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PolyU hosted technology exchange event with Jiangsu province

The Research and Innovation Office (RIO) of PolyU co-organised an exchange event with Jiangsu Science and Technology Department and Productivity Centre of Jiangsu Province on campus on 16 April.  The event aimed to connect Jiangsu enterprises with PolyU researchers. Approximagely 70 participants and 20 Jiangsu enterprises participated in this academic and industry exchange programme.  Prof. Christina Wong, Director of RIO, delivered a welcoming remark to warmly welcome the Jiangsu delegates. A poster exhibition area showcasing Jiangsu enterprises and PolyU research was arranged to facilitate potential collaborations in three themes: Manufacturing Technology, AI/IoT, and Green Technology.

17 Apr, 2024

Events

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PolyU shares with THE Campus how the university supports world-changing research

To generate world-changing research, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Research and Innovation Office takes on the role of fostering collaboration and allocation of resources to allow their academics to focus completely on their work. THE Campus has published our insights on how to enable academics to focus on their work, findings, and potential applications through comprehensive support. This has led to impactful research projects and brought innovative solutions for society across wide-ranging fields. The full article (English Only) : THE Campus - Researchers need support to change the world – here’s how to provide it Learn more about the successful research promotion cases shared in the article: PolyU scholar’s transformative work on the Leidenfrost effect PolyU supports new wholesale central bank digital currency project PolyU projects supported by RGC Theme-based Research Scheme funding Young Innovative Researcher Award Optoelectronic graded neurons for perceiving dynamic motion

15 Apr, 2024

Others

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PolyU showcases innovative technologies at the Digital Economy Summit 2024

PolyU is participating in the flagship event, Digital Economy Summit (DES) 2024, jointly organised by the HKSAR government and Cyberport on 12-13 April. As the Innovation Research Partner of the event, PolyU showcases the latest technologies of AR, blockchain, cybersecurity, and precise positioning to the participants.  Prof. Allen Au, Professor of the Department of Computing at PolyU and founding members of the CBDC Expert Group, will join the panel discussion on 13 April to share his insights on how CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) empowers the development of Hong Kong's economy. DES serves as a platform for thought leaders, industry experts, and policymakers to collaborate, share insights, and explore how cutting-edge technologies and innovative applications are reshaping the urban landscape and the modern digital economy. The event is attracting over 5,000 online and onsite attendees from around the world. Click here for more information>>

12 Apr, 2024

Events

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Visit by delegation of Hefei government

A delegation led by Hefei Municipal People’s Government Mayor Mr YunFeng LUO visited The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) on 11 April. The delegation was welcomed by Prof. Jin-Guang TENG, President of PolyU; Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU and Prof. DONG Cheng, Associate Vice President (Mainland Research Advancement) of PolyU. Prof. TENG introduced the latest developments of PolyU to the delegation, as well as its strategic focus on research collaborations with the mainland.  PolyU seeks to make substantial contributions to the economic prosperity of both regions, ultimately supporting the nation in attaining high-quality development. Last October, PolyU and the Hefei Luyang People’s Government reached an MoU to jointly establish the PolyU-Hefei Technology and Innovation Research Institute (the Research Institute), with the aim of fostering in-depth and effective collaboration in industry, academia and research and cultivating talents.  Both parties are now working towards the establishment of the Research Institute, which contributes to enhancing and facilitating research development, academic exchange, nurturing of talent, and knowledge transfer in various fields, including biomedical and sensing precision technology, and aerospace information. By leveraging the research and academic excellence of PolyU, these collaborations support the development of a top-notch innovation platform in Hefei.  Click here for more: https://polyu.hk/PTOXK  

12 Apr, 2024

Events

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PolyU and Alibaba Cloud join hands to advance signal quality estimation technology, driving dynamic networks adoption in the telecoms industry Deployed by data centres in 15 countries and regions; network capacity potentially increases by 10%

