Little Bluebridge Foundation donated HK$15M to HKU HINCare to enhance software development and volunteering matching services

Little Bluebridge Foundation recently donated HK$15 million to HINCare to further develop and enhance volunteering services. HINCare is a project developed by Professor Reynold C.K. Cheng from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). It is a state-of-the-art platform which uses AI technologies to support volunteering among multiple NGOs and charity organisations. It employs timebanking, which allows a volunteer to use a user-friendly app to earn “time credits” based on the time he/she spent on a volunteering task; the time credits can be viewed and used in the app to acquire other services or goods. Another salient feature of HINCare is that it is based on a cloud-based subscription model, in which an organisation can set up its timebanking service mode easily in the cloud platform, without going through the hassles of developing a new app.


Moreover, HINCare has a built-in heterogeneous information network (HIN), describing the relationship between helpers and service recipients. Based on the HIN, Professor Cheng’s research team develops novel recommender system algorithms, in order to find the most appreciated helpers for service recipients. Besides investigating HIN analytics problems, the team examines scalable algorithms for finding interesting patterns from billion-node graphs and studies large probabilistic and crowdsourcing databases. The research has been published in top databases and AI conferences. Professor Cheng has also been awarded ACM Distinguished membership, HKU Outstanding Research Supervisor Award in 2022, AI 2000 Most Influential Scholar in 2023 & 2024 and World’s Top 2% Scientists by Stanford University in 2022.


18 NGOs are using the HINCare system currently. They reflected that HINCare alleviates them from huge amounts of paperwork and resources so that they can focus on helping people in need. The system has served more than 10,000 users, accumulating 10 million minutes of time credits, and cultivating a social capital of HK$7 million. The HINCare project has received five awards in the past four years, including two Hong Kong ICT Awards in 2021 & 2023, two Asia Smart Apps awards in 2020 & 2021, and HKU Knowledge Exchange Award (Engineering) in 2021.


HINCare is a cloud-based platform that uses AI to support volunteering among multiple organisations. Thanks to the generous donation of the Little Bluebridge Foundation, we will continue to improve HINCare and serve more NGOs and companies in the next five years,” said Professor Cheng. The team plans to strengthen HINCare to promote volunteering activities to citizens and engage other companies in timebanking, in order to create a mutual-help culture in the community.


Details about HINCare:


More details can be viewed at HKU press release: