Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong and Meta announced the winners of the AR/VR Policy Research in the Asia Pacific region, an initiative to help nurture solution-focused research on responsible development and application of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. This includes identifying positive approaches to inform related policy, address technical challenges, ultimately giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. The Request for Proposals (RFP) reaffirms the Centre’s and Meta’s vision to building strong collaborations among policymakers, experts and industry partners to develop metaverse for the society’s well-being.
The RFP was launched in August 2022 and applicants were asked to submit proposals that look into a few key areas of AR and VR, such as Economic opportunity, Privacy, Safety and integrity, Equity and inclusion, and New Use Cases. More than 60 proposals were received from 15 countries and cities across the region, and shortlisted candidates were reviewed by a selection committee. The Committee, chaired by Professor Wai-fung Lam, Director of Centre for Civil Society and Governance, and comprising academics and professionals from diverse backgrounds, have exerted their best effort in selecting excellent proposals. The grants are awarded to six winners from six countries and cities to support their research.
Dr. Justine Hui, Dr. Yusuke Hioka, Dr. Catherine Watson (University of Auckland, New Zealand) & Dr. Hinako Masuda (Seikei University, Japan)
Dr. Edith Ngai (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Dr. Dion Hoe Lian Goh & Professor Rebecca Pe-Hui Ang (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Dr. Dyah Pitaloka, Dr. Young-Nam Seo (Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia), Dr. Indriaswati Saptaningrum (Atma Jaya Catholic University, Indonesia), Dr. Ika Idris & Dr. M Risqi Saputra (Monash University Indonesia, Indonesia)
Dr. JihHsuan Tammy Lin (National ChengChi University, Taiwan), Dr. Yu Hao Lee (University of Florida, United States)
Dr. Panote Siriaraya (Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan), Dr. Wan Jou She (Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan), Dr. Sulaganya Punyayodhin (Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, Thailand)
There are 4 other research proposals that are funded separately by Meta and the Centre and will be implemented alongside with the winning projects. These include:
A number of knowledge exchange events have been planned, including an online workshop to be organized by CCSG and the Metaverse Conference to be organized by SNU AIIS in 2023. These events aim to bring together members of interested stakeholders and the winners of this Research Initiative to discuss on the AR and VR technologies.
CCSG and Meta wish to thank all entities who submitted a proposal and congratulate the winners.
We develop technology rooted in human connection that brings people together. As we focus on helping to build the next computing platform, our work across augmented and virtual reality and consumer hardware will deepen that human connection regardless of physical distance and without being tied to devices.
The “metaverse” is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more. It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.
The metaverse isn’t a single product one company can build alone. And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years, and gives us time to ask the difficult questions about how they should be built.
The Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong, in partnership with Meta, would like to work with the academic community in the Asia Pacific region to develop solutions-focused research to identify positive approaches in thinking through policy issues, challenges, and opportunities in the metaverse and augmented and virtual reality.
The Research Initiative, through a Request for Proposals (RFP), will result in the production of papers from academic institutions, think tanks, and research organizations registered and operational across the Asia Pacific region. Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee, and the entities whose proposals are selected will receive a research grant.
Here are a few key areas:
To foster further innovation in this area, and to deepen our collaboration with academia, Meta and the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong, are pleased to invite faculty to respond to this call for research proposals pertaining to the aforementioned topics. We anticipate awarding a total of 6 awards, each in the $100,000 USD range. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as a grant.
The awards are funded by the Meta XR Programs and Research Fund, a two-year $50 million investment in programs and external research to help in the effort of building the metaverse responsibly.
how we can give people more choice, encourage competition, and maintain a thriving digital economy
how we can minimize the amount of data that’s used, build technology to enable privacy-protective data uses, and give people transparency and control over their data
how we can keep people safe online and give them tools to take action or get help if they see something they’re not comfortable with
how we can make sure these technologies are designed inclusively and in a way that’s accessible
what are new applications of immersive technology that create substantial value for people and communities
The Request for Proposals is open to accredited academic institutions, universities, or non-profit organizations registered and operational in the Asia Pacific region.
We ask applicants to submit a 2-3-page proposal. The proposal should include:
Steps to submit a proposal:
July 26, 2022, at 11:59 PM (Hong Kong)26 July 2022
*As we received a large number of proposals, the result announcement has been postponed.*By end of September 2022
Payment will be made to the applicant's host institution as an unrestricted gift.4th Quarter of 2022
Meta’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to Meta RFP solicitations, including whether or not to grant an award and the interpretation of Meta RFP Terms and Conditions. By submitting a proposal, applicants affirm that they have read and agree to these Terms and Conditions.
Applicants acknowledge and agree that by submitting an application they are consenting to their name, university / organization’s name and proposal title being made public on Meta’s blog on the research.facebook.com website if they are chosen as an RFP winner or finalist. If an applicant is selected as a winner or finalist, they will then have the opportunity to provide written notification that they do not consent to the research.facebook.com blog inclusion.
