Dr Eden Y Woon is the new President of AIT
Sep 06, 2018

Dr. Eden Y Woon is the new president of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). He assumed office on 1 September 2018.

A formal handing over of the baton of presidency was organized on 30 August 2018 at the Robert B Banks Auditorium in the presence of the members of the AIT Board of Trustees. Dr. Woon was introduced by the Chairman of the AIT Presidential Search Committee Dr. Anat Arbhabhirama, following which he delivered his acceptance remarks. Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Subin Pinkayan welcomed Dr. Woon and thanked outgoing President Prof. Worsak for his significant contributions to the Institute. Dr. Woon received the AIT medallion from outgoing President Prof. Worsak, a symbolic emblem that is worn by the AIT President at the Institute’s graduation ceremonies.

Prof. Worsak delivered remarks on “Overview of AIT’s Past and Present” while Dr. Woon presented his thoughts on “Prospects for AIT’s Future.”

Dr. Eden Woon thanked the selection committee chair Dr. Anat, Board Chair Dr. Subin, and all Board members for appointing him to succeed a list of distinguished presidents who have previously led this prestigious institution.

Dr. Woon complimented President Worsak for being an outstanding leader who helped in stabilizing AIT and providing it with a solid foundation. “AIT is at crossroads with a strong need to clearly define its relevance in view of fierce competition from higher education institutions all over the world, including the region,” Dr. Woon said. He described his vision of AIT as being a relevant and respected global technological and entrepreneurial institution serving Asia and the world. “To accomplish this, we need to be outward reaching and more proactive in forging international relationships and incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship into its positioning,” Dr. Woon remarked. He added that AIT must work more with enterprises in both research and education.

“Finally, I will seek to bring a positive energy to AIT and I will ensure that AIT is a caring organization to its stakeholders—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends.,” Dr. Woon added. He concluded his short remarks with a plea for the Board to support the changes that will be needed to enable AIT to move forward and upward at this critical juncture of its 60-year history.

Prof. Worsak extended his warm welcome to the incoming President Dr. Eden Woon stating: “With the solid foundation that we have strived to achieve during the last five years, I would like to ask all members of the AIT community to continue and provide strong support to Dr. Woon in his vision to take AIT to new heights.”

Earlier, on 19 May 2018, the AIT Board of Trustees had announced the appointment of Dr. Woon as the next President. The process of selecting a new president had begun in April 2017, and the Presidential Search Committee headed by Dr. Anat Abhabhirama had completed its process in early 2018.

Dr. Woon is Chinese-American, and he has wide-ranging experience in the military, private sector, and academia. Dr. Woon received his BA degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Iowa and his MA, MS, and PhD degrees (all in Mathematics) from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Media Contact
Bajinder Pal Singh
Web: https://www.ait.ac.th

SOURCE / Asian Institute of Technology

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Nurturing Asian leaders
Sep 02, 2018

Sixty-four returning NUS and incoming scholars from Asia attended a two-day Service Learning Workshop at the Fort Canning Lodge from 11 to 12 August organised by NUS Global Relations. The workshop was part of the Temasek Foundation International Leadership Enrichment and Regional Networking (TF Int’l LEaRN) programme @ NUS.

The workshop featured interactive activities and in-depth group discussions with volunteer mentors from Compass @ Campus — a group of experienced industry leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs and professionals — and provided the participants with opportunities to develop camaraderie and strengthen their shared commitment to developing a thriving and prosperous Asia. It culminated in a sharing and question-and-answer session over dinner with Speaker of Parliament, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin.

In his illuminating and inspiring talk titled “Journey of a Trusted Leader”, Mr Tan emphasised that analysing one's purpose in life and nurturing it with a strong personal value system are central to developing one’s leadership qualities. “Leadership is stewarding the next generation,” he said, highlighting that leaders must be purpose-driven, readily provide clarity, motivate through guidance and appreciation, and facilitate the unlocking of one’s full potential through passion and the commitment to “chiong” (charge ahead). “Leaders are the levers that bring about change,” shared Mr Tan, adding that inculcating a “sense of others” is pivotal to the success of trusted leadership.

