Rockets, jet engines, and an ambitious future for Hong Kong: Professor Joseph Hui captivates the audience in a Tech-Talk session organised by ASTRI

  • Over a hundred people – including a few professors and scholars, university students, and ASTRI’s own R&D professionals – attended a Tech-Talk session organised by ASTRI on Friday, 18 May 2018. Professor Jospeh Y Hui, a globally famous MIT alumnus, delivered two intriguing lectures on “How Should Hong Kong Cool Itself in Global Warming?” and “Can Hong Kong be a Smart Aeronautical and Aerospace Hub?”

    The Tech-Talk session followed a small celebration event to mark ASTRI’s grand success at the recent International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva. With 14 awards won at the event – three of them accompanied by Congratulations from the Jury – ASTRI has been one of the most awarded organisations among Hong Kong participants in the event. Mr Hugh Chow – ASTRI’s CEO, congratulated the winning teams for their remarkable achievement, and reiterated ASTRI’s commitment to keep innovating to help institutions, strengthen businesses and improve people’s lives. After the celebration, Professor Hui took the stage to share his incredible insights through two powerful talks lasting over two hours.

    Growing up in Hong Kong, the Professor is all too familiar with the city’s hot and humid climate. He also took note of the amount of electricity we consume and the annoying level of “social nuisance caused by water dripping from air-conditioning units.” He has invented air-conditioners that run on “jet engines” instead of conventional compression systems. From portable air-conditioners to units large enough for residential or commercial use, Professor Hui’s invention can keep the ambience cool and comfortable, at a tiny fraction of the global warming caused by conventional cooling systems, and with significantly better energy efficiency.

    Professor Hui’s second lecture focused on rocket-powered aircrafts that can transport small shipments to passengers to large volumes of goods. He shared the design of an innovative turbine engine which can lift aircrafts with much less fuel to burn. His design could be used for unmanned aviation vehicles or automated air taxis – rockets that are cheaper to build and easier to fly. These engines allow vertical take-off and landing just like helicopters, and the booster rockets can return to the launch site for reuse.

    The audience was captivated with the passionate enthusiasm in Professor Hui’s lectures, drawing lots of curious questions from the audience. Other topics discussed in the session included the importance of a strong technology talent pipeline in Hong Kong, and inspiring the city’s youth into studying and embracing science. Professor Hui revealed to the audience that he is already in discussions with institutions like the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hong Kong Science Park and ASTRI to explore setting up an R&D hub that will materialise his ideas.

    Professor Joseph Y Hui grew up in Hong Kong, and completed his BS, MS and PhD degrees from MIT. He has worked in major technology enterprises like Bell Labs, Comsat, Bellcore, and IBM, and has taught in leading international universities  all-over the world. He holds many patents; wrote several books including the latest series ‘What’s the Matter with Energy’; and is a serial entrepreneur whose goal is to help people live a comfortable and sustainable life.


    VTC Chairman Visits ASTRI

  • The Chairman of the Vocational Training Council (VTC), Dr Roy Chung, along with VTC’s Deputy Executive Director, Dr Eric Liu and 12 staff members visited ASTRI on May 21, 2018. The purpose of the visit was to promote mutual understanding between the two organisations and to explore cooperation opportunities in training and education. The delegation was welcomed and received by the Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, Mr Hugh Chow, and Dr Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer. During the visit, they were  briefed by ASTRI’s R&D experts on a number of ASTRI’s advanced technologies such as Smart City, Health and Big Data technologies.

