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HKUST and HKSI Establish Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology

Image Credits: HKUST, Press Release.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) marked the inauguration of the HKUST-HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology (Center). The Center will investigate the fusion of research and technology in sports, encourage advancement in sports science, and enhance the performance of elite athletes in international competitions.

The creation of the centre was founded on a robust partnership between the parties that dates to 2018, when HKUST began collaborating with HKSI to create innovative wind tunnel testing capabilities. This was done to improve the development and optimisation of low-drag cycling suits and equipment for the Hong Kong Cycling team, resulting in enhanced training efficiency and contributing to their performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Following the Center’s launch, researchers from HKUST will deepen their collaboration with HKSI’s sports scientists, engineers, and coaches to develop new technologies, sensors, test protocols, and analysis tools for sports aerodynamics, advanced training equipment, and race simulations. The goal is to enhance the sports equipment, postures, and strategies of elite athletes and achieve critical marginal gains in areas such as cycling, triathlon, and windsurfing.

The agreement was signed today by the Vice-President (Research and Development) of HKUST and the Chief Executive of HKSI, in the presence of the Acting President of HKUST and the Deputy Chief Executive of HKSI.

The Vice-President for Research and Development at HKUST stated that sports science and technology are among the institution’s strategic research areas. He expressed satisfaction with the five-year partnership between HKUST and HKSI in advancing athletic performance through research and innovation.

With Hong Kong’s recent success in sporting events and the government’s increased support for elite athletes, HKUST has committed HK$20 million to support sports science development. He hopes that the new Center will contribute to new discoveries and provide an edge for elite athletes to excel on the world stage.

The Chief Executive of HKSI expressed delight in seeing Hong Kong athletes succeeding on the global sporting stage, with support from key partners such as HKUST. The HKSI is committed to engaging with expert organisations, such as HKUST, to develop innovative technologies and scientific methods to help athletes surpass their limits. The creation of the Joint Center, leveraging HKUST’s substantial expertise in science and technology, will undoubtedly enhance the performance of Hong Kong athletes in upcoming competitions.

Under the terms of the agreement, HKUST will continue to develop and provide educational programmes, such as tailor-made training courses and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme, which is HKUST’s signature research initiative. These programmes will be available to elite athletes at HKSI to support their dual career development.

The Director of the Center, who is also the Chair Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, stated that the collaboration will result in significant benefits and impact. The partnership will not only develop transformative technologies to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s elite athletes in international competitions such as world championships and the Olympic Games but will also generate new knowledge and improve sports knowledge which can be applied to the sports industry and benefit the general public.

The Coordinator of the Centre at HKSI and the Director of Elite Training Science & Technology expressed excitement about the establishment of the Center in collaboration with HKUST. They aim to expand the innovation and benefits to more sports, which will help elite athletes reach new heights on the international stage. This comes after the success of previous collaborations in wind tunnel experiments.

The initial projects planned for the Center include a comprehensive aerodynamic assessment for elite windsurfing athletes, the development of specialised aero-sports and biological sensors, novel mannequins that simulate the pulsating motion of a person’s arm and leg muscles, as well as a non-contact system that provides accurate measurements of an athlete’s physiological state.

Following the signing ceremony, more than 30 representatives from HKUST and HKSI held the first work meeting for the Center. During the meeting, HKUST faculty members presented their latest research findings in areas such as sports aerodynamics, sensors and sports performance monitoring, design and characterisation of sports equipment materials, and life science engagement in sports. The two parties also discussed the development and engagement of student-athletes, as well as internship opportunities for students.


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