The scholars tapped not only on Mr Tan’s experience as Speaker of Parliament but also his contributions as a Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces and as a Member of Parliament; as well as his leadership as the Minister for Manpower and the Minister for Social and Family Development. They raised questions ranging from setting personal goals in life to professional management of underperformers in the public sector, and the relevance of Asian countries emulating Singapore’s development model.

Learning about their life stories and struggles helped put our priorities in perspective.
— Year 3 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student Sim Wee Kong

The workshop was well received by the participants. Shared Yib Sotheary, a Year 3 scholar from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Cambodia, “It was a fascinating experience to learn about creative concepts and experiences from well-known speakers and mentors”. She said that through the workshop, she was able to gain cross-cultural understanding of diverse societies through interactions with peer participants from different countries in Asia.

Year 3 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student Sim Wee Kong found the allocated mentor-to-scholar format inspirational. The mentors were professionals in their respective fields. “Learning about their life stories and struggles helped put our priorities in perspective,” said Wee Kong. Bryan Wong, a Year 4 NUS Engineering student, found Mr Tan Chuan-Jin’s sharing of his role as Speaker of Parliament “eye-opening” and believed that he is now better able to understand national challenges facing the government.

This workshop is part of a series of activities organised for TF Int’l LEaRN scholars in NUS, which also included an academic writing course, learning journeys to Singapore companies and a TF Int’l LEaRN Young Asian Leaders Forum. The TF Int’l LEaRN programme @ NUS nurtures the next generation of Asian leaders by providing opportunities for cultural exchange, networking, community engagement and leadership development through the Student Exchange Programme platform. This is the 11th year of the University’s partnership in this programme.

Fly high and far with Asia’s first fully solar-powered quadcopter drone created by NUS students
Sep 02, 2018

Aircraft that can take off and land directly without the need for a runway – such as helicopters and quadcopters – are attractive for personal, commercial and military applications as they require less physical space and infrastructure compared to traditional fixed wing planes. A team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has achieved a major step forward in stretching the capabilities of quadcopter drones by powering the flight solely by natural sunlight.

A first in Asia, the current prototype has flown above 10 metres in test flights – higher than a typical three storey building – utilising solar power with no battery or other energy storage on board.

This solar-powered drone, which was developed as a student project under the Innovation & Design Programme (iDP) at NUS Faculty of Engineering, can take-off and land vertically without a runway. Constructed using lightweight carbon fibre material, the quadcopter drone weighs only 2.6 kg, and has a surface area of about 4 sqm. It is fitted with 148 individually characterised silicon solar cells and supported by a frame equipped with four rotors.

A major aviation feat

Rotary winged aircraft are significantly less efficient at generating lift compared to their fixed wing counterparts. Hence, while there have been examples of solar airplanes in recent years, a viable 100 per cent solar rotary aircraft that can take-off and land vertically remains a major engineering challenge to date.

“Our aircraft is extremely lightweight for its size, and it can fly as long as there is sunlight, even for hours. Unlike conventional quadcopter drones, our aircraft does not rely on on-board batteries and hence it is not limited by flight time. Its ability to land on any flat surface and fly out of the ground effect in a controlled way also makes it suitable for practical implementation,” said Associate Professor Aaron Danner from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS Faculty of Engineering, who supervised the project.

The solar-powered quadcopter drone can be controlled by remote control or programmed to fly autonomously using a GPS system incorporated into the aircraft. The aircraft can potentially be used as a ‘flying solar panel’ to provide emergency solar power to disaster areas, as well as for photography, small package delivery, surveillance and inspection. Batteries can be incorporated to power the aircraft when there is no sunlight or for charging to take place during flight to enable operation when it is cloudy or dark. Other hardware such as cameras can also be included for specific applications.

Since 2012, eight NUS student teams have made successive design improvements and worked towards a fully-solar powered aircraft under the supervision of Assoc Prof Danner, who also holds a joint appointment at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore at NUS. The first solar-assisted quadcopter drone developed by students in 2012 could only achieve 45 per cent of flight power from solar cells and the rest from on-board batteries.

The latest team, comprising then-final year NUS Engineering students Mr Goh Chong Swee, Mr Kuan Jun Ren and Mr Yeo Jun Han, made further refinements to the earlier prototypes of the quadcopter drone. They eventually achieved a fully solar-powered flight with their latest prototype. The team members, who have just graduated from NUS in July 2018, were jointly supervised by Mr Brian Shohei Teo from the iDP programme for this project.

Mr Yeo said, “We encountered many engineering challenges when building the drone. These included finding an optimal number of solar cells efficient and light enough to power the propulsion system, which in turn has to be light and at the same time able to produce sufficient thrust to lift the aircraft. Other issues we faced included tuning and calibration of flight controls to enhance flight stability, as well as designing a frame that is lightweight yet sufficiently rigid. This has been an excellent learning opportunity for us.”

“To be able to make something fly under control for a long time is a very complex engineering problem. Our students have attained flight in its purest form, powered by natural sunlight. This is an amazing achievement,” said Mr Teo.

The team will continue to fine-tune the aircraft to further improve its efficiency. With these enhancements, they hope to bring the technology closer to commercialisation.

CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change Organises 'Beyond 60°S' Exhibition
Sep 02, 2018

Jointly organised by the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (the Museum) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), local non-governmental organization ProjecTerrae, science communicator Dr Stephen Ng, and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, an exhibition entitled ‘Beyond 60°S’ was launched on 30 August. Officiating at the opening ceremony were Prof. Fok Tai-fai, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President of CUHK, Ms Vivian Lee, Senior Charities Manager of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Dr Stephen Ng, science communicator and Ms Louise Li, Senior Fisheries Officer (Fisheries Management) of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

As part of the ‘JC–CUHK Climate Action’ programme, the exhibition presents the importance of the Antarctic Treaty System and the Environmental Protocol, and highlights the rich biodiversity and natural resources of the Antarctic through art installations, graphics and photos. The exhibition is intended to raise Hong Kong people’s awareness of the importance of conserving the natural resources in the Antarctic by explaining how the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is implemented by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department in Hong Kong.

In his welcome address, Prof. Fok Tai-fai said, ‘Since the launch of the Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) earlier this year, CUHK and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust) have been working actively to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Three of the 17 SDGs are directly related to the conservation of natural resources.’ Prof. Fok said he believed the exhibition would give visitors a better understanding of the potential threats to Antarctic resources, and of the pressing need to conserve natural resources in the Antarctic and beyond. He also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Trust and other supporting organisations for their contribution to the exhibition.

JC–CUHK Climate Action – ‘Beyond 60°S’ Exhibition

Exhibition period:

30 August – 30 November 2018
 (closed on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays)

Opening hours:

9:30 am – 5:00 pm


Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change,
Yasumoto International Academic Park 8/F, CUHK
(Near Exit D, MTR University Station)

Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change

The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust), was established in December 2013 at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). It is the first museum of its kind in the world, offering an interactive, multimedia exhibition that showcases valuable collections and information about climate change. It is the ideal venue for the public, especially students and teachers, to champion the cause of environmental stewardship and keep themselves abreast of the latest developments in environmental conservation and sustainability. The Museum has attracted over 320,000 visitors since its inception.

In 2017, the Trust pledged its support for a three-year initiative of the Museum: ‘JC–CUHK Climate Action’. During the next three years, the Museum will run a variety of environmental education activities to help the people of Hong Kong better understand the potentially devastating effects of climate change, suggest innovative solutions and engage in climate action.

More details about the Museum can be found at http://www.mocc.cuhk.edu.hk/.

​NTU and Harvard scientists discover fat-blocking effect of nanofibres
Sep 02, 2018

Tiny balls of nano-sized cellulose fibres added to food reduced fat absorption by up to half in laboratory and animal experiments, report scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Harvard University, United States.

This discovery could aid in the global battle against obesity, as experiments done in a simulated gastrointestinal tract showed that nanocellulose fibres 100 times smaller than the width of a human hair could cut fat absorption by up to 48 per cent.