    ASTRI’s CEO, Mr Hugh Chow (9th from right) and CTO, Dr Meikei Ieong (1st from left) welcomed VTC’s delegation including its Chairman, Dr Roy Chung (8th from right), Deputy Executive Director, Dr Eric Liu (10th from right) and 11 academic staff

    Lenovo Group Visits ASTRI

  • A group of senior executives from the Lenovo Group led by its Senior Vice President Mr George He visited ASTRI today (May 16, 2018) to learn about the R&D development and achievements of ASTRI. The group met with ASTRI’s Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr Justin Chuang, Vice President (Next Generation Network), and Ms Eunice Cheng, Director of Public Affairs, to share experience and exchange views in the technological development. During the visit, Dr Justin Chuang introduced ASTRI’s next generation network technology to the group. They were also presented a series of R&D technologies demonstrated in the “Smart City Innovation Center”, including Naked-eye 3D Display Technology, Palmprint Fusion Biometric Access Control System, Connected Cars, and Smart Pole…etc.

    Lenovo Group’s Senior Vice President Mr George He along with the Group’s several senior executives visited ASTRI, and met with ASTRI’s Mr Hugh Chow, CEO (3rd from right); and Dr Justin Chuang, Vice President (Next Generation Network) (3rd from left)
    Dr Justin Chuang presenting ASTRI’s Next Generation Network Technology to the Lenovo visitors

    ASTRI welcomes new measures from the Central Government to help position Hong Kong as a global innovation hub

  • In line with the strong emphasis on supporting Hong Kong in its mission to become a global innovation hub, put forth by President Xi Jinping, the Central Government has announced a set of new and major policy initiatives that aims to bolster Innovation and Technology (I&T) collaboration between Hong Kong and the Mainland. The Central Government’s announcement validates the important role Hong Kong plays in overall national development, particularly in sectors powered by technological innovation.

    The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government organised a forum today, 15 May 2018, on ‘Mainland-HK Cooperation in I&T: explores new co-operation opportunities’. The forum touched upon these issues as well as other important aspects of I&T development.

    In the seminar, the Central Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as the Ministry of Finance, elaborated the important measures including making it possible for Hong Kong-based universities and R&D centres to access and leverage state-level technological research funding, and take advantage of initiatives like the Central Financial Technology Programme. The funds made available to Hong Kong-based researchers and institutions can be used for cross-border development and applications, covering both Hong Kong and the Mainland, and also for R&D logistics and infrastructure development. Today’s high-level seminar was attended by senior officials from both the Central Government and the HKSAR Government, including: Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – Chief Executive of HKSAR; Mr Huang Liuquan – Deputy Director of the Central Government’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office; and Mr Huang Wei – Deputy Minister of the Central Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Mr Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung – Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government; Dr Tan Tieniu – Deputy Director of the Central Government’s Liaison Office in HKSAR also spoke at the occasion.

    Mrs Carrie Lam termed the recent measures from the Central Government as “a major breakthrough” and acknowledged that the new policy “will foster technological co-operation between Hong Kong and the Mainland and take full advantage of the unique advantages in technology of the two places. The policy also paves the way to build the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area as an international innovation and technology hub and provides incessant impetus for the current-term Government in spurring innovation and technology development.” She hailed the fact that, under the new initiatives, Hong Kong-based R&D professionals and institutions will have greater, easier and more flexible access to state-level funding, enabling them to carry out their innovative pursuit from Hong Kong as well. “The Central Government’s unwavering support to I&T development in Hong Kong not only helps promote technology-based sectors in the city, but also paves the way for prolific grooming of tech-talents and developing a strong innovation economy,” she added. She also said the new policy lays a solid foundation for the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop.

    Mr Huang Wei reiterated the great importance attached by the Central Government on the continued growth and development of Hong Kong and expressed full confidence that seamless collaboration between Hong Kong and the Mainland will not only promote I&T development in both parts of the country, but also help to ensure strong and prosperous growth for the entire nation. He mentioned that 16 HK-China Joint Labs and six Hong Kong branches of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre (CNERC) have already received funding from the Central Government. He referred to the significant contributions from these national-level R&D centres based in the city. In addition, many of these institutions benefit from preferential import duties and other concessions. Universities and research institutes in Hong Kong and Macau are also eligible to compete fairly for national funding for national technology research projects and conduct research on their own without partnering with any Mainland partner.

