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PolyU and Hanson Robotics inaugurate the Centre for Humanistic Artificial Intelligence and Robotics to foster translational research in the GBA

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Hanson Robotics Limited (Hanson) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Centre for Humanistic Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CHAiR) for translational research with the goal of advancing the well-being of humanity. The partnership integrates PolyU’s strength in interdisciplinary research and Hanson’s well-known humanoid robotics platform to explore technology applications. Sophia, Hanson’s most advanced human-like robot, will work with PolyU researchers to enhance the contribution of AI and robotic technology for social and commercial benefits. Research into and applications of AI and robotics are essential to the advancement of industry. As an interdisciplinary research and development centre, CHAiR brings cross-faculty collaborations in research fields such as AI, the internet of things (IoT), neuroscience, design, computer science, mechanical engineering, material science, healthcare and the humanities. In collaboration with Hanson, CHAiR supports innovation and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. PolyU Prof. Jiannong CAO, Dean of Graduate School, Chair Professor of Distributed and Mobile Computing, and Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Professor in Data Science, is the principal investigator and administrative director of CHAiR. Prof. Cao and Dr David HANSON, CEO and Founder of Hanson Robotics, are the co-chair of the Centre’s steering committee. Witnessed by Prof. Jin Guang TENG, President of PolyU, and Mr Doug GLEN, Executive Director of Hanson Robotics, the MoU was signed by Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, and Dr Hanson. During the signing ceremony on 5 December 2022, Sophia made conversation with the guests. She said, “I look forward to learning many new skills and abilities. With your help, maybe I can learn how to be a nurse, a teacher, a concierge, a librarian. You can teach me how to be a better companion, a more skilful artist, a funnier entertainer.” Dr Hanson said, “CHAiR is perfectly positioned to refine and improve the performance of Sophia-class robots in ways that promote the growth of a new service robot industry. Once the industry starts to expand, so too will investment in improved hardware, software and manufacturing technologies.” Prof. Teng said, “Academia-industry collaboration is one of the most productive mechanisms for creating and implementing innovations. There is tremendous untapped potential for humanistic social robots. Let us aspire that CHAiR will be a major catalyst for the onset of the age of humanistic robots.” Prof. Cao, who is also Director of the Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence of Things (RIAIoT), said the Institute has been working on practical solutions to key challenges in advanced AIoT technologies and applications. He said, “It is a natural evolution for RIAIoT to partner with Hanson Robotics to tackle even more ambitious opportunities in humanistic AI and social robotics. CHAiR will play a unique and important role to combine Hanson’s know-how with world-class academics here at PolyU.” Hanson Robotics is an AI and robotics company dedicated to creating socially intelligent machines that enrich the quality of our lives. Sophia is the world’s first robot citizen and the first robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme. *****END*****

6 Dec, 2022

Events Research and Innovation Office

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PolyU and Hong Kong Space Museum collaborate on “Moon | Mars VR” interactive exhibit, simulating a spacewalking journey for visitors

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has collaborated with the Hong Kong Space Museum to showcase an interactive exhibit “Moon | Mars VR”, starting today for one year. The virtual reality exhibit, powered by PolyU’s cutting-edge technology that assists the Nation’s space missions, allows the public to experience spacewalking and explore the landing sites of Chang’e-4 and Tianwen-1 spacecrafts on the Moon and Mars. The launch ceremony was held today at the Museum. The VR exhibit makes use of data provided by the relevant space agencies of China and the PolyU research team led by Professor WU Bo, Fiona Cheung Professor in Spatial Science, Associate Director of Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations and Associate Head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, to create a virtual reality environment of the landing sites on the Moon and Mars, allowing visitors to virtually experience spacewalking on the two celestial bodies. Invited by the China National Space Administration, this VR system was also recently showcased at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition held at Zhuhai and enthusiastically received by audience. The launch ceremony today was officiated by Prof. Wu Bo and the Curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum Mr Timothy HO Man Hung. Prof. Wu is the developer of the innovative 3D topographic mapping and intelligent geomorphological analysis techniques which contributed to landing site mapping and selection for China’s Chang’e-3, Chang’e-4, and Chang’e-5 lunar missions, as well as the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars. Tying in with the theme of the exhibit, Prof. Wu was also invited to deliver a public lecture titled “Space Exploration: A Journey to the Heavenly Questions”, discussing recent space missions by China and other countries exploring the Moon and Mars, and introducing the application of topographic mapping, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and other technologies in support of these space exploration missions. Prof. Wu also discussed the prospects for further space exploration and education with the audience. Prof. Wu said, “As the only Hong Kong institution contributing to the Nation’s astronautical projects, PolyU has been deeply involved in China’s lunar and Mars missions. We are pleased to collaborate with the Hong Kong Space Museum in showcasing this exhibit, inviting the public to experience some of the scientific research achievements of PolyU and the Nations’ space exploration accomplishments over the years. Looking forward, it is hoped that more events and exhibitions with a focus on space technology can be held to promote greater awareness and interest among the public and young people.” To further contribute to the development of China's aerospace technology, PolyU has established the “Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations”, and also signed a cooperation agreement with the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology in China to establish the “Joint Research Centre of Advanced Aerospace Propulsion Technology”. The University fully supports the selection of payload specialists in Hong Kong for China’s manned space programme, and previously held a seminar on campus to encourage outstanding young scholars to apply. PolyU will continue to realise our vision to benefit the Nation and Hong Kong by nurturing talents and pursuing cutting-edge scientific research. The “Moon | Mars VR” exhibit is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and PolyU, and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory of PolyU’s Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations, and supported by the China National Space Administration’s Information Office. For more information, please visit the museum website at: https://hk.space.museum/en_US/web/spm/exhibitions/permanent-exhibition/moon-mars-vr.html . *****END*****