Prof. Alan LAU, Professor of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), and his research team, have recently collaborated with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, to develop signal quality estimation technology, driving the adoption of dynamic networks in the telecommunications industry. The research team led by Prof. Alan Lau has collaborated with Alibaba Cloud’s technical team to conduct research on Alibaba Cloud’s robust cloud computing platform. By measuring the signal strength at various positions and channels on the fiber-optic network, and integrating the technologies of optics, physics and big data analytics, they have been able to provide a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of signal quality. The research outcomes help cloud service providers gain a deeper understanding of the overall state of signal transmission, enhance the stability of dynamic networks, and strengthen their ability to implement such networks effectively. Adopting PolyU’s new technology, the estimation error of signal-to-noise ratio – a measure comparing the desired and undesired signals – has been reduced from 22% to 4%. In addition, the technology can potentially increase network capacity by 10% under the same level of reliability. The research project has secured matching funding from the Innovation and Technology Commission’s Partnership Research Programme. The technology has been extensively deployed by Alibaba Cloud in its data centres spanning 15 countries and regions, making a positive impact to the cloud provider in supporting notable e-commerce sales events, such as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival and the upcoming 618 Mid-Year Shopping Festival. As the demand for emerging multimedia network applications such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), metaverse, future 6G mobile network communication and high-definition live video streaming continues to surge, cloud service providers are frequently faced with ad-hoc needs for ultra-fast network connections within a short timeframe and specific range. A dramatic shift toward online shopping, exemplified by events like the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other large-scale events or festivals has led to an increase in the demand for real-time communication within a limited timeframe, resulting in a surge in network traffic. Prof. Alan Lau said, “While cloud service providers can keep up with traffic demand by expanding bandwidth in their fibre-optic networks, the addition or removal of bandwidth in their networks can lead to nonlinear interference, which ultimately affects the quality of existing signals. As a result, providers tend to be prudent when it comes to scaling up the implementation of dynamic networks. Therefore, it is crucial to improve the accuracy of signal quality assessment in dynamic environments.” Dr Xie Chongjin, Senior Director and Chief Telecommunication Scientist of Infrastructure Product Unit, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, stated, “The technology developed by PolyU is easy to implement and has been applied to Alibaba Cloud’s network operation platforms deployed in 15 countries and regions worldwide. It has effectively enhanced the reliability and agility of our network, allowing us to support future network traffic demand. We look forward to further strengthening cooperation with PolyU to continue driving the innovation and advancement of telecommunication technology.”

11 Apr, 2024

Research and Innovation

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PolyU harnesses GeoAI technologies to enable sustainable urban development

Geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) is an interdisciplinary field that combines geospatial science and artificial intelligence (AI). The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is harnessing innovative GeoAI technologies to provide ground-breaking solutions for some of the environmental and social challenges facing the world today, in various fields including transportation, urban and public safety, planning, climate change and natural disasters. Prof. Qihao WENG, Chair Professor of Geomatics and Artificial Intelligence of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, and Global STEM Professor, established the PolyU Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Geomatics (RCAIG), to focus on the development of original and innovative AI methodologies and technologies for geomatics and their applications in urban areas, with the goal of it becoming a global R&D hub in GeoAI. Prof. Weng has recently been honoured with the 2024 American Association of Geographers (AAG) Wilbanks Prize for Transformational Research in Geography and the 2024 AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group Lifetime Achievement Honor Awardfor his ground-breaking contributions in geography. One direction for the Research Centre is investigation into human-environment interactions in urbanisation by utilising geospatial analytics, GeoAI and big data methods. Another direction is to create various data products of global urban areas using Earth Observations (EO) and to provide EO-based urban data services. As RCAIG Principal Investigator and Director, Prof. Weng said, “Earth observation is important as a guiding compass for understanding changes in the environment and society. Our research focuses on diverse fields including geospatial big data and AI, remote sensing, ground-based sensors, navigation and positioning, surveying and geodesy, laser scanning, and photogrammetry. These technologies play a crucial role in addressing and resolving key environmental and social challenges.” In particular, GeoAI has revolutionised building monitoring by utilising thousands of learnable parameters. An illustration of this is its ability to automatically learn and identify general patterns of buildings such as colour and shape. This technology is crucially applied to detect disaster-damaged buildings, retrieve building height, identify structural changes and estimate building energy consumption. As a result, GeoAI has emerged as a mainstream solution for more efficient and insightful building monitoring. Environmental monitoring In the field of urbanisation monitoring, an RCAIG research team has developed an impervious surface area based urban cellular automata (CA) model that can simulate the fractional change of urban areas within each grid by utilising annual urban extent time series data obtained from satellite observations. By categorising the historical pathways of urban area growth into different levels of urbanisation, the model offers more detailed insights compared to traditional, binary, CA models. This demonstrates its great potential in supporting sustainable development. Research conducted by Ms Wanru HE, an RCAIG doctoral research assistant, and her team was reported in the paper “Modeling gridded urban fractional change using the temporal context information in the urban cellular automata model”, and has been published in Cities. Their model effectively captures the dynamics of urban sprawl with significantly improved computational efficiency and performance, and will help enable the modelling of urban growth at regional and even global level, under diverse future urbanisation scenarios. GeoAI for traffic management In the area of smart traffic management, to enhance the efficiency of ride-hailing platforms and achieve intelligent management of their services, the RCAIG research team has developed a multi-agent order matching and vehicle repositioning approach. This innovative technology focuses on coordinating the supply and demand of ride-hailing services, ultimately aiming to improve their overall efficiency. Their approach provides a ground-breaking solution to tackle two critical aspects necessary for efficient ride-hailing services. Firstly, it addresses order matching by efficiently assigning orders to available vehicles. Secondly, it incorporates proactive vehicle repositioning, strategically deploying idle vehicles to regions with potentially high demand. Based on multi-agent deep reinforcement learning, this innovation solves the complex planning issues in transportation and offers a new perspective on a long-term spatio-temporal planning problem. The research conducted by Ms Mingyue XU, another RCAIG researcher, and her team, was reported in the paper “Multi-agent reinforcement learning to unify order-matching and vehicle-repositioning in ride-hailing services”, and has been published in the International Journal of Geographical Information Science. The study achieved outstanding results, including reduced passenger rejection rates and driver idle time. About RCAIG With a focus on GeoAI, RCAIG is dedicated to conducting research in diverse fields, including urban building and energy, urban safety and security, environmental monitoring and conservation, urban resilience and public health. This aligns with the 11th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, which aims to create inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements. Website: https://rcaig.com/ Learn more about Prof. Qihao Weng’s research focus in the video: https://polyu.me/3Vt7yih

10 Apr, 2024

Research and Innovation

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PolyU researcher recognised and awarded for excellence in colour and imaging technologies

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a series of colour management technologies that provide vision-based solutions for lighting, imaging and metaverse systems. These cutting-edge technologies have been adopted by social media, imaging systems and manufacturers of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products, smartphones and drones. Prof. Tommy Minchen WEI, Professor of the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering and Director of the Colour Imaging and Metaverse Research Centre at PolyU, has spearheaded research on the fundamental of colour science and the development of advanced algorithms and solutions for various imaging systems. He has been bestowed with the Hong Kong Engineering Science and Technology (HKEST) Award by the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences (HKAES) for his contributions in colour and imaging science.  Prof. WEI said, “This achievement has further supported my ongoing pursuit of interdisciplinary research excellence in colour, with the aim of sharping a visually better world for all.” Translating research outcomes with a significant community impact is highly fulfilling. Prof. WEI added, “As a scientist, my aspiration is to develop new algorithms based on human visual mechanisms that enhance colour appearance and calibrate perception variances across imaging systems. These systems encompass displays and cameras used in virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and the metaverse.”  One notable achievement is the development of a six-channel RGBACL (Red, Green, Blue, Amber, Cyan and Lime) lighting module and control algorithm, which enhances the colour presentation of LED lighting systems. The algorithm for tuning the colour appearance of human face skin allows quick adjustment when captured by different cameras. This technology has been used by a famous manufacturer of cinema lighting fixtures and in the production of several Hollywood movies and TV series. Prof. WEI also developed various solutions for capturing and displaying colours on video and image shooting equipment. These technologies encompass the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect human faces in the frame and optimise the colour appearance of skin tone. Other innovations, such as chips with AI-powered white balance algorithm built-in ensure more faithful colours in photos and videos taken by digital cameras under different environment. These technologies have been adopted by world-class smartphone and XR device manufacturers. Prof. WEI said, “My goal is to empower creative freedom by enabling creators to deliver the precise colours they intend for users to perceive. It is a tremendous honour to witness my research being translated and endorsed by world-class social media platforms, imaging systems, and manufacturers of digital devices worldwide.”

