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PolyU stands together with the Hong Kong community in collaborative efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

Hong Kong is battling an unprecedented wave of the novel coronavirus epidemic. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is committed to supporting the Government’s efforts on various fronts in the fight against the pandemic. Over 700 PolyU students, alumni and staff have signed up to support community vaccination and testing programmes and provide assistance to different groups in need. They are part of PolyU’s collaborative efforts with the community in support of the Government’s anti-pandemic measures. Supporting elderly care homes and senior citizens has become paramount given the Omicron variant’s threat in the fifth wave outbreak. PolyU’s School of Nursing is teaming up with a number of local and Mainland China donors to provide more than 200 nursing homes with supplies, including 44,000 rapid antigen test kits, 200,000 sets of personal protective equipment (including face shields and N95 respirators), and 100 pulse oximeters. These enthusiastic donors and partners include the Zhongnanshan Medical Foundation of Guangdong Province, Guangdong Hecin Scientific, Teochew International Federation and the Federation of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Community Organizations, Peking University Alumni Association Shenzhen Branch, Koch Biotechnology (Beijing), Guangdong Biolight Meditech, and Wuhan Tianhe Ruiyuan Technology. The distribution of the supplies has been rolled out in phases to address the needs of the elderly and nursing home staff and help safeguard their health. Professor David SHUM, Chair Professor of Neuropsychology and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, said, “PolyU has been closely working together with the Hong Kong community in the fight against COVID-19. For the past two years of the pandemic, we have been relentlessly supporting the authorities in their contact tracing efforts, and applying our research and innovation capabilities to support frontline healthcare workers and the general public. PolyU will continue to draw on its expertise from various fields and make new contributions to the Government’s anti-pandemic efforts.”   ***END***

11 Mar, 2022

Events Faculty of Health and Social Sciences


PolyU to launch International Summer School 2022, offering students an inspiring learning and cultural exchange experience

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is launching its International Summer School 2022 from June to August. Participants will undertake short-term study in PolyU’s globally renowned disciplines like fashion design and optometry, and apply their new skills in local community service projects. They will also explore engaging topics like artificial intelligence and science fiction, the evolution of world cuisine, or the science and myths of traditional Chinese medicine, under the guidance of PolyU’s leading scholars. PolyU’s International Summer School 2022 offers both credit-bearing courses and participation in the Leadership Academy for Responsible Global Citizenship – a pioneering leadership and service-learning exchange programme. Applicants can choose to join both parts or only sign up for either one, allowing maximum flexibility to suit their schedules. The programme will be conducted both face-to-face and online. The credit-bearing courses offer an array of intellectually stimulating subjects in three thematic areas, namely “Chinese Language, Culture and Society”, “Design, Innovation and Technology”, and “Business, Entrepreneurship and Global Leadership”. Meanwhile, under the Leadership Academy, participants will join one credit-bearing service-learning subject to learn about the social issues related to their service targets, apply their professional knowledge and skills (e.g., fashion design, augmented reality, vision screening, and air quality testing) in a service project, and develop their sense of global citizenship. With the aim of helping overseas participants blend into the local life and culture, the PolyU International Summer School has a Buddy Programme that matches incoming participants with PolyU students, thus encouraging intercultural communication between PolyU students and the global community. The programme will also provide fun-filled, inspiring, and engaging cultural exchange activities, allowing participants to discover the vibrancy and diversity of Hong Kong. The summer programme is now open for undergraduate student applications from overseas, Mainland China and Taiwan until 31 March 2022. For details and to learn more about what past participants have said about the PolyU summer programme, please visit:   ***END***

1 Mar, 2022

Events Global Engagement Office


PolyU attains excellent results in the Environment and Conservation Fund 2021-22 research funding exercise

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has achieved excellent results in the Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) 2021-22 funding exercise for Environmental Research, Technology Demonstration and Conference Projects. Among the 41 awarded research projects from local UGC-funded universities, PolyU received the highest number of projects awarded and topped the amount of funding granted. In all, the University received a total of HK$10 million in funding from the ECF, supporting 13 research projects ranging from the study of how high purity oxygen could enhance sewage treatment, using remote sensing technology and AI for monitoring oil spills in the sea, producing hydrogen while purifying wastewater simultaneously by solar power, to the development of a smart robot that can pick up and sort litter in difficult terrain automatically. These projects will be led by PolyU researchers from the Faculties of Construction and Environment, Applied Science and Textiles, and Engineering, with details listed in the Appendix. Professor Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, who leads a task force of the University on achieving the goal of carbon neutrality before 2050, congratulated all successful applicant research teams and said, “These research projects will foster more innovative and green technologies to address local and regional environmental issues and set paths for supporting the carbon neutrality roadmap in our society. We are pleased to receive the funding support from the government, which will complement our concerted efforts to advance decarbonisation technologies for a vibrant and sustainable society.” The ECF was set up by the Government in 1994 for funding educational and research projects on environmental and conservation matters. Research and Technology Demonstration Projects awarded by the ECF will contribute in a direct and practical way towards environmental improvement and conservation of the local environment, or promote and encourage adoption of green technologies in Hong Kong.   ***END***  

28 Feb, 2022

Achievements Research and Innovation Office


PolyU appoints Mr Simon Wong as Vice President (Campus Development and Facilities)

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today announced the appointment of Mr Simon WONG Yuk Sun to the post of Vice President (Campus Development and Facilities) [VP(CDF)], effective 3 May 2022.