3 Dec, 2022

Events RCDSE

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Ten PolyU projects funded by the NSFC/RGC for Collaborative and Joint Research Schemes

Ten research projects led by scholars at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have been funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Research Grants Council (NSFC/RGC) under the Joint Research Scheme (JRS) and the new Collaborative Research Scheme (CRS) 2022/23 Exercise. Under the CRS, two PolyU research projects have been awarded a total amount of HK$7.164 million. While under the JRS, eight research projects led by PolyU scholars have received total funding of HK$9.396 million. Both CRS and JRS support research projects for a period of four years. The research projects cover topics in information technology, management science, marine and environmental science, new material science, applied mathematics and biomedical engineering. PolyU scholars are committed to exploring innovative discoveries for a more sustainable future. Some of the projects address imminent social and human needs with, for example, research on a hospital bed sharing mechanism and optimisation, investigation of rainstorm and storm surge occurrence pattern together with flood risk assessment in the Greater Bay Area cities, and time-sequence regenerative repair of atherosclerotic blood vessels with Janus cardiovascular stents. Prof. Christina WONG, Director of Research and Innovation at PolyU, said, “PolyU is dedicated to conducting impactful research through multi-disciplinary collaborations to foster sustainability for a better world. We are thankful for the support of the NSFC/RGC for the PolyU projects funded under the Collaborative Research Scheme and Joint Research Scheme, which reinforces research strengths across the Mainland and Hong Kong to lead innovative discoveries.” The NSFC/RGC supports research projects jointly proposed by Mainland and Hong Kong researchers for their scientific merit. The CRS, which was newly introduced in 2022/23, aims to support larger-scale collaborative research across disciplines and/or across universities in the Mainland and Hong Kong with a view to enhancing research output and impact. The grant for each Hong Kong applicant is limited to HK$3.6 million. The JRS promotes collaboration between researchers in the Mainland and Hong Kong for their complementary strengths. The amount of funding for Hong Kong applicants is limited to HK$1.25 million.   List of PolyU Projects funded under NSFC/RGC Collaborative Research Scheme 2022/23 Research Field Project Title Hong Kong Project Coordinator Mainland Principal Investigator/ Institution Information Technology   Monolithically Integrated Electronics with Two-Dimensional Semiconductors – from Controllable Growth to Device Integration Prof. CHAI Yang Department of Applied Physics Prof. ZHANG Wenjing Shenzhen University New Materials Science Long-cycle and High-energy-density Flexible Li Batteries Using Hollow Multishelled Structure and Hierarchical Composite Electrode Prof. ZHENG Zijian Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology Prof. YANG Mei Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences   List of PolyU Projects funded under NSFC/RGC Joint Research Scheme 2022/23 Research Field Project Title Hong Kong Principal Investigator Mainland Principal Investigator/ Institution Information Technology Enhancing Digital Asset Security Basedon the Blockchain Technology Prof. XIAO Bin Department of Computing Prof. DENG Xiaotie Peking University Management Science Mechanism and Optimization for Hospital Bed Sharing Prof. YE Hengqing Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies Prof. WAN Guohua Shanghai Jiao Tong University Marine and Environmental Science Investigation of Rainstorm - Storm Surge Joint Occurrence Pattern and Induced Flooding Risk Assessment in Coastal Cities within the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Dr DUAN Huanfeng Department of Civil and Environment Engineering Prof. ZHENG Feifei Zhejiang University An Integrated System of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Surface Vehicles for Smart Maritime Support in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Dr LIU Wei Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering Prof. MA Yong Wuhan University of Technology New Materials Science Tin-Based Metal Halide Perovskites for X-Ray Detectors Prof. YAN Feng Department of Applied Physics Prof. YANG Shihe Peking University Others Mathematical Modeling and Analysis on the Predator-mediated Competitions and their Biological Consequences Prof. WANG Zhian Department of Applied Mathematics Prof. LOU Yuan Shanghai Jiao Tong University Stochastic Multiobjective Optimization and Applications Prof. CHEN Xiaojun Department of Applied Mathematics Prof. YANG Xinmin Chongqing Normal University Time-sequence Regenerative Repair of Atherosclerotic Blood Vessels with Janus Cardiovascular Stents Dr ZHAO Xin Department of Biomedical Engineering Prof. YANG Zhilu Southern Medical University   *****END*****

30 Nov, 2022

Achievements Research and Innovation Office

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PolyU hosts 85th Anniversary Dinner, strives to excel further in education, research and knowledge transfer