Dr Patrick Poon is the Chairman of Harvest SCP Group Company Limited and Sing Cheong Charitable Foundation Limited. He has over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, and has served as the CEO of various multinational insurance companies. Dr Poon is the first Hong Kong born citizen to obtain full actuarial professional qualifications from the Institute of Actuaries in the UK. He was also Past President of the HK Actuarial Society.
Dr Poon is a recipient of HKSAR Honours and Awards – Silver Bauhinia Star 2018. He is very active in public services, especially in the high education sector. At HKU, he is the Deputy Chairman of Foundation for Educational Development & Research, a member of Audit Committee, member of International Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business and Economics. He was a Court and Council member of HKU and Chairman of HKU Convocation.
Professor Shui Yan Tang’s research focuses on institutional analysis and design, common-pool resource governance, environmental politics and policy, collaborative governance, and governance reform. He is the author of Institutions and Collective Action: Self-Governance in Irrigation (ICS Press, 1992) and Ten Principles for a Rule-ordered Society: Enhancing China’s Governing Capacity (China Economic Publishing House, 2012). He has published in numerous journals, including Comparative Politics, Economic Development Quarterly, Environment and Planning A, Governance, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Land Economics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Public Administration Review, The China Quarterly, and World Development. Professor Tang was associate editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.
Aseem Prakash is Professor of Political Science, the Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Founding Director of the Center for Environmental Politics. He is the Founding Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series in Business and Public Policy as well as Cambridge Elements in Organizational Response to Climate Change: Business, Governments & Nonprofits. Professor Prakash’s research focuses on climate governance, NGOs, and voluntary regulation. He has a byline in Forbes.com.
Aseem Prakash is a member of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Environmental Change and Society and International Research Fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford. He was elected to the position of the Vice President of the International Studies Association for the period, 2015-2016. His recent awards include the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Elinor Ostrom Career Achievement Award in recognition of “lifetime contribution to the study of science, technology, and environmental politics,” the International Studies Association’s 2019 Distinguished International Political Economy Scholar Award that recognizes “outstanding senior scholars whose influence and path-breaking intellectual work will continue to impact the field for years to come,” as well its 2018 James N. Rosenau Award for “scholar who has made the most important contributions to globalization studies” and the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance’s 2018 Regulatory Studies Development Award that recognizes a senior scholar who has made notable “contributions to the field of regulatory governance.”
Professor Lam graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a degree of Bachelor in Arts in Geography and Geology in November 1970 and a degree of Master of Philosophy in November 1974. He obtained a degree of Doctor of Philosophy from The University of New England in Australia in April 1981. Professor Lam was admitted as an Honorary fellow of The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the United Kingdom in April 2006, of Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics in June 2012 and The Hong Kong Institute of Environmental Impact Assessment in June 2012. For previous community services in Hong Kong, Professor Lam was a council member of the Sustainable Council from March 2003 to February 2011, the Advisory Committee on Water Resources and Quality of Water Supplies from April 2000 to March 2004, Hong Kong Observatory from October 2006 to September 2010, and the Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries from May 1988 to May 1992. He served as the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment from January 2003 to December 2009 and had been the Chairman of the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Steering Committee from June 2013 to May 2016. He was also a member of various statutory Appeal Boards of the Hong Kong SAR Government, including those dealing with Town Planning from November 1991 to December 1999, Registration of Persons from June 1999 to May 2005, Air Pollution Control from March 1989 to January 2001, Noise Control from February 1989 to January 2004, Environmental Impact Assessment from April 2013 to March 2016, and Waste Disposal from February 2013 to January 2016. Professor Lam is currently an Environmental Consultant with The World Bank on contract.
Ms Quince Chong joined CLP Group on 1 September 2012 as Chief Corporate Development Officer and is a Director of CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. She is responsible for CLP Group’s corporate affairs, overseeing communications, external relations and stakeholder engagement matters. Her role helps promote CLP’s reputation, drive service excellence and strengthen ties with customers, stakeholders and the community as a whole. In addition to her work with CLP Group, she is also the Chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence, member of the HKSAR Environmental Campaign Committee, member of the Vocational Training Council and director of the Hong Kong Justice of Peace Association. She is also a member of the 12th Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Ms Chong has over 30 years of experience in corporate communications and customer services after having held various senior management positions in the tourism, hotel and aviation industries. Before joining CLP, Ms Chong was Director Corporate Affairs of Cathay Pacific Limited and worked at the Hong Kong Tourism Board (formerly the Hong Kong Tourist Association).
