PolyU supports startups to translate industry-recognised research excellence into societal impact

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) puts a strong emphasis on the societal impact of its educational, research and knowledge transfer endeavours and encourages the PolyU community to translate research excellence into real-world applications for the benefit of society by establishing startups. Not only do PolyU startups excel in different disciplines, but they also gain industry recognition with outstanding performance in various competitions. Most recently, Grand Rise Technology Limited (Grand Rise Technology) entered the final round as one of the top 10 teams and won the Environmental Impact Award in the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund/HSBC JUMPSTARTER 2022 Global Pitch Competition.

It is very encouraging that the research team received an award in this major competition. We have been devoted to turning our research excellence into positive impacts with the aim to contribute to society.

Professor LI Pei,

Professor of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, PolyU

Professor LI Pei, Professor of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at PolyU, said, “It is very encouraging that the research team received an award in this major competition. We have been devoted to turning our research excellence into positive impacts with the aim to contribute to society. Under PolyVentures, the University strives to create a conducive and enabling environment for knowledge transfer endeavours through launching different funding schemes, organising activities such as seminars and mentorship programmes, and providing co-creation spaces with facilities and incubation support for startups. These initiatives facilitate our interaction with industries, investors and stakeholders, and help us grow.”

Co-founded in 2019 by Professor LI Pei and Mr Tenny LAM, a PolyU DBA student, Grand Rise Technology developed a novel technology based on the patented core-shell particle technology platform, enabling a new class of amphiphilic core-shell nanoparticles for a wide range of anti-microbial coating applications.

The nanoparticle anti-microbial technology developed by the research team has multiple features: it will not release toxic chemicals which are harmful to the human body; no toxic chemicals will be leaked into the ecosystem, contaminating water and other natural resources; it is developed for prolonged protection.

People are now more concerned about hygiene than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Grand Rise Technology recently developed the CareCoatexTM Pro Ultra bio-based anti-microbial coating, and manufactured the CareCoatexTM bio-based anti-microbial FFP2 3D face mask in collaboration with a partner, to meet the huge demand for safe and eco-friendly anti-microbial products from the general public and different industries.

CareCoatexTM Pro Ultra is eco-friendly, bio-based and has long-lasting anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties (including against COVID-19). It is also engineered with ultra-high rub resistance, enabling the coating to be highly resistant to water, bleach water and alcohol, providing much longer protection. CareCoatexTM Pro Ultra is specially designed for clinics, hospitals and laboratories, and is suitable for frequently touched areas such as door handles and elevator buttons. CareCoatexTM Pro Ultra is currently being used at a hospital under the Hospital Authority and is now available for various applications.

As for the CareCoatexTM bio-based anti-microbial FFP2 3D face mask, the outer layer fabric is processed using the CareCoatexTM technology. The mask is anti-viral (including against COVID-19 and Influenza A), substantially lowering the possibility of cross-infection arising from the mask coming into contact with the human body or other objects. Jointly manufactured by Grand Rise Technology and Foshan Nanhai Plus Medical Company Limited, the brand-new mask meets the European FFP2 standard. The mask has recently been launched in Shanghai and will be rolled out in other markets.

Mr Tenny LAM, CEO of Grand Rise Technology Limited, said, “I am most grateful that PolyU proactively supports innovative research and knowledge transfer activities to help build a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, providing us with strong support in terms of resources, technology, experience and networking. Furthermore, when we were preparing for the JUMPSTARTER competition, PolyU’s Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office fully backed us with invaluable professional advice from formulating the overall strategy to preparing for the business pitch.”

The achievements of Professor LI Pei and her research team have been highly acclaimed throughout the years, earning various international awards, including the Gold Medal in the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2021 and the China Functional Nanomaterials Best Investment Value Award (First Prize) in the CHInano 2021 Conference & Expo. In 2020, Grand Rise Technology was granted funding of HK$3 million in total from the PolyU Tech Launchpad Fund Scheme in 2020 and 2021 to drive the company’s business growth.

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