Where Ideas Root and Flourish
It’s hard to distinguish a shamrock from a clover. Consumers often have the same trouble telling good herbal products from bad ones. According to Huangdi Neijing (Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor), an ancient doctrinal Chinese medical group of texts, Chinese medicinal formulas can be categorised into soup, powder, pill, ointment and elixir. In view of the vast array of herbal products in the market today, how can we tell which is authentic? What does blockchain have to do with Chinese medicinal materials?
In this Cubic Zine issue, Prof Shaw Pang Chui of the School of Life Sciences, who pioneered the use of molecular authentication of herbal products in 1990s, shares with us how he traces DNA of herbal materials even in boiling soup. Let’s hear his story.
In this issue: #TMC #DNAauthentication #Blockchain #traceability #HKGenuineProducts #JoyNTearOfEducation
Scholarly Outreach → GLOCAL
“They call me ‘Father of General Education Office”!” Prof Shaw has been with CUHK for over 40 years, from student to professor. He has nurtured many of his own students as educators, and walks the talk in encouraging students to try hard and pursue diversified pathways.
The booming Chinese medicine and medicinal product market in Hong Kong is bringing an annual gross product of over HK$1.5 billion solely in herbal product manufacturing. With a strong background in molecular biology, Prof Shaw began the use of molecular technology to authenticate Chinese medicinal materials and products since 1990s. He is determined to disrupt the market pullulating with counterfeits by HerBChain, a social enterprise that runs a blockchain informative platform and verifies herbal products with DNA authentication.
Why does Prof Shaw describe himself “having multiple interests and pursuits”? Was research of Chinese medicinal materials in the past “running its course”? How should a scholar operate a social enterprise?
→ BUSINESS 2.0
Soccer, innovation and technology, and Silicon Valley set to strike sparks off each other!
According to Bloomberg, soccer superstar Lionel Messi has recently set up a sports investment firm Play Time. The Silicon Valley-based company is incubating the start-up Matchday.com, a design studio that creates “still-stealth-mode” games for soccer fans. The company plans to launch the games before FIFA World Cup 2022 to connect 5 billion of soccer fans worldwide via its interactive online platform.
Play Time has also acquired a stake in digital marketplace AC Momento, which auctions match-worn soccer jerseys in collaboration with multiple soccer clubs (including AC Milan) and various soccer stars. All shirts are authenticated with a digital certificate, sterilised and shipped straight to the door. AC Momento also supports BallerTV, which live streams top youth sporting events, and creates an app via which users can pitch products directly.
These are stories of the social enterprises launched by CUHK scholars. Get to know the amazing life journeys of 20 distinguished academics through in-depth interviews on innovative thinking, underprivileged groups, physical and mental health, people and nature as well as lifestyle and culture. Be inspired by the CUHK scholars’ stories on community engagement, growing pains and gains, successes and setbacks, and reasons for academic pursuits — the charm and joy of the world of research.
Application deadline: 4 Nov 2022 (Friday)
KPF aims to enable the translation of research insights across different disciplines into community or public engagement projects. Funding amount is up to HK$400,000 for 1.5 to 2 years. Applicants must be full-time CUHK staff on professoriate or research academic ranks. All CUHK staff, students and non-CUHK members may join as team members.
Application deadline: 18 Nov 2022 (Friday)
S-KPF is a unique impact venture incubation programme with the goal to help professors transform their evidence-based social projects into social ventures. Supported by a comprehensive training and coaching program under CUHK Social Impact Academy, academics are empowered to develop self-sustaining social ventures.
Funding amount is up to HK$600,000 for 2 years. Applicants must be full-time CUHK staff on professoriate or research academic ranks. All CUHK staff, students and non-CUHK members may join as team members.
Be → ENGAGING
Innovation, Patents and Beyond
We aim to inspire and encourage the CUHK community to continue innovating for societal impact. At this event, we bring together government officials, policymakers, stakeholders in research and innovation, industry leaders, and the CUHK community to create synergy and forge meaningful connections. Event highlights include 24 Exhibition Booths, thematic talks on Vaccinology, Microelectronics and Carbon Neutrality and Elevator Pitch Competition.
Recommend Cubic Zine to your friends and partners — let us all do good and do well!
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