In animal experiments, rats fed with heavy cream containing nanocellulose absorbed 36 per cent less fats than rats fed with heavy cream alone.

Associate Professor Joachim Loo and Associate Professor Ng Kee Woei from NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, together with senior author of the study, Associate Professor Philip Demokritou, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discovered how nanocellulose can bind and trap fat molecules known as triglycerides.

Typically, digestive enzymes in the gut will break down triglycerides into fatty acids, which are absorbed by the small intestines and converted to fat by the human body.

However, when triglycerides are trapped in nanocellulose fibres – like how cotton balls absorb oil – enzymes involved in breaking down triglycerides for fat absorption are less effective, thus reducing the amount of fatty acids that can be absorbed by the body.

Published in the scientific journal ACS Nano in June, this new method of using nanocellulose fibres as fat blockers has been granted a US provisional patent, jointly filed by Harvard and NTU.

Assoc Prof Ng Kee Woei, a biomedical engineer and materials scientist, said their finding reinforces the conventional wisdom that eating a high fibre diet is good for health.

“We’ve known for a long time that fibre in the diet has positive health benefits but what we have shown now, is that in animal experiments, fibres at the nanoscale are much more effective at reducing fat absorption than in its bulk form,” Assoc Prof Ng said.

In experiments, 1 mg of nanocellulose was added to 100mg of heavy cream, a ratio of 1:100. Prof Ng thinks that if more nanocellulose was added, it could have absorbed and trapped a larger percentage of fat.

“Nanocellulose could be used as food additives or supplements that could help to mitigate fat absorption for certain groups of people, as the concentration can be adjusted for different applications. We look forward to establishing whether this will be safe and effective for people to take.”

Assoc Prof Joachim Loo, a scientist researching on nanomaterials said cellulose is categorised by the US Food & Drug Administration as a Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) material as it is found in all plants. Nanocellulose can be easily produced by grinding cellulose into extremely fine powder.

“In our study, three types of nanocellulose were compared to commercially available fat-reducing options, and all of them performed much better in the amount of fats they trapped,” Assoc Prof Loo said, although he highlighted that more studies are still needed to determine why the three had better performance.

Professor Philip Demokritou, Director of Harvard’s Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, said the discovery is like “having your cake and eating it too”.

To him, the most exciting aspect is that fat absorption can be curbed simply through the use of a nanoscale material made of naturally-obtained fibres derived from plants, engineered using mechanical means without any chemicals.

“I’m a believer that we should learn more from nature and use more nature-inspired and derived materials,” he said. “There’s 4 billion years of free R&D there, and instead we always look toward chemicals.”

Giving an independent comment from the medical perspective, Dr Terence Tan, Head, Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre in Singapore, said: “To date, there is sufficient evidence to show that the absence of excess body fat has a cancer-preventive effect, and lowers the risk of developing thirteen different types of cancers including common cancers such as colorectal and post-menopausal breast cancers.

“Avoidance of weight gain in the form of excess body fat is therefore an important strategy in our fight against cancer. Excess fat in our food can easily tip the scale towards an excess of energy intake over energy expenditure, which in turn drives weight gain over time,” added Dr Tan, a cancer specialist researching on nanotechnology in food for healthier living and cancer prevention.

“This new nature-derived nanocellulose technology has the potential of reducing digestion and absorption of excess fat from our food without compromising on quality and taste, and is very exciting and promising. I look forward to the further evaluation of this technology in animals and humans to validate the findings of this study."

Moving forward, the NTU and Harvard scientists will continue to probe the toxicological profile of nanocellulose to examine its safety for consumption in large amounts in further animal trials.


Media contact:
Lester Kok
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Email: lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past five years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.

For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg.

iFlytek AI Hospital is Ongoing in Anhui and Beyond
Aug 03, 2018

In the outpatient hall of Anhui Provincial Hospital of China, an artificial intelligent (AI) robot named “Xiao yi” is wandering around to assist doctors with making initial diagnosis for patients.

