Call for Independent Topics


Call for Independent Topics


 Introducing Independent Topics with MIT: 

The next stage for the HKUST-MIT Research Alliance Consortium


I. Introduction

The HKUST-MIT Research Alliance Consortium has been based on the use of technology clusters for the establishment of research projects. The clusters that are currently in operation are the Internet-of-Things (IoT) for Intelligent Buildings & Transportation, Data Science & E-Learning, Advanced Manufacturing and Biomedical Systems. These clusters are supported by 8 sponsoring companies and involve 12 research projects.

To extend and scale the Consortium beyond these technology clusters and engage more faculty in Hong Kong, we have established the Independent Topics Cluster.

The process will be divided into two phases, namely (1) Consortium Independent Topics Expression of Interest; and (2) ITSP Proposal. The process flow and time line are as follows:

  • Call for Independent Topics – 2 September 2019
  • Independent Topics Expression of Interest (EoI) due to Consortium – 15 November 2019
  • Feedback and approval of submitted EoI to Proposers – 16 December 2019
  • Signed sponsors agreements to Consortium  – 31 January 2020
  • Full ITSP proposal due – April 2020
  • Results of ITC review – 3rd or 4th quarter of 2020

II. Independent Topics Mechanism

  •     Interested researchers in Hong Kong and MIT should work together to find a company that is willing to sponsor their pre-competitive research project idea.
  •     Interested researchers in Hong Kong and MIT should address both academic rigor and industrial relevance simultaneously through communicating and discussing with sponsors.
  •     All proposals should be made under the research theme of Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) that broadly includes Healthcare, Robotics and AI.

III.  Sponsor Recruitment

Our world class universities partners (MIT, CityU, CUHK, PolyU, HKUST and HKU) are very attractive partners for sponsoring companies. Researchers can interest sponsors using our track record in precompetitive research over the past years.

  • The total industry sponsorship should be no less than HK$500k/year (HK$1M for a 2 year project).
  • One or more companies may act as sponsors but each must contribute equally and the minimum amount for any one company is HK$250k/year.
  • The research should be pre-competitive in nature and the companies involved need to be capable of providing advice and direction.

IV. Requirement and Team Formation for Independent Topics Submission

  • Faculty members in the Hong Kong tertiary systems with MIT faculty member partners are welcome to submit applications.
  • MIT must be one of the university partners. If MIT is not a partner, faculty members in the Hong Kong tertiary systems can apply to ITC without the Consortium’s assistance.
  • Bi-annual reviews at HKUST and MIT would be required.
  • All proposals should be made under the research theme of Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) and includes
  1. Healthcare (e.g. BioTech; Medical Devices; Medical Informatics)
  2. Applications using Robotics (e.g. Advanced Manufacturing; robotic surgery)
  3. Applications using AI (e.g. IoT; FinTech)

V. From Consortium Independent Topics Expression of Interest to ITSP Proposal

The consortium will review the Expression of Interest (EoI) in terms of its pre-competitive nature and provide feedback and approval. Subject to fulfilling the requirement of the independent topics EoI submission and acceptance, proposers will be invited to submit a full proposal to ITC for the ITSP Platform Projects.  The proposal duration is 2 years. It is anticipated that the projects will be funded at HK$3.5M to HK$5M per year.

VI. Format of Consortium Independent Topics Expression of Interest

  1. Proposed Project Title
  2. Sponsoring Company Name and Contact Person
  3. Sponsoring Company Description
  4. Total Industry Sponsorship
  5. Executive Summary (<200 words)
  6. Names and Institutions of the Team Members
  7. Submission
    All applications must be submitted in soft copy to on or before 15 November 2019. An email reply shall be sent by the Consortium within 3 working days to confirm receipt of the Expression of Interest.

on May 27 | by

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