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.
Octopus Holdings Ltd delegation visits ASTRI to explore innovative FinTech and Smart City solutions
Led by Mr Sunny Cheung – Chief Executive Officer, a delegation of Octopus Holdings Ltd visited ASTRI on 9 July 2018 to understand the Institute’s latest R&D endeavours in Big Data Analytics, Blockchain, Customer Onboarding and Identity Management, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Authentication Systems. Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, accompanied by Dr MeiKei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer and the team, welcomed the delegation to ASTRI’s premises and discussed potential collaborations between the two organisations. The Octopus delegation also included Mr Sammy Kam – Technical Director, Ms Rita Li – Sales and Marketing Director, Mr Francis Cheung – Finance Director and other management staff.
Octopus is a pioneer in electronic payment systems, having introduced its namesake – one of the first and most famous contactless stored value smart cards in the world. The company has since pursued many innovative and dynamic solutions leveraging the power of information and communication technologies. ASTRI has one of the strongest FinTech R&D teams in this region. ASTRI’s FinTech solutions – ranging from cybersecurity to Blockchain and Identity Management solutions, authentication systems to machine learning and data analytics – cater to the wider financial services industry in Hong Kong.
During the visit, the Octopus team learnt about ASTRI’s FinTech R&D projects including cybersecurity intelligence and fortification initiatives, various authentication methods including token-based and biometric systems, big data analytics, as well as the AI-based handwritten Chinese character recognition system. An in-depth discussion between the Octopus delegation and ASTRI’s R&D experts touched upon various issues including electronic payments, customer onboarding and digital identity management processes. The complex range of technologies related to these – such as data privacy and security, obtaining, protecting and sharing customer information, and management of customer loyalty – were discussed.
Mr Hugh Chow, ASTRI’s Chief Executive Officer, acknowledged that “Data, customers and finance are all tied together by technology – that’s how we live our lives and run our businesses in this age. Octopus is an internationally respected organisation credited with some of the earliest technological innovations in payment systems. With our strong and market-relevant expertise in FinTech and Smart City solutions, ASTRI will be delighted to partner with Octopus and bring about fantastic innovations for Hong Kong and beyond.”
Thanking the ASTRI team for the “great hospitality and a very informative and enjoyable afternoon”, Mr Sunny Cheung – Chief Executive Officer of Octopus hoped for further collaboration and partnership between the two organisations.
Delegation from Hengqin New Area (Free Trade Zone) of Zhuhai Visits ASTRI
A delegation from Hengqin New Area (Free Trade Zone) led by Mr Duncan Chiu, Board Director of ASTRI, visited ASTRI on 3 July 2018. The visiting delegation included Mr Jin Niu – Director, as well as Mr Xi-bin Lin and Mr Zeng-qing Luo – Deputy Directors, of the Administrative Committee, Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone – Hengqin Area of Zhuhai.
Hengqin, the special economic zone located next to the Macau Special Administrative Region, has received approval from the State Council to double its land area. The zone’s administrators are keen to attract new projects as well as bright talents and new technologies to advance the Free Trade Zone’s smart city development endeavours. The delegation visited ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre and experienced a number of smart city solutions developed by ASTRI and its partners. Received at ASTRI’s facility by its CEO Mr Hugh Chow and other executives, the delegation explored possibilities for future collaborations with ASTRI in Hengqin and other parts of the Great Bay Area.
Delegation from Hong Kong Management Association visits ASTRI
A delegation comprising some 30 members of the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA) visited ASTRI on 29 June 2018. Dr Ieong Mei-Kei, ASTRI’s Chief Technology Officer, welcomed them. The group witnessed a series of ASTRI’s latest technologies such as Naked-eye 3D display, Blockchain, Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything, Palm Fusion Biometric Authentication, various applications of 5G. In addition, Dr Lucas Hui, ASTRI’s Senior Director of Security and Data Sciences, briefed the visitors on the latest developments in FinTech and cybersecurity. ASTRI strives to maintain close contact and collaboration with professional organisations, frequently exchanging knowledge and experience with them. Having learnt about ASTRI and its innovative endeavours, the HKMA delegation acknowledged their experience as very useful. The learning from ASTRI would help them to enhance management quality of the respective organisations they represent.
Hong Kong SAR Government honours Mr Wong Ming-yam, ASTRI’s Chairman, with the Silver Bauhinia Star
The HKSAR Government has announced the 2018 Hong Kong SAR Honours List. Among the recipients, four distinguished individuals have been honoured with the Grand Bauhinia Medal (GBM), ten with the Gold Bauhinia Star (GBS), 20 with the Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS), and 40 with the Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS). ASTRI’s Chairman Mr Wong Ming-yam, who was honoured with the BBS in 2012, has been conferred with the SBS Honour this year. The Honours recipients are from different walks of life. The SAR Government has bestowed the honours on them in recognition of significant contributions to Hong Kong – their dedicated public and community service. The presentation ceremony for the awards will be held on 27 October 2018.
In the citation for Mr Wong, the SAR Government announcement said: “Since his appointment as the Board Chairman of the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) in 2013, Mr Wong has been steering the Board to set the policy and strategic directions for ASTRI and leading ASTRI to strengthen its corporate governance, research capabilities, commercialisation of research and development results, among others, to build up the branding of ASTRI.” The citation recognised his accomplishments in the field of innovation and technology, and lauded his significant contributions to “enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries.”
On behalf of the entire ASTRI organisation, we wholeheartedly congratulate Mr Wong Ming-yam for this well-deserved recognition. As the Chairman of ASTRI’s Board, he has selflessly dedicated his deep knowledge and vast experience to the advancement of ASTRI’s R&D endeavours. With over 35 years of experience in technology-based sectors, Mr Wong remains as passionate as ever about fostering innovation and serving the community. In addition to providing strategic leadership and governance oversight to ASTRI as its Chairman, he is also a key source of inspiration for its Management and the entire workforce. He continues to be associated with several Government Boards and Committees on Innovation and Technology, and keeps serving the interest of the city as well as of the nation in his many capacities.
Delegation from All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce visits ASTRI
A delegation of some 20 members from the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, led by Mr Xu Lejiang, Deputy Minister of the Central United Front Work Department and Secretary of Party Committee of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, visited ASTRI on 27 June 2018. The delegation was welcomed by ASTRI’s Chairman Mr Wong Ming-yam and Senior Director (Advanced Digital Systems) Mr Li Yiu-kei. While at the Smart City Innovation Centre, the delegation witnessed a number of ASTRI’s latest R&D technologies, including naked-eye 3D display technology, Palm Fusion Biometric Sensing and Authentication system, as well as 5G applications for marine, land and air communications.