PolyU SPEED's research centre helps Hong Kong upgrade to higher value-added manufacture

Education | 29 Nov 2019

The School of Professional Education and Executive Development of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU SPEED) has recently established the Research Centre for Advanced Design, Materials and Manufacturing Technologies (RCADMM), which aspires to develop the technological expertise needed by Hong Kong to maintain its edge in the export-led market.  

“Since the 1970’s, Hong Kong has lost its traditional competitive edge as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) because of its relatively high land, rental and labour costs,” explains Dr Leung Chun-wah, Director of RCADMM. “The only way out of this conundrum is to switch the focus onto innovation, design and technology-intensive developments to differentiated, higher value-added original brand manufacturing (OBM).”

“This is where RCADMM comes in – to assemble the multidisciplinary expertise in product design and development that integrates advanced design, materials and manufacturing technologies in a safe, sustainable and effective manner,” he adds.

The role of RCADMM, Dr Leung explains, is to enhance research activities in focused areas, including obtaining and utilising resources and facilities for performing research projects; training research personnel and students; encouraging research collaborations with academic/professional/industrial organisations; forming critical masses in research work; and enhancing the Centre’s research experience and status.

Dr Leung also points out that Hong Kong, like other densely-populated cities, has to deal with many challenges, especially in such areas as transportation and utility systems because of their impact on the environment.

With funding support of about HK$2 million from the Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) Research Infrastructure Grant under the University Grants Committee for its first 3-year cycle, RCADMM aims to become self-sustainable by acquiring more research funding in dealing with community and environmental problems, such as how to change biogas from landfill into domestic fuel; providing professional services to the government, industry and community sectors in solving related problems; developing materials, devices, and systems to meet market needs; contributing new knowledge to academic sectors by various means, such as publishing technical journals on prestigious international platforms; and enhancing the research experience and ability of the Centre’s students.

RCADMM has set up a research laboratory; 3 computer rooms equipped with the latest technology and software; and a 3D printing room equipped with 3D printing technology and fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology which enable students to transform their designs and ideas into reality.

To benefit from overseas expertise and facilitate academic exchange, the Centre will also be organising international seminars.

Looking into the future, Dr Leung believes the Greater Bay Area offers immense potential as it has already established a strong base in such pillar industries as new-generation information technology, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, and new materials.

“We aim to build a globally competitive modern industrial system in collaboration with other cities in the Greater Bay Area which is a strategic move for the country,” Dr Leung concludes.

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