24 Feb, 2022

Others Communications and Public Affairs Office

PolyU welcomes the initiatives in the Financial Secretary’s 2022-23 Budget

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) welcomes and supports the strategic initiatives on promoting life and health scientific research in Hong Kong as proposed in the Financial Secretary’s 2022-23 Budget. The University is also grateful for the Government’s further funding support for enhancing the training of medical professionals, as well as upgrading the University’s healthcare teaching facilities. PolyU will continue its research endeavours related to COVID-19 and other areas of life and health sciences, pursuing excellence in teaching and learning, and nurturing healthcare professionals for Hong Kong.   PolyU also appreciates the Government’s commitment to promoting innovation and technology development as underscored in the Budget, including measures like more funding support from the Innovation and Technology Fund to universities’ start-up and R&D activities, the injection of additional funding into the Green Tech Fund, and accelerating the progress of the digital economy.   Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU, said these initiatives will significantly reinforce Hong Kong’s innovation and technology ecosystem, and foster a more vibrant and diversified economy for the city. PolyU will continue seeking breakthroughs in frontier scientific research, incubating start-ups in collaboration with industry partners, and supporting the development of the innovation and technology industry in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.   ***END***  

23 Feb, 2022

Others Communications and Public Affairs Office


PolyU scholar receives Clair C. Patterson Award for outstanding achievements in environmental geochemistry

Professor Xiang-dong LI, Dean of Faculty of Construction and Environment, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), was honoured with the Clair C. Patterson Award 2022 in recognition of his innovative and dynamic work in environmental geochemistry, including research in the fields of regional contamination, urban air PM2.5 pollution, and the origin and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance.

22 Feb, 2022

Achievements Faculty of Construction and Environment


PolyU Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme 2022 is open for applications, introducing secondary school students to university research projects, enabling them to discover the joy of research and explore broader knowledge

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) debuted “The Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme” (the Programme) last year, providing secondary school students with the chance to participate in various research projects under the guidance of PolyU academics, thereby opening the door for their future research endeavours. The Programme has returned this year and is now open for applications. By participating in this Programme, secondary 4 and 5 students will be able to explore a wide field of knowledge while discovering the joy of research. Students will also gain a deeper understanding of the diverse subjects offered by PolyU, which will help prepare them for their future academic and career pursuits.

14 Feb, 2022

Teaching & Learning Communications and Public Affairs Office


PolyU researchers find astigmatism in children worsened amid pandemic class interruptions; DIMS Spectacle Lens proved effective in slowing myopia during lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the suspension of face-to-face classes for a considerable period of time over the past two years. During this period, two research teams from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) found that myopia progression in schoolchildren has accelerated and the share of students with astigmatism has increased almost by half. The researchers advised parents and schoolchildren to protect their vision health during stay-at-home learning, and consider multi-pronged approaches to alleviate the adverse impact of the pandemic, like changing lifestyles or considering wearing suitable and more effective glasses. It is estimated that over 80 per cent of global students experienced class suspension or online learning at the height of the pandemic lockdowns, according to UNESCO, and Hong Kong students were no exception. In addition, less outdoor activities could also result in schoolchildren spending more time on electronic gadgets. In a pioneering study about how the pandemic may affect schoolchildren’s astigmatism, a PolyU School of Optometry research team compared both cross-sectional and longitudinal data and found there was a significant increase in astigmatism after face-to-face classes were suspended. The team compared the vision screening results of students aged 8 to 10 years old in a local primary school in October 2018 (112 students) and June 2020 (173 students). The share of children with astigmatism in 2020 was 49.1 per cent, or nearly 1.5-fold higher than that of 33.9 per cent in 2018. Among the 38 children who participated in both the 2018 and 2020 studies, the share of those with astigmatism doubled, from 34.2 per cent to 73.7 per cent. This contradicts previous studies from pre-pandemic Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States which show that astigmatism normally drops during childhood. Dr Jeffrey LEUNG, Research Assistant Professor of the School of Optometry at PolyU, said, “Our survey also found that during the suspension of face-to-face classes, schoolchildren spent on average 30 to 60 minutes longer a day on digital screens like smartphones and tablets in their leisure time. Previous studies showed that the reading environment can indirectly or directly lead to astigmatism. Prolonged reading or usage of these electronic gadgets could worsen astigmatism.” Meanwhile, another PolyU team released their first longitudinal study on how a PolyU innovated special lens for myopia control fares in the extreme circumstance of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Under normal circumstances, the Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) Spectacle Lens, co-developed by PolyU and Hoya Vision, can slow down myopia progression by 60 per cent. Researchers found that even with more rapid myopia progression during the pandemic lockdown measures, the DIMS lens was associated with a 46 per cent lower degree of myopia progression in comparison with conventional single vision lens (SVL). Furthermore, in the student group that spent more time in lockdown, the advantage of the DIMS lens was more prominent and slowed down myopia progression by 52 per cent. The research team analysed 171 Hong Kong schoolchildren aged 7 to 13 in 2019 and during school suspensions in 2020. Among them, 115 students were beneficiaries of the “PolyU-HKIF Children Eye Care Programme”, and were provided with the DIMS Spectacle Lens during the research period. The other 56 schoolchildren in the control group wore SVL. Dr Henry CHAN, Associate Professor of PolyU’s School of Optometry, said, “Our findings showed that schoolchildren who were more affected by school suspensions experienced an average increase of 35 degrees of myopia in the DIMS group, and 73 degrees in the SVL control group. The changes in teaching and learning under the pandemic have led to an increase in the time spent on electronic devices and near-vision work activities for children while less time was spent outdoors, which in turn aggravated the risk of myopia progression. The research findings provide reference data for frontline eye care practitioners to provide appropriate myopia management solutions to affected students.” Dr KEE Chea-su, Associate Professor and Acting Head of PolyU’s School of Optometry, said, “Our two studies show that the pandemic poses an adverse impact on myopia and astigmatism among schoolchildren. Parents and children themselves are advised to take multi-pronged measures to protect their vision health, including maintaining correct reading postures and sufficient light, increasing the time for outdoor activities, and reducing the time spent on near-vision work activities. Parents are encouraged to take their children to receive eye exams to identify eye problems at an early stage. They should consult professional optometrists for getting suitable and effective glasses if needed.” The two PolyU research studies were published in the international academic journals Clinical and Experimental Optometry and JAMA Network Open in mid-January 2022.   ***END***