Artificial Intelligence Aided Diagnosis and Treatment Center, which is established jointly by Anhui Provincial Hospital of China and iFlytek, has been operated for almost a year since August 20, 2017. “Xiao yi” is one example of the AI programs applied in the hospital to help with medical cases.

LU Xiaoliang, deputy general manager of iFlytek, said, “I’m glad we chose to research on application of AI in the medical sector rather than medical informatization or internet-based medical treatment. We believe it can improve both efficiency and ability of the doctor.”

iFlytek has multiple advantages of high technology, such as voice technology, image recognition and natural language processing. Moreover, they recognized that medical problems root in the lack of high-quality medical resources which can be settled by AI through empowering doctors.

“Yun Yisheng”, meaning cloud doctor, is another clinical application of iFlytek in the form of APP. It integrates several systems including medical advice entry, image data examining and medical record writing to improve physician’s productivity.

QI Yinbao, a doctor from neurosurgery department, said, “ Yun Yisheng not only makes us more efficient by reducing medical record writing time, but also provides us a platform to learn by ourselves through reading latest research and comparing our diagnosis with intelligent diagnosis. Besides, it has high security level to prevent data from divulging.”

Image diagnosis cloud platform also enables Doctor QI to help rural practitioners remotely, and this is vital for speeding up diagnosis and preventing misdiagnosis in diseases concerning lung and breast.

The number of “Yun Yisheng” views by clinicians increased from 1500 in 2017 to 2260 in first half year of 2018 alone, in other words, there is an average increase from 1.15 to 1.5 per day, indicating that more and more clinicians are using this APP.

Challenges do occur as YAN Guang, the vice president of the hospital, put it, “It is difficult to establish a standard for Intelligent Hospital, but we are trying to make it according to the development of hospital and its classification. Furthermore, administrative obstacles should be overcome for the sake of the patients.”

LU Xiaoliang shared similar view, for iFlytek needs to develop related technologies as well as build up a business mode. “Government’s support is crucial for promoting the program”, he said, “AI medical treatment first needs to pass the audit standards, such as the standard set by CFDA, then it should be industrialized through a certain business mode, such as putting AI project into medical insurance.”

Challenges come along with opportunities. Since the establishment of Intelligent Hospital, the government has invested 3.8 million yuan and a team is formed special for AI application developing.

Besides Anhui Provincial Hospital of China, iFlytek is also cooperating with more than 100 third class hospitals nationwide,and looking for more in the future.

(Written by Mairebaha, Edited by GUO Jianjian, USTC News Center)

SOURCE / University of Science and Technology of China

NTU Team Develops Novel Carbon Adsorption and Conversion Technology
Aug 03, 2018

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has recently carried out several strategic projects, including the National Energy Program and the Circular Materials Program, to achieve energy conservation and carbon mitigation. A research team from the NTU Department of Chemical Engineering has collaborated on these two projects and successfully developed the world-leading innovation: "Hollow Metal Fiber Supported Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Adsorption/Catalytic Conversion System." The technologies have received several global recognitions. The patented technology of carbon dioxide adsorbents secured the gold medal in the 2016 Invention and New Product Exposition (INPEX), Pittsburgh, the United States. The key technologies of the carbon separation and conversion process were also granted the 14th National Innovation Award in 2017.

Furthermore, the research team headed by Prof. Kuo-Lun (Allan) Tung (童國倫) has established a startup company, ExtreMem Ind. Co., operating it under circular economy principles. The ExtreMem Co. mainly focuses on the manufacturing of membranes and other related products as well as the development of technologies for liquid treatments. In the future, the second startup company, BrightMem Co., will adopt new technologies from academia to accelerate the commercialization of carbon capture modules and catalyst conversion technologies.

The massive production of carbon dioxide cannot be avoided due to the extensive use of coal power plants and the rapid growth of industries. Nowadays, as circular economy concepts become widespread, the carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies have been increasingly regarded as the best strategy to address carbon pollution. In light of this, the NTU research team pioneered the development of the Hollow Metal Fiber Supported Sorbents, which will be further applied in the CCU process. The spun fibers contain a high content of uniformly dispersed porous silica adsorbents with enormous specific surface areas (>500 m2/m3 ). With this feature, the sorbents can rapidly adsorb a large amount of carbon dioxide, producing high-concentration carbon dioxide and then allowing further utilization of this greenhouse gas. This innovative design has successfully overcome the shortcomings of conventional adsorption devices, including poor thermal efficiency and short lifespan. Moreover, the design is flexible and scalable. With this design, system throughput can be enhanced simply by connecting the devices in series/parallel arrangements, making this technology readily feasible for industrial applications.

