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Statement by Heads of Universities on Current Situation in Hong Kong

Hong Kong society is currently fractured, with deep divisions across social groups, political parties, and even amongst family and friends. The past week has seen a rapid escalation of violence and confrontation throughout Hong Kong: several universities are now under protestors' control; on-campus hazardous materials have been taken; staff and students have left campus out of fear for their personal safety. These events are challenging our universities in the most fundamental way. No political viewpoint gives a licence to damage property, employ physical threats, or use violence against individuals. It is regrettable that societal disagreement has led to university campuses becoming major political battlefields, and that the government response has so far not been effective. However, any demand that universities can simply fix the problem is disconnected from reality: these complicated and challenging situations neither originate from the Universities, nor can they be resolved through University disciplinary processes. They are reflections of Hong Kong-wide disagreement, and the government must take the lead with swift and concrete action to resolve this political deadlock and to restore safety and public order now. Hong Kong is our home. We call on all quarters of society to work together to bring peace and order back to Hong Kong. Prof. KUO Way, President, City University of Hong Kong Prof. Roland T. CHIN President & Vice-Chancellor, Hong Kong Baptist University Prof. Leonard CHENG, President, Lingnan University Prof. Rocky S. TUAN, President & Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Prof. Stephen CHEUNG, President, The Education University of Hong Kong Prof. TENG Jin-Guang , President, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Prof. Wei SHYY, President, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Prof. WONG Yuk-Shan, President, The Open University of Hong Kong Prof. ZHANG Xiang, President & Vice-Chancellor, The University of Hong Kong (Listed in alphabetical order of universities)

15 Nov, 2019

Others Communications and Public Affairs

Stay Safe and Do Not Take Part in Unlawful Activities

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today strongly urges all persons on its campus to stop all dangerous or unlawful activities and leave immediately. The University also strongly condemns the occupation of the campus by people who commit acts of vandalism and violence within the campus and stresses that they are not allowed to stay on the campus. The prolonged social unrest has had a devastating impact on the city. In the past week, the University facilities have been extensively and severely vandalised by the protesters. Considering the personal safety of the students and staff of PolyU, the University has decided that all face-to-face classes are cancelled for the rest of the first semester, and be conducted on-line, new assessment arrangements will also be adopted. The University today also announces the extension of office suspension until Wednesday (20 Nov) next week. Staff are expected to work from home as far as practicable. The University is aware that some activists from outside have entered the campus and have been carrying out various unlawful and dangerous activities which pose safety risks to themselves and others. PolyU reiterates that the well-being of students and staff is its prime concern. For safety reasons, the University, once again, urges ALL persons on campus to leave immediately unless permission from the University management is obtained. The University management has also issued a letter to its members of PolyU to express its concerns on the campus status (see attachment).

15 Nov, 2019

Others Communications and Public Affairs

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) - Class Arrangement

For the safety of all students and staff, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announces that all face-to-face classes will be cancelled for the rest of this semester, and be conducted on-line. Detailed teaching and assessment arrangements will be communicated to students later. For PolyU's international exchange students, the examination could be held at their home university, and no student will be disadvantaged because of the new arrangements.

14 Nov, 2019

Others Communications and Public Affairs

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) - Class Suspension

For the safety of PolyU students and staff, the University has decided to cancel all classes for the rest of this week (14 to 17 November). Individual departments will offer online learning support for students according to needs.

13 Nov, 2019

Others Communications and Public Affairs

PolyU announces cancellation of classes tomorrow (13 November) Congregation sessions will also be postponed

In light of the extensive damages incurred on PolyU's campus facilities, the University has decided to suspend classes tomorrow (13 November). The congregation sessions to be held in this week (13 – 16 November) will also be postponed. Details will be advised in due course.

12 Nov, 2019

Others Communications and Public Affairs

PolyU announces cancellation of classes tomorrow (12 November) Congregation sessions of the Faculty of Construction and Environment will also be postponed

In light of the extensive damages incurred on PolyU's campus facilities today, the University has decided to cancel all classes tomorrow (12 November). The congregation sessions of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, scheduled for 12-13 November 2019, will also be postponed. Details to be advised later.

