Image credits: The University of Hong Kong, Press Release

Image credits: The University of Hong Kong, Press Release

University of Hong Kong joins hands to embrace Artificial Intelligence in multi-disciplinary research

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft Hong Kong in May 2018 to form an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research partnership to incubate talent and encourage breakthroughs in various sectors by accelerating scientific progress and enabling data-driven research.

Commenting on the memorandum, Professor Andy Hor, Vice-President, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Hong Kong stated HKU was glad to join hands with Microsoft in this AI partnership to enable the professionals and researchers at HKU to apply AI in research projects.

Prof Andy noted that Healthcare and Fintech are the key industries in Hong Kong and that through this collaboration with the company, HKU students have the chance to equip themselves with knowledge of Data Science and AI.

This will enable researchers to accelerate their professional development, she added.

Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong said that the company’s mission is to empower their partners in different industries to take a significant leap forward in accelerating digital transformation and achieve more.

He cited healthcare as an example and stated that the healthcare industry is a global priority for every region. With AI, the company and its partners look forward to improving and saving people’s lives through technology.

He added that partnering with HKU, a world-renowned university, to combine AI, Big Data and Cloud to unlock insights in research and academic disciplines, and nurture AI talent in Hong Kong is what the company is looking forward to.

The partnership aims to provide HKU students and world-class researchers with Microsoft AI technology for Research and Development projects around Healthcare, FinTech and Smart City areas. Key initiatives include:

Applying AI technologies in research projects

Through the collaboration, researchers and medical staff will be able to leverage the comprehensive Microsoft Platform with AI infrastructure, tools and services to conduct research projects in a way that is not possible before.

A research team, headed by Dr. Cheung, is currently working on a pilot cancer project which employs data from the last 20 years, and run real-time analysis to help doctors decide the best treatment option for liver cancer patients using the company’s Machine Learning model.

Nurturing talent through structured training

Researchers and students are given opportunities to learn the company’s AI technology, including Data Science, Big Data, Machine Learning through the online platform – Microsoft Professional Program, and to obtain Professional Certifications on these subjects from the company.

A 6-week online course – Asia 1st Fintech MOOC - Introduction to FinTech created by HKU with the support of Microsoft and other industry leaders has been started in May, for students to understand the FinTech landscape and ecosystem.

Unleashing the power of Academic Graph Services

The company’s Academic Graph Services will enable researchers to research more while searching less. In other words, it will reduce the time spent on research while enhancing the quality of the research.  

Researchers will be able to better understand medical trends efficiently by being able to quickly access scientific publication records, citation relationships between publications, as well as authors, institutions, journals, conferences, and fields of study.

The signing of this MoU will enable HKU to uphold its established global reputation for being a research-led comprehensive university with a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, liberty, and diversity.


With a community of over 30,000 students, including about 9,000 students from more than 100 countries around the world, and half of its academic staff are international faculty, a research facility equipped with AI technology will enable the university to conduct even more thorough and ground-breaking research.

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