For various CCU technologies, the desorption stage often takes up more than 70% of the operating costs. However, through system optimization, we can integrate and reuse waste heat produced from industrial plants, and thus significantly reduce the cost of carbon capture, making the whole process more economical and cost-effective.

Regarding carbon dioxide utilization, the NTU team has been developing novel nanoporous metal-organic framework materials that have both high catalytic power and high surface area, and can thus significantly speed up the reaction rate. This catalyst is used to start the reaction of propylene oxide and high-purity carbon dioxide captured in the previous stage to produce propylene carbonate (PC). The conversion rate can reach up to 75% within 24 hours. PC is one of the raw materials for producing high-value chemicals such as polypropylene carbonate (PPC), which is extensively used to manufacture bio-degradable foams, plates, disposable medical/food packaging materials and so forth. Hence, overall, this newly-developed integrated system can dramatically reduce carbon mitigation costs and facilitate the development of circular economy and circular materials.

SOURCE / National Taiwan University

16 HKU start-up companies receive support from TSSSU@HKU Funding Scheme to commercialise R&D results
Aug 03, 2018

16 start-up companies formed by Professors, students or alumni of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) received the funding support from 2018/2019 Technology Startup Support Scheme for Universities @HKU (TSSSU@HKU) to commercialise their Research and Development results. The TSSSU@HKU Award Celebration Gathering was held today (26 July) at HKU to acknowledge the achievements of the TSSSU awardees.

The event was attended by Professor Andy Hor, HKU Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Ms Zorina Wan, Assistant Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (Policy and Development) of ITC, Mr Albert Wong, CEO of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation and panel members of TSSSU@HKU. Dr Miles Wan, founder of Fano Labs Ltd and one of the past TSSSU awardees, shared his valuable experience in running a start-up and the support received under the TSSSU@HKU programme.

The 16 TSSSU@HKU awardees for this year are as follows:

1. Brain Investing Limited
All-in-one Fin-tech solutions based on artificial intelligence technologies
2. CISC Limited*
Provision of cyber intelligence and cyber security consulting
3. Conzeb Limited*
High speed imaging for cancer diagnostics
4. Corvidae Technology Limited
Automation of industrial inspection of wind turbines and other commercial sites by drones and associating technologies
5. Datax Limited
A digital platform built on blockchain for data exchange
6. EN Technology Limited*
Novel encapsulation technologies for food and cosmetics industries
7. Eonzen Technology Company Limited*
Non-invasive blood glucose monitoring
8. HACTIS Limited*
Provision of Virtual Reality (VR) technology for training and education
9. High Performance Solution Limited*
Thermo-electrochemical capacitor (TEC) for converting low grade wasted heat into electricity
10. ImmunoDiagnostics Limited*
Biomarker discovery, assay development and in vitro diagnostics of major chronic diseases
11. Lifespans Limited*
Implant for repairing bone fractures in the elderly
12. m-Chinese Solution Limited*
A mobile app for enhancing teaching and learning in Chinese and connect and supporting individual learners and experts to organize mobile consultation and learning courses
13. Novel Sonics Limited*
Novel ultrasound imaging techniques for economical, real time and non-invasive diagnosis of Cardiovascular diseases
14. QuantumFabless Limited*
Fast and reliable quantum mechanical modeling and simulation tools for nano-scale materials, devices and applications modelling, to accelerate the research and development, improve quality and reduce cost
15. SkinData Limited*
Advancement of naturally sourced active pharmaceutical grade compounds to consumers seeking to maintain and improve skin health
16. Weavatools Limited
Collaborative research tools that simplifies the research process for students and corporations around the world

12 of the above 16 start-ups are commercialising HKU technologies (marked with *). Please contact the Communications and Public Affairs Office to learn more about the start-ups and to arrange media interviews.

