PolyU’s Pioneering Technologies in AI, Materials Science and Biotechnology Awarded at TechConnect 2022 Innovation Awards

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HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 19 May 2022 – The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has won three prestigious global Innovation Awards in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), materials science and biotechnology at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo 2022 (TechConnect) – the world’s largest multi-sector event for fostering the development and commercialisation of innovations.


PolyU has won three prestigious global Innovation Awards at TechConnect 2022. The awarded researchers: Dr Dahua Shou (1st from left), Prof. Jing Cai (2nd from left) and Prof. Hong Hu (3rd from left) are congratulated by Prof. Christopher Chao, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU.

This is the sixth consecutive year that PolyU research teams have snatched the esteemed awards among top-ranked innovators, and PolyU is the only higher education institution in Hong Kong to be honoured with the awards this year.

The award-winning PolyU innovations include an AI-empowered chest X-ray imaging technique for clinical applications and an automatic temperature-controllable mask. They are dedicated to improving medical diagnosis or bringing greater comfort to people’s daily protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The other prized PolyU innovation is a new type of more environment-friendly moisture-absorbing and sweat-releasing fabric. All three inventions are among the 70 awarded technologies from leading institutions around the world like the US National Laboratories and other top universities.

Professor Christopher Chao, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, said, “The University is delighted that our research teams continue to bring superior award-winning technologies to the world and have been recognised at this global event for the sixth consecutive year. PolyU has been undertaking various strategic initiatives to build a strong I&T ecosystem, cultivating solid fundamental knowledge and fostering innovative mindsets to stimulate and lead novel research.”

At the TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo to be held in Washington, D.C. from 13 to 15 June, a PolyU delegation will showcase a number of innovative projects. Professor Larry Chow, Director of Research and Innovation of PolyU, said, “TechConnect has connected the world’s top applied research and early-stage innovations from academia to industry for over 20 years. It has become a forward-looking technology platform which supports global science and technology initiatives as well as opens up numerous partnership opportunities. The PolyU delegation will meet with technology companies for potential collaborations.”

Details of the three PolyU winning innovations are as follows:

AI-Empowered Chest X-Ray and CT Quantitative Analysis for COVID-19 Patient Management (Prof. Jing CAI, Department of Health Technology and Informatics)

The AI-enhanced techniques for COVID-19 clinical applications provide accurate and low-cost imaging solutions for the diagnosis, severity stratification and prognosis of COVID-19. These applications include AI-empowered chest X-ray imaging, AI-assisted COVID-19 disease segmentation, and multi-view analysis. Their high accessibility will benefit developing countries that do not have the needed resources to accurately diagnose and monitor COVID-19.

Moisture-Absorbing and Sweat-Releasing Multilayer Polylactic Acid Fabric and Manufacturing Technology (Prof. Hong HU, Institute of Textiles and Clothing)

The new fabric stands out from existing moisture-absorbing fabric technology in that its fabrication technique is simpler, cheaper, and more environment-friendly. By employing double weft knitting technology, it only takes one single manufacturing process to produce the new fabric structure with improved moisture-absorbing and sweat-releasing properties. It is also has inherent biological resistance and is ideal for use in school uniforms and sportswear.

Omni-Cool-Breath: A Smart Air-Conditioned Mask (Dr Dahua SHOU, Professor FAN Jintu and Dr HUANG Guanghan, Institute of Textiles and Clothing)

Omni-Cool-Breath is the first automatic temperature-controllable mask that brings revolutionary access to all-day cool breath and thermal comfort under various activities and thermal conditions. It reduces temperature by 12°C and humidity by 65% under low voltage via an innovative miniature thermoelectric cooling system. The ergonomically designed lightweight mask uses skin-friendly and biodegradable 3D printing materials that enable the user to enjoy nine hours of clean air.

For details of the TechConnect 2022 Innovation Awardees, please visit the official website: