CUHK establishes Global Sports and Wellness Innovation Centre to develop ARIA for sports industry, 20 Feb 2024


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CUHK establishes the Global Sports and Wellness Innovation Centre, applying ARIA technology to facilitate the sports industry


Establishment of the Global Sports & Wellness Innovation Centre

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) held a press conference on 20 February 2024 to announce the establishment of the CUHK spin-off company ─ Global Sports & Wellness Innovation Centre, a significant cooperation between CUHK and the industry.

The Global Sports & Wellness Innovation Centre (GSWIC) was formed by the collaboration of Centre for Clinical Research and Biostatistics, Health View Bioanalytic Limited and AquaBloom International Sports Technology Group. It has also collaborated closely with Funeng Intelligent Manufacturing (Beijing) Technology Service Co., Ltd. Its mission is to revolutionize the sports industry, empower athletes, and promote overall health and well-being for the public through collaboration between research, academic and industry sectors. Another close partner is Innovax Holdings Limited. Since 2014, they have completed 35 IPO sponsorship projects and 82 equity capital market projects, accumulated over 900 brokerage clients, and operated one open-ended Cayman fund. 

CUHK has developed AI-based Automatic Retinal Image Analysis technology (ARIA), which is non-invasive, easy to implement, fast, and cost-effective. In the past, ARIA technology was mainly used to assess disease risks and has been relatively mature in risks such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, and cognitive impairment. GSWIC will leverage the advancements of ARIA methods and transform them into sports technology to improve athletic talent scouting, risk prevention and management, optimize training methodologies, develop innovative technologies for injury prevention, develop recovery strategies, and enhance athletic performance.

ARIA Technology Development in the Sports Industry

GSWIC is dedicated to applying the same theoretical foundation to sports technology, using machine learning analysis to identify sports-specific characteristics and select sports talents for amateur and professional athletes. Retinal imaging will estimate cognitive function, attention, strength, speed, agility, reaction time, balance, and body composition coordination. These areas are combined to predict athletic and competitive performance in different types of sports. In addition, it can also be used for early detection of minor injuries caused by concussion in contact sports (including American football, rugby, boxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts, etc.) – provided by previous medical research on ARIA-Stroke and ARIA-eWMH. Retinal image analysis can detect early risk of traumatic brain injury. It will also use ARIA technology to monitor rehabilitation to develop early intervention and rehabilitation strategies.



Professor Benny Zee, Director of Centre for Clinical Research and Biostatistics, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, CUHK. Founder of  Health View Bioanalytic Limited, a previous TSSSU company and Incu-tech recipient. 

Mr. Mike Yang, the Founder/CEO of  AquaBloom International Sports Technology Group (ABSG), stated that ABSG would continue to leverage the global platform of ABSG and the unique advantages and resources of CUHK to keep innovating and creating excellent products and service systems for the sports industry. They hope to contribute innovative forces to the sports industry in Hong Kong, mainland China, Asia, and globally. Mr Yang also expressed gratitude to the global top-tier partners in capital, technology, market, and intelligent manufacturing who have been involved in GSWIC’s work. He looks forward to further collaboration with relevant partners in the industry chain, working together towards a common long-term vision.

Mr. Carlos Law, Deputy General Manager of Funeng Intelligent Manufacturing (Beijing) Technology Service Co., Ltd (Funeng), emphasized that the company will provide GSWIC with product development engineering support and production services at every stage of the process, from research outcomes to commercialization. Leveraging the extensive product development resources and customer network advantages of FIH Mobile Limited, Funeng aims to assist GSWIC in launching its technological products to the market and obtaining investments.

Mr. Richard Chung, Chairman of Innovax Holdings Limited (Innovax), hopes that GSWIC can combine the ARIA technology developed by the CUHK research team with the global sports technology industry platform of ABSG to optimize athletes’ performance and identify sports talents. Mr Chung added that two of their OFC funds, registered with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, together with other investment funds and venture capital fund partners, will continue to invest funds and resources to support this commercially promising project, bringing returns to shareholders.


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