Technology Startup Support Scheme for Universities @HKU
TSSSU@HKU is an award scheme that provides funding support to technology start-up companies formed by HKU’s Professors, students or alumni. This is leveraging on a funding scheme, “Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities” (TSSSU), provided by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) for the six local universities, under which ITC will provide each university with an annual funding of up to HK$4 million to encourage technology start-ups to commercialise their R&D results. Companies under the scheme will be funded with a maximum amount of HK$1.2 million each year for no more than 3 years.

The scheme was first launched in 2014. So far, the TSSSU@HKU programme has supported 30 new technology startup companies in total. 6 of them were admitted to the Cyberport’s Incubation Program and another 8 were admitted to the corresponding programme at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.

Media enquiry:
Communication and Public Affairs Office:
Ms Trinni Choy (Tel: 2859 2606/ Email: pychoy@hku.hk)
Ms Rashida Suffiad (Tel: 2857 8555/ Email: rsuffiad@hku.hk)
Ms Melanie Wan (Tel: 2859 2600 / Email: melwkwan@hku.hk)
Technology Transfer Office:
Ms Alice Ip (Tel: 22990177 / Email: alice@tto.hku.hk)

SOURCE / The University of Hong Kong

Renewable energy summer school: a fruitful trip
Aug 03, 2018

Conor, one of the nine international students who were admitted into the first ever Renewable Energy Summer School, has enjoyed his time at ZJU working with the researchers here.

"I came to this program to do research but also to learn a little bit about China. I've really enjoyed that. Different people in my lab are incredibly inclusive and we've done a lot of good research together, which is important to me," said Connor from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Organized by ZJU’s College of Electrical Engineering, the summer school lasts from July 1 to July 21 this year. Nine students from five countries enjoyed the 20-day journey of renewable energy research and traditional Chinese culture experience on and outside campus.

"This is the first time that the College has held summer school program. We hope to establish a sustainable research platform and expand research cooperation with top universities through the program," said XU Wenyuan, the program leader.

Students were divided into several research groups based on their research interests. Topics they have been working on include "Intelligent System Security Research", "Fundamental Study on Wireless Charging System for Electric Vehicles", "Friendly Interactive Systems between Power Grids and Urban Electricity Consumers", etc.

Six professors, SHEN Jianxin, XU Wenyuan, DING Yi, LI Wuhua, MENG Jun and WU Lijian from College of Electrical Engineering serve as their instructors. Local graduate students from the labs of these instructors also joined the groups to work together with the international students.

"I got a lot of creative ideas from my instructor and I also learnt about interdisciplinary research from the lecture 'Hardware based Lightweight Authentication for IoT Applications in the Smart World' delivered by Prof. QU Gang." said Sharaf, a student from University of South Carolina.

Upon their arrival, the students were attracted by the beautiful scenery on Yuquan Campus, which is just located in the West Lake Scenic Area. Do Tuan, a student of Sorbonne University Association of France, went climbing Laohe Mountain near the campus on the first day.

I really enjoy the scenery while standing on top of the mountain and I like the traditional Chinese buildings, said Do Tuan. Last year I attended a summer school in France, but this year's summer school in China is very different. I not only had some scientific research, but also attended many cultural activities. And I was surprised at Chinese tea culture. It was interesting to learn how to make tea.

Byung Hoon, a student from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, has once lived in China for a few years. However, the cultural expedition is still quite informative for him. "We went to silk museum, sword museum, food museum in Hangzhou, and also went to the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Although I have lived in China for several years, I didn't know much about Chinese culture and history. This time I really learnt a lot."

The program also includes visits to Hikvision and Alibaba, two leading Chinese companies based in Hangzhou. In Alibaba, students experienced face recognition, 3D shopping, and cash-free shopping technology. One of the students, Batuhan Hangün, even experienced cooking dishes. There are so many good things in China that I didn’t expect to see. The company is developing fast and I am interested in future cooperation with Chinese companies, said Batuhan.

