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PolyU’s Tech Innovation Hub Redefining Boundaries

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has secured support for 11 projects from the Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) of the Research Grants Council (RGC) in the fiscal year 2023/24. Spearheading this achievement, Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, lauded the university’s prowess in conducting impactful research that resonates with Hong Kong’s innovation and technological advancement agenda.

PolyU’s commitment to nurturing a culture of interdisciplinary research excellence was underscored by Prof. Chao’s remarks. He emphasised the university’s dedication to providing a conducive environment for fostering creative and high-quality cross-disciplinary projects aimed at pushing the boundaries of technological advancement. The collaboration-centric ethos at PolyU serves as a catalyst for engaging in forward-thinking research endeavours, aligning with the evolving needs of the technological landscape.

Of the 11 projects supported by the CRF, nine received funding from the Collaborative Research Project Grant (CRPG), while the remaining two were backed by the Young Collaborative Research Grant (YCRG). The significant funding allocation of over HK$55.5 million to the CRPG projects underscores PolyU’s leadership among local institutions in securing support for pioneering research initiatives.

The breadth and depth of the funded projects reflect PolyU’s strategic focus on diverse technological domains. From edge artificial intelligence to artificial auditory systems, nanomaterials, cancer diagnosis, age-related metabolic diseases, and construction and environment, the projects epitomize PolyU’s commitment to addressing multifaceted challenges through innovative research approaches.

Moreover, the YCRG-supported projects focusing on neural networking in psychology and behaviour, and 6G-based sensing technologies, underscore PolyU’s dedication to nurturing young talent and empowering early-stage academic staff to lead collaborative research efforts.

One project, led by Prof. XIA Yong from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in collaboration with CityU, HKUST, and HKU, focuses on leveraging intelligent learning from long-term real monitoring data to enhance the resilience of sea-crossing bridges against future climate challenges.

In another endeavour, Prof. YANG Mo, along with collaborators from CUHK and HKUST, is pioneering high-resolution single-cell multi-omics, enabling the simultaneous profiling of multiple biomolecules within individual cells. This breakthrough holds immense potential for advancing biomedical research and precision medicine.

Prof. CHEN Jianli, from the Department of Land Surveying and GeoInformatics, in collaboration with CUHK and HKUST, is leading a project aimed at utilizing multi-sensor monitoring and geophysical interpretation to predict sea-level rise in Hong Kong, addressing critical environmental concerns.

Dr. TAN Youhua, in collaboration with CUHK and HKU, investigates the roles of mechanically heterogeneous local niches within primary tumours in metastatic organotropism, shedding light on cancer progression mechanisms.

Moreover, Prof. CAO Jiannong, in collaboration with HKUST and HKU, is spearheading a project on heterogeneity-aware Collaborative Edge AI Acceleration, enhancing the efficiency and scalability of edge computing systems.

Additionally, PolyU researchers are delving into diverse domains, including improving roadside tree health, understanding adipose tissue dysfunction in ageing, developing artificial auditory systems, exploring two-dimensional polymorphic ferroelectrics, and investigating the human frontopolar cortex in decision-making processes.

Two projects funded by the Young Collaborative Research Grant (YCRG) initiative focus on modelling the human frontopolar cortex in complex decision-making processes and exploring sensing technologies in 6G cellular networks. Led by Dr. Bolton CHAU and Dr. LIU Liang, respectively, these initiatives represent PolyU’s commitment to nurturing young talent and pushing the boundaries of technological innovation.

At the forefront of digital and sustainable innovation, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is spearheading transformative initiatives. Led by Prof. Daniel LAU, Chair Professor of Nanomaterials and Head of the Department of Applied Physics, PolyU researchers have unveiled a groundbreaking electroreduction system. This innovative technology is designed to combat global warming and achieve carbon neutrality by converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into ethylene.


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