PolyU Receives Support To Establish Research Institutes for Smart Cities and Smart Energy

Thanks to a generous donation from the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation (the Foundation), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has established two research institutes in support of the University's research endeavours in the areas of smart cities and sustainable energy.
October 18, 2021 | 17:00

The two research institutes are named the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI) and the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Research Institute for Smart Energy (RISE) in appreciation of the Foundation's significant contributions. Officiated by Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, the naming ceremony was held earlier this month. It was attended by Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to, Founder of the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation, Dr Lam Tai-fai, PolyU's Council Chairman, Professor Jin-Guang Teng, PolyU's President and others.

(From left) Dr Lam Tai-fai, PolyU's Chairman of Council; Dr David Chung Wai Keung, JP, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government; Ir Dr Otto Poon, BBS, OBE, Founder of the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation, and Prof. Jin-Guang Teng, PolyU's President, unveiled a plaque to formally name the two research institutes.

In his welcoming remarks, PolyU's Council Chairman Dr Lam Tai-fai extended his heartfelt gratitude to Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to for his long-standing support to PolyU, "Dr Poon is a strong advocate of using innovation and technology to solve societal problems. Smart cities and energy challenges are two topics of great importance to society today. We are excited to join hands with Dr Poon to set up two research institutes focusing on these strategic areas in order to contribute to the further development of Hong Kong, the Nation and the wider international community."

The Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr David Chung , said that the Government had been collaborating with the two Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Research Institutes in conducting trials and pilots in a number of smart city projects, ranging from the application of urban informatics to smart and sustainable energy, in order to improve the quality of life of our citizens.

"The Innovation and Technology Bureau will continue to develop Hong Kong into a smart city and to make space for our local talents to help contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong as well as our country. I urge all of you to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by the National 14th Five-year Plan and development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. There is much to gain from collaboration with our neighbour cities and we have much to learn from each other, especially on the new frontier of smart city development. PolyU, with its outstanding research institutes and academics, will have a big role to play in building Hong Kong into an international I&T hub," Dr Chung added.

Founder of the Otto Poon Charitable Foundation Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to remarked that "the notion of s mart cities embraces a wide array of topics. The establishment of SCRI will serve as a catalyst to blend the various elements of smart cities together in order to contribute to the success of Hong Kong's Smart City Blue Print 2.0." Ir Dr Poon also raised concerns regarding climate change, and noted that renewable energy and energy storage were two essential research topics. He appreciated PolyU researchers' dedicated commitment to advancing the frontiers of technology and knowledge to cope with energy challenges.

Professor Jin-Guang Teng, President of PolyU , thanked Ir Dr Poon for his unwavering support to PolyU over the years and said "Interdisciplinary collaboration can provide solutions to address societal challenges. Against this backdrop, the University has established the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR), a hub to promote research and innovation across disciplines. To date, ten research institutes and five research centres have been established to offer impactful solutions in areas including land and space creation, smart ageing, advanced manufacturing, smart cities, smart energy and more."

Established in 2020, SCRI and RISE will bring together PolyU experts from diversified fields to develop impactful interdisciplinary research.

SCRI aims at being a global centre of excellence in urban informatics and a living smart cities laboratory for Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in order to promote smart cities development in Hong Kong and in the country. Its research focus areas include Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Government, and Smart Economy. SCRI is collaborating with some of the world's top universities including the University of Cambridge and University College London, as well as major industrial players to develop innovative solutions. SCRI's innovations have received worldwide recognition and won two Gold Medals at 2021 Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days and two prizes in the 2021 Smart 50 Awards.

RISE strives to pursue translational research on innovative solutions for energy-related problems. Its five research focus areas include District Energy Systems and Smart Grid, Smart Buildings and Smart Energy Systems, Advanced Energy Storage Technologies, Advanced and Renewable Energy Conversion Technologies, and Advanced Energy Materials. RISE's world-class research has been recognised in various global research rankings. A ccording to a recent report by Stanford University, 16 RISE members have been listed among the top 2% of scientists in relevant research fields globally, with three members ranking in the top 25 places. In addition, three RISE scholars have been acknowledged in the Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list by Clarivate Analytics.

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