Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS) - Project Abstract

Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS15/H01/17
Project Title: Positive Neuroscience: A Dialogue Between Scientists and Practitioners
Principal Investigator: Dr CHAN Chi-keung (Shue Yan)

Although numerous studies have shown that positive psychology (PP) interventions can improve physical, emotional, social and psychological well-being, very little is known about the neural mechanisms of human flourishing. Positive neuroscience is an emerging field of research that focuses on valued cognitive and affective qualities in the brain functioning that support human development and flourishing (Seligman, 2009). Whereas considerable neuroscience research has focused on disease, dysfunction, and psychological problems, positive neuroscience uses neuroscientific tools to investigate positive psychological concepts, providing a new perspective on and more in-depth insights into the ways the brain enables human flourishing. Furthermore, more and more practitioners are incorporating concepts of positive psychology into their existing practice in various disciplines (e.g. education, mental health, social work etc.). Therefore, it is important to build knowledge of positive neuroscience to promote brain-based best practice from an interdisciplinary perspective to support human flourishing across different developmental stages.

The proposed IIDS project will comprise some research-led educational seminars and short courses developed to facilitate dialogue between scientists and practitioners (overseas and local) in various disciplines, and thereby to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms and applications of positive neuroscience. The five proposed seminars will be thoughtfully designed and partly based on Professor Martin Seligman’s model of flourishing (PERMA) and the recent trend of positive neuroscience. The five topics of the seminars will be: 1) Positive Neuroscience: Exploring the Neuroscience of Well-Being, 2) Mindful Mind: Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness, 3) Connecting Neuroscience with the Meaning of Life, 4) A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective on Prosocial Behaviour, and 5) Nurturing a Creative Mind through the Neuroscience of Creativity. Two 3-day short courses will also be offered to build the participants knowledge of and competence in the use of principles and concepts of positive neuroscience to plan evidence-based practice and interventions in their own disciplines to improve the well-being of their clients. The first short course will be titled as “Brain Plasticity and Positive Human Development” and will address the following topics: brain plasticity; theory of change, early neurocognitive interventions, behavioural development, competence, and resilience. The second short course will be titled as “Applying Positive Neuroscience in Designing Evidence-based Mental Health Practice” and will address the following topics: neural bases of strength-based interventions, compassion-based interventions, brain-based addiction treatment and prevention, positive neuroscience and geriatric palliative care, and healthy ageing. To promote interdisciplinary learning, speakers will be from the fields of cognitive neuropsychology, social neuropsychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, psychiatry, and social work will be invited to contribute to the seminars and short courses.

Together, the seminars and short courses that make up this proposed IIDS project will not only help local scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners in various disciplines to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of positive neuroscience, they will also build their competence in teaching, studying and applying positive neuroscience in their own disciplines. Although the field of positive neuroscience is still nascent, interdisciplinary insights will be gained from the in-depth and ongoing intellectual exchanges promoted by this project between scientists and practitioners in and beyond the proposed seminars and short courses, helping them to develop high quality scientific research and ultimately to integrate this research with evidence-based practice.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/B02/17
Project Title: Fintech: Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services
Principal Investigator: Dr CHENG Andy Wui-wing (HSMC)

This Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS) on Fintech brings together academics, creative entrepreneurs, visionary industrial experts and forward-looking policymakers to discuss and exchange intellectual ideas regarding the challenges and opportunities for financial institutions in Hong Kong to transform their operations through technology. This project is timely and resourceful too, capturing the knowledge of the players in the ecosystem which helps facilitating the communication among various stakeholders to drive towards the re-innovation of financial industry.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS25/B01/17
Project Title: Sustainable Start-ups - Seminars on Designing Innovation for Start-ups and Crowd-funding
Principal Investigator: Mr CHOY Sonny Yip-hong (THEi)

Hong Kong is one of the most active business hubs in Asia and in the world. It has been said that the environment is highly suited to business start-up and entrepreneurial activity. Indeed there has been significant growth of entrepreneurship and start-ups as well as crowd-funding options in recent years. However, the success rates of new start-ups in Hong Kong and China are extremely low. With inadequate knowledge and business skills, many commit to an entrepreneurial path with little more than a business idea or piece of technology. The popularity of crowd funding schemes in Hong Kong and China has drawn criticism that participants underestimate the complexities of creating products and taking them to actual products on shelves.

By sharing how and where to obtain the appropriate business theory behind entrepreneurship, start-ups and innovation means entrepreneurs can have concrete goals maximize chances of success. Following strategies that minimize risk and engage in proper research/preparation may lead to a more systematic approach to starting businesses. Through various government funding and support schemes, crowd-funding and angel investors, entrepreneurs have many avenues for securing their start-up capital. Informing start-ups of how various funding options can be secured and their appropriate strategic allocation means the chance of running out of resources midstream is also minimized. To reinforce and exemplify the theory explored, case studies offer a holistic look at implementation and application of such theory.

The title of the seminars is “sustainable start-ups – seminars on designing innovation for start-ups and crowd-funding”. Three separate seminars will be run throughout the year and will target students, graduates, entrepreneurs, SME business owners, crowd-funding practitioners, incubatees from government business incubators as well as the general public with interest in entrepreneurship, start-ups and crowd-funding. There will be three topics and they are ‘Entrepreneurial process, Start-up strategies, Innovative business ideas, Value and opportunity gaps.’, ‘Crowd funding options, Government funding for start-ups, Angel investors’ and ‘Case studies: Government scheme recipients and crowd funding successes’. Four to five speakers will speak for each seminar.

The seminar series also has the support from a number of prominent societies in Hong Kong including the ‘Hong Kong Exporters Association’, Hong Kong Designers Association and pending further confirmation, Industrial Designer’s Society of Hong Kong. Also, the company ‘Silicon Valley International’ which is a China government linked angel investor company based in Shenzhen supports this seminar series. The support of these associations and companies shows the importance of such knowledge sharing platforms for the business and public community. These seminars are planned to allow the multidisciplinary cross-pollination between business, design, education as well as the general public. The topics and ideas explored during these seminars will permeate through the participants to reach back to their respective social and professional circles and raise awareness of its possibilities within the Hong Kong context. The seminar series findings will be summarized in a printed information pamphlet which will be freely available at a number of public locations and reach up to 1000 people.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/P01/17
Project Title: Recent Developments in Business Analytics and New Research Directions
Principal Investigator: Dr CHU Man-ying (HSMC)

Business analytics, which involves the use of statistical analysis, mathematical models, and information technology, has emerged as an important research area. Its range of applications encompasses such varied fields as finance and economics, risk management, information systems, marketing, and retail.

The aims of the proposed project are to foster research and academic collaboration among tertiary institutions, to inspire faculty members and other participants in developing ideas and research areas in the field of business analytics research, and to provide students with advanced business analytics knowledge by bringing together a wide range of knowledge in the areas of applied statistics, information management, and modelling.

The proposed project will invite renowned researchers from the statistics and information technology/systems fields to share their insights in four hot areas in business analytics. It will include five research workshops held on non-consecutive days, which will be open to all institutions and the public. Each workshop will have a main theme and will consist of around three talks. Two workshops will focus on financial/economic analytics, one on risk analytics, one on social media analytics, and one on machine learning and big data analytics.

To encourage the exchange of research ideas and foster research collaboration, speakers will be invited from all over the world. To further facilitate research idea exchange and collaboration, each workshop will also include a consultation session during which faculty members and other participants can meet with speakers and seek advice on developing ideas and writing academic papers in this field. The consultation sessions will be especially important channels for junior faculty to develop research ideas and engage in research collaboration.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS25/H01/17
Project Title: SUSTAINABLE PLACEMAKING Seminar Series on Strategic Approaches in Design and Environment
Principal Investigator: Ms KEE Tristance Yee-chun (THEi)

The proposed Inter-Institutional Development Scheme proposal entitled “SUSTAINABLE PLACEMAKING – Seminar Series on Strategic Approaches in Design and Environment” aims to provide a platform for sharing knowledge between cross-disciplinary experts from tertiary institutions and international professionals on the subject of Sustainable Placemaking. The proposal will include a series of three academic seminars which will be conducted every four months in 2018. The speakers will include both local and international scholars who have researched extensively on the subject of Sustainability and Urban Placemaking, as well as practitioners who have designed public spaces elsewhere in the world to share knowledge. The seminar series will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions where theories on sustainable spaces will be combined with practical case studies on the implementation and management of good sustainable public spaces. The target audience will be the general public, working professionals, academics, secondary and tertiary students. The ultimate goal is to increase public awareness in urban and green approaches in sustainable environment.