiency

PolyU researchers have developed perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells with power conversion efficiency of 25.5%. The perovskite solar cells in the top layer can harvest short wavelength photons while the bottom layer coated with silicon can absorb long wavelength photons.

The Establishment of Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development (RISUD)

RISUD is commissioned to develop innovative solutions for sustainable high-density cities by capitalizing on the living laboratory of Hong Kong's urban environment and the multidisciplinary expertise of PolyU. Research initiatives are clustered around potential focus areas such as life-cycle performance of infrastructures, regional air quality, space creation and reuse, underground asset management and so on.


With the escalating pressure on the transportation system attributed to rapid urban development, we have anchored our research focus in tackling imminent issues on our busier-than-ever traffic from both micro and macro perspectives.

[Image: Advanced Optical Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Systems for Railway Monitoring]

Advanced Optical Fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Systems for Railway Monitoring

Based on the Optical Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) Sensor, a Smart Railway Monitoring System has been developed to allow real-time and continuous monitoring of the structural and operational conditions of trains and tracks of railway systems. It can effectively and efficiently improve the system reliability, availability, maintainability as well as safety.

“FlexiBOL” – a flexible railing system keeping traffic and people safely apart

FlexiBOL is a system of traffic bollards for guiding or separating groups of people or vehicles. It is flexible for it can be reshaped or removed quickly. They have been installed in different busy districts of the city.

[Image: Intelligent Transportation Systems]

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Professor William Lam and his research team have developed some innovative and efficient solutions for the development of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) - the Journey Time Indication System (JTIS) and the Speed Map Panel (SMP) for monitoring and estimating the real-time traffic conditions. The Smart Transportation constitutes Smart City to let people enjoy smart living in Hong Kong.

[Image: PolyU’s Optical Sensor Technology put to trail use in High-speed Rail]

PolyU’s Optical Sensor Technology put to trail use in High-speed Rail

PolyU researchers and their mainland partners have already installed the "Advanced Fibre Bragg Grating Railway Monitoring System" in several parts of the high-speed rail in the Chinese mainland. The hundreds of optical sensors will provide information on vibration, acceleration and temperature change for engineering staff, helping them to monitor the condition of tracks and railcars as well as structural health of the rail foundation.

Other Technological Highlights

PolyU’s research outputs and applications are not only confined to its strategic areas but also cover a range of disciplines and interests such as the School of Design, Institute of Textile and Clothing and so forth.

[Image: Hierarchical Positioning System enhances logistics terminal management]

Hierarchical Positioning System enhances logistics terminal management

The Hierarchical Positioning System uses wireless Zigbee-based sensor network technology and differential global positioning to determine the locations of containers and monitor truck queues, truck locations and load statuses in real-time at low cost for shipping terminal operators.

[Image: Integrated iWheelchair System]

Integrated iWheelchair System

PolyU's applied research project ‘iWheelchair’ enables wheelchair users to put the monitoring of their home environment, their own safety, health and hygiene at their fingertips, thus to be more independent in their daily activities and to enjoy a better quality of life. The project was awarded a Bronze Medal at The Seoul International Invention Fair 2015.

[Image: Novel integrated 3D mapping model]

Novel integrated 3D mapping model

PolyU researchers developed a model to improve accuracy in 3D mapping which contributes to China’s lunar missions and facilitates smart city development.

[Image: Nu Torque]

Nu Torque

The patented spinning technology enhances manufacturers’ productivity by 20-40% at the same time improved quality in softness and resistance to tearing.

[Image: Spray-on Nanocomposite Sensors]

Spray-on Nanocomposite Sensors

PolyU researchers developed a breed of nanocomposites-inspired sensors which can be sprayed on curved engineering structural surfaces. Due to its light weight and low cost, large quantities of sensors can be deployed in a sensor network for detecting hidden flaws of structures.

[Image: Tourism Demand Forecasting System facilitates effective planning]

Tourism Demand Forecasting System facilitates effective planning

The web-based Tourism Demand Forecasting System generates forecasts of tourism-related demand from target markets, providing figures to facilitate planning by tourism-related businesses, tourism investment and the formulation of sustainable tourism policies.

Our Expertise

PolyU has also developed multi-disciplinary yet in-depth specialized expertise through a myriad of research institutes and centres in particular research areas.

Please refer to the detailed list of research institute and centres of PolyU here.

Mature Network of Both Research Luminaries and Industry Pioneers

PolyU has established solid, multidimensional and interactive relationships bridging the circles of the experienced research experts from the academia together with the pace-setting entrepreneurs and professionals from the industry. Thanks to the continuing efforts and dedication from different contributors in PolyU community including students, teaching and research experts, alumni and executive leaders, PolyU has marked outstanding success in fostering interdisciplinary and university-industry collaborations.