Success Stories

The following are examples of how we facilitate knowledge transfer via the Proof-of-Concept Fund, international collaborations, and entrepreneurship.

A novel wireless mesh network technology

LAviNet, a multi-hop wireless mesh networking technology, was developed through the funding support of ITC and Boeing. With the additional PCF gap funding, the technology was further refined and has been licensed as a platform technology to local industrial users and infrastructure operators. In 2012, the LAviNet Team has won the bronze award in the category of the Best Innovation & Research Award (College & Undergraduates) in the Hong Kong ICT Awards.  The project, titled "A Lean Wireless Infrastructure Network for Aviation and other Industries," has been successfully transferred to local industries for commercial use.  This is an excellent example of the University, the government, and the industry working together to commercialize research outputs.

A novel low-sludge-production sewage treatment technology

HKUST has developed a revolutionary wastewater treatment technology platform that can significantly reduce sludge formation. With support from PCF, the project team was able to perform pilot testing of the novel treatment process.  HKUST is now collaborating with governmental departments in HK with the goal of applying the technology in Hong Kong.  The University is also in discussion with select Chinese municipalities and private wastewater treatment companies to commercialize/apply the technology on a worldwide basis.

Smart contact lenses for glaucoma diagnosis

HKUST has developed a wireless and battery-less smart contact lens sensor for glaucoma patients. The sensor measures the corneal curvature of the eye in vivo all by itself so patients can avoid trips to the hospital.  PCF funding is supporting trials to demonstrate the clinical and commercial value of the new device.

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HKUST and UC RUSAL, the world's largest aluminum producer, have launched a five-year joint project aimed at strengthening scientific and educational ties between Russia and Hong Kong. The project aims at fostering joint scientific research, addressing pressing environmental issues and promoting cooperation among young scientists from the two regions.  A three-tier program was established which features the UC RUSAL President’s Forum, faculty and student exchange programs, and a three-year research project to develop a large-scale fiber-reinforced aluminum envelope and roof system that is environmentally friendly. The project has clear practical value with potential applications to the local, mainland and global building industry.


HKUST has been collaborating with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a reputable graduate-level research institution in Saudi Arabia, in research since 2008.  The collaboration has opened new frontiers in marine genomic research and nanotechnology, two areas in which HKUST has achieved international acclaim ( The KAUST/HKUST collaboration has helped establish state-of-the-art micro/nanofluidics laboratories at both HKUST and KAUST campuses, and provides a scientific and technological platform for academic exchange.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and HKUST are creating a new collaborative research and development center to be anchored to a consortium of multi-national corporations interested in the research and development of intelligent living technology. The goal of the consortium/center is to develop pre-competitive technologies and conduct demonstrations so that the companies can obtain thorough understanding of advanced technology through project participation, thus gaining an edge in developing follow-on technologies. The research topics can be divided into four clusters—Smart Green Buildings, Internet Infrastructure, Cloud Computing, and Biomedical Systems—representative of some of the strengths of HKUST and MIT.

A novel efficient hair-based drug testing technology

The project team that came up with a hair-based drug testing technology has formed a start-up company under the Entrepreneurship Program of HKUST's Entrepreneurship Center to offer the service to the community.

Unmanned helicopters

iFlight Model Limited, a company specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ground control systems, graduated from the HKUST Entrepreneurship Program this year. This spin-out company develops and manufactures UAVs for both professional and entertainment uses. The company has created a number of full-time jobs in Hong Kong and the Mainland.