Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS) - Project Abstract

Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/H03/19
Project Title: Heritage Conservation along the Belt and Road Zones: Between Politics and Professionalism
Principal Investigator: Dr CHAN Victor Chi-ming (HSUHK)

This project aims to bring together international scholars researching on heritage studies and international relations for an in-depth discussion on the politics of heritage conservation along the Belt and Road zones in comparative perspective. Recent developments in heritage conservation have gone beyond a mere professional act of preserving the historical past but have increasingly been utilized by the state to display its soft power and diplomatic importance across the globe. Asian states like China, Japan and South Korea not only invest substantially in supporting domestic as well as foreign conservation projects but also make applications to the world heritage inscription under the UNESCO framework are cases in point. In particular, the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in addition to its regional economic contribution, also serves as a new platform for international cooperation of heritage conservation. The conference shall enrich our understanding of the multilevel dynamics between politics and professionalism in heritage conservation along China and other BRI countries.

The project is a two-day conference featuring keynote speeches by distinguished scholars in the field and four panel sessions. Each panel shall consist of an invited Hong Kong-based discussant or a keynote speaker to comment on panel papers so as to facilitate more fruitful exchanges of ideas. Thematic topics include (i) discussion of the role of international institutions such as UNESCO in facilitating and monitoring BRI heritage conservation; (ii) case studies providing accounts of cooperation and conflicts between China and other BRI countries involved in heritage sites or projects; (iii) critical assessment of the role of professionalism on heritage conservation projects under BRI; and (iv) impacts of local forms of resistance and negotiation with respect to cultural heritage development practices and how state actors respond to them. Papers will be solicited through invitation as well as an open Call for Papers and it is the intention of the conveners to publish the selected papers as a special journal issue.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/H01/19
Project Title: A Symposium on Cybersecurity Law in PR China: Communication and Governance Perspectives
Principal Investigator: Dr HU Hsin-li (HSUHK)

Since the drafting and deliberating of the Cybersecurity Law in 2015, the foreign media had reacted with concern about the censorship of Internet content, the agenda setting of public issues and restrictions on Internet access. Furthermore, foreign media expressed the high expectations of foreign enterprises on taking part in Chinese Internet market, but also had their worries with regard to the restriction on market access that the implementation of the Cybersecurity Law might bring about and the actual problems that might be generated during the operation.

With the impact of flattened communication channels and fragmented communication content, the management of cyber sovereignty, online speech, internet markets, information safety and privacy bring more legal issues. The rules of this “basic law” of cyberspace are purposely set up in China to deal with the increasing challenges in the digital age. From the communication and governance perspectives, this symposium will invite scholars and experts in relevant fields to address whether this “basic law” of cyberspace is just like some of scholars say “pays more attention to national safety and public administration, less to online communication development and citizen protection”.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS25/M01/19
Project Title: Seminar Series on "Finding our way out for our urban forest – the lessons learned from the aftermath after super typhoon"
Principal Investigator: Dr LAW Man-yee (THEi)

Super Typhoon Mangkhut was one of the fiercest typhoons in our history. Typhoon signal no. 10 was issued at 09:40a.m. 16 September and continued for a total of 10 hours. After Hong Kong was devastated by Typhoon Mangkhut, more than 60,000 trees collapsed, causing disarray and troubles in the entire city, and it was almost 9 times the figure of Typhoon Hato. We need scientific base to implement policy and management plans on urban trees. To avoid future chaos, we need collaborative effort to learn the lesson. The title of this seminar series is “Finding our way out for our urban forest – the lessons learned from the aftermath after super typhoon”, which will be conducted quarterly in a year. A specific related topic will be assigned to each seminar, including: “Looking ahead beyond tree stumps - tree species selection for resilient city”, “Reforming tree pits - subterranean engineering design of planting spaces”, “Rethinking our yard waste management policy and practice” and “Smart city for urban forest? What can big data and technology bring changes to us?” Three speakers will be invited for each topic. Internationally renowned experts from policy, planning, design, implementation and monitoring, will share on insight on how the persistent problems in our current urban tree management efforts, how to raise practical and political resolutions on building more resilient urban forest in Hong Kong regime, and how to improve scientific based decision making though large scale urban tree data collection and data mining. Our target will be university students, practitioners and professional members in the field of tree, landscape management and design, and the public as well.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/B01/19
Project Title: The Female 21st Century: Empowerment through Digital Literacy
Principal Investigator: Dr LEUNG Miu-yee (HSUHK)

Worldwide economic growth is driven by innovative data communication. The digital economy has improved productivity by reducing costs (Goldfarb and Tucker, 2017). However, digital development has also reduced talented labour force. New challenges with the transformation are concerned, such as the change of skills, and the gender specialization. In response, an OECD report (2018) addressed the importance of engaging every individual in the benefits of data communication. The following defines digital literacy and illustrates the current unequal capability across the gender. Last, the suggested conference aiming at empowering the female workforce by enhancing digital literacy will be introduced.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS15/E01/19
Project Title: State of the art research in artificial intelligence and ubiquitous city
Principal Investigator: Dr LI Rita Yi-man (Shue Yan)

This project aims to enhance local academics’ capability in using various AI and ubiquitous tools for research, conducting research on AI and ubiquitous cities via seminars, research clinics and workshops.

AI, also known as machine intelligence, is where machines mimic human cognitive functions, can make decisions, think, learn and improve themselves. It was first introduced in 1956 at Dartmouth College, but development was slow until recently when huge progress in several algorithms, such as deep learning, have resulted in rapid developments. Indeed, the concept of autonomous cars no longer only exists in scientific novels, but they are now on the market. The Hong Kong Airport Authority has just adopted facial recognition at boarding gates in Hong Kong airport from 2019. In addition, the great leap forward in Google’s translate performance is also credited to the improvement in its AI algorithm.