9 Apr, 2024

Awards and Achievements

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PolyU food scientist’s research on fungus-based fat replacer rolls out for low-fat dessert production at hotel

The Research Institute for Future Food (RiFood) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a groundbreaking fat replacer called AkkMore™. This innovative formula has been used in the production of low-fat food products, including low-fat ice cream with a fat content of 3%. AkkMore™ is a fungus and plant-based supplement targeting obesity or prediabetes. This innovative formula was developed by a research team led by Dr Gail Jinhui Chang, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at PolyU and a project investigator at RiFood.  Produced from natural fungal sources, AkkMore™ has been tested for its effectiveness in providing numerous health benefits, which include preventing obesity and other metabolic diseases, enhancing gut health, modulating the immune response, and reducing anxiety. It was awarded a silver medal at the 2022 Special Edition of the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions. Dr. CHANG, said “Our research team has completed three rounds of animal trials on AkkMore™. The results show that the formula can effectively improve metabolism and aid in weight management. Moving forward, we are focusing on exploring applications of AkkMore™ in the development of healthy food.”  The research team is currently developing “Cream Mate”, an AkkMore™-based cream substitute. Cream Mate enables cream products to contain less fat, have the ability to be frozen for a long time, and extend shelf-life while maintaining sensory appeal comparable to traditional cream. The use of Cream Mate helps reduce calorie intake and the consumption of dairy products in desserts, as well as minimise food waste due to expiration. This contributes to making food production more sustainable and economical. In addition, RiFood is collaborating with Hotel ICON on the use of Cream Mate in the preparation of reduced-fat desserts that are served on the hotel’s regular menus, starting from 1 May.  

9 Apr, 2024

Research and Innovation

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PolyU researchers introduce biomineralisation as sustainable strategy against microbial corrosion in marine concrete

Microbially induced corrosion (MIC) is a major issue in marine environments, leading to structural damage such as cracking in concrete infrastructure. This corrosion poses a persistent challenge, significantly reducing the lifespan of marine structures and resulting in substantial economic losses. In response to the need for an effective solution to combat marine corrosion in concrete, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) researchers have developed a biomineralisation approach to protect marine concrete from MIC. Prof. Xiang-dong LI, Dean of the Faculty of Construction and Environment, Director of the Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, Chair Professor of Environmental Science and Technology, and Ko Jan Ming Professor in Sustainable Urban Development at PolyU, has led research that successfully introduced a novel biomineralisation strategy which effectively isolates marine concrete from MIC, thereby contributing to the realisation of sustainable coastal structures. MIC in concrete usually occurs in harsh environments with the presence of corrosive microorganisms in, for example, sewage structures, wastewater treatment plants, and marine structures. The formation of a biomineralised film on concrete surfaces is typically considered to be the most effective anticorrosion mechanism as it can provide a barrier to inhibit corrosion build-up. Prof.Li said, “Our biomineralisation technique serves as an environmentally friendly coating method for controlling concrete corrosion, with minimal impact on the overall biofilm communities. Also, it utilises carbon dioxide to produce mineral precipitates, enhancing the durability of concrete structures. This process not only reduces the carbon footprint and energy consumption of marine infrastructure throughout its lifespan, but also makes a valuable contribution to carbon neutrality and sustainability.” The study has demonstrated that the biomineralisation treatment effectively prevents corrosion by reducing the total and relative abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). SRB is a type of anaerobic bacteria and can produce hydrogen sulfide, which is corrosive and can, in turn, lead to material deterioration. The biomineralised film acts as a protective layer, controlling sulfate diffusion and isolating the concrete from corrosive SRB communities. This protective mechanism significantly extends the lifespan of concrete structures and has no negative impact on the native marine microbial communities. Prof. Li added, “If the biomineralised film remains intact, repainting the concrete structures is unnecessary. The utilisation of a single coating treatment eliminates the need for multiple treatments, further minimising the cost and carbon footprint.” This biomineralisation strategy has strong potential for applications in corrosive environments, such as in marine and sewage settings, and water-cooling utilities, where concrete corrosion is induced by corrosive microorganisms. A paper reporting the research, “Biomineralisation to prevent microbially induced corrosion on concrete for sustainable marine infrastructure”, has been published in Environmental Science & Technology. The study employed a combination of chemical and mechanical property measurements of concrete, in conjunction with an analysis of the microbial community of biofilms, to evaluate the effectiveness of biomineralisation techniques in inhibiting corrosion of marine concrete. These assessments aimed to enhance understanding of MIC development. The results contribute to the development of new techniques for inhibiting corrosion to achieve sustainable marine concrete structures. Considering that the type of colonised surface also affects the treatment effect of biomineralisation, the effectiveness of biomineralisation will be further investigated for different types of concrete to expand its potential application.  In addition, functional prediction can be used in future studies to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the possible metabolic capability of microbial action on concrete corrosion. This understanding would be beneficial for uncovering the mystery of the effect of SRB on the lifespan of marine concrete structures.

