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Two PolyU innovations in energy and new materials awarded TechConnect 2023 Innovation Awards

14 Jun 2023

Achievements Research and Innovation Office

Prof. Eric Cheng Ka-Wai, Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering (left) and Dr Xin Zhao, Associate Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (right) won the Global Innovation Awards at TechConnect 2023.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has won two prestigious TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo 2023 (TechConnect) Global Innovation Awards in the areas of energy and new materials. TechConnect is the world’s largest multi-sector event for fostering translational innovations and technology commercialization.

This year, marking the seventh consecutive year that the University has received such recognition, PolyU is the only higher education institution in Hong Kong to have snatched awards.

PolyU’s winning innovation in the area of “energy, efficiency and environmental” is the world’s first ammonia-powered electric vehicle that can achieve zero-carbon emission while delivering higher efficiency and ensuring safer energy storage than conventional electric vehicles, thereby providing a more sustainable solution to long-term transportation issues.

The other award-winning PolyU project, in the area of “medical devices and materials”, has developed novel Photocrosslinkable nanocomposite materials for bone graft applications, providing a highly efficient solution for bone healing.

Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU congratulated the winning teams and said, “PolyU strives to nurture global scholars through excellence in teaching and learning, research and knowledge transfer. The award-winning technologies showcased at TechConnect will continue to inspire PolyU to develop impactful research and innovations. We are committed to addressing global challenges facing mankind through interdisciplinary research and international collaboration.”

Details of the two PolyU award-winning innovations are below:

1. Ammonia Powered Fuel Cell-based Electric Vehicle project, led by Prof. Eric CHENG Ka-Wai, Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering

The ammonia-powered fuel cell based electric vehicle adopted ammonia-to-wheel energy conversion where liquid ammonia stored inside a cylinder is broken down into nitrogen and hydrogen by catalysts to generate electricity, and achieves zero carbon emission. In this project, hydrogen is produced from ammonia on the vehicle for feeding fuel cells. A large storage of hydrogen is not needed as the hydrogen is consumed immediately. There are no hazardous issues from the hydrogen. Hence, it is safer and can be managed more easily.

2. Biomimicking Photocrosslinkable Nanocomposite Bone Grafts project, led by Dr Xin ZHAO, Associate Professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Biomimicking Photocrosslinkable Nanocomposite Bone Grafts mirror the structure of natural bone. They can load and release bioactive molecules and activate cell-signaling pathways to simultaneously promote osteogenesis and angiogenesis while providing optimal mechanical support to the injured area in order to expedite the bone healing process. The product can compete in the growing market and serve a huge number of patients who are receiving orthopedic surgeries.

The TechConnect conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from 19 to 21 June, 2023. PolyU’s delegation will showcase various innovative projects and meet with technology prospectors with a view to potential collaboration.

For details of TechConnect 2023 Innovation Awardees, please visit:



Press Contacts

Mr Samuel Yeung

Project Manager, Research and Innovation Office

Press Contacts

Ms Annie Wong

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

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