The University of Hong Kong (HKU) reaped a total of ten awards at the Special Edition 2021 Inventions Geneva Evaluation Days. Amongst the awarded, the multidisciplinary “Innovative Sewage Testing Tool for SARS-CoV-2” project, of which HKU-Pasteur is a part, received a prestigious Gold Medal.
Sponsored by the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) under the Food and Health Bureau, this project allowed the collection of hundreds domestic sewage samples from sewage collection systems in different areas for nucleic acid tests of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Since the beginning of the project in October 2020, the team has been able to demonstrate that sewage surveillance could provide early warning of COVID-19 outbreaks, reflecting the overall spread of virus in the community. It also helps tracking the development trend of community outbreak.
The team includes Professor Leo Poon, Co-Director at HKU-Pasteur, Doctor Hein Min Tun, Principal Investigator at HKU-Pasteur, and is led by Professor Tong Zhang of Department of Civil Engineering.
This year’s competition was a first-ever special virtual-only edition of The International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (“IEIG”), one of the most significant global annual events devoted exclusively to inventions. Around 600 inventions from about 20 countries were evaluated on virtual platforms by the international jury of specialists from 10 to 14 March 2021.