The University places heavy emphasis on applied research, and uses the results to directly benefit Hong Kong and beyond.
The following five overarching themes will integrate research capabilities and programme strengths of CityU to enhance our capacity to respond to the academic and societal challenges of our highly interconnected world.
One Health will develop and integrate interdisciplinary, problem-based research collaborations and communications in all aspects of health-related issues, such as policy, delivery systems, and services related to healthcare; public health efficiency; food nexus; and management operations, biocompatible materials/coating, transport in biosystems, and systems engineering. This research area involves the complex interactions and inter-dependencies of animal and human populations with each other and the environment to generate better health outcomes.
The potential impact of the digital age is enormous, entailing the use of technological development (such as new materials for computing, batteries, and sensors) to advance our economy, 28 culture and society. A thorough understanding of the relationship between technology and society, informed by the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, will be generated by vigorous interdisciplinary research leading to substantial knowledge transfer activities.
Smart City provides a cross-cutting research initiative among diverse disciplines and programmes leading to innovative solutions to address regional and global concerns about sustainable economic development, high quality of life, and harmony of the built environment with nature. This initiative encompasses such challenges as sustainable energy, climate change, environmental degradation, urban planning, government regulation and the law.
The study of matter (or materials) is one of the three pillars on which the modern civilisation is built, with the study of energy and information as the other two. The study of matter in its various forms brings together researchers from all the natural sciences in the collaborative development of science, engineering and technology. This interdisciplinary research initiative aims to provide an impetus to innovation through practical applications in various disciplines and fields. It therefore covers different aspects of research, including the theoretical, numerical and experimental study of matter from synthesis to processing and fabrication, from properties evaluation to modification, and from design to applications. Other focuses include the integration of advanced materials, nanotechnology and computer science to address major contemporary challenges in ageing and health, new energy sources and storage, environmental hazards, future information and communication technology, and additive manufacturing routes such as 3D/4D printing.
Research topics related to the human brain and the computer brain — that is, neuroscience and artificial intelligence — provide a deep understanding of the potential of the human– machine interface as well as creating significant improvements in productivity, thus driving the advancement of human intelligence and society as a whole. The understanding of the brain and the understanding of the mind are inseparable. Cognitive science is based on the assumption that human cognition can be modelled as computation. With the help of brain imaging, in combination with extensive health records, clinical data and genetic data, interdisciplinary collaborative 29 efforts covering biology, neuroscience, medicine, psychology, computer science and linguistics can help us better understand the structure and functions of the brain, study the pathology and genetic predisposition of neurological disorders, and contribute to developing diagnostic tools and treatments for disease. This area of study therefore connects with the first research area — One Health — and suggests that collaboration between the areas we have identified, as well as within them, could be productive.