The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) celebrated today the inauguration of the HKUST – HKSI Joint Center for Sports Science and Technology (Center). The Center will explore the integration of research and technology into sports, promote innovation in sports science and optimize elite athletes’ performance in international competitions.
The establishment of the Center was built upon a strong foundation of partnership between the parties dated back to 2018, where HKUST started collaborating with the HKSI to develop state-of-the-art wind tunnel testing capabilities for the development and optimization of low-drag cycling suits and gears for the Hong Kong Cycling team, which had improved training efficiency and contributed to their performances at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
With the launch of the Center, HKUST’s researchers will further strengthen collaboration with HKSI’s sports scientists and engineers as well as coaches on the development of new technologies, sensors, test protocols and analysis tools for sports aerodynamics, advanced training equipment and race simulations. This is aimed to optimize the sports equipment, postures and strategies of elite athletes and achieve critical marginal gains in areas including cycling, triathlon and windsurfing.
HKUST Vice-President (Research and Development) Prof. Tim CHENG and HKSI Chief Executive Dr. Trisha LEAHY signed the agreement today, under the witness of HKUST Acting President Prof. GUO Yike and HKSI Deputy Chief Executive Mr. Tony CHOI.
Prof. Tim Cheng, HKUST Vice-President for Research and Development said, “Sports science and technology is one of HKUST’s strategic research areas, and we are happy to have partnered with the HKSI since five years ago on pushing the boundaries of athletic performance through research and innovation. With Hong Kong’s triumph in recent sporting events, and the government’s increasing support for elite athletes, the HKUST is also committing HK$20 million in support of the development of sports science. I hope that with this new Center, we will not only discover more new knowledge, but will also achieve a cutting edge for our elite athletes to shine on the world stage.”
Dr. Trisha Leahy, Chief Executive of the HKSI said, “With the support of our key partners including the HKUST, we are delighted to see Hong Kong athletes succeeding in the international sports arena. The HKSI is committed to engaging with expert organizations like HKUST to develop new technologies and scientific methods to assist athletes to go beyond boundaries. The establishment of the Joint Center tapping into HKUST’s significant expertise in science and technology will definitely help optimize Hong Kong athletes’ performance in the upcoming competitions.”
According to the agreement, HKUST will also continue to develop and provide education programs – including tailor-made training courses and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program – HKUST’s signature research program, for elite athletes in HKSI to facilitate their dual career development.
Prof. ZHANG Xin, Director of the Center and Chair Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said that the collaboration will bring about significant benefits and impact, “We will not only produce transformable technologies that will enhance Hong Kong elite athletes’ competitiveness in international contests such as world championship and the Olympic Games; but will also create new knowledge and facilitate our understanding in sports, which could be further applied to the sports industry and the general public.”
Dr. Raymond SO, HKSI Coordinator of the Centre and Director of Elite Training Science & Technology said, “With the great success of our last collaborations of the wind tunnel experiments, it is very exciting to work even closer with HKUST in this establishment of the Center. We aim to extend the innovation and benefits to more sports, so as to assist elite athletes to scale new heights on the international arena.”
The first line of projects includes a comprehensive aerodynamic assessment for elite windsurfing athletes; development of specialized aero-sports and biological sensors, novel mannequins to simulate pulsate motion of a person’s arm and leg muscles; as well as a non-contact system that provides accurate measurements of the athlete’s physiological state.
Over 30 representatives from HKUST and HKSI held the Center’s first work meeting after the signing ceremony. HKUST faculty presented their latest research findings in the fields of sports aerodynamics, sensors and sports performance monitoring, design and characterization of sports equipment of materials, life science engagement in sports. The two parties have also exchanged on the development, engagement as well as internship opportunities of the student athletes.
About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 30th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2022. As of 2022, HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 9 IPO companies, generating economic impact worth over HK$400billion. InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.
About the Hong Kong Sports Institute
Guided by the HKSAR Government’s current policy direction, and using its professional expertise in elite sport, the Hong Kong Sports Institute’s (HKSI) (https://www.hksi.org.hk/) vision is to become the region’s elite training systems delivery leader by providing state-of-the-art, evidence-based, elite sports training and athlete support systems resulting in sustainable world-class sports results. As the Government’s designated organisation to provide the high performance training system for eligible sports, the HKSI is committed to working in partnership with the Government, the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, the Hong Kong Paralympic Committee and the National Sports Associations to provide an environment in which sports talent can be identified, nurtured, and developed to pursue excellence in the international sporting arena.