11 Nov, 2019

Others Communications and Public Affairs

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PolyU and JITRI sign Memorandum of Understanding to foster research collaboration

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI), witnessed by The Hon. Mrs Carrie LAM, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and WU Zhenglong, Governor of Jiangsu Province. The MoU offers a framework for research collaboration to develop basic research in science and technology, as well as for developing and implementing applied research projects in Jiangsu Province.   Held during the 2nd Jiangsu-Hong Kong Summit on Interconnected Development in Nanjing, the signing ceremony was attended by Professor Guohua CHEN, Associate Vice President (Research Support) of PolyU, and Professor Qing LIU, President of JITRI, and marks a milestone in joint research efforts between Hong Kong and Jiangsu. With the aim of commercialising high-level innovative technology outputs in global markets, basic research collaboration in a number of disciplines will be explored, including in biomedical science and engineering, pharmaceutics and medicines, environmental science and engineering, new generation information and communication technology, and high-end manufacturing and equipment.   Ir Prof. Alex WAI, Vice President (Research Development) of PolyU, said “PolyU has a proven record in translating impactful research results into applicable technologies and solutions to benefit society. Leveraging Hong Kong’s strengths in advanced innovative technology and high-caliber talents, as well as JITRI’s expertise in technology research for enterprises, we believe the collaboration will help elevate the profile of research and development for both parties. The advantages of each of the two institutions are complementary, and PolyU is very pleased to join hands with JITRI and to facilitate applications in innovation and new technology development.”   Professor Qing Liu, President of JITRI, added that the Institute is dedicated to serving as a bridge linking industrial research and development, as well as global resources, with a view to fostering technological innovation in Jiangsu Province. The signing of the MoU will further attract high-level innovative technology outputs for commercialisation in Jiangsu.   JITRI has established matching funding of RMB40 million which includes RMB20 million from JITRI headquarters in Nanjing and RMB20 million from local JITRI institutes/partner companies initially for five years, to support collaborative research projects with PolyU which have potential for technology development or commercialisation in Jiangsu. Five research projects have already been successfully matched to apply for this funding support. Meeting the growing needs from the industry, these funded research projects are in areas including industrial robotic arms, printable transparent organic solar cells, and enhancing human-robot interactions through thermal point clouds.   Committed to strengthening the collective efforts in research-related activities between the two parties, it is expected that this partnership will help explore more innovative technologies, and advance applied research and commercialization in the field of science and technology in Jiangsu Province.   *****

7 Nov, 2019

Events Innovation and Technology Development Office

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PolyU Innovations Garner Four Awards at International Trade Fair for Ideas, Inventions & New Products (iENA) in Germany

The three outstanding innovations of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) showcased at the 71st International Trade Fair for Ideas, Inventions & New Products (iENA) held in Nuremberg, Germany have garnered three Gold Medals and one Special Merit Award.   iENA is one of the most important international trade fairs for the inventor community. The trade fair, held from 31 October to 3 November this year, attracted inventors from research institutions, academic bodies and business enterprises from more than 30 countries to showcase over 800 inventions and product innovations. With a history of over 70 years, iENA has become an annual platform for global inventors, entrepreneurs, investors and developers to seek collaboration and commercialisation of innovations.   Among the world-class innovations on display, PolyU’s innovations have all been granted awards by iENA’s specialist jury in recognition of their remarkable innovative ideas and cutting-edge technologies. The award-winning innovations of PolyU are:-   (1)   Atmospheric Acidic Ultrafine Particle Measuring Device      Gold Medal and Special Merit Award Principal Investigator: Professor GUO Hai, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering   Atmospheric acidic ultrafine particles (AUFPs), with a diameter of less than 0.1 µm, may affect human health. Yet, there has been a lack of reliable instruments for measuring AUFP concentration to facilitate the assessment of its influences on health, air quality monitoring, as well as related pollution and epidemiological studies. PolyU’s novel device, comprises a diffusion sampler and a quartz crystal microbalance detector with specially treated crystal oscillators, can measure AUFPs concentration in a safe, accurate, reliable way.   (2)   Object Detection and Distance Measurement Sensor based on Light Field Imaging     Gold Medal Principal Investigator: Dr LI Lihua, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering   3D information of micro objects can be critically useful for medical diagnosis related to live body tissues, or quality control in semi-conductor manufacturing. PolyU has developed a novel imaging system that includes a micro-lens array fabricated with our own ultra-precision machining techniques, as well as a module for converting light into electrons. By applying an algorithm created with deep learning, it can identify a micro object from its 2D digital photos and acquire its light field information in real time for distance measuring or 3D reconstruction. The sensor is compact, portable and attachable on different types of camera lens for precise distance measurement in various ranges, including micro and macro photography.       (3)   Dolphin - Effective Indoor Positioning Service Gold Medal Principal Investigator: Mr Gary CM LEUNG, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Pin (a PolyU supported start-up), and PdD student of the Department of Electronic and Information Engineering   “Dolphin” uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and mobile phones with a location algorithm and a co-operative positioning algorithm developed by PolyU to provide indoor positioning and navigation. In areas with insufficient beacon signals, it still functions as it can calculate users’ positions by collecting and processing BLE signals from their mobile phones, thus further enhancing the positioning accuracy. The system can also apply big data analytics to identify users’ behaviours. Such information enables venue or shop owners or exhibitors to attract new and return customers in the proximity of their venue by sending them relevant advertisements or offers before they reach the venue.   iENA was first launched in 1948 in Nuremberg of Germany. Over the past 70 years, about 30,000 inventions have been presented at the trade fair. iENA this year is organized by AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH, partnered with the Union of Croatian Innovators (UCI), in collaboration with International Federation of Inventors’ Association (IFIA), German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), German Inventor Association (DEV) and the Association of German Engineers (VDI). For details, please visit the organiser’s official website:- http://www.iena.de/en/home.html   *****

