The Smart CUHK Challenge



The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Organizations/areas of the university involved

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong SAR, The People's Republic of China

The Smart CUHK Challenge provides an experimentation platform and resources to support students and staff to propose innovative solutions for building a smart, green and sustainable campus. 

Target Groups 


CUHK launched The Smart CUHK Challenge to provide members of the University with opportunities for knowledge transfer, education and engagement. 


Expected Achievements 


The Smart CUHK Challenge provides resources and a platform to experiment with new ideas and encourage members of the University to:


(a) play an active role in addressing scientifically challenging problems related to the building of a smart campus and proposing innovative solutions using a multidisciplinary approach; and 


(b) share their findings and creations to spark discussion and debate and inspire action, ideally involving the wider community to create two-way interaction, to provide external perspectives and to make a difference in the community. 




The Smart CUHK Challenge will: 


(a) set up a funding scheme in the format of a college-based ‘Smart Campus Solutions Competition’, to help students innovate and undertake projects in line with the vision of a smart CUHK campus;  


(b) organize knowledge-exchange events, such as seminars, workshops and sharing sessions; and


(c) implement publicity plans and activities to promote the smart campus initiative to the wider community and inspire change through action by highlighting success stories. 


Way Forward 


The smart university campus will serve as a living laboratory for researchers to transfer the knowledge they create and for students to learn about and explore new ideas. It will also encourage all campus users to engage deeply with campus life.  


The Smart CUHK Challenge will provide an opportunity for those who are interested in the topic to play an active role in addressing scientifically challenging problems related to the building of a smart campus. It will provide a two-way platform for CUHK students and staff to interact with the community and realize the responsibility of tertiary institutions to conduct research and scholarship by offering innovative, relevant smart living solutions for application beyond the campus boundaries to make a difference in the community. 


Results and impact measured or expected

Smart Campus Solutions Competition 


The competition provides a platform for all full-time undergraduate students to develop smart campus solutions. This college-based competition offers seed funding (up to $50,000 for each team) to shortlisted teams for prototype development, and one-year project funding at full cost for fully fledged project development by the winning teams.  As at the end of March 2021, 10 teams were shortlisted for prototype development.  


Knowledge Exchange


The first knowledge-exchange activity was a smart campus webinar, titled ‘Virtual Reality in Tourism and Education’, held in December 2020. The webinar presented two success stories of the application of virtual reality, demonstrating how an idea can be developed into practical, sustainable and even commercially proven solutions. Three additional webinars on hands-on practice, project sustainability and case sharing will be held in 2021 to ensure a rewarding experience. 


Publicity and communication


The Smart CUHK Challenge webpage was launched in September 2020.


Connection with the SDG framework

The Smart Campus Solutions Competition, one of the components of The Smart CUHK Challenge, is a platform for all full-time undergraduate students to develop smart campus solutions. To allow flexibility for students to stimulate and showcase their imagination and creativity, the first-year competition in the 2020/21 academic year has four themes, each responding to one or more of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 


• Smart and Green Environment

To make use of innovation and technology for the optimization of the campus buildings, facilities and environment


• Smart Mobility

To leverage technology to enable a smart transportation network for more efficient and dynamic connectivity on campus


• Smart Learning

To develop smart applications, services or campaigns that enhance the quality of teaching and learning


• Smart Living

To promote the use of innovation and technology for living smarter, safer and greener at  CUHK


Barriers and follow up

CUHK’s teaching, research and engagement activities were hampered in 2020 by the social-distancing restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic. The number of lessons and meetings fell sharply, as both students and staff were compelled to work remotely from home.  Understandably, the number of participants in fund-related project activities fell during the year. Some of the planned outreach activities of the projects were either postponed or cancelled.   


To overcome these challenges, virtual events will be organised to promote digital participation in The Smart CUHK Challenge. For example, webinars will be organized for knowledge-exchange activities to encourage all campus users to get involved in discussions and engage deeply with campus life remotely. 


Transferability of the initiative

As the first smart campus initiative at CUHK, we are eager to promote The Smart CUHK Challenge to CUHK members and the wider community to extend the impact through:  


(i) Social media and other online platforms 

(ii) Participation – To foster intra- and inter-college cooperation among students and project advisors, all CUHK undergraduate students are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams within and between colleges to take part in the Smart Campus Solutions Competition. Starting from the second year of the programme, an annual sharing session will be held, in which the project teams will share their deliverables with the University community.