ASTRI’s R&D expert shares innovative insights on AI in Digital Manufacturing at HKEIA Workshop
Dr T. John Koo, Director of Cyber-Physical Systems of ASTRI, shared his insights and experiences on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Digital Manufacturing at a workshop organised by the Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association (HKEIA) on 9 August 2018. Dr Koo discussed the applications of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) to enable AI-driven innovations in the field of manufacturing.
Focusing on rapid automation and digital transformation in the industrial sectors, the workshop touched upon key challenges and opportunities in the era of Industry 4.0 and Digital Factories. The event attracted representatives from across the industry as well as several technology specialists. Other presenters in the workshop included senior experts from NVIDIA, eFusion Capital and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Photo caption: Dr John Koo shared his insights on AI in digital manufacturing with the audience
Senior officials from the fire services department visit ASTRI
Mr Daryl Li – Director of the Fire Services Department (FSD) of HKSAR Government, visited ASTRI on 2 August 2018, along with the Department’s several senior officials including Mr Joseph Leung – Deputy Director and Ir Andy Yeung – Assistant Director (Headquarters). They aimed to learn about ASTRI’s R&D achievements, and explore advanced technologies that enhance the management and operational efficiency of fire services and also improves safety measures for firefighters.
The FSD officials met several ASTRI technology experts along with Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer, Dr Meikei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer, and Dr Justin Chuang – Vice President (Next Generation Network). They visited the Smart City Innovation Centre and Mega Lab facilities, where they witnessed demonstrations of a series of advanced technologies, including the mobile phone spectrometer that can remotely sense flame colours and chemical information in order to detect toxic gas at incident sites, ensuring the safety of firefighters. They also learnt ASTRI’s Virtual Reality and head-mounted display technology which can quickly scan and develop 3D images of buildings, efficiently providing firefighters with useful information. In addition, ASTRI’s Vehicle-to-Everything technologies can greatly facilitate fleet management for the FSD.
The delegation was impressed by ASTRI’s R&D achievements and found strong relevance of the technologies with the practical operations of the FSD. The two parties will continue to engage and explore for further potential collaborations.
ASTRI helps boost technical capabilities of participating start-ups in the Accenture FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific
ASTRI is a supporting organisation in the FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific, an annual 12-week mentorship programme organised by Accenture. At the training workshop attended by the programme’s finalists on 31 July 2018, ASTRI facilitated several training sessions for the 2018 cohort. Dr MeiKei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer, Dr Lucas Hui – Senior Director of Security & Data Sciences, Dr James Lei – Acting Director of Advanced Digital Systems, Dr Yu Tao – Director of Data Analytics and Mr Barry Yen – Director of Commercialisation individually shared their knowledge and insights, and presented on core technologies related to FinTech applications. The workshop was designed to promote the participants’ technological know-how and help them to have an understanding of ASTRI’s work in Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Big Data Analytics and industry commercialisation.
As a programme partner, ASTRI is facilitating technological trainings and workshops for the participating start-ups, helping to enhance their technical expertise and enabling them to develop intuitive and industry-relevant FinTech solutions. FinTech is one of the five pillars in ASTRI’s technology strategy. Through this programme, ASTRI joins hands with Accenture along with global banking giants like Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, Sun Life Financial and UBS.
The FinTech Innovation Lab Asia-Pacific 2018 programme is designed to provide FinTech start-ups with related technological, strategic and commercial guidance as well as the opportunity to build connections with over 250 key decisions makers and industry leaders from the financial services sector. The 2018 cohort received a record number of applications from over 160 start-ups with eight of them making it to the finals. The finalists are: Bereev, BetterTradeOff, Checkbox.ai, Gekko Lab, Hyper Anna, Know Your Customer, NoPassword, Tookitaki. Each start-up developed and collaborated on innovations, ranging from identity authentication to Artificial Intelligence, throughout the duration of the programme under the guidance of FinTech experts.
Delegation from the Central Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs visits ASTRI
Mr Miao Deyu – Deputy Director-General, Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China visited ASTRI on 1 August 1 2018. Mr Miao was accompanied by Mr Wong Wang-wah – Assistant Commissioner of the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government. They were joined by several officials from the Ministry. The delegation was welcomed by Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer and Dr Meikei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer.
The Central Government actively supports Hong Kong’s development into an international hub for Innovation and Technology (I&T). Explaining the purpose of the visit, Mr Miao said “We wish to better understand Hong Kong’s I&T endeavours and developments in that direction”. He said that Hong Kong’s role as a global city, its unique advantages are tremendously important to the Central Government. “We are confident that Hong Kong will successfully leverage these competitive edges to build a leading international I&T hub and contribute to the nation’s overall development,” he added.
During the visit, Mr Miao and the delegation members visited ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre, and left with a clearer picture of ASTRI’s R&D and innovative technologies.
Ms Sophia Chong – Assistant Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), along with Mr Daniel Lam – Senior Exhibitions Manager and Ms Maggie Cheung – Manager of Exhibition Department, visited ASTRI on 26 July 2018. They were welcomed to ASTRI by Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer and Dr Meikei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer. During the visit, the HKTDC delegation was briefed about ASTRI’s various R&D initiatives. The two parties also explored future cooperation opportunities.
With the strong support from the HKSAR Government as well as the Central Government, Hong Kong is actively developing into an international hub for Innovation and Technology (I&T). This development is aligned with the long-term development strategy of the city, and for the Great Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. ASTRI and HKTDC share the common goal to help enhance the competitiveness of industries and to promote Hong Kong’s economic development. The two organisations look forward to closer cooperation in the future including exhibitions and promotional activities, in order to create more development opportunities for Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem.
Delegation from Beijing Union University visits ASTRI
Organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, 26 students and their teachers from Beijing Union University visited ASTRI on 17 July 2018. They were welcomed and received by Dr MeiKei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI. During the visit, the group witnessed a series of advanced technologies developed by ASTRI at the Smart City Innovation Centre, and learnt about the mission and technology endeavours of ASTRI.
Delegation of Young Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong visits ASTRI
A group of nine committee members of the Young Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (YDAB) visited ASTRI on 17 July 2018, including Mr Ngan Man-yu – YDAB Chairman and Kwun Tong District Councillor; Mr Chiu Man-leong – Vice-chairman and Shatin District Councillor; and Mr Siu Wai-chung – Deputy Secretary General. The group had a guided tour of ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre and met Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer and Dr Meikei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI. The visitors learnt about ASTRI’s R&D development and achievements and explored how application of these technologies enhance the social and economic development of Hong Kong and improve people’s daily lives.
The YDAB committee members were very impressed by a series of Smart City technologies and 5G applications developed by ASTRI. Many members of the delegation represent different district councils, with extensive experience in community work. Through their daily interaction with people from different all walks of life in the community, they have built up a rich knowledge of the needs of the public. Naturally, the delegation showed particular interest in how the HKSAR Government’s Innovation and Technology (I&T) development efforts would bring tangible benefits to ordinary citizens, and how various stakeholders in the I&T ecosystem could leverage advanced technologies to develop practical solutions that meet the real-life needs of Hong Kong residents.
The YDAB delegation found the visit both inspiring and interesting, and offered some meaningful feedback to ASTRI.
Ms Mary Ng, Member of Canadian Parliament, visits ASTRI
Ms Mary Ng, Member of the Parliament of Canada, accompanied by Mr Jeff Nankivell, Consul General of Canada in Hong Kong and Macao, visited ASTRI on 11 July 2018. They were welcomed to ASTRI by Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer and Dr Meikei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer. During the visit, the two sides discussed about exchanging technology and talents between Canada and Hong Kong, as well as the economic development trends in both places. They also exchanged thoughts and insights on potential future collaborations. The visitors were impressed by the many advanced technologies developed by ASTRI, having witnessed the demonstrations at the Smart City Innovation Centre. The demonstrations included naked-eye 3D display technology, Blockchain applications, smart pole and cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technologies. They hoped that technological exchange and cooperation between Hong Kong and Canada could be further strengthened in future.
A group of senior civil servants from the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department (CSD), and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) visited ASTRI on 12 July 2018. The group was led by Mr Yeung Chun-wai – Assistant Commissioner of CSD, joined by Mr Wong Sek Cheung – Assistant Director of EMSD. They were welcomed to ASTRI by Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer, accompanied by Dr Meikei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer and Dr Justin Chuang – Vice President of Next Generation Network as well as several R&D experts.
Aiming to explore new technologies for continuous improvement of CSD’s operational performance, the group was very keen to see a series of ASTRI’s advanced R&D projects such as human activity sensing technologies, data analytics and cybersecurity. During the visit, they also took the opportunity to witness demonstrations related to various applications of 5G at ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre. In addition, they exchanged ideas and insights with ASTRI’s R&D experts on how technology could help enhance the efficiency and security of their operations and services.
ASTRI partners with HKSTP and Molecular Hub in organising Blockchain Accelerator Programme for start-ups
ASTRI is partnering with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Molecular Hub, to launch a Blockchain-focused accelerator programme for start-ups. The programme was launched today, 13 July 2018, in a ceremony held at Hong Kong Science Park.
ASTRI, a key partner in the programme, will build and enhance technological know-how and capabilities of the participating start-ups, providing them with Blockchain-related training. The start-ups will also be able to leverage ASTRI’s R&D infrastructure by accessing the facilities of the Smart City Innovation Centre operated by ASTRI.
Dr David Chung Wai-keung, JP, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR Government, was one of the officiating guests at the programme’s launch. Highlighting the SAR Government’s determination to position Hong Kong as a global innovation hub, Dr Chung said, “Since its establishment in 2015, the Government’s Innovation and Technology Bureau made a significant investment to I&T development to the tune of HK$ 78 billion. The Government’s support to I&T development covers many different areas of technologies and applications with particular emphasis on Financial Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, as well as Healthcare technologies.”
Other dignitaries present at the event included: the Honourable Dr Elizabeth Quat, BBS, JP – Member of the HKSAR Legislative Council, as well as senior leaders from HKSTP, ASTRI, Molecular Hub, leading investment and venture capital firms, prominent FinTech firms and other technology companies.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr MeiKei Ieong – ASTRI’s Chief Technology Officer said, “ASTRI is the largest government-funded applied R&D institute in Hong Kong, focusing on Information and Communications Technology. We have a strong track record of commercialising innovative technological solutions in Smart City, FinTech, AI + Robotics and Health Technologies. Through this partnership, we look forward to working with HKSTP and Molecular Hub to provide support to start-ups, aiming to accelerate the development of I&T in Hong Kong and beyond. ”
Mr George Tee, Chief Technology Officer of HKSTP, said, “Blockchain technology has enormous potential for use and can be applied into various industries and in many various ways – from compliance, to finance and operations. HKSTP encourages innovation, hence we have seen our Park companies successfully applying this technology to logistics, insurance, ID authentication and property valuation. The timing couldn’t be any better for us to launch this programme, to capture the huge market opportunity out there. This move will certainly put Hong Kong as an attractive venue for innovators to turn their ideas into commercial success.”
Mr Jacky Chan, CEO of Molecular Hub said, “With Molecular Hub collaborating with HKSTP and ASTRI in this programme, the three of us can definitely give extra value and an extra edge for start-ups to validate their ideas. We hope this will be the start of many great things to happen out of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, especially with respect to the development of FinTech.”
The programme focuses exclusively on Blockchain technology development and also other applications such as Smart City solutions. The programme plans to start its worldwide recruitment in August, with the official launch expected take place in November 2018. The other partner in the programme, Molecular Hub will help the start-ups to explore and untap Blockchain-related opportunities along the Belt-and-Road markets including China.