PolyU: PolyU InnoTech Open Day showcases the University’s contributions to I&T development via world-class education, interdisciplinary research, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today held the PolyU InnoTech Open Day on campus to showcase the University’s latest endeavours in education, interdisciplinary research, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship which are helping to empower the innovation and technology (I&T) development of Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and beyond. The Open Day, a signature PolyU 85th Anniversary event, was specially designed for entrepreneurs, industry partners, start-ups, researchers, young talents, secondary school students and parents.

Professor Dong SUN, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry of the HKSAR Government, Ms Rebecca PUN, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, Mr LIU Maozhou, Inspector of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR, Dr LAM Tai-fai, PolyU’s Council Chairman, Dr Lawrence LI, Deputy Council Chairman, Dr Roy CHUNG, Honorary Court Chairman, and Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President, Professor Wing-Tak WONG, Deputy President and Provost, and Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President, officiated at the Opening Ceremony of the event today. Another highlight of the event was the inspiring lecture given by Sir Michael HOUGHTON, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2020, on the topic of “Eliminating hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as a major public health threat” via video conferencing.

Professor Dong Sun, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, said, “Over the years, PolyU has been playing a long-supporting and pioneering role in driving the I&T development in Hong Kong. With the government’s solid commitment to the I&T development, coupling with our strong capabilities in scientific research and academic excellence of our universities, Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem is flourishing and increasingly vibrant.”

Professor Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU, said, “The development of a vibrant innovation & technology industry is key to the future success of Hong Kong, and has received very strong support from both the central government and the Hong Kong SAR government. I am sure the new term of government will put in more resources for accelerating I&T development in Hong Kong. PolyU aims to play a significant role in this area, and today’s event exemplifies our efforts.”

The Opening Ceremony also marked the inauguration of the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR). PAIR is the largest research platform of its kind in Hong Kong and the GBA to foster interdisciplinary research, partnership with world-renowned scholars, and the transfer of technologies to stakeholders. PAIR aspires to be a world leader in providing interdisciplinary solutions for major societal challenges, and its research focuses on frontier areas such as artificial intelligence, carbon neutrality, deep space exploration, smart cities, smart energy, and many more.

Professor Christopher Chao, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, said, “There are a number of societal challenges facing us every day, from poverty to hunger, and from climate change issues to how to build a sustainable city. Interdisciplinary research solutions can be used to tackle many of these world challenges. We hope to make an impact on Hong Kong, the GBA and the world.”

The six winners of the newly launched PolyU Young Innovative Researcher Award (YIRA) 2022 and 10 winning teams of the President’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Knowledge Transfer (KT) were also presented with the awards at the ceremony. YIRA is a university-level award to recognise young faculty members whose research demonstrates excellence in addressing global challenges (for the full list of awardees, please visit https://polyu.me/3yFmQn3), while the President’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement in KT recognises impactful projects that demonstrate contributions in advancing technological or industry standards through application of PolyU’s research and innovations (for the full list of awardees, please visit https://polyu.me/3O8QRkU).

In addition to the Opening Ceremony, a series of activities were held throughout the day, providing visitors with an excellent opportunity to learn more about PolyU’s contributions to I&T, as well as to explore academic, entrepreneurial and collaboration opportunities.

The start-up pitching and PolyU unicorn sharing sessions not only highlighted the impressive achievements and innovations of start-ups nurtured by the University but also allowed young future entrepreneurs to broaden their exposure and expedite ideation.

The Research & Innovation breakout sessions featured novel and frontier topics related to life sciences, smart cities, neurohealth, future society, energy technology for carbon-neutrality, healthy food and lifestyle management, future manufacturing, artificial intelligence of things and intelligent wearable systems. These sessions served as a platform for industry practitioners and PolyU expert researchers to exchange views on technology innovation and development, collaboration, industry trends and applications.

For secondary school students who are curious about the learning experience at PolyU, there were student consultation booths, info seminars about academic programmes, campus life sharing sessions and themed tours to various campus facilities and labs. There were also showcases of PolyU’s newly established CURI Residential College and STARS Residential College – the former supports undergraduate students in conducting scientific research under the guidance of University professors; and the latter provides talented students in sports, art, social services, leadership and STEM with a vibrant living and learning environment to foster holistic development.

To add more excitement to the event, visitors were greeted by two special guests, the artificially intelligent robots Sophia and Grace, created and programmed by Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong-based humanoid robotics company. Sophia is also the first robot in the world to be granted citizenship and the first robot Innovation Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme. Thanks to The Hong Kong Jockey Club, there was an exclusive contemporary art showcase of 400 mini Drago Cavallo (dragon horses), a contemporary expression of Chinese culture and a symbol of inspiration designed by renowned artist Simon Ma, to spread positivity on campus during the Open Day.