Highlights 2014


HKU at InnoCarnival 2014

The InnoCarnival 2014, organized by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) as a major event of the InnoTech Month 2014, was held from November 1-9, 2014 in the Hong Kong Science Park. The Technology Transfer Office coordinated the University's participation in the InnoCarnival 2014.   


HKU architects win the "Small Project of the Year 2014" award at the World Architecture Festival

Mr John Lin and Mr Olivier Ottevaere of the Department of Architecture won the "Small Project of the Year 2014" award at the World Architecture Festival with their project, "The Pinch". The project was funded by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund in 2011/12. As part of the government-led reconstruction work following the 2012 Yunnan earthquake in China, the team collaborated with a local timber factory and built a community library in a village damaged by the earthquake. The library and the surrounding plaza offer public space for villagers to meet and children to read and play. World Architecture Festival is an annual festival and awards competition dedicated to celebrating and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe.


Customs and Excise Department cracks down suspected copyright infringement case on Internet using system developed by HKU

The Customs and Excise Department has recently used Lineament Monitoring System 1 Plus (LMS1+), which was jointly developed with HKU, to crack down a suspected copyright infringement case on the Internet. A suspect, who allegedly made money by uploading and illicitly sharing a large number of movies and videos through cyber-lockers, was arrested. The Department has been using LMS1+ since July this year, and this was the first case effected with the system. The LMS1+ is an automatic monitoring system that searches discussion forums and detects suspected intellectual property infringement activities.


Four HKU students organise community art events

Four HKU students initiated an art group called "Artseeker" to allow participants to explore the HKU neighbourhood through a community art programme "Sai Ying Pun Seek & See". Their initiative is supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund granted by the University Grants Committee and the community partner organization, The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage.


Knowledge Exchange Awards 2014

The Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Awards were introduced in 2011 in order to recognize each Faculty's outstanding KE accomplishment that has made demonstrable economic, social or cultural impacts to benefit the community, business/industry, or partner organizations. Following the successful launch of the Faculty KE Awards, the KE Award (Non-Faculty Unit) was introduced in 2012 with the same objective for the independent centres, institutes and units of the University. Results of the 2014 KE Awards are now available.


HKU develops Asia's first liver cancer staging system with treatment guidelines to improve survival rate of liver cancer patients

HKU Surgery Department and Queen Mary Hospital have developed a five-stage liver cancer staging system with treatment guidelines - the Hong Kong Liver Cancer (HKLC) staging system. By introducing better prognostic classification and newer, more aggressive treatment strategies than the existing four-stage Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system, the HKLC staging system yields a better survival outcome and cure rate for liver cancer patients. The launch of the HKLC staging system also represents a major new direction in the field of liver cancer, offering clinicians a more valid and reliable approach to determine treatment for liver cancer patients in different stages. The HKLC staging system has already received widespread international recognition and is expected to replace the BCLC as the new standard guideline for treatment of liver cancer worldwide.


HKU launches tooth brushing app for children

A student team of the Dentistry Faculty, under the mentorship of Dental Public Health Clinical Professor Colman McGrath, has developed a free mobile app, "Brush Buddy", to help children learn how to brush their teeth. The app uses pictures with Chinese and English subtitles to provide step-by-step guide to teach tooth brushing. The app is the first of its kind available in Chinese for teaching children about oral self-care. The app is downloadable for free from iTunes. This student KE project is supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund granted by the University Grants Committee.


HKU Geography Chair Professor Jim Chi-yung receives LC Chadwick Award 2014 for Arboricultural Research

HKU Geography Chair Professor Jim Chi-yung has been awarded the LC Chadwick Award for Arboricultural Research by the International Society of Arboriculture. He is the first Asian winner of the highest honour in the field of arboriculture. Apart from his academic impact, he is one of the pioneer academics to bridge town and gown by transferring research-based knowledge to the community for direct adoption and application. Recently, he has successfully convinced the government to set up a tree management office and a landscape planning office at a high-level policy branch, providing for the first time a professional arborist grade in the civil service establishment.


