HKU Engineering leads strategic public policy research on MiC supply chain in the Greater Bay Area for HK development


Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities with the largest number of high-rise buildings in the world. The ambitious development plans set by the HKSAR Government for various building sectors such as public and private housing, elderly homes, hostel, hospital and hotel will strengthen Hong Kong’s leadership in the Greater Bay Area and beyond, but at the same time it also pose challenges to the capacity and capability of the construction industry in the city.

The 2018 Policy Address promotes the wide use of Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) for enhancing quality, productivity, safety and competitiveness of building and construction. Nevertheless, the adoption of MiC is being challenged by complex and dynamic policy issues in areas including transportation and logistics, innovation and technology, financial services, creative industry, environmental protection, building safety, nurturing talent, healthcare, land and housing, labour and welfare. It is thus vital and important to build a favourable business environment with policy roadmap and action plan to enhance the MiC supply chain for Hong Kong development.

A multidisciplinary team led by Dr Wei Pan of Department of Civil Engineering of Faculty of Engineering at The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has recently been awarded the Strategic Public Policy Research (SPPR) funding scheme of over HK$4 million by the Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office of the HKSAR Government for a research project to enhance MiC supply chain in the Greater Bay Area for Hong Kong development. The project team also includes Professor Francis Au, Professor S.C. Wong, Professor Thomas Ng and Professor George Huang of HKU, Professor Ben Young and Professor Daniel Ng from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Professor Cheng Su, Dr Sanyuan Niu and Dr Xiaojing Zhao from Mainland China. Over a four-year period, the team will address a number of research areas such as MiC, supply chain management and public policy by adopting mixed research methods like GBA-wide questionnaire surveys, focus groups, workshops, modelling, scenario analysis and policy forum.

Dr Wei Pan, who is also the Executive Director of the University’s Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development (CICID), said, “This research is the first-of-its-kind to strategically and holistically address the multi-policy areas about MiC supply chain. The project is supported by a wide range of policy bureaus, departments, industry and organisations in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area to ensure robust validation of the findings and maximise the impact of the research.”

The project is expected to propose strategies for MiC supply chain identification and enhancement; to provide a systemic measurement framework with key performance indicators for MiC supply chain selection and evaluation; to develop a ‘demand-and-supply’ predictive model with scenarios; and to recommend a public policy roadmap with action plan on MiC supply chain. These outcomes will contribute to the knowledge, practice and policymaking of MiC supply chains in the wide community of HK and the GBA.

Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development has been taking a world-leading role in the research area of construction innovation and technology particularly for MiC. I believe this research can further facilitate the implementation of MiC in Hong Kong and enhance the productivity and sustainability for the industry and community,” said by Professor Christopher Chao, Dean of Engineering at HKU.

Government has been actively promoting and leading the construction industry for wider adoption of MiC with a view to uplift works efficiency, safety and quality performance. This strategic public policy research led by the Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Development of HKU’s Department of Civil Engineering is very timely and will contribute positively to enhancing the MiC supply chain in the GBA for the development of Hong Kong”, said by Ir LAM Sai Hung, the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) of the HKSAR Government.