6 Nov, 2019

Achievements Institute for Entrepreneurship

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PolyU research finds drug-resistant bacteria on hand-drying facilities in public washrooms

Research findings of a project undertaken by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) show that fifty-two bacterial species, some pathogenic to humans, were found on the hand hygiene facilities of public washrooms. One-fifth of the isolated Staphylococcus species demonstrated co-resistance to at least three first-line antibiotics. This suggests that hand-drying facilities in public washrooms can act as reservoirs of drug-resistant bacteria.   The research project, led by Dr Lorna SUEN, Associate Professor of the School of Nursing and Dr Gilman SIU, Associate Professor of the Department of Health, Technology and Informatics at PolyU, aimed to examine the provision and cleanliness of the hand-drying facilities in public washrooms.   Dr Lorna SUEN said the findings suggest hand hygiene may not always be achievable when using public washrooms. “Washroom users avail themselves of the handwashing and hand-drying facilities provided under the impression that these amenities are hygienic. However, such facilities may be potential sites for the transmission of pathogenic bacteria. Attention should be paid to the potential risks of re-contamination of hands from contaminated washroom facilities and surfaces.”   A total of 55 public washrooms, 28 female and 27 male, were examined in 2017 via convenience sampling. These washrooms were classified into three categories. The first included 11 public washrooms in the wet markets, parks and piers. The second category were 36 public washrooms in sports grounds, public libraries and shopping malls etc, while the last one included those in the high-end establishments like five-star hotels or luxurious shopping malls (8 nos.). Location wise, 25 of them are on Hong Kong Island, 14 in Kowloon and 16 in the New Territories.   The researchers collected 220 samples with swabs that had been pre-moistened in sterile normal saline from areas around the outlet of paper towel dispensers, the air outlet of air dryers, paper towels and the internal surface of exit doors in the washrooms. They then cultured the samples in duplicate on an enriched medium. The resulting bacterial colonies were enumerated and the respective bacterial species were identified using mass spectrometry.   Substantial numbers of bacteria were found to be present on the paper towel dispensers, hand dryers and door handles tested. The majority of bacteria identified are considered as part of the normal human flora and do not commonly cause disease in healthy individuals. However, some species are known to be pathogenic to humans. For example, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus are common urinary tract pathogens. Staphylococcus aureus is the most frequent cause of community-associated skin and soft tissue infections.   Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of the samples showed that over 87% of the Staphylococcus spp. tested were resistant to at least one first-line antibiotic such as penicillin, cefoxitin, erythromycin, co-trimoxazole, clindamycin or gentamicin. Among the samples, 23% exhibited co-resistance to at least three antibiotics, with co-resistance to penicillin, erythromycin and clindamycin being the most common combination.   “These bacteria could be a cause of community-acquired infections. People infected with bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics are unlikely to receive effective first-line treatment, resulting in an unfavourable clinical outcome,” said Dr Gilman Siu.   It is also interesting to note that all three Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated were recovered from the internal door handles of male washrooms. It is possible that these strains were transferred from the hands of male washroom users due to failure to hand wash or to inadequate handwashing technique, Dr Suen said.   Notably, female washrooms researched exhibited better overall cleanliness than male washrooms. Also those in high end venues have a relatively cleaner environmental appearance.   Observation of hand washing amenities inside the washrooms was also conducted during the research. Nearly 90% of the rubbish bins were improperly covered / closed, with almost 20% of the bins placed immediately below the hand dryers. Aerosol generation of contaminated air may be exacerbated, posing a health risk, if rubbish bins without covers are placed in close proximity to hand dryers, Dr Suen said.   While hand soaps or detergents were frequently available, the dispensers for hand sanitisers and paper towels were occasionally not easily visible to users and were oftentimes incorrectly positioned. More than 45% of the sanitary bins in the female washrooms were frequently uncovered.   Given the results from the environmental culturing, contamination of hands and other body areas may occur in washrooms via contact with door handles, hand dryers and paper towel dispensers. The research team suggests cleaning these facilities frequently. Future washroom designs may also consider adopting a no-door design, automatic controlled or hands-free paper towel dispensers or hands-free faucets with motion sensor.   “Good hand hygiene practices, which include hand washing with soap and water, and thorough hand drying should be done after going to the toilet for individual protection,” said Dr Suen.     *****

5 Nov, 2019

Research & Innovation School of Nursing

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PolyU stages Entrepreneurship Parade in support of more than 60 projects

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) kicked off the “PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade 2019” 5 November to showcase its support for 64 entrepreneurial projects, which received PolyU funding and training last year. Following today’s opening ceremony, a three-day public exhibition of the entrepreneurial projects will be held from 6-8 November on the PolyU campus. The Parade offers a perfect opportunity for young entrepreneurs to network and engage with their peers, and to pitch their ideas to potential investors or business partners. Details about the Parade can be found here: https://www.polyueparade.hk/.   The opening ceremony of the annual flagship event was officiated by Dr David CHUNG, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR Government, and Dr Lawrence LI, Deputy Council Chairman of PolyU.   Addressing the opening of the Parade, Dr Lawrence Li said, “PolyU is committed to fostering knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship development. Thanks to the support from the Government and industry, PolyU has become the largest university-based incubator in Hong Kong, with a funding pool of more than HK$10 million annually to provide seed grants to start-ups, social enterprises and innovative student projects. PolyU has also been scaling up its efforts and extending its impact in promoting entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).”      Dr David Chung praised the PolyU-supported innovative projects for demonstrating the “Do Good Do Well” spirit, and contributing greatly to the community at large. Addressing the opening, he spoke of the Government’s support in promoting entrepreneurship in the tertiary education sector. “In 2014, we launched the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities, which by early this year has supported 188 start-ups established by university teams to venture beyond their campus. The maximum annual funding for each university will also rise from HK$4 million in 2019 to HK$8 million in 2020 to better nurture university start-ups. We have as well supported over 700 PhD students and 4,000 interns to join the scientific research community through the Postdoctoral Hub and Researcher Programme.”     The opening attracted about 100 participants from different sectors, and included entrepreneurs, investors and incubators from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Three young entrepreneurs supported by PolyU were invited to share their joy and tears in pursuing their dream. They also generously shared with the audience some tips for success in starting up a new business. Dr Abraham LAM is the Director of MEGA Automation which integrates traditional building management with advanced technology to help corporates cut energy consumption. Ms Eva WONG is a co-founder of WEDO Global — a social enterprise advocating multi-cultural education and nurturing cross-cultural youth leaders. Mr Edwin WONG is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cloudbreakr — an intelligent influencer platform that connects content creators in different industries for social endorsement and business purposes.   A total of 24 entrepreneurial projects which received PolyU funding and training support in 2018 are showcased in the Parade. They represent a wide spectrum of products, services and technologies in fields that include Health Tech, FinTech, Travel, Education and Entertainment, Design and Social Innovation, Advertising and Retail Tech, and Gadgets and Electronics. Among these projects, quite a number have started to sell their products or services in the market. The following are some examples.   -          Eternal Billion (HK) Ltd develops self-help medical devices and services for women preparing for pregnancy. With accurate ovulation period monitoring and AI-enabled fertility prediction, the hand-held test kit can also be used for medication monitoring of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) users.   -          Studio Doozy Ltd designs and develops accessible products for healthy, quality and dignified ageing at home. In addition to catering for the needs of the elderly, its products are also suitable for wheelchair users, people with Parkinson’s disease, stroke or movement problems, as well as for the able-bodied. Current products include an all-inclusive modular toilet, and a semi-automatic shower chair.   -          Blue Pin Consulting (HK) Ltd offers an effective indoor positioning system for different venues, especially exhibition venues, in both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Besides performing indoor positioning, navigation and personalised product matching and promotion, the start-up aims to extend the application of its patented technologies to areas that include AR navigation, and car parking and robot fleet management.   -          Fund-Land Technologies integrates hospitality consumer data and financial supply chain services to provide a bank-like clearing platform for hotels. After having paid an advance payment to the platform, small and medium enterprises can book hotel rooms at preferential rates, while the hotels will receive monthly payment from the platform for rooms booked. It thus greatly reduces hotels’ risk of being bilked and enable them to retain or even grow their customers. The company also launches a pioneering “Enterprise Pay” system, which integrates the payment processing of paying party, financial institutions, hotels, corporate customers and suppliers.   Five projects developed by students under the PolyU Student Entrepreneurial Proof-of-Concept Funding Scheme and the PolyU Lean Launchpad Programme are also featured in the exhibition. The Schemes aim to support innovative endeavours at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.   Since 2011, PolyU has provided funding support to over 270 startups and has nurtured more than 900 young entrepreneurs. The start-ups have secured follow-on funding resources amounting to over HK$380 million. About 70% of the start-ups are still in operation, and many of them are expanding their markets beyond Hong Kong to markets that include the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, South East Asian countries and the United States.   *****

5 Nov, 2019

Events Communications and Public Affairs Office

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