HKU holds ''Refuse the Shadows of the Past: Five Years of Austrian Art Made in China'' exhibition

HKU Museum and Art Gallery has organized an exhibition to showcase artworks by 27 Austrian artists. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Austrian Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau, and the Austrian initiative Embassy of the Arts. The exhibition is a commemorative exhibition that celebrates the fifth anniversary of artistic creation and transformation by Austrian and other international artists working in China.

HKU research team develops a software for re-construction of crime scenes in three-dimension space

A research team led by HKU Computer Science Professor Yu Yizhou has developed a new software which can re-construct an informative and easy-to-comprehend three-dimension (3D) re-enactment of a past event to assist in crime investigation. The project received funding of over HK$5 million from the Innovation and Technology Fund in 2012. A trial version of the software is expected to be commercially available in one to two years.

International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society (ICGB) held at HKU

Over 1,000 scholars, health professionals and experts took part in the tri-annual conference, which was held in Asia for the first time. Over 250 papers and reports were presented during the four-day conference and 20 professional training workshops were held to enhance the skills of healthcare professional and practitioners. According to a study conducted by the HKU Faculty of Social Sciences, death avoidance score of Hong Kong adults aged under 59 (which ranged from 1 to 7 with higher scores indicating greater fear) had reduced significantly from 4.23 in 2007 to 2.2 in 2014, which reflected the general public's attitude towards death had become much more open.

A lesson in respecting the past through a student knowledge exchange project

A team of students with a student knowledge exchange project grant in 2012/13 produced a video about life in the historic Blue House in Wanchai. It highlights frustrating inconsistencies in the Government's heritage policy.

HKU promotes light pollution awareness among students and within the community

HKU Department of Physics partnered with the Ho Koon Nature Education Cum Astronomical Centre and the Hong Kong Space Museum to organize the ''Light Pollution Awareness Community Engagement Project''. A total of 42 student teams from 17 secondary schools participated in the ''Light Pollution Project Competition 2014''. The University also held the ''Light Pollution Photography Competition 2014'' in which 154 entries were received. Outstanding projects and winning photographs from the two competitions will be on display for free at the Space Museum from July 9 to August 11 to further spread the message of night sky preservation and educate people the adverse effects of light pollution to the natural environment and our daily lives in Hong Kong. This project is supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund granted by the University Grants Committee.

HKU partners with HK Public Libraries to organise "Explore the World of Medicine" public lecture series

HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine has partnered with the HK Public Libraries to co-organize the "Explore the World of Medicine" public lecture series. HKU Head of Nursing Professor Agnes Tiwari and Psychiatry Clinical Assistant Professor Dr Sherry Chan Kit-wa will speak on stress-related topics on June 14 to increase public awareness on the prevention of and latest treatments for diseases. Another lecture on genomic medicine will be held on June 8. Drs. Jenny Ho and Vivian Lui from the University will speak on cancer-related topics to enhance people's understanding and interest on genomic medicine in Hong Kong.


HKU Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences provides speech therapy to children from low-income families

HKU Faculty of Education's Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences has partnered with Sunshine Children Foundation to establish a speech therapy sponsorship programme for children from low-income families. Students from the Division provide assistance and therapy to children who have speech impairments under supervision of their clinical supervisors. About 70 children have benefited since the programme was introduced in 2013. In Hong Kong, the number of children aged 12 or below diagnosed with speech impairments rose from about 2,600 in 2011 to nearly 3,100 in 2013 while there are only nine speech therapists with the Department of Health's Child Assessment Service.


HKU develops bird information free mobile app

HKU Department of Computer Science and Hong Kong Bird Watching Society have jointly developed the first cross-platform bird information mobile app of Hong Kong. The mobile app "HKcBirds: Common Birds of HK" consists of multimedia information of over 200 species of common birds in Hong Kong. It is now available for free in both App Store and Google Play. This mobile app is supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Fund granted by the University Grants Committee.