Apart from AI, ubiquitous computing, where computing technologies are adopted everywhere at any time, has also recently changed the façade of our everyday lives. The idea of ubiquitous city (u-city), where all smart devices are connected at any time and everywhere is considered as an advanced form of smart cities. Smart wearables, like Google Glass, not only provide traffic information based on users’ location but also help children with autism to learn social skills. Undoubtedly, AI and ubiquitous technologies are developing rapidly and a marriage between them is beneficial. Indeed, one predominant AI application is to develop solutions for u-city.

In this project, renowned scholars and leading experts specialising in AI and ubiquitous cities will be invited to share their expertise with local academics. The proposed series of events covers three areas. The first area focuses on the development trends, prospects and challenges, relevant promising research topics and future research agenda, aiming to provide academics with insights into the latest development in AI and ubiquitous cities from researchers’ perspectives. The second area focuses on AI and ubiquitous tools in u-city which can be utilised to support research. In the third area, well-known researchers in the field will be invited to share their experience of implementing AI in their projects, including u-city and others. Potential designs of AI and ubiquitous-driven projects as well as successful cases will be presented and discussed to encourage academics to conduct, not only theoretical, but also empirical application in related areas.

It is anticipated that the invitation of experts and industry practitioners to the events will facilitate collaboration and cooperation, as well as motivate established researchers to innovate in their own projects. Every seminar will be followed by a research clinic to allow academics to personally consult with the expert in the field. Interested academics may discuss their research ideas in the field of u-cities. Workshops will also be conducted to provide hands-on experience with AI tools and programmes mentioned in the seminars.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/B03/19
Project Title: Cybersecurity: Risk Management from Advanced Technology to Law and Insurance for Maritime and Aviation Logistics Operations
Principal Investigator: Dr WONG Eugene Yin-cheung (HSUHK)

With the increased use of digital platforms, the Internet of Things (IoT), automation and cyber-physical systems in maritime, aviation and logistics operations, the threat of cyber-attacks has become one of the topmost concerns in this sector which involves highly connected systems and networks along the whole supply chain. Individual threats include viruses spreading through networked systems, cyber-attacks on operations platforms and the hijacking of sensitive data. Any one of these attacks would seriously impact daily operations and incur huge losses in operational costs, such as through stoppages of cargo movement, misrouting, vessel or flight delay, data leakage, system breakdowns or power outages. The recent cases of Maersk and Cathay Pacific highlight how disruptive and expensive such threats can be.

Governments are struggling to determine proper measures for dealing with the ever-increasing receipt of daily threat alerts and data breaches from advanced malware, zero-day exploits and persistent threats. International professional associations such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), have sought to develop guidelines, rules and regulations for cybersecurity and risk management. In Hong Kong, whose port container throughput has been ranked in the top ten for decades and air cargo first since 2010, the government’s ability to maintain its competitive position depends on security measures to ensure smooth logistics and transportation operations. Promoting and supporting Hong Kong as an international maritime logistics hub providing high value-added maritime services has been one of the key items in the government policies. These include peripheral and high value-added services such as maritime law and arbitration, aviation and safety regulations and maritime insurance. With operations and communications in global maritime, aviation and logistics sectors now highly reliant on digital technology and Internet support, risk management strategies and legal knowledge are crucial for ensuring that daily operations remain cost-effective and smooth. Lacking research, education and technology for improving cybersecurity in maritime and aviation operations as well as significant gaps in international regulations are found, leading to insufficient knowledge and experience of industry practitioners in tackling this increasingly complex problem.

This project will organise a research workshop and international forum tailored for logistics practitioners to discuss cybersecurity and risk management for maritime and aviation logistics, from advanced technology to legal and insurance perspectives. At these events, participants will evaluate both overseas and Hong Kong case studies, which will be compiled and shared on an online learning platform and in a reference book. The participants will also discuss Hong Kong and China’s cybersecurity development strategies for maritime Silk Road ports. Together, the platform and reference book will provide detailed insights for maritime and aviation cybersecurity, tailored to students and practitioners using the up-to-date cases from Hong Kong, China and the broader region.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS15/B01/19
Project Title: The Evolution of Digital Entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg
Principal Investigator: Dr YUEN Wai-kee (Shue Yan)

Digital Entrepreneurship, Financial Technology (FinTech) and Financial Regulation (FinReg) is about to change our society, economics and business ecosystem. Therefore, it is important to understand the evolution of digital entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg to survive in the digital world. The proposed project aims to provide a platform for knowledge-sharing and development. Distinguished overseas scholars will be invited to Hong Kong to present seminars on the key topics related to the evolution of digital entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg. The proposed project will consist of six seminars and an international conference. All the events will be open to persons from other institutions and to members of the public. By equipping colleagues and other participants with knowledge of these three key areas, the proposed project will improve research and enhance publications. The six seminars will give colleagues and other participants some insights on new developments in digital entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg. The six seminars will cover (1) The new digital landscape of entrepreneurship, (2) Entrepreneurship networks in the digital era, (3) Blockchain and smart contracts, (4) Evaluation of artificial intelligence and machine learning in auto finance, (5) The regulation of FinTech and disruptive innovation, and (6) Promoting entrepreneurship by the regulation of crowdfunding. The international conference will provide academics and practitioners researchers with a channel to stimulate discussions of research experience and knowledge of The Evolution of Digital Entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg. The proposed IIDS project will encourage colleagues in other disciplines to learn about the evolution of digital entrepreneurship, FinTech and FinReg and to apply this knowledge in their research projects.