PolyU’s pioneering technologies have again snatched the esteemed TechConnect Innovation Awards for the sixth year in a row and PolyU is the only higher education institution in Hong Kong to be honoured with the awards this year.


At the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo 2022, PolyU research teams won three awards in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), materials science and biotechnology. They include an AI-empowered chest X-ray imaging technique for clinical applications, an automatic temperature-controllable mask, and a new type of more environment-friendly moisture-absorbing and sweat-releasing fabric. All three inventions are among the 70 awarded technologies from leading institutions around the world like the US National Laboratories and other top universities.


A PolyU delegation will showcase a number of innovative projects at the TechConnect expo in Washington D.C. in mid-June and meet with technology companies for potential collaborations.


“The University is delighted that our research teams continue to bring superior award-winning technologies to the world and have been recognised at this global event for the sixth consecutive year,” said Professor Christopher Chao, Vice President (Research and Innovation).


“PolyU has been undertaking various strategic initiatives to build a strong I&T ecosystem, cultivating solid fundamental knowledge and fostering innovative mindsets to stimulate and lead novel research,” he added.


Details of the three PolyU winning innovations are as follows:


AI-Empowered Chest X-Ray and CT Quantitative Analysis for COVID-19 Patient Management (Prof. Jing CAI, Department of Health Technology and Informatics)

The AI-enhanced techniques for COVID-19 clinical applications provide accurate and low-cost imaging solutions for the diagnosis, severity stratification and prognosis of COVID-19. These applications include AI-empowered chest X-ray imaging, AI-assisted COVID-19 disease segmentation, and multi-view analysis. Their high accessibility will benefit developing countries that do not have the needed resources to accurately diagnose and monitor COVID-19.


Moisture-Absorbing and Sweat-Releasing Multilayer Polylactic Acid Fabric and Manufacturing Technology (Prof. Hong HU, Institute of Textiles and Clothing)

The new fabric stands out from existing moisture-absorbing fabric technology in that its fabrication technique is simpler, cheaper, and more environment-friendly. By employing double weft knitting technology, it only takes one single manufacturing process to produce the new fabric structure with improved moisture-absorbing and sweat-releasing properties. It also has inherent biological resistance and is ideal for use in school uniforms and sportswear.


Omni-Cool-Breath: A Smart Air-Conditioned Mask (Dr Dahua SHOU, Professor FAN Jintu and Dr HUANG Guanghan, Institute of Textiles and Clothing)

Omni-Cool-Breath is the first automatic temperature-controllable mask that brings revolutionary access to all-day cool breath and thermal comfort under various activities and thermal conditions. It reduces temperature by 12°C and humidity by 65% under low voltage via an innovative miniature thermoelectric cooling system. The ergonomically designed lightweight mask uses skin-friendly and biodegradable 3D printing materials that enable the user to enjoy nine hours of clean air.