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PolyU signs agreement to advance AI tech and talent development

Image credit: HK PolyU

The Faculty of Engineering (FENG) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announced the signing of a Statement of Intent with the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association (HKEIA) to collaborate in talent and application development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and to establish an AI Laboratory on PolyU’s campus for supporting relevant research in Hong Kong.

Sponsored by HKEIA, a leading AI supercomputer platform will be built and operated by PolyU to support and bridge the gap between business and research in AI as well as to provide training to PolyU students and HKEIA members.

New research facility with the world’s fastest AI supercomputer platform

To achieve both parties’ research objectives, trade body will support the establishment of an AI Laboratory at the FENG and donate HK$3 million for purchasing equipment including the fastest AI supercomputer platforms in the world. It is also the first of its kind to be installed in Hong Kong and Macau.

The Vice President (Research Development) of PolyU stated that the university strives to transfer impactful research into cutting-edge technologies and solutions for the benefit of industry and society. With the establishment of the AI Laboratory, PolyU is confident to further contribute to the research development and application of AI in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

At the AI Laboratory, PolyU researchers and students will work alongside members of HKEIA to conduct impactful research and help industry develop and deliver practical data-driven models and solutions.

Under the agreement, both parties will organise training in AI for HKEIA members, conduct research with industry stakeholders, encourage collaboration in AI between companies, and hold joint networking and briefing sessions during business missions.

Addressing the signing ceremony, the Chairman of the trade body stated that the collaboration between the industry and the academia is aimed at nurturing more entrepreneurs, researchers and management professionals in the field of Artificial Intelligence for Hong Kong.

One of the main priorities of the training programmes will be to equip industry professionals and engineers with AI-relevant skills. Joint webinars and seminars, workshops and other events will also be organised to explain AI-based technologies, products, services, and standards in the electronics industry and related sectors.

The collaboration between PolyU and HKEIA will meet the fast-growing need for engineering talent and expertise in AI, a critical technology in Hong Kong’s plans to promote re-industrialisation and the development of a smart city.

Hong Kong leveraging AI and Big Data

As countries and cities across the world push to encourage the widespread adoption of tech, Hong Kong is also moving fast in leveraging AI to create applications with big data or open data, an earlier report by OpenGov Asia notes.

Numerous examples can be found in applications for smart city, health, finance, and insurance industries. Big data and AI prediction are making the process of underwriting and pricing more efficient, accurate, time- and cost-effective.

Moreover, Hong Kong’s AI research has been ranked to be third globally in terms of producing the most highly cited and impactful research in recent years in 2018.

Hong Kong technology innovation got a big boost with an HK$50 billion investment from the Government in 2018. This budget aims to strengthen innovations in areas such as biotechnology, ICT, AI, big data, and fintech.

With these and other industry, Government and University initiatives, Hong Kong will be much better positioned to cultivate and nurture local AI and big data talent as well as to create an ecosystem to support innovation and start-ups in AI, machine learning, big/open data, and data science.

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