26 Jan, 2022

Research & Innovation School of Optometry


PolyU sets up interdisciplinary solid waste recycling research centre for carbon neutrality technology and policy

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has established a new institution for cutting-edge technology and policy research in solid waste recycling issues, a critical area in achieving carbon neutrality to tackle climate change. The Research Centre for Resources Engineering towards Carbon Neutrality (RCRE) will focus its efforts on four research directions, including policy and society, environmental and economic impact, waste-to-resource technology, as well as recycling and sustainable construction.

17 Jan, 2022

Events PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research


PolyU develops novel anti-virus 3D printing material that terminates over 90% of COVID-19 in 10 minutes

With the Omicron variant making its way into the local community, the Government announced tightening COVID-19 measures to contain the epidemic. The public should stay vigilant to maintain good personal hygiene at all times to strengthen individual defence against the pandemic. At present, some public facilities such as doorknobs in public toilets and lift buttons have poor cleanliness, and can become breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria, thus posing a threat to public health. An interdisciplinary research team from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has successfully developed the world's first “anti-virus 3D printing material” (material) that can kill the COVID-19 virus on surfaces as well as most common viruses and bacteria. The main component of the material is resin, added with anti-viral agents such as cationic compounds, to damage the membrane of the virus and destroy its structure to kill the virus and bacteria. Dr. Kwan Yu Chris LO, Associate Professor of PolyU's Institute of Textiles and Clothing, who led the research team, said that laboratory tests confirmed the material can kill 70% of the COVID-19 virus and other viruses/bacteria surviving on a surface within two minutes; eliminate over 90% of viruses within 10 minutes; and terminate almost all viruses and bacteria on a surface in 20 minutes. Dr. Lo said, “This material is a resin material with high anti-virus performance. Using 3D printing technology, it can be produced in different forms catering to different needs. It is therefore highly flexible and can be used extensively in public facilities to provide epidemic prevention support to the community.” The team has already applied patent of this technology and application, and will use it for commercial purposes in future. In the past year, with the support of the laboratory of PolyU’s University Research Facility in 3D Printing (U3DP), the research team has collaborated with the Home Affairs Department, the Hong Kong Wetland Park and an environmental organisation to produce recycling bin handles, toilet doorknob covers, lift buttons, braille boards and more, in order to conduct further tests and trials of the effectiveness and durability of the material in killing viruses. Prof. Chi-wai KAN, a member of the research team and Professor of PolyU’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing said, “Even after use for a year, not only is the handle on the recycling bin still in good condition, no COVID-19 virus, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus are detected on the handle’s surface. This proves that the efficacy rate of the material only diminishes gradually after three years of use, and is effective in fighting against viruses and bacteria. Since the material kills viruses via physical means, it can still exert the same effect on mutant viruses.” Prof. Kan added that because the disinfection components of the material are embedded in the products rather than coated on the surface, daily cleaning with disinfectants such as bleach does not compromise its anti-virus performance. The research team will also collaborate with the Sham Shui Po District Office to produce doorknob protective covers for over 100 unmanaged “Three-Nil” buildings in the district and install these covers on doors frequently used by residents, so as to reduce the risk of virus transmission in buildings. The team hopes to apply the material to primary and secondary schools, healthcare facilities, and public transportation systems.   *** END ***

13 Jan, 2022

Research & Innovation Institute of Textiles and Clothing

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