GBA Startup Postdoc Programme nurtures technopreneurs
PolyU is a pioneer in promoting entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and has put in place a variety of initiatives to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among students. Alongside offering seed grants, incubation and acceleration support, it has also launched the GBA Startup Postdoc Programme to help recent PhD graduates become technopreneurs, turning their research outcomes into innovations with real-world impact through technology ventures.
Participants in the Programme receive entrepreneurship training and are encouraged to take part in high level entrepreneurial events and competitions to increase their experience. Two teams from the GBA Startup Postdoc Programme recently won Gold Awards at the 6th China International College Students’ “Internet+” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition hosted by the Ministry of Education.
Two teams from the GBA Startup Postdoc Programme win Gold Awards at the China International College Students’ “Internet+” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.
The two winning projects were “Development of micro-encapsulated probiotic products with fungal mycelia”, led by Dr Chang Jinhui, and “Development of rapid molding production line for precision aspheric glass lens based on multi-function graphene-like coating technology”, led by Dr Yu Ninghui. Dr Chang and Dr Yu are among the first cohort of PhD graduates admitted to the Programme in 2019.
Dr Chang’s team was supervised by Dr Jimmy Jin, Assistant Professor, School of Accounting and Finance, and Professor Wing-tak Wong, Deputy President and Provost and Chair Professor of Chemical Technology at the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology. Dr Li Qiang, an alumnus from the Faculty of Business, also supervised the team from an industry perspective.
“Our technology can protect probiotics against damage from heat or pressure and enables different types of probiotics to be included in snacks, hot drinks and pet food to provide health benefits. Through the project, we have discovered a new way to provide an environment that increases the percentage of a potential probiotic, namely Akkermansia, in the gut, helping people to lose weight and reduce obesity," Dr Chang said.
Dr Yu’s team was supervised by Professor W.B. Lee, Emeritus Professor of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. It successfully developed a molding technology based on a graphene-like composite for the production of high-precision aspherical glass lenses. Dr Yu said: “An aspheric glass lens offers better imaging quality and a simplified optical system, and thus has obvious advantages over traditional plastic lenses. Compared to existing technology, the new technology will lower the manufacturing cost of a lens by 65%.”
About PolyU’s GBA Startup Postdoc Programmee
Launched in 2019 as a pilot run, the Programme aims to transform recent PhD graduates into technopreneurs and translate their research outcomes into innovations with real-world impact through technology ventures. The 24-month programme, the first of its kind in Asia, covers entrepreneurship courses, applied research and pre-incubation. The Programme welcomes applications from recent PhD graduates globally.
Successful candidates will receive a monthly salary, access to the University’s research facilities, government grants and startup subsidies. Entrepreneurship training as well as dual academic and business supervision will also be provided to support the commercialisation of their research outcomes through technology start-ups in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The Programme is developed and managed by PolyU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship.