Knowledge Transfer Office
Set up under Offices of the Provost and the Vice-President (Research and Technology), SEEDS program is administered by the Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO). It is one important component of the University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It aims to intensify the culture of innovation and teach hands-on skills of entrepreneurship among our students.

SEEDS funds student projects that lead to new products or services and new intellectual property. The concept of SEEDS is part of CityU’s Discovery-enriched Curriculum (DEC). It offers the first funding support for ideas to be nurtured into strong candidates for the more substantive funding support later on.

With the design of a 12- to 18-month funding period, SEEDS works well with the funding cycle of the Innovation and Technology Commission’s Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU) to minimize the funding gap.
CityU student teams are invited to apply.
CityU staff and alumni are welcome to serve as advisors or team members. Each team is required to appoint a person-in-charge (PIC) among its team members, he/she should be a student under an academic programme funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) and cannot be a member to any other concurrently active teams funded by SEEDS, by TSSSU or by Idea Incubator Scheme.

An Assessment Panel will be formed. Applicants may be invited to an interview by the Panel. SEEDS project ideas encourage innovations that can bring positive impact to the society.  Therefore, social innovation and social entrepreneurial ideas are also accepted by SEEDS program.

Criteria for selection include the alignment with SEEDS objectives, and specifically:

  1. Unique Innovation and Creativity, including Potential Intellectual Property (35 points)
  2. Market Size & Growth, including Potential Impact to Direct Users (35 points)
  3. University/Social/Community Impact (15 points)
  4. Sustainability & Team Capabilities (15points)

Each approved project team can receive funding support of an amount of HK$100,000 to HK$200,000. SEEDS funding can be used to pay for equipment, expenditure on R&D and prototype development, IP protection, marketing and other similar expenses reasonable for the early stage development. The total number of teams selected each year will depend on the quality of the applications and the budget available.

Once selected, successful applicants will be required to set out quarterly milestones and the budget plan of the project for endorsement by KTO.  KTO will set up accounts to dispense, centrally, funds to third party vendors for expertise and equipment.  Although SEEDS does not compensate team members for carrying out SEEDS tasks (because such tasks are part of their educational experience under CityU’s DEC), SEEDS encourages funded project teams to recruit other student helpers through KTO to accomplish project tasks, to expand the learning and spread the benefits of SEEDS.  In addition, it is expected that the needs for other out-of-pocket smaller items can be satisfied by a quarterly distributed upfront amount, as deemed appropriate by KTO based on the approved budget plan.

Examples of items NOT to be funded under SEEDS include: salaries to team members, office rental and furniture, financial investment of any kind, repayment of any loan, travelling expenses, meals and entertainment expenses. Any expenditure item which is already funded by the Government, a Government-related body/institute or CityU will not be funded under SEEDS.

CityU will require the team members to sign letters of agreement to confirm receipt of SEEDS funding support.

SEEDS funding recipients should provide quarterly reports (including expenditure reports or any other relevant documents, and report on the progress of their project) to KTO. In addition, quarterly meetings may be called so that CityU can better assess the progress of each project.

Any authorised person acting on behalf of CityU may conduct random checks of the documents, records, etc. to ensure their compliance with the requirements relevant to use of funds received.

Briefing session
Open for application

November 2015

Submission of application documents including:
- application form
- preliminary innovation/business executive summary (no more than 2 pages)
- CVs of all team members
- a copy of student ID cards

23 December 2015

Assessment Panel meeting and decision
Submission of revised proposals by shortlisted teams

January 2016

Funding release for the March-April-May quarter
(subsequent distributions will be made in May, August and November)
February 2016
Launch Party & Briefing Session
Date: 11 November 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 7pm – 8:30pm
Venue: City Top, 9/F Amenities Building

Consistent with CityU’s intellectual property policy, the intellectual property arising from a SEEDS-funded project in general shall vest its ownership with the University. Any income arising thereof will be shared with the inventors, consistent with the income-sharing arrangements in the University Policy on Intellectual Property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am a student and will graduate before the project ends. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Yes, you are still eligible to apply.

Q: Can I apply if I am the sole driver of my idea?

A: You can, but a single person project has less chance in obtaining the fund than a project that engages more people. Ideally, a project will have cross-disciplinary aspects as well.

Q: Can I borrow space from the University for the project?

A: No. Since SEEDS is intended to be driven by students, and the team is at a pre-formation stage of a future company, in such an early stage the team is unlikely to need new space.

Q: Can the SEEDS fund be used for the salary?

A: The fund cannot be used as salary for SEEDS team members.  If other expertise is needed, SEEDS can fund third party contractors for such tasks.  Also, if additional resources are needed, SEEDS teams are encouraged to consider hiring additional student helpers through KTO.


Ms. Fanny Ho
Tel: (852) 3442 6859