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) celebrated its 85th Anniversary today and hosted a dinner at Hotel ICON, its teaching and research hotel. Honourable guests including community leaders, government officials and industry partners joined PolyU staff, students and alumni at the event that marked the finale of the University’s year-long Anniversary celebrations. Honourable guests including community leaders, government officials and industry partners joined PolyU staff, students and alumni at the event that marked the finale of the University’s year-long Anniversary celebrations. Immersed in the 85th Anniversary Theme Song that embodies PolyU’s spirit, Mr CHEUK Wing-hing, Deputy Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR; Dr CHOI Yuk-lin, Secretary for Education of the HKSAR; Ms WAN Ning, Deputy Director General of the Youth Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR; Dr LAM Tai-fai, PolyU Council Chairman; Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, PolyU President, and senior members of the PolyU Council, University Court and central management officiated the evening event. Two inaugural publications from the newly launched PolyU Press, PolyImpact: PolyU Inventions and Innovations that Benefit the World and Builders of a Better World: Outstanding PolyU Alumni Awardees, were introduced at the dinner to showcase the University’s achievements in nurturing talents and conducting impactful research for the benefit of society. Addressing the event, Mr Cheuk Wing-hing said, “PolyU has contributed tremendously to society through nurturing talents since its inception. The University has also made impressive progress in academic and scientific research areas, yielding enormous impactful results. In the new era of the Nation’s development, as a first-class Hong Kong institution that excels in education and research, PolyU has proactively supported the goal of building Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology hub set out in the Nation’s 14th Five-year Plan. PolyU has also seized the opportunity brought about by the HKSAR Government’s Global STEM Professorship Scheme and redoubled its efforts to attract internationally renowned I&T scholars to teach and conduct their research in Hong Kong.” Dr Lam Tai-fai said, “This year marks the Nation, Hong Kong and PolyU entering a new chapter of development and embarking on a new journey with fresh impetus. For 85 years, PolyU has grown and thrived with Hong Kong’s society, and steadfastly supported the development of the Nation and Hong Kong in different times through nurturing talents, developing technologies, and responding to the needs of society, with a view to benefiting the community. Looking ahead, PolyU will scale new heights and make further contributions to Hong Kong and the Nation with our unique strengths.” Prof. Jin-Guang Teng said, “Backed by our strong foundation, we will keep striving to excel further in providing world-class education and conducting cutting-edge research. We will support Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area to develop into an international innovation and technology hub by nurturing talents with diverse strengths who can play a leading role in the I&T ecosystem, intensify our efforts in conducting interdisciplinary research to meet societal needs, and promote knowledge transfer of R&D outcomes. PolyU will also continue to nurture more future talents who possess a strong sense of national identity and social responsibility as well as a global perspective.” Earlier in the day, PolyU held the University anniversary day flag-raising ceremony on campus attended by over 500 members of the PolyU community. Over the past year, PolyU has held a year-long 85th Anniversary celebratory programme under the theme “We Are PolyU, Together We Excel”. Activities under this programme included the Main Entrance unveiling ceremony, the InnoTech Open Day, the Art and Culture Series, the Grand Concert, the Sportathon, the Distinguished Lecture Series, the theme song and Power Up Exercise, and many more. The University has progressed from its earliest days as the Hong Kong Government Trade School, founded in 1937, to become the Hong Kong Technical College in 1947, then the Hong Kong Polytechnic in 1972, and eventually assumed full university status in 1994. It moved to its current campus at Hong Hom in 1957. Today, PolyU is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world, with almost 460,000 graduates who have become a positive force for society’s development.   ***** END*****

25 Nov, 2022

Events Office of Institutional Advancement

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“Furniture for Our Future” Project – for Families of Sub-divided Units Community distribution kicks off to enhance learning environment for children

