The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has secured over HK$18 million funding from the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) of the Food and Health Bureau (FHB), to commence eight research studies on COVID-19. These projects cover a wide range of disciplines including health technology, biomedical sciences, healthcare, rehabilitation as well as social sciences. PolyU hopes that research teams from different fields can contribute their expertise to supporting the local community in the fight against COVID-19 and to facilitating formulation of pandemic control measures, thus helping to protect the health of the general public.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, PolyU has been facing unprecedented challenges in our teaching, but our concerted determination to overcome these has not diminished our efforts in research.
Professor Alexander WAI
Deputy President and Provost of PolyU
The Research Council, chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, earlier approved the second batch of funding of HK$59 million, to support 23 research projects steered by local universities. Among these 23 projects, eight are led by PolyU researchers from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, representing over 30% of the total funding and of the total number of projects in the second batch. The project that received the most funding is a follow-up study on rehabilitation management of COVID-19 survivors, securing more than HK$4.47 million. These eight research studies are expected to last from one to two years.
Ir Professor Alexander WAI, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, said, “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, PolyU has been facing unprecedented challenges in our teaching, but our concerted determination to overcome these has not diminished our efforts in research. Since February, we have developed a rapid automated diagnostic system to detect COVID-19, designed a face shield for general use, and conducted various studies related to the pandemic. On behalf of PolyU, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to FHB for taking more health technology and social sciences topics into consideration when granting the second batch of funding under the HMRF, allowing PolyU to conduct research projects on COVID-19 as commissioned by FHB. We will continue to carry out more forward-looking studies and to keep up our efforts in research.”
Professor Kwok-yin WONG, Interim Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted for months and has had tremendous impact on global public health, as well as the economy and livelihood of people. Here at PolyU, we hope to utilise our expertise to render support to the community during this difficult time. We are honoured to have eight projects funded by the HMRF and sincerely hope that our researchers can make good use of their research capabilities to support the fight against COVID-19.”
Professor David Ho-keung SHUM, Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences also remarked, “COVID-19 has affected people’s psychological well-being, as well as their physical health. Over the years, our faculty has been providing the best education for social and health care professionals. In the face of this challenging time, our faculty, together with our researchers, students and graduates of various disciplines, are working together to address the healthcare and social needs of the community. We are pleased to be able to contribute our strengths to move our society forward.”
The HMRF supports studies and projects initiated by individual investigators as well as those commissioned by the Food and Health Bureau to build research capacity, fill knowledge gaps, support policy formulation, address specific issues, assess needs and threats, conduct health promotion, and more.