Dr. Sarah Liao is currently Senior Advisor at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance and Honorary Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Hong Kong. She is a member of the Chinese Council of International Cooperation on Environment and Development since 2009 and is on the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Dr. Liao was formerly the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works of the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2002-2007 when she managed a budget of over 40B HK dollars per annum and adopted sustainable development strategies in her policies to achieve a balanced approach in social and economic development while protecting the environment at the same time. She also encouraged public engagement to building strong community awareness and encouraged the usage of new technologies wherever possible. Prior to her Government appointment Dr. Liao was in the consultancy business and amongst her many projects she was engaged as the environmental consultant to the Beijing’s Olympic Bid and Organizing Committee in 2000-2008. She was Senior Advisor to the Vice- Chancellor of HKU from 2008 to 2014, Acting Director of the Kadoorie Institute from 2012 to 2016 and Mater of New College at The University of Hong Kong.
Dr. Liao is a Fellow of the Royal Chemistry Society, the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers and The University of Hong Kong. She was awarded the Members of the British Empire (MBE), and Justice of Peace and the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
Jenna is a Product Policy Manager on Facebook’s Misinformation Policy team. She specialises in global health misinformation and misinformation in the Asia-Pacific region, and is based in Singapore.
Sam Traynor is the Product Policy manager for Inauthentic behavior at Facebook. For almost the last decade he has been working in the integrity space in variety of roles and companies mainly focusing on protecting user voice, the authenticity of conversations, and the integrity of the civic process.
Meg Chang is the Content Regulation Policy Lead for Facebook in the APAC region. Prior to this role, she was an Elections Manager and led Facebook’s election integrity efforts across EMEA, including the European Elections, the UK general election, and the Polish parliamentary and presidential elections, among many others. Before Facebook, she was the head of operations and publisher at EUobserver, a Brussels-based EU political and investigative news outlet. She also worked as a management consultant for Global 1000 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. She studied politics and law at the University of Kent in the UK.
Alex Pompe is a Research Manager on Facebook’s Data for Good team. This team builds privacy-protecting data sets to aid response work for natural disasters and public health crises (here is a recent example from the COVID19 response: https://research.fb.com/blog/2020/06/protecting-privacy-in-facebook-mobility-data-during-the-covid-19-response/). Previously, Alex led the growth team at a startup scaling the company to 35 countries over 3 years. Prior to this he worked on access to information and Internet programs for 6 years at an international NGO called IREX; first in Ukraine, next in Namibia, and then in Washington DC. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching mathematics in Namibia from 2006 to 2008. Alex holds a BS in physics from the University of Illinois, and an MS from the University of Michigan (where he also taught astrophysics.) He has served as a guest lecturer for the University of Maryland’s School of Information.
Raina is the Head of Privacy and Data Policy, Engagement, APAC for Facebook. She is a lawyer by training and is a former regulator, having previously worked at the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in the position of Assistant Privacy Commissioner (Legal, Policy & Research). Prior to joining the Hong Kong data protection authority, Raina had extensive legal in-house experience and held management positions in both Hong Kong and Shanghai. She served as the Assistant Chief Counsel – Head of Legal at Hong Kong Disneyland and was the Deputy Chief Counsel – Head of Legal at Shanghai Disney Resort during the initial construction stage of the project when she helped set up the legal function at the Shanghai Disney Resort. Raina held a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Chan’s primary research concerns the institutions that shape the consumption and distortion of information in different organizational settings. His current research explores how bureaucrats handle information and the impact of institutions on their choices.
Ongoing projects deal with different aspects of bureaucratic control in authoritarian regimes, such as administrative oversight, juridical intervention, internal reporting, and legislative decision-making.
He holds a PhD Degree in Public Policy from the O’Neill School of Public and Environment Affairs and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington.
Dr Winnie Law is the Deputy Director and Principal Lecturer at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on sustainable development, community planning and environmental management. She also works with a team of researchers and conducts policy research, action research and knowledge exchange projects on rural revitalization, social innovation, community engagement and corporate sustainability. Dr Law has been a director of the Conservancy Association since 2005 and has served on a number of HKSAR Government’s advisory committees including Advisory Council for the Environment. At the regional level, Dr Law was commissioned by the EU and UNDP as a planning and social monitoring expert for their city planning and environmental management programmes in Vietnam. Dr Law was one of the invited speakers for the first TedxTongChongSt’s series on Hacking the Future and delivered a talk on Future of Sustainability in 2019.
Wai-Fung (Danny) Lam is Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG), and Professor in Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. He finished his undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Lam is an expert in common-pool resource management, institutional policy analysis, public governance, and civil society. His research has focused on the design of efficient institutional arrangements for the governance and management of public resources, a core issue in public administration and sustainable development. Professor Lam has served on the editorial committees of Public Administration Review (PAR), International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS), Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA), Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP), and is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA).
George Chen joined Facebook in January 2016 as the company’s first-ever policy representative based in Hong Kong, home for Facebook in the Greater China region. Currently as the Public Policy Director for Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia, George serves as Facebook’s “ambassador” to engage with the people and governments across the vast and diverse regions.
Prior to Facebook, George has worked in the media sector for about 15 years. George was a 2014 Yale World Fellow and a 2015 fellow of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. George is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hong Kong where he focuses his research on freedom of expression and misinformation.