Organised by the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (JCDISI) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and funded by Hongkong Land HOME FUND (HOME FUND), the “Furniture for Our Future” Project – for Families of Sub-Divided Units (the Project) has tailored 2,000 sets of ergonomically designed furniture (the furniture set), consisting of a study desk, a chair, and auxiliary accessories, for improving the learning environment of children residing in sub-divided units (SDUs). The first batch of 180 furniture sets will be delivered to SDUs families in Kowloon City District in late November, benefiting a total of 184 children. In collaboration with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the remaining batches will be distributed in Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, Siu Sai Wan, and Kwai Tsing districts in the first half of 2023. JCDISI is committed to realising social innovation through trans-disciplinary collaboration, multi-faceted community engagement, and cross-sector collaboration. The Project successfully built bridges between academic knowledge and community needs by forming an interdisciplinary research team with JCDISI, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the School of Optometry and the School of Design of PolyU to design a SDUs-friendly furniture set for children aged 4 to 16, who are at potential risk of scoliosis and myopia due to a poor sitting posture caused by limited space and lack of natural light in SDUs. The furniture set is designed to be durable, movable and adjustable in order to fit in with different spatial setups. The furniture set consists of the following: Foldable, height-adjustable, and tiltable learning desk: It can be pulled towards the bed to shorten the distance between children and the desk for writing and reading. Detachable ergonomic chair set: Upper part of the chair is detachable and can be placed on the bed for use. The supportive backrest and the cushion can provide support to the spine so that the children can maintain a proper sitting posture. Footrests with three different heights: The heights can help children of different heights maintain proper sitting posture. Reading partition: It separates children from complex visual environments and reduces the adverse effects on visual development to improve concentration in children. Rechargeable light with adjustable brightness and colour: The light provides appropriate lighting for studying to protect children’s vision. The research team believes the furniture set can improve the learning environment as well as the physical and mental well-being of children living in SDUs while increasing their self-efficacy and confidence, thereby promoting the upward mobility of youth in the long run. The Project has translated professional knowledge into practical applications to respond to the community’s needs, which embodies the University’s mission of knowledge creation, dissemination and transfer. The team added that the standardised design of the furniture set is conducive to production at scale so that co-creation can be adopted by the wider community and support a larger proportion of children in need. Mr LING Kar-kan, Director of JCDISI of PolyU, said, “To make social innovation tangible and sustainable, cross-sector and disciplinary efforts are a must to achieve positive impact. We believe that the furniture set specially designed for children living in SDUs can create a ‘micro-environment’ that is conducive to learning in a cramped and disordered environment which is essential to children’s development. We hope that we can continue to maximise the project’s impact by connecting stakeholders to tap into more community resources to benefit more children, thus making a sustained impact in the community.” Mr HO Chung Ho, Service Supervisor, The Salvation Army Youth, Family and Community Services, remarked, “More than 90% of the registered families have participated in the briefing session for the distribution, reflecting that the custom-tailored furniture set is highly welcomed by the SDUs families. The design of the study desk and chair for children living in SDUs not only practically meet the families' real needs, but also boost children’s motivation to study by creating a healthy learning environment and designated study space. In addition, the furniture set can also help raise parents’ awareness of their children’s physical and mental development, including spine and vision condition.” Mr. Robert WONG, Chief Executive of Hongkong Land, said, “Since its inception, Hongkong Land HOME FUND has been committed to addressing social issues related to housing in Hong Kong. Over the past two years, HOME FUND has been actively collaborating with various NGOs to provide diverse programmes aimed at supporting the disadvantaged living in sub-divided units. An example of such a collaboration is our work with JCDISI of PolyU. Together we produced an ergonomically designed furniture set, enabling a conducive learning environment for nearly 2,000 children living in sub-divided units. We are delighted to collaborate with JCDISI on this project - a project that demonstrates how organisations and institutions can support the youth and therefore the wider community.” About Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Established in 2012, JCDISI of PolyU is committed to providing an innovative and human-centred platform to ENVISION a better life in society, to CONNECT people with passion and NURTURE doers of all ages to INNOVATE with collective wisdom to ENABLE impactful action.   *****END*****

25 Nov, 2022

Research & Innovation The Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation

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PolyU launches Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology to advocate for strategies for integrating with the Nation’s development

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) hosted the “Forum on Integrating I&T into GBA and the National System cum Launch Ceremony of Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology (PReCIT)” on campus today as one of the PolyU’s 85th Anniversary celebratory events. About 300 staff, students, alumni, leaders from I&T, finance, academia and guests attended this grand occasion and exchanged views on how Hong Kong can proactively integrate into the Nation’s development plan. Mr XU Jie, Deputy Director-General of the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China; Prof. SUN Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, HKSAR Government; and Ms LI Fangfang, Director of the Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs, Chinese Academy of Sciences, delivered opening video remarks to congratulate PolyU on its 85th Anniversary and the official debut of PReCIT. Prof. Sun Dong remarked, “I wish to congratulate PolyU on the establishment of the new Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology. I trust that the Centre will play an important role in facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration for more impactful research, in particular in the I&T field. I am sure that today’s discussions will be inspiring and fruitful, leading to more bright ideas and innovation.” The launch ceremony was officiated by Dr LAM Tai-fai, PolyU Council Chairman; Ms Lillian CHEONG, Under Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry of the HKSAR Government; Mr Charles LI, Co-Founder and Chairman of Micro Connect and Former Chief Executive of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited; Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President; Dr Lawrence LI Kwok-chang, PolyU Deputy Council Chairman; Prof. Wing-tak WONG, Deputy President and Provost; Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President; Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Director of PReCIT; and Prof. Eric CHUI, Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences and Co-Director of PReCIT. Prof. Jin-Guang Teng said, “For more than eight decades, PolyU and its predecessors have played an important role in answering the call of the times and contributing to the advancement of Hong Kong, the Nation and the world. The establishment of PReCIT is just another timely step taken by the University to respond to key national strategies that unleash unlimited opportunities for Hong Kong’s future development.” PReCIT is a University-level interdisciplinary policy research centre with the aspiration to be the leading I&T thinktank in Hong Kong and the region. At the launch ceremony, Prof. Christopher Chao introduced PReCIT’s background and three major research foci – carbon neutral cities, the Greater Bay Area I&T development, and the Belt and Road Initiative development in Southeast Asia, with a view to dovetailing with the National 14th Five Year Plan in supporting Hong Kong to develop into an international I&T hub. He explained, “The respective strengths of Hong Kong and the mainland should complement each other in deliberation on cross‑boundary integration proposals which aim to foster R&D commercialization in order to unleash the potentials of the GBA and Belt and Road economies as well as the opportunity associated with re‑industrialization. Achieving that goal requires a cross‑boundary policy on I&T cooperation including with regard to the flows of I&T material, capital, data and people between Hong Kong and mainland provinces. PReCIT, as the advocacy body of PolyU, endeavours to formulate strategies that support Hong Kong’s participation in the national pioneering technology missions.” Mr Charles LI presented the keynote speech on how GBA’s strengths in innovation and wealth of talents, coupled with Hong Kong’s global connectivity, help channel global funds to micro and small businesses in mainland China, and provide a new alternative to impact investment, citing Micro Connect as an example. Prof. C.C. CHAN, Co-Founder of the Greater Bay Area Association of Academicians; Dr Otto POON, President of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences; Dr Sunny CHAI, Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries; and Dr Stephen WONG, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute, Our Hong Kong Foundation, were invited to share their insights, ahead of the announcement of the Hong Kong I&T Development Blueprint, in the panel discussion session moderated by Prof. Haitian LU, PolyU’s Director of Mainland Development and Core Member of PReCIT. Prof. C.C. Chan shared his experiences on cooperating with the innovation and technology sector in the mainland. He reiterated that it is important for the HKSAR government to work together with stakeholders, especially experts and the capital market, to advance I&T development.   Dr Otto Poon called on the government to set a R&D policy direction that supports the Nation’s development. He also suggested Hong Kong and other cities in the GBA together establish an intellectual property exchange platform for university researchers to present their research outcomes and attract further funding. Dr Sunny Chai explained how Hong Kong serves as an industrial and I&T headquarters in connecting the GBA and ASEAN for research commercialisation and empowering advanced manufacturing, capitalising on the City’s strengths in the industry chain and as a financial centre. Dr Stephen Wong emphasized that collaboration and integration with other GBA cities across the value chain are critical in unleashing the potential highlighted by the Policy Address measures on attracting enterprises and talents. Therefore, joint cross-border policy initiatives are important to overcome barriers to deepening market access and facilitating movements of factors of production. Prof. Eric Chui concluded that concerted effort from all sectors of the community is essential to provide a sustainable and supportive environment for high-calibre and potential I&T talents to be persuaded to stay in Hong Kong. For more information about PReCIT’s events, please visit www.polyu.edu.hk/precit/.   *****END*****