HKU launches free legal information website for families in Hong Kong

The HKU Law and Technology Centre has launched the fourth legal information website to provide free bilingual legal information on 19 topics involving legal issues commonly encountered by families in HK. The website serves as a quick and handy guide for family members with no legal background. The contents of the website have been summarized to 100 Q&As, which are printed into booklets and are available to the public for free.


HKU partners with Observatory and Space Museum to launch weather information for astronomical observation

The HKU Department of Physics has partnered with the Hong Kong Observatory and Hong Kong Space Museum to launch the "Weather Information for Astronomical Observation" website. This website provides star maps, sky brightness and weather information for star watchers among the general public. The information will also be provided to the University to study light pollution.


HKU partners with the University of Toronto and Queen Elizabeth Hospital to develop new test for detecting early nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC)

Researchers of HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine have partnered with the University of Toronto and Queen Elizabeth Hospital to develop a simple brush test which allows early detection of NPC. This test is simple and non-invasive. It can be performed in even remote regions reached by few specialists with high accuracy rate of 99%. Hopefully this test can be applied on a large scale global screening of NPC to help patients before the cancer develops further.



Targeting at psychosis patients' problems of weak physical and learning abilities, the Department of Psychiatry of HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine and the Early Psychosis Foundation (EPISO) jointly developed a simple 23-step yoga sequence named "FITMIND Yoga 23-postures" to enable patients to keep the momentum of practising yoga. Research by the Department of Psychiatry found that yoga could help improve the patients' movement and senses, as well as their abilities to receive and process information. In the next few months, the Department of Psychiatry and EPISO will organise a series of charity activities to promote "FITMIND Yoga", including free yoga classes, distribution of promotional pamphlets and instructional yoga videos to patients for self-learning. A 3D photo exhibition named "FITMIND IS ATTITUDE" was held at Times Square, Causeway Bay from March 11 to 16, and a "FITMIND Yoga Mega Fund-raising Event" at Diocesan Boys' School will be held on April 6.


HKU develops new technology for identifying rare cancer cells and detecting early cancer

A multi-disciplinary research project, led by the HKU Engineering Faculty with members from the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, has developed a new optical microcopy approach integrating existing fiber-optic and laser technologies, called Asymmetric-detection Time-stretch Optical Microscopy (ATOM), which can better detect rare cancer cells at an earlier stage in an ultrafast speed more accurately and efficiently.  The development and application of this technology will hold great promise in advancing early cancer diagnosis or post-chemotherapy relapse detection.


HKU holds Science and Art Crossover Programme for secondary students

Over 100 junior secondary students from 48 secondary schools took part in a workshop organised by the HKU Faculty of Science in January 18. The participants learned about the intertwining possibilities between science and art through drawing the spiral patterns in nature, making molecular gastronomy, folding paper Platonic solids, etc. Artworks of the participants are on exhibition at the University until February 17, and will be showcased at the Central MTR station in April.


HKU to expand "Youth Quitline" services to contribute to a smoke-free Hong Kong

HKU's "Youth Quitline", established to help young people quit smoking, has received over 5,000 telephone enquiries and provided cessation counselling for 1,257 (up till September, 2013) youth smokers over the past eight years. 21.9% of participants quitted smoking after receiving services of the "Youth Quitline". It was found that the main reasons for young people to quit smoking were to lead a healthy life and save money. The Tobacco Control Office has granted further funding for the University to continue the existing services, as well as to expand the services through multi-media platforms to reach more youth smokers.


KE in The Review 2013

The Review 2013 looks back at another fruitful year for knowledge exchange. "Knowledge exchange is the third pillar in our mission, alongside research and teaching and learning. The University has formally recognised knowledge exchange activities, which cover such things as contribution to society and technology transfer, by making it a key performance indicator in the annual Faculty Development Plan," says Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor and President.