KE Newsletter Issue 16 (April 2019)
News in Brief
Warm congratulations are extended to Ms Rebecca Wing Chi Lee and Professor Lusina Kam Shuen Ho of the Faculty of Law, who received the Knowledge Exchange (KE) Excellence Award 2018 for their project “Introducing the Special Needs Trust to Hong Kong”.
For many years, parents of children with special needs live with an agonising worry: since their children are unable to manage their own financial affairs, what will happen to the assets the parents set aside for the children’s care and well-being once they pass on? The trust is an ideal mechanism for professional asset management, but the capital and fees involved place it beyond the means of most families.
Professor Ho and Associate Professor Lee’s research has directly led to the setting up of a special needs trust (SNT) in Hong Kong. They proposed an SNT model that saves costs by pooling the funds contributed by parents for investment.
Their suggestions were submitted to the Government in an informal policy paper in October 2015 and they received a quick response. In February 2016, the Government set up a working group to investigate the feasibility of establishing an SNT and appointed Ho to provide expert advice on the SNT’s design. Ho and Lee also collaborated with the Concern Group of Guardianship System and Financial Affairs, an NGO, to provide supporting data and convinced the Government that a government-managed SNT was both desirable and feasible.
After allocating HK$50 million to set up an SNT office in February 2018, the Government formally launched the SNT in December 2018. The SNT is able to benefit the families of some 250,000 individuals whose disability (be it intellectual disability, mental illness, or autism) renders them unable to manage their own property affairs. It also affords parents peace of mind in knowing that, upon their passing, their children’s well-being will not be affected.
In having a government act as trustee, Hong Kong’s SNT is the first of its kind in the world. On the back of its success, NGOs in South Korea invited Ho and Lee to explain the workings of the SNT to the Korean Government, which then decided in 2018 to launch its own SNT.
Watch the KE video on their project: https://www.ke.hku.hk/story/video/snt
The university-level KE Excellence Award was introduced in 2015-16 to recognise the significant impact that our academic staff had made to benefit society.
Interdisciplinary Quick Talks is a new HKU Knowledge Exchange (KE) series to promote interdisciplinarity and to share evidence-based knowledge on challenging issues from multiple perspectives with the community.
The inaugural event of this KE series, with the title ‘Open Data Open Possibilities’, was successfully held on February 15, 2019 at the Rayson Huang Theatre, The University of Hong Kong with over 200 participants from different sectors including government departments, institutions, secondary schools, and technology companies.
This event provided an opportunity for our researchers to share with the participants their views and project outcomes using open data, and discussed new ideas for interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange that could be made possible by open data.
The following talks were delivered by our researchers at the event:
- Opening Up Data: Facilitating Reuse of Public Information while Minimising Negative Consequences
Professor John Bacon-Shone, Social Sciences Research Centre and Knowledge Exchange Office
- AI and Big Data to Advance Well-being and Society
Professor Victor Li, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Disaggregated Data and its Potential for Corrective Justice in an Age of Inequality
Ms Puja Kapai Paryani, Department of Law
- "Finding the Needles in a Haystack": Identification of Illegal Dumping of Construction Waste Using Urban Big Data
Dr Wilson Lu, Department of Real Estate and Construction
- Open Genomic Data for Studying Infectious Diseases
Dr Tommy Tsan Yuk Lam, School of Public Health
- The Archivist and Access: Custodian and Guide, not Gatekeeper
Mrs Stacy Belcher Lee, University Archives
Video on their presentations can be viewed on our website: https://www.ke.hku.hk/event/odop
- KE Seminar - How animals could help to enhance the work in education and social services settings?
Date: April 25, 2019
Time: 5:30 – 7pm
Venue: KB115, 1/F, Knowles Building, HKU
- HKU Visualise Your Thesis Competition 2019
Create a 60-second ePoster to explain your research!
The Competition is open to all HKU MPhil and PhD students whose candidature have been confirmed.
Registration Deadline: May 6, 2019
- KE Funding Exercise 2019/20: Call for Proposals
Proposals for Impact Projects are now invited.
Please check with your Faculty KE units (or Director in the case of non-Faculty-based units) for the deadline set by the Faculty (or non-Faculty-based unit concerned)
- Faculty KE Awards 2019
Individual Faculties that wish to conduct an award exercise this year will call for nominations. Please note the nomination deadline set by your Faculty.