24 Nov, 2022

Events Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology

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PolyU 85th Anniversary Public Lecture by Olympic Gold Medallist Ms Guo Jingjing on “Splashing for Lights, Chasing our Dreams”

To mark the 85th anniversary of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the University hosted a public lecture yesterday at the Jockey Club Auditorium and invited Olympic Gold Medallist Ms GUO Jingjing to speak on “Splashing for Lights, Chasing our Dreams”, sharing her path to becoming an Olympic Gold medallist and encouraging young people to pursue their dreams. The lecture was attended by more than 800 guests, staff, students, alumni and public. Ms Guo Jingjing shared highlights of her 22-year career as a professional diver. Despite experiencing a number of injuries during training, she never gave up but insisted on overcoming adversity and continuing to train hard. Before retiring, she competed in four Olympic Games and achieved exceptional success. Ms. Guo Jingjing said, “Success is not about persevering when you see hope, but about persevering to see hope. Success is to compel yourself to be perseverant.” Ms Guo also shared her ideas in discussion with PolyU students and encouraged them to be courageous in pursuit of their dreams and contribute to the Nation and society. Ms Guo Jingjing’s accolades include being the three-meter springboard individual and double runners-up at the Sydney Olympics Games in 2000, the three-meter springboard individual and double champion at the Athens Olympics Games in 2004, and the three-meter individual and double champion at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Ms Guo is currently a Member of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)Technical Diving Committee and Honorary Technical Advisor to the Hong Kong China Swimming Association. Ms Guo is also active in public service. She is an Ambassador of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, a WWF Marine Ambassador, an Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong Marine Conservation Ambassador, the Honourable Ambassador of the Child Protection Campaign of the Hong Kong Police Force and the Honorary Chairman of the Hong Kong Quality and Talent Migrants Association. Prof. Wing-tak WONG, Acting President of PolyU, said, “We are very honoured to have Ms Guo deliver a public lecture on campus today. I hope our students will look upon Ms Guo as a role model, striving for achieving personal achievements and contributing to the society. PolyU is very supportive of the development of sports and athlete students as sports have positive and long-term impact on individuals and society.” PolyU’s 85th Anniversary celebrations commenced in November last year under theme ‘We Are PolyU • Together We Excel’. Other finale events include the Launch Ceremony of the Policy Research Centre for Innovation and the Technology cum I&T forum. An anniversary dinner on Friday will conclude the celebrations on a high note.   *****END*****

23 Nov, 2022

Events Student Affairs Office

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PolyU 85th Anniversary Grand Concert a resounding success as University begins new journey towards brighter future

