The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has received a generous donation of HK$100 million from Ir Dr Otto Poon Lok-to, Founder and Chairman of ATAL Engineering Group, in the name of Otto Poon Charitable Foundation. The fund, the largest amount from a personal foundation in the recent decade, will be dedicated to supporting the University's strategic research endeavors in areas related to smart city and smart mobility, as well as smart and sustainable energy including establishing two research institutes and two endowed professorships for related disciplines.
An appreciation ceremony was held today (10 September 2018) on PolyU campus, attended by over 100 guests. To recognise the generosity of Ir Dr Poon, who is also an Outstanding Alumni Award recipient and University Fellow of PolyU, PolyU will name the two research institutes set up for research related to smart city, smart mobility, smart and sustainable energy in his honor.
PolyU Council Chairman Mr Chan Tze-ching expressed gratitude to Ir Dr Poon and his charitable foundation for their staunch support to the University. In his remark, Chairman Chan mentioned that the donation of Ir Dr Poon is instrumental to PolyU's continued research in new technologies for smart city, energy sustainability and a greener Hong Kong. "PolyU will spare no effort in developing cutting-edge technologies that align with the vision of our Government. We will continue to collaborate with government agencies, academic institutions and industry players in Hong Kong and beyond," he added.
Addressing the appreciation ceremony, Ir Dr Poon said, "I am glad to have the chance to contribute to my alma mater. PolyU is renowned for advancing the frontiers of technology and knowledge to cope with the changing needs of society. I have great confidence that our support to PolyU will pay big dividends in terms of the impacts its research and education could bring to mankind."
PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, "The University further hopes that we could capitalize on the opportunities offered by the One Belt One Road initiative and the Greater Bay Area development to take our research excellence in smart city to the next level of excellence, benefitting Hong Kong, the nation and the world."
The Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong, launched in 2017, manifested HKSAR Government's vision to build Hong Kong into a world-class smart city. Smart Mobility and Smart Environment are amongst the six major initiatives mapped out in the Blueprint. To facilitate the building of a world-class smart city, PolyU will continue on research in areas such as geo-informatics, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), integrated sensor system for autonomous driving, etc. All such research competences would be critical to facilitating the design of transportation infrastructure and smart mobility.
Energy consumption and its associated environmental issues are also some major challenges in a smart city. Over the last two decades, PolyU has also identified sustainable development as one of the key research areas. The strategic initiative covers research and development in energy conversion, sustainable energy storage and smart utilisation of energy.
The institute set up for research in areas related to smart city and smart mobility will work on developing frontier technologies with focus on smart mobility, including 3D spatial data infrastructure, smart transport system, autonomous vehicle and navigation system, especially for ageing and densely populated urban environment.
Meanwhile, the institute set up for research in areas related to smart and sustainable energy will advance the University's interdisciplinary strength in research on smart and sustainable energy, with focus on sustainable energy conversion, storage and utilization.
The two Endowed Professorships set up with the donation will be in the disciplines of "smart cities and urban informatics", as well as "smart and sustainable energy technologies".