Inter-Institutional Development Scheme (IIDS) - Project Abstract

Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS15/H01/21
Project Title: Positive Technology: Possible Synergies between Emerging Technologies and Positive Psychology
Principal Investigator: Dr CHAN Chi-keung
(Shue Yan)


The rapid enhancement of digital and communication technologies over the last decade has been transforming well-being research and positive psychology practice (Yaden et al., 2018). This trend initiates an emerging research area known as positive technology (Gaggioli et al., 2019). Positive technology (PT) is defined as a scientific approach to the use of technology to transform and optimize individuals’ quality of personal experience with a focus on promoting wellness and cultivating strength and resilience in individuals, families, and organizations, and in the community at large (Botella et al., 2012; Riva et al., 2012). By integrating positive psychology theories with human-technology interaction, the framework of PT (Riva et al., 2012) emphasizes on enhancing emotional quality (hedonic), engagement/actualization (eudaimonic), and connectedness (interpersonal). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the potential of PT has been explored to enhance the hedonic, eudaimonic, and interpersonal experiences so as to support psychological well-being of human beings through reducing the mental burden challenged by the pandemic and its huge economic, psychological, and social impacts (Riva et al., 2020).

Given that the COVID-19 epidemic has further intensified the worsening mental health issues (depression and anxiety disorders) regionally and globally, advancements in various forms of digital technologies will not only support timely diagnosis and tailored treatment (particularly for the clinical population) but also enable full utilization of PT in positive psychology preventive interventions that can reach the non-clinical population and help them face their life hardships and adversities during and after COVID-19. As technology is a double-edged sword, Dlefenbach (2018) argued that possible synergies in well-being technologies are not yet optimized without the bitter-sweet ambivalence (both positive and negative experiences) of personal change being considered. Thus, the knowledge exchange on possible synergies of PT can substantially enhance the competence and capacity of scientists, scholars and practitioners from various disciplines (computer science, education, mental health, public health, social service etc.) to further to realize the optimal and possible applications of emerging technologies in positive psychology research and practice.

The proposed IIDS project will organize an international conference on the theme of “Positive Technology: Possible Synergies between Emerging Technologies and Positive Psychology”. The conference will include six plenary lectures, two panel discussions, eight parallel sessions, two poster sessions, and pre- and post-conference workshops. The six plenary lectures and eight parallel sessions will involve a blend of state-of-the-art investigations and applications of PT to gain better understanding of its possibilities and challenges, benefits and costs, effectiveness and fidelity, and ethical considerations on PT. The two panel discussion sessions will focus on the current innovations and future possibilities of PT in support of integrated well-being and mental health research, interventions, and services. Furthermore, six theme-based workshops will be provided to enhance participants’ research competence and practical skills in designing, applying, implementing and evaluating PT. Finally, the post-conference workshops (breakout sessions) aim to strengthen the ties among local and overseas researchers, practitioners, and the plenary speakers to establish potential research collaborations in designing and validating evidence-based PT intervention and practice.

The proposed IIDS project will benefit local and international scientists, scholars, practitioners and students across numerous disciplines by improving the understanding of the optimal and possible applications of PT in support of individual, family, community, and organizational well-being. Interdisciplinary insights and collaborations will be generated from in-depth and ongoing intellectual exchanges during and after the project.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS15/H04/21
Project Title: Restorative Justice: an interdisciplinary research and application of theories on psychology and social neuroscience in the criminal justice process
Principal Investigator: Dr LUI Wendy Chit-ying
(Shue Yan)


Restorative Justice (RJ) has been used in many parts of the world as one of the ways to offer alternative form of justice to both the offender and the victim. RJ puts a focus on those who are affected by an unjust act, and how this harm could be repaired by the person who has committed the acts. This is proved to be an effective way to support the offending party, especially young persons, to reintegrate into the community. RJ has also been supported by research studies as one of the effective approaches to juvenile criminal behaviour.

With the recent resurge on youth crime rate in Hong Kong, the notion of RJ should be re-visited since resorting to penal justice is not an option to restore the harm done to the community. The introduction of RJ through the public semester, best joined by those who are currently involved in resolving cases relevant to youngsters in Hong Kong, will effectively attract the public.

The theory and practice of RJ involved dimensions of studies in a multi-disciplinary way, including law, psychology and neuroscience. One major RJ theory is on “Reintegrative Shaming”, which encompasses aspects on emotional changes and cognition that are studied in psychology and neuroscience. It is the aim of this project to arouse social awareness of the use of RJ as a powerful tool in the criminal justice process, embedded with multi-disciplinary knowledge transfer in law, psychology and neuroscience.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS24/B02/21
Project Title: Research Directions and Applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Smart Tourism in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA)
Principal Investigator: Dr NG Mei-lan


Collaborating with experts in the tourism industry and renowned researchers from China (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics), Macau (Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, City University of Macau) and Hong Kong (The Education University of Hong Kong), this IIDS project enables local and overseas academic scholars, teachers, government officers and industry practitioners in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area to exchange ideas on the latest development and technologies applied in smart tourism.

Various types of activities are proposed in order to achieve the objectives of the IIDS project. The two-day conference will revolve around the theme of AI applications and research directions in smart tourism. The conference will help scholars familiarise themselves with the latest technology in smart tourism and smart business, foster research collaboration between Hong Kong, Guangdong, Macau, Greater Bay Area and overseas, and stimulate discussion to bring the research area of smart tourism forward. The three seminars focus on the applications of AI in smart tourism settings to students and teachers so as to acquire knowledge of applications of AI in smart tourism, enhancing their learning experience.

Three outcomes and benefits are identified in this project. First, new research ideas, theoretical approaches and development of AI and smart tourism will be generated through a conference (hosted in Hong Kong) and a series of seminars (organised in Hong Kong, Macau and China). Second, these inter-institutional events serve as a platform to strengthen the research community among local academics and researchers of different institutions for possible research collaborations. In particular, junior scholars seeking research guidance and support will inevitably benefit from the conference and seminars. Third, having acquired up-to-date skills and knowledge of AI and smart tourism in the series of seminars, new ideas and perspectives regarding smart tourism will be shared among students, teachers and industry practitioners so as to enhance their learning experience, enabling knowledge transfer and sharing among different stakeholders.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS16/E01/21
Project Title: Digital Revolution: Blockchain Technology for facilitating trusted data exchange for Jewellery Industry
Principal Investigator: Dr TANG Fanny Wai-fan



The rapid surge in advanced technology continues to ensure every aspect of our daily lives ranging from communication to disseminating information and information storage. The revolution of blockchain technology is coming to jewellery industry. Ultimately, this implies total traceability to any product in the supply chain of jewellery; from the mine, to the refinery, to the maker of alloys, to the packaging firm, to the supplier, to the customer. It has the ability to transform an industry through transparency; provides source trace, and it is possible to verify the authenticity of a supply chain. So much of the world has been revolutionized by technology yet the jewellery industry is still lagging behind on technology gaps. The diamond industry has embraced the use of blockchain technology followed by the launch of the International Diamond Producer De Beers’ development of Tracr, an end-to-end technology exclusively designed for the diamond industry (George and Whitten, 2020).

Opportunities and Challenges

Recently some enterprises in Hong Kong have collaborated with national gemmological institutes such as the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) which is leading the digital transformation of the jewellery enterprises by enrolling blockchain technology to customers to deliver digital reports like GIA test and diamond grading reports (Milani and Banuelos, n.d.). Special, permanent and irreversible blockchain records enable customers to access the transparency of jewellery. Hong Kong is a leading market for exports of gemstones and jewellery. It is an important gateway to mainland China. As a move to encourage faster development of the Great Bay Area (GBA), the Hong Kong government implemented many incentive policies to facilitate technology and innovation advancements. Being a top metropolis in the GBA project, Hong Kong prioritises on research and development on technology and its status internationally of being a finance centre. Despite the opportunities Hong Kong enjoys, it faces challenges in big data management and supply chain. With the challenge of minimal travelling and interaction imposed by COVID-19, companies in the GBA are engaging into online jewellery trading with much urgency to sustain their businesses, since most jewellery consumers are now depending on digital tools for information and for purchase. With the effort China is making, by 2025, it will be the largest luxury market soaring at a very high percentage rate. For the jewellery market to grow and consumers to appreciate it, the consumers are challenging the sector to show real and perpetual commitment to transparency, inclusion, diversity and sustainability. To accommodate this, supply chain operations are now more data-driven. To empower customer interaction, acquirement of trust data and service delivery, jewellery companies across the GBA are very concerns on the new technologies since big data is crucial to businesses. As such, Hong Kong jewellery sectors are now urgently outlining the upcoming opportunities and challenges in order to beat the crisis created by the pandemic.

How does the project help

To gain more knowledge and development skills, as the project's aim suggests, the project team will invite prominent overseas scholars to speak the major topics related to i) the evolution of blockchain; ii) gemmological science, smart design and visualization, and authenticity of jewellery; iii) supply chain management for jewellery sectors; iv) Transformation to Industry 4.0 for jewellery industry by four dissemination seminars and international symposium. The project will provide a medium for scholars and practitioners to facilitate discussions on research experience and understanding the four key topics. The project will motivate colleagues in other disciplines to learn about these four topics and initiate this knowledge in their research projects.


Project Reference No.: UGC/IIDS14/B01/21
Project Title: Extended Reality on Smart Transport and Logistics: Embracing Innovative Theories and Technologies for Enhancing Operational Resilience and Efficiency
Principal Investigator: Dr WONG Eugene Yin-cheung


The rapid adoption of extended reality (ER) in the worldwide logistics and transport sector has created an urgent need for technological advancement and research development to provide the solutions and support required in daily operations. ER refers to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by immersive technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR). The recent shift from operations sites to working from home due to the pandemic, strikes and other incidents has accelerated the need to develop VR technologies in industrial operations. Research on ER and its integration with other advanced technologies, including big data analytics, immersive digital twin systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), has been actively carried out in manufacturing and engineering industries, but few studies can be found in the transport and logistics sector. Developed countries, such as the United States and the nations in Europe, have already devoted research and development to these areas, e.g. remote operation of unmanned surface vessels via VR, vessel navigation systems with integration of AR, automatic identification system and global positioning system, digital twin systems with VR and AR, etc. There are also ports exploring the integration of AI, 5G and digital twin systems. MR technologies have also been used as tools for professional competency of sea transport professionals, e.g. aviation ground services VR training in the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The promotion and support of Hong Kong as an international transport and logistics hub with high-value-added services and an international innovation and technology hub are key items in the recent Policy Address. ER has been identified as an important technological advancement in transport and logistics operations that will undoubtedly contribute to maintaining the productivity and competitiveness of Hong Kong’s maritime and aviation sector. Despite the high demand for research on this subject, few studies have been carried out in Hong Kong and nearby cities in the Greater Bay Area due to insufficient expertise and research facilities. More resources must be devoted to embracing new theories and innovative technologies in this area because Hong Kong currently lags behind many other countries with advanced ER technologies. Students in Hong Kong who are studying supply chains, freight transport and logistics have few state-of-the-art teaching and learning materials that focus specifically on innovative technologies in maritime and aviation, and even fewer address ER and its integration with digital twins, IoT, AI and big data analytics. Research and teaching platforms for innovative technologies on transport and logistics would thus be valuable both for students and for the industrial practitioners who support daily cargo operations and sustain the competitiveness of sea and air cargo throughput in Hong Kong. In view of these needs, this project will organise a research workshop and international forum tailored for logistics practitioners to discuss innovations in ER for maritime and aviation logistics. The participants of these events will explore both local and overseas case studies, which will be compiled and shared on an online learning platform and in a reference book. The participants will also discuss innovative technology development strategies for logistics and transport to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the platform and reference book will provide detailed insights tailored to students and practitioners using the up-to-date cases from Hong Kong, China and the broader region.