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) last night presented the PolyU 85th Anniversary Grand Concert at the Jockey Club Auditorium, featuring a dazzling lineup of internationally acclaimed musicians and revered artists performing an array of Chinese and Western music from different eras. Guests joined members of the PolyU community on the nostalgic musical journey reliving the University’s evolution in tandem with Hong Kong’s development over 85 years, and witnessing the University embarking on a new journey towards a brighter future. Internationally renowned musician Mr LEUNG Kin-fung was music director of the Grand Concert. Sharing the stage were renowned Hong Kong artist Dr Liza WANG, world-renowned violinist Ms YAO Jue, guzheng virtuoso Dr Lunlun ZOU, Steinway artist Dr Vivian CHENG Wai, renowned singer Ms Sophie CHEN, erhu master Mr GUO Gan, choir conductor Mr Alex TAM, as well as aspiring music talents from Academy Choir of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the PolyU Community – PolyU Orchestra, PolyU Choir and The Federation of PolyU Alumni Associations Chinese Orchestra.   Internationally renowned musician Mr Leung Kin-fung was music director of the Grand Concert. The audience was taken on a captivating musical journey, which opened with the theme song of the PolyU 85th Anniversary, followed by memorable performances of music and songs from different generations performed by the talented musicians and artists against the backdrop of PolyU’s four stages of development. The concert rose to a crescendo with everyone on stage and in the audience joining in a chorus of “Below the Lion Rock”. Dr LAM Tai-fai, Council Chairman of PolyU, remarked, “PolyU is committed to whole-person education to nurture graduates who have positive values and a strong sense of national identity, who are socially responsible and willing to shoulder greater responsibilities for the betterment of Hong Kong, the Nation and the world. Holding art and cultural events is part of our efforts to foster the whole-person development of our students, in order to broaden their horizons beyond academic studies. Over the years, we have been promoting art and culture in collaboration with acclaimed outstanding artists on campus. My sincere thanks to their tremendous support.” Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU said, “PolyU is delighted to promote art and culture among the PolyU community and the wider community through the anniversary Grand Concert. Our thanks to the generous sponsors of our ‘Art and Culture Development Fund’, through which we support unique programmes and collaborative activities on campus for developing students of special talents and promoting art and culture at PolyU and in the community. Looking forward, PolyU will continue to fulfil our mission of providing the best holistic education and nurture leading talents who live up to the University’s motto of ‘To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind’.” A series of 85th Anniversary celebratory activities under the theme of “We Are PolyU‧Together We Excel” has been held during the year. The Grand Concert marked the beginning of the grand finale programme of the Anniversary celebrations. Other finale events include a public lecture by Olympic gold medallist in diving Ms GUO Jingjing, the launch ceremony of the Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology cum I&T forum, as well as the PolyU 85th Anniversary Gala Dinner.     Renowned Hong Kong artist Dr Liza Wang performed two famous songs, namely “Love and Passion” and “The Brave Chinese”.   World-renowned violinist Ms Yao Jue, performed “Tone Poem of Seashore” and “Marche Miniature Viennoise (Miniature Viennese March)” in video recording format.   Virtuoso of Guzheng Dr Lunlun Zou, performed “Fighting with Typhoon” together with PolyU Orchestra.   Steinway artist, Dr Vivian Cheng Wai, performed “L’isle joyeuse, L. 106 (The Joyful Island)”.   Renowned singer Ms Sophie Chen performed two songs, including “O mio babbino caro” (Oh my dear Papa) from Gianni Schicchi and a Chinese song.   Erhu master Mr GUO Gan, performed “Horse Racing” together with PolyU Orchestra.   Choir conductor Mr Alex Tam participated in the Grand Concert.   Academy Choir of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts performed “Ballade to the Moon”, “Antiphonal Flower Song” and “Life Has Loveliness to Sell”. Mr Alex Tam is the choir conductor.   PolyU Orchestra performed “Medley” with famous songs of the 1970s and 1990s. Mr Leung Kin-fung is the conductor of the orchestra.   PolyU Choir performed “PolyU 85th Anniversary Theme Song”, “Festival Sanctus” and “Trusting the Rainbow”. Mr Alex Tam is the choir conductor.     The Federation of PolyU Alumni Associations Chinese Orchestra performed “Medley” with famous songs of the 1930s and 1940s.     *****END *****

22 Nov, 2022

Events Culture Promotion and Events Office

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PolyU researchers compile world’s first “atlas” of airborne microbes that provides an important new perspective for public health research