8 Apr, 2024

Research and Innovation

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PolyU drives sustainable development through scientific research supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund

Ten projects of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have been funded by the Environmental and Conservation Fund (ECF), with a total awarded amount of HK$5.396 million. PolyU scholars excel in innovative and applied research, making a significant contribution to goals of carbon neutrality and sustainable development for environmental protection in Hong Kong.  The ten awarded research projects cover a variety of topics, including waste management and recycling, air and water quality protection, climate change, energy conservation and carbon reduction. These projects demonstrate PolyU's research expertise in environmental protection across diverse disciplines such as in construction and building, engineering and applied sciences.  The research topics initiate innovative solutions and technologies, such as a mobile sensor platform and computer vision-based technology for street air quality monitoring, unmanned ground and aerial vehicles for beach refuse collection, and the development of a photocatalytic system to reduce carbon footprint. Some of the awarded projects aim to address climate change by focusing on the development of cooling films for the next generation of data centre and analysing the environmental impact of tyre wear emission.  The ECF was set up by the government of HKSAR to provide funding support for educational, research and other projects and activities in relation to environmental improvement and conservation of local environment since 1994. Details of the 10 ECF funded projects:   Principal Investigator Project Title Funded Amount Faculty of Construction and Environment Dr HOU Huiying, Assistant Professor of Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering Dynamic Monitor and Analysis of Street Air Quality in High-density Urban Environments in Hong Kong Utilizing Mobile Sensor Platform and Computer Vision-based Technology HK$499,600 Dr SONG Dingbao, Research Assistant Professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Turning Incinerated Sewage Sludge Ash into Engineering Fill Using Microbial Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation Method Incorporating CO2 Sequestration HK$500,000 Dr SHEN Peiliang, Research Assistant Professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Development of Concrete Slurry Waste-derived Carbonation Coating to Improve the Durability of Concrete Structures HK$500,000 Dr WANG Meng, Research Assistant Professor of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Advance Our Understanding of the Environmental Impact of Tyre Wear Emission in a Changing Climate HK$900,000 Faculty of Engineering Dr CHAN Kit Ying, Research Assistant Professor of Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering Multifunctional Cooling Films for Energy-efficient Passive Cooling of Hong Kong's Next-generation Data Centre HK$498,600 Dr XU Gangyan, Assistant Professor of Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering Autonomous Sandy Beach Refuse Collection System with Unmanned Ground and Aerial Vehicles HK$498,000 Dr REN Jingzheng, Associate Professor of Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Turning Sewage Sludge into Green Hydrogen and E-fuel with Carbon-neutrality Goals in Hong Kong: Innovative Process Design, Optimization, Economic Viability and Environmental Sustainability Assessment HK$500,000 Faculty of Science Dr LO Tsz Woon Benedict, Assistant Professor of Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology Developing a Photocatalytic System to Reduce Hong Kong's Carbon Footprint: Converting CO2 Emissions into Useful Two-carbon Chemicals HK$500,000 Prof WU Jianyong, Research Professor of Department of Food Science and Nutrition Development of Phase Change Nano-emulsion Based Spectral Splitting PV/T System for the Full Solar Energy Usage HK$500,000 School of Fashion and Textiles Dr KANG Zhanxiao, Research Assistant Professor of School of Fashion and Textiles Textile-based Evaporative Air Grid to Enhance the Efficiency of Air Conditioners Utilizing Condensed Water HK$500,000

5 Apr, 2024

Awards and Achievements

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