Theme-based Research Scheme Town Hall Meeting in June 2015

Theme-based Research Scheme
Town Hall Meeting

In December 2014, the Government reviewed the Theme-based Research Scheme (TRS) and concluded that the existing three themes, namely (i) Promoting Good Health; (ii) Developing a Sustainable Environment; and (iii) Enhancing Hong Kong's Strategic Position as Regional and International Business Centre should remain unchanged, and introduced a new theme "Advancing Emerging Research and Innovations Important to Hong Kong" to the Scheme. The proposed new theme aims at advancing our knowledge and facilitating the development and application of research innovations. This will contribute to powering world-class industries and developments at the local, national, regional and global levels, and capitalize on Hong Kong's existing strengths in research and innovation. The theme echoes the great importance the Government attaches to the innovation and technology industries as well as research in humanities and social science.

After the introduction of the new theme, local academics were invited to submit suggestions for the grand challenge topics. The submissions were examined by an Ad Hoc Review Panel formed mainly by external experts. Based on the suggestions from local academics, the Panel initially identified four grand challenge topics for the new theme as follows (not in the order of priority):

- Big Data
- Image Visualization and Robotics
- Urban Infrastructure
- E-learning

To facilitate academic staff to discuss, refine and recommend the selection of the final grand challenge topics of the new theme, the Research Grants Committee (RGC) organized a Town Hall Meeting on 19 June 2015.

During the meeting, participants discussed the identified topics through presentations and ensuing discussion. Selected authors of the submissions presented the related ideas under specific areas. The abstracts and powerpoint presentations (in PDF format) are appended below:

Big Data

- Big Data Analytics [Abstract]/[Presentation]
- Cloud Computing [Abstract]/[Presentation]

Image Visualization and Robotics

- Photonics/Imaging/Display [Abstract]/[Presentation]
- Robotics [Abstract]/[Presentation]
- Additive Manufacturing [Abstract]/[Presentation]

Urban Infrastructure

- Smart Transportation [Abstract]/[Presentation]
- Urban Geo-informatics [Abstract]/[Presentation]
- Resilience of Infrastructure Networks [Abstract]/[Presentation]


- E-learning in School Education in the Coming 10 Years [Abstract]/[Presentation]
- Human Resources and Human Capital for Hong Kong's Future [Abstract]/[Presentation]

External leading experts in the related fields acted as moderators during the meeting. If a topic was judged not promising enough after the meeting, then it will be dropped at that stage. The Town Hall Meeting was also intended to facilitate the initial aggregation of research members among different institutions and academic units which could potentially form the project proposal teams in the later stage.

The topics identified under the new theme at the Town Hall Meeting, together with the grand challenge topics reviewed under the three existing themes, was submitted to the Government for approval. The approved grand challenge topics under the four themes was adopted for the Call for Proposals in the sixth round TRS which was issued in July 2015.