“We hope the program will help the students to learn about Chinese culture, understand Chinese value and promote cultural exchange among different backgrounds,” said SHEN Jianxin, associate dean of the College. “It also aims to develop their research skills and make connections with potential academic partners from their universities and countries, and even more, to attract more international students to join our campus for further studies.”

SOURCE / Zhejiang University, China

5 Surprising Ways Digital Technology Is Changing Childhood
Jul 22, 2018

According to recent studies, 21% of children aged three and four have their own tablet. How is digital technology influencing modern childhood?

When even tech veterans such as Napster founder Sean Parker critique how smartphones are affecting childhood development, you know a shift is coming. In 2017, Parker warned that social media "literally changes your relationship with society, with each other…God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains." Parker has two young children, so he's surely familiar with the universal tactic of handing over a screen to buy a moment's peace - the so-called "digital pacifier".

The Council of Europe recently issued recommendations on children's rights in the digital environment, building on GDPR's legal framework, which establishes the limits of children’s consent to use of their data. There's more awareness than ever that technology in childhood needs to be policed properly, by both governments and parents. To help you weigh up some of the issues involved, here are five ways in which the screen is reframing children's lives.

1. Physical Changes

The evidence is still anecdotal, but it's likely that technology's ubiquity from the earliest years onwards - a fifth of children aged three and four have their own tablet - is reshaping our bodies. Short-sightedness has doubled since the 1960s, and obesity is increasing. Only half of seven- and eight-year-olds get the recommended daily hour of exercise in the UK. Spine surgeons have reported an increase in young patients with neck and back pain, likely related to bad posture during long periods of smartphone use. But with the increasing number of apps and devices to monitor physical activity levels, the solution could be digital, too.

2. Rewiring the Brain

The addictive design of many video games and apps could be rewiring children's brains. Many of them are structured around "reward loops", which regularly dispense incentives, including a biochemical dopamine hit, to keep playing. Autoplay functions on YouTube and other video websites reinforce these rhythms.

"Almost all digital interactions, social media particularly, are deliberately designed to make an individual want to undertake the cycle again, immediately and repeatedly, whatever the time of day or night", stated a recent landmark report on Digital Childhood by the UK-based 5Rights foundation. It believes that tech companies need to adjust the design of their products for children - for example, by switching off Autoplay.

3. Space, Not Time

Amid the hand-wringing about cognitive decline, it's worth remembering that perhaps technology is just making children different to us. Even early studies of the effects of video games suggested they improved spatial reasoning. While verbal skills, logical argument and attention spans may now need more offline encouragement, most toddlers will benefit from accelerated hand-eye coordination and image recognition abilities, as well as the general digital literacy that is now essential to growing up.

4. The Definition of Childhood

Just as the pressures of industrialization created the concept of "childhood" in the Victorian age, and post-war consumerism gave birth to the idea of the "teenager", the digital era is shaking up life boundaries once again. While the first year of high school may be regarded as a default age for a child to receive their first smartphone, 39% of 8-to-11-year-olds already have them.

Entry into the world of social media suddenly gives immature children a relatively independent space in which to test out "risky behaviours" that they can't necessarily understand or cope with, according to the 5Rights report. The collision between incongruous age groups and behaviours that social media entails means that both children and adults need to understand their respective responsibilities under the new digital compact.

5. Crowdsourcing Mental Health

There has been much discussion of the growing sense of inadequacy and loneliness fostered by social media, and its impact on young people’s mental health. Teenagers who spend more than three hours a day online are 35% more likely to be at risk of suicide, according to a recent US study. But perhaps that's confusing cause and effect. The last decade has seen a growing awareness of and sensitivity to mental health issues. Much of this discussion is being held by young people in the environment that is most natural - as well as discreet - for them: the internet.

There's no doubt that the new digital frontier is drastically redrawing childhood, threatening tender bodies and minds. But perhaps we can meet these challenges if they are handled in the spirit of the internet's original precept: free and frank discussion.

Photo credit / pixabay

By Anna Bruce-Lockhart
Edited by Shawn Chou