with a mission to Nurture Talents and Encourage Smart City Innovations
Hong Kong, 10 September, 2015 – Microsoft and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) announced they had joined forces to establish the PolyU-Microsoft Smart Computing Laboratory at the Department of Computing (COMP) in December 2014. Today, the two organizations were pleased to officiate the opening of this joint lab, aiming to support applied research, teaching and learning activities relating to smart computing, and to facilitate work-integrated applications development as well as training on the latest smart computing trends. The opening ceremony was officiated by Daniel Lai, Interim Vice President (Administration), PolyU; Stefan Sjoestroem, Vice President of Public Sector Group, Microsoft Asia; Horace Chow, General Manager, Microsoft Hong Kong and Professor Jiannong Cao, Head of Department of Computing (COMP), PolyU.
With a total amount up to HK$10 million investment from Microsoft over a three-year period, this joint lab is one of Microsoft’s key local academia partnerships under the “SparkHK” program. SparkHK is a multi-year initiative developed by Microsoft with a dedicated mission to build a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Hong Kong through innovations unleashed by technology, particularly the innovation in cloud and devices. Through SparkHK, Microsoft has been working closely with its partners, NGOs, education institutions, the public sector and small medium enterprises to foster a more competitive and sustainable Hong Kong by innovating for growth, empowering youth and building a next-generation city.
“Through this strategic partnership with PolyU, we can drive innovation and human progress through technology to make Hong Kong a smarter and more competitive city,” said Horace Chow, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong. “We believe this Lab provides a necessary platform to empower youth to learn and apply the latest technologies on a profusion of applications, and we are committed to help further develop student talents and innovations through work-integrated learning.”
The joint lab is also a major smart computing initiative of COMP at PolyU, as it provides a unique platform to enhance teaching and learning, while inspiring innovative research and fostering university-industry collaborations on areas such as big data computing, human-centered computing, computational intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT). The COMP department also welcomes collaborations with other departments, institutions and companies to further realize smart computing technologies and applications.
“Through this partnership with Microsoft, we will make great progress in research on big data and human-centered computing, which are important components of smart computing,” said Professor Cao, Head of COMP, PolyU.
As previously announced, the partnership between Microsoft and PolyU extends beyond the Smart Computing Laboratory facility, which includes adequate software, hardware and mobile devices sponsorship. In addition, the two organizations will also work closely to provide opportunities in smart computing research, work-integrated workshops and training, professional consultancy, as well as global competition and awards for the students. For example, in order to help students gain exposure on real-life business cases and insights, Microsoft has lined up its partner, Tectura, to conduct workshops on Dynamics CRM1 and ERP2 solutions, and provide professional consultancy on how to use and interpret these data in real-life scenarios.
On top of this, PolyU and Microsoft will co-organize a smart computing competition to cultivate student creativity and innovation. The winning team of the smart computing competition will enter directly into the final round of the Microsoft “Imagine Cup” Hong Kong competition. “Imagine Cup” is the world’s premier student technology competition by Microsoft. Every year, students from across disciplines and geography are invited to use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications, games, and integrate solutions that can change the way people live, work and play. Today, at the opening ceremony, several talented COMP students also conducted demonstrations on smart computing and smart cities to the guests and audiences, including a project on big data analysis on road traffic through international collaboration, powered by Azure and Machine Learning, as well as a game and an application realized by Kinect.
The PolyU-Microsoft Smart Computing Laboratory is expected to inspire students and researchers to embrace cloud and smart computing on all fronts, enabling an integrated cloud-based platform for teaching, learning and research. As a result, students can be further nurtured and supported to realize their innovative ideas on building smart computing and next-generation city applications used by citizens to live better and smarter lives.
1 Customer relationship management—often called CRM, CRM system, or CRM software—is a business solution that helps companies improve marketing, sales, and service engagement with their customers to drive organizational efficiency, while helping to improve customer experience.
2 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software gives people the tools they need to connect and manage their entire business, from financial and supply chain management and from manufacturing to operations, with the insight to make smart decisions.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is a university with a proud and illustrious history. Formerly known as the Hong Kong Polytechnic, the Institution assumed full university status in 1994. The University prides itself on its professional education and innovative research as well as close ties with business and industry. It is the largest publicly-funded tertiary institution in Hong Kong in terms of number of students, with over 32,000 full-time and part-time students, and a vast pool of more than 350,000 graduates.
PolyU website: www.polyu.edu.hk
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Hong Kong was established in 1991.
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