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HKUST Pioneering Sustainable Innovations

Image Credits: HKUST, Press Release
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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and a provider of end-to-end control with sustainable solutions inaugurated of their collaborative venture, the “HKUST-KF Joint Laboratory for Sustainable Technologies.” This momentous occasion marked a significant step towards pioneering research and applications in sustainable technologies and materials, carbon reduction, and re-industrialisation.

The joint endeavour seeks to spearhead groundbreaking technologies that foster sustainable living environments and combat the pressing environmental challenges stemming from climate change, aligning with Hong Kong’s objectives for carbon neutrality and national dual-carbon goals.

Led by HKUST faculty members, professors from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and from the Department of Physics and Department of Chemistry, the laboratory is poised to engage in technology transfer and the conception, upscaling, and manufacturing of energy-efficient, sustainable daily household essentials. This collaboration harnesses KF’s industrial proficiency and HKUST’s excellence in sustainable material technologies research.

The laboratory’s central focus lies in material and product innovation, with a specific emphasis on research and development aimed at enhancing the versatility, applicability, functionality, and variety of modified plastic materials. Drawing from the domains of physics, chemistry, or a combination of both, the laboratory seeks to elevate the performance of plastic materials in accordance with market expectations.

This endeavour encompasses cost reduction, enhancement of specific properties, and the introduction of novel functionalities. Among the potential innovations are robust transparent self-cleaning nano-coatings, antibacterial plastic materials, and pioneering materials like superhydrophobic and oleophobic detergent-free plastics designed for kitchenware.

These advancements not only expand the scope of plastic material applications but also prolong their lifecycle, thus minimising environmental impact and diminishing dependence on petrochemical materials. Ultimately, the laboratory’s outputs contribute significantly to the sustainable development not only of Hong Kong but also of the global community.

During the launch ceremony, the Vice-President for Research and Development at HKUST emphasised the institution’s robust foundation in fundamental research, positioning it as a key player in bridging the gap between laboratory research and industry applications.

He stressed their commitment to helping companies realise the value of new ideas, technologies and processes and integrating these innovations into commercial applications to enhance the city’s green products and manufacturing ecosystem.

Sustainability and green technology rank among the university’s primary research priorities, driving innovation efforts towards a sustainable future. Consequently, the new joint laboratory serves as a pivotal entity for delivering innovative sustainable products by synergising HKUST’s research prowess with KF’s market insights, thereby advancing the cause of a greener future.

The Chairman and CEO of the partnering company articulated the company’s dedication as a leading diversified home product design, manufacturing, and distribution enterprise. He underscored their commitment to offering comprehensive material solutions for global home brands. Given the escalating impact of climate change, consumers increasingly seek energy-efficient and sustainable products.

The CEO expressed his honour in collaborating with HKUST, harnessing the laboratory’s abundant resources and expertise to diversify their product portfolio and bolster the long-term competitiveness of the company. Additionally, he eagerly anticipated working with the next generation of researchers to jointly contribute to innovative green industries in Hong Kong, expediting the transition towards a low-carbon footprint, supporting Hong Kong’s march towards carbon neutrality, and infusing renewed vitality into the long-term development of Hong Kong’s reindustrialization efforts.

Following the inauguration ceremony, a delegation from the company visited the Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Laboratory. Here, the professor is at the helm of developing an AI and Robotics-powered high-throughput autonomous Research and Development platform.

This platform’s mission is to conceive, fabricate, and assess green and sustainable materials and structures, specifically aimed at addressing intricate challenges across various sectors, including households, aerospace, construction, and transportation.


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