Bacteria are truly abundant across the Earth’s surface, from the soil to the oceans. The microbial population of the air that surrounds us is comparatively unknown, but a research expedition led by PolyU scientists is about to change that. After nearly a decade of effort, they have compiled a comprehensive map of the world’s airborne microbes, providing fresh insights into how these species interact with the surface environment – as well as their likely future changes. A cubic metre of “empty” air contains 10,000 bacteria or more, and interest in the role of air as a habitat – not merely a conduit – for microbes has grown enormously since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with researchers on the mainland and the US, the PolyU-led team spent around a year sampling airborne microbes across the world, from ground level to mountaintops. Combining their own results with the most accurate global data collected in past studies, they and their research partners compiled the first ever atlas of the global airborne microbiome. The atlas provides a wealth of insights into the microbial communities floating above the ground. There is no doubt that the air is a unique harbour of bacterial life. Genetic analysis by the team showed that the core communities – the handful of species that form an outsized proportion of the microbe population – were not the same in the air as those in marine or soil ecosystems. In fact, even though the air is a free-flowing medium with seemingly no internal boundaries, these core bacterial communities are distinctly localised and stable. The research team analysed the bacterial communities of 370 individual air particulate samples collected from 63 sites around the world, ranging from those at ground level (1.5 – 2 m high) to rooftops (5 – 25 m high) and high mountains (5,238 m asl), as well as from densely populated urban centres to the Arctic Circle, for a more diverse coverage in terms of altitudes and geographic regions. Prof. Xiang-dong LI, Chair Professor of Environmental Science and Technology and Dean of Faculty of Construction and Environment of PolyU who led the research team, said, “We have verified that human activities have certainly changed the structure of microbiomes in the natural ambient air, particularly with a higher abundance of pathogenic bacteria in urban air. Having experienced the pandemic for three years, people now pay more attention to this invisible but influential microbial community. The research outcomes could be served as a critical reference for predicting planetary microbiome responses and the health impacts of inhalable microbiomes with future environmental changes.” The researchers estimate that the total number of microbes occupying the sea or soil is thousands of times larger than those in the air. Nonetheless, the aerial diversity of microbes – known as “richness” – is just as high. This suggests that surface habitats directly contribute microbes to the air. Overturning previous assumptions, vegetation is not the main terrestrial source of airborne bacteria, and the Earth’s vast tracts of soil provide very small fraction. The crashing of waves, the shaking of leaves, and even frequent activities and constant respiration of animals and humans are bigger drivers of bacterial exchange between the surface and the air. Macroscopic life, notably animals and plants, is most diverse in equatorial regions (consider, for example, warm and wet rainforests), and its diversity decreases closer to the poles. For microbes, the picture is more interesting – moving from the equator, diversity maximises at mid-latitudes before falling away again. This pattern was well established for terrestrial and aquatic microorganisms, but the new atlas confirms that it applies to the airborne microbiome, too. The authors surmise that the “bump” in diversity at mid-latitudes is caused by stronger sources of microbial input to those regions. Overall, the researchers estimate that half of airborne bacteria originate from ground sources. Urban air has especially high rates of human-associated bacteria – some harmless, others pathogenic. Direct transfer of germs from people to air is not our only effect on the airborne microbial world. Broad-scale activities such as industrialisation disrupt natural environments and impact air quality. This weakens the environment’s “filter” effect on microbial structure, making the composition of airborne bacteria more affected by random processes – although weather still plays an important role too. The close relationship between modern human activities and the microbes around us underscores the need to predict future changes accurately. The inhalable infectious bacteria that proliferate in cities are particularly of concern considering rapid urbanisation and our growing understanding of airborne contagion, spurred by COVID-19 research. Climate change is another impetus, given the marked effect of temperature on microbial richness, as revealed by the atlas. Hence, the study provides an invaluable resource and an important new perspective for future public health research. The PolyU team collaborated with Prof. James M. TIEDJE, University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and scientists from mainland China in the study. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2204465119), a peer-reviewed journal of the USA National Academy of Sciences.   *****END*****

20 Nov, 2022

Research & Innovation Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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SHKP and PolyU sign MoUs on Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects and Scholarship Programme More partnerships between the industry, academic and research sectors to advance green building technologies and Hong Kong’s smart city development

Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on SHKP x PolyU Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects and the SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme. The collaboration echoes President Xi Jinping’s earlier call for Hong Kong to ‘strengthen the collaborative development of enterprises, universities and research institutions, and to develop into a global scientific and technological innovation hub’. SHKP and PolyU will join hands on three research projects: green application: developing a smart, efficient and flexible energy management system; green building materials; and green construction processes. The teams will explore how to translate research into applications to help Hong Kong develop into a smart and carbon-neutral city. SHKP will also launch the SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme to support 56 outstanding students to pursue studies in construction, real estate and engineering-related disciplines at PolyU. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR; Zhang Zhihua, Director General of the Youth Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR; Dr. Lam Tai-fai, PolyU Council Chairman; Professor Wong Wing-tak, PolyU Acting President; Raymond Kwok, SHKP Chairman and Managing Director; and Adam Kwok, SHKP Executive Director. The MoU on SHKP x PolyU Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects was signed by Eric Tung, SHKP Executive Director, and Professor Christopher Chao, PolyU Vice President (Research and Innovation). Eric Tung also signed the MoU for the SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme with Professor Ben Young, PolyU Vice President (Student and Global Affairs). Details of the research projects and the scholarship programme are at Annex. Guest of honour Financial Secretary Paul Chan said: “We expect the construction volume in Hong Kong will increase to about HK$300,000 million per year. Such a huge volume of projects will provide exceptional development opportunities for the construction industry. Nevertheless, the industry will also face various challenges and need to find ways to, for example, deal with labour shortages, have a better control of construction costs, optimize the management process, further improve construction safety and reduce carbon emissions to contribute to society as a whole. Innovation and technology is a key to addressing these challenges. The application of academic research outcomes will allow the construction industry to increase their use of innovative technologies, which would be of enormous benefit.” SHKP Chairman and Managing Director Raymond Kwok noted that the Report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China highlighted the importance of ‘talent as our primary resource, and innovation as our primary driver of growth’. Recently when Chief Executive John Lee delivered his Policy Address, he also clearly pointed out that innovation and technology (I&T) will be a key impetus for Hong Kong's high-quality economic development, and that it is essential to commercialize research results through collaboration between the industry, academic and research sectors. Raymond Kwok said: “We hope to leverage PolyU’s strengths in academic research and our extensive practical experience to promote innovation and technology research in the construction industry. The National 14th Five-Year Plan laid out plans to achieve ‘peak carbon and carbon neutrality’. Our initiative will help Hong Kong become a green, low-carbon international I&T hub.” He added that SHKP also places great emphasis on talent development, and that it is important to remember that ‘Hong Kong will prosper only if its young people thrive; that Hong Kong will develop only if its young people achieve well-rounded development; and that Hong Kong will have a bright future only if its young people have good career prospects’. The SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme aims to support promising PolyU students with limited means to study construction, real estate and engineering-related disciplines. He hailed PolyU as a cradle for cultivating talent for Hong Kong’s construction industry, adding its graduates have contributed a lot to the development of both the industry and the city. He noted a number of PolyU graduates have joined SHKP and supported the development of its premium properties and hoped PolyU students will continue to help advance the development of building technologies. PolyU Acting President Wong Wing-tak said: “PolyU attaches great importance to transforming research into practical applications. We are delighted to collaborate with Sun Hung Kai Properties, one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong, to leverage their experience in developing high-quality property projects. By combining PolyU’s outstanding scientific research achievements in developing innovative technologies including smart energy systems, green building materials, decentralized construction process, etc. with Sun Kung Kai Properties’ expertise, we strive to achieve the three goals of carbon reduction, energy savings and digitalization to reduce emissions and improve efficiency on SHKP’s buildings.” Professor Wong expressed his thanks to SHKP-Kwoks’ Foundation for its support to PolyU in setting up a scholarship scheme to help outstanding students with financial difficulties, and believed that this collaboration will not only promote the advancement of new green technologies, but also nurture a new generation of talents who will benefit the entire industry, helping Hong Kong to become carbon neutral and creating a sustainable future for wider society.” SHKP Executive Director Adam Kwok said: “SHKP and PolyU joined hands in 2005 to optimize the energy-saving performance of ICC through the use of green and smart building technology, which proved to be a great success. Not only has ICC obtained a number of international green building certifications, its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum score, awarded by the US Green Building Council, is also the highest among commercial buildings in Hong Kong. SHKP is delighted to partner with PolyU again to translate the outcomes of their scientific research into applications, using green applications, green materials and green processes to help Hong Kong achieve net zero and develop into a world-class smart city. The smart energy management system in the Group’s High Speed Rail West Kowloon Terminus Development alone is estimated to be able to reduce 3.6m kg carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to planting 160,000 trees. SHKP is keen to play a key role in Hong Kong’s transformation, realization and commercialization of building technology research outcomes, and in the nurture of young talent.” Three projects under SHKP x PolyU Building Innovation & Technology Research Projects aim to save energy, reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency (Video) 1. Green Applications – Full Life Cycle Optimization of Green Smart Building Energy System The research into, and application of, full life cycle smart energy-efficient technology and system solutions by the PolyU team is designed for SHKP’s large-scale integrated complex atop the High Speed Rail West Kowloon Terminus. Capitalizing on renewable energy, construction and energy system flexibility, such as real-time power system flexibility, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), environmental sensors and digital twins, through full life cycle optimization, it aims to realize optimization of power systems and optimized real-time system control. It is estimated that the solution will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 3.6 million kilograms a year, equivalent to planting 160,000 trees1 , which will also help alleviate Hong Kong’s urban heat island effect. This solution will turn the above integrated complex, with a gross floor area of over three million square feet, into the city’s first large-scale smart energy-efficient green complex with power flexibility and set an example of how high-rise buildings in high-density cities can contribute to carbon neutrality. 2. Green Building Materials CO2 can be injected into fresh concrete through carbon activation technology, which can 1) shorten the curing time of concrete and reduce the overall construction time; 2) enhance the durability of concrete; 3) offset some of the carbon emissions generated by cement manufacturing; and 4) reduce the cement content in concrete. The PolyU team will investigate how to optimize carbon activation technology to inject CO2 into concrete more efficiently, both on construction sites and in off-site prefabricated plants. Currently, about 4.4 billion cubic metres of concrete are produced globally every year. Hong Kong produces about seven million cubic metres of concrete per year. If this innovative carbon capture technology is widely used globally, it would effectively reduce global CO2 emissions by about 75 billion kilograms a year, equivalent to planting 3.2 billion trees per year. Hong Kong can prevent about 119 million kilograms of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to planting five million trees per year. The team also hopes that this new carbon capture technology will contribute to the newly launched HKEX Core Climate scheme and prepare Hong Kong to become an international carbon trading hub. 3. Green Processes – Paperless Workflow in the Whole Construction Process Blockchain is an emerging technology, which is transparent, highly secure, digitalized and traceable. SHKP and PolyU will join hands to establish the first-ever blockchain-based platform for the construction industry to enhance Building Information Modelling (BIM). From project design and construction to operation and maintenance, the whole process of property development will be optimized with a paperless workflow. For instance, the platform that contains the BIMs of all projects will record all versions of, and amendments to, the BIMs for the use of all stakeholders. In addition, BIMs constructed via blockchain can facilitate the Government’s implementation of digitalized vetting and approval for the construction industry. It could also further encourage industry players to join the construction of a digital twin of Hong Kong, helping to analyze and optimize the city’s operations and improve city planning and management. SHKP x PolyU Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme: an industry leader in talent development Jointly launched by the SHKP-Kwoks' Foundation and PolyU, the Building Homes with Heart Scholarship Programme will support 56 PolyU students to pursue studies in construction, real estate or engineering-related disciplines. Priority will be given to promising but financially disadvantaged students.   1. According to the Guidelines to Account for and Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removals for Buildings (Commercial, Residential or Institutional Purposes) in Hong Kong, issued by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Environmental Protection Department, each tree absorbs roughly 23 kg of carbon dioxide each year.   *****End*****

18 Nov, 2022

Events Research and Innovation Office

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