ASTRI’s Chairman and CEO tell journalists how it plans to fully capitalise on a highly favourable climate for I&T development, and share glimpses of future plans

Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) revealed to a group of invited journalists today that it will continue to leverage “the strong support from the Hong Kong SAR Government, collective strengths of the other quangos in Hong Kong’s Innovation & Technology (I&T) ecosystem, and emerging opportunities arising from national policies and initiatives” to add greater value to the city’s technology sector and overall development. Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP – ASTRI’s Chairman and Mr Hugh Chow – ASTRI’s CEO hosted the journalists in the session to exchange opinions and insights, and update them on what the Institute has achieved over the past decade and what the journey ahead looks like.

Mr Wong Ming-yam talked about ASTRI’s accomplishments over the past decade and touched upon issues related to socio-economic dynamics, Government policies and cross-border collaborations that are crucial for Hong Kong’s overall (I&T) development. Citing strong supporting measures from the HKSAR Government, as well as unique opportunities such as Greater Bay Area development and other national-international programmes, Mr Wong said, “Innovation can be one of the biggest catalysts for Hong Kong’s long-term growth and development. By leveraging support from the SAR and Central Governments and fully capitalising on Hong Kong’s existing strengths, we can make the most of Hong Kong’s strategic global advantages.” Mr Wong also said strong commitment to I&T development from the HKSAR Chief Executive, unprecedented allocation to I&T sector in the budget, policy initiatives to boost R&D and attract technology talents, and a series of supporting measures from the Central Government will help all the ecosystem players including ASTRI to accelerate their I&T development efforts. Mr Wong also shared about the first-ever Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre run by ASTRI focusing on Application Specific Integrated Circuits.

Mr Hugh Chow discussed ASTRI’s efforts to leverage technology, talents, resources and market access to fulfil its organisational mission: to enhance Hong Kong’s global competitiveness through applied research. Referring to the HKSAR Government’s strong emphasis on FinTech, Smart City, Health Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, he said “ASTRI is currently pursuing many R&D projects in these areas, and there are more in the pipeline.” He summarised how ASTRI is, using the power of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), helping organisations in public and private sectors alike: “To us, ICT also stands for Intelligent, Connected and Trusted. These are the three key goals that we mind in our endeavours.” Citing collaborations with ASTRI’s partners such as HKMA and the banking sector, the Insurance sector, industry bodies and chambers, local and non-local R&D institutions, other quangos like Hong Kong Science Park, Cyber Port and Hong Kong Productivity Council, as well as the academia, he said “We work together with the ecosystem to leverage on our respective spectrum of capabilities. At the end of the day, building an innovation-led economy for Hong Kong demands a collective, ecosystem approach.”

The session was hosted at ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre developed jointly with Hong Kong Science Park and the Innovation and Technology Commission. Dr MeiKei Ieong, ASTRI’s Chief Technology Officer, spoke about the recent International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva where ATSRI won 14 awards including three Gold awards with Congratulations from the Jury. Led by Dr Ieong, ASTRI’s R&D professionals demonstrated how it uses Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to develop FinTech, Smart Communities, Smart Manufacturing and Health Tech solutions. The journalists also learnt about ASTRI’s R&D work in 5G applications for Land, Air and Water; naked-eye 3D display; Palm-fusion biometric authentication, Blockchain for financial services and Cybersecurity.

The journalists also took a glimpse of “L’Esprit des Lumiere” – an artwork collaboration project between ASTRI and the School of Creative Media of the City University of Hong Kong – that celebrates the power of technology and the imaginative potential of the human brain. Professor Richard Allen – the School’s Dean – accompanied by Professors Maurice Benayoun and Mr Tobias Klein who developed the project – spoke to the journalists about this creative media artwork.

Since being established in 2000, ASTRI has been granted 750+ patents for its innovations, completed 400+ R&D projects, and transferred 600+ technologies to the industries. In the last three years, ASTRI conducted 125 ITF-funded R&D projects, and transferred some 185 technologies to its partners across industries. By focusing on FinTech, Smart City including 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Health Technologies, and Application Specific Integrated Circuits, ASTRI will strengthen its R&D and commercialisation efforts over the next three years. Dedicating itself to adding value to Hong Kong’s growth and development through the power of technologies, ASTRI will tap into the unique opportunities for the technology sector, including Greater Bay Area Development, Reindustrialisation of Hong Kong and other national-international initiatives.

Mr Wong Ming-yam talked about ASTRI’s accomplishments over the past decade and touched upon issues related to socio-economic dynamics, Government policies and cross-border collaborations that are crucial for Hong Kong’s overall (I&T) development.