    Mr Nicholas Yang said, “The current macro-economic environment requires that the Mainland and Hong Kong strongly collaborate for new avenues of innovation-led growth, in order to drive overall national development in the new era of global economic realities.” Mr Yang highlighted that “Ushering into the new era, R&D collaborations will facilitate greater integration of the two places and will bring unprecedented new opportunities to universities, research institutions and technology-centric industries.”

    ASTRI, the largest Government-funded applied R&D institution in Hong Kong, which also hosts the Hong Kong Branch of National Engineering Research Centre for Application Specific Integrated Circuit System (CNERC), remains committed to advancing I&T development not only for the city, but also on the national level. Welcoming the new measures announced by the Central Government, Mr Wong Ming-yam – ASTRI’s Board Chairman, said that “these new initiatives will enable Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem players including R&D centres like ASTRI to take greater advantage of national-level funding and Government support.” Echoing the comments from speakers at the seminar, he said “We must make the most of these new measures to help position Hong as a global hub for innovation – an aspiration that will not only ensure a bright and prosperous future for our city but also a leading global role for our country.”

    Hong Kong Civil Servants visit ASTRI

  • A group of some forty civil servants organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Civil Service Training and Development Institute visited ASTRI on 14 May 2018. Ms Eunice Cheng, Director of Public Affairs, welcomed the delegation and presented a brief overview of ASTRI’s endeavours. The delegation later witnessed different technology demonstrations at ASTRI’s Smart City Innovation Centre, Mega Lab and the Cyber Range.

    The visitors were briefed on, among other topics, ASTRI’s R&D work in Financial Technologies (FinTech), naked-eye 3D technology, pre-5G and 5G applications including Smart Pole and Connected Cars, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Big Data Analytics, and Cybersecurity. They attended a presentation on ASTRI’s patents and overall intellectual property management process. They also took a glimpse of the artwork collaboration project between ASTRI and the City University of Hong Kong that celebrates the power of technology and the imaginative potential of the human brain.

    The visitors found their time spent at ASTRI very rewarding and informative, and took keen interest in ASTRI’s mission to enhance Hong Kong’s global competitiveness, powered by technology.

    ASTRI CEO Mr Hugh Chow Attends Shaanxi-Hong Kong-Macau Innovation Industry Development Forum

  • The 3rd Silk Road International Exposition, jointly-organised by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the People’s Government of Shaanxi Province, took place in Xian from 11 to 15 May 2018. The theme of this year’s expo is “New Era, New Models, and New Development”. With an aim to further strengthen cooperation and exchange between Shaanxi, Hong Kong and Macau in scientific and technological innovation and development, the “Shaanxi, Hong Kong, and Macau Science and Technology Innovation and Development Forum” was held in conjunction with the event.

    The Forum was jointly-organised by the Liaison Offices of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR and the Macau SAR, as well as the Shanxi Provincial Government, along with co-organisers including the HKSAR Government’s Liaison Unit in Shaanxi and the Macau SAR Government’s Office in Beijing. Taking place from 11 to 12 May 2018 at the Xian People’s Mansion, its topics surrounded the innovation mechanism, science and technology incubation of Shaanxi, Hong Kong, and Macau technology companies, as well as cooperation models between technology companies and institutions of higher education and venture capital.

    Mr Huge Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, was invited as one of the speakers at the Forum. Presenting on the topic “Cooperation for Innovation – Join Hands with ASTRI” and explaining ASTRI’s work in applied R&D, Mr Chow addressed over 100 participants including local provincial and municipal Government officials, Mainland technology companies and R&D experts, as well as industry practitioners and investors from Hong Kong and Macau. Other speakers at the Forum included: Mr Zhao Yan, Director of the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Science and Technology, and Mr Jiang Zhuangde, Chairman of the Shaanxi Association for Science and Technology.

    Mr Hugh Chow, CEO of ASTRI (4th from left) attends the 3rd Silk Road International Exposition in Xian
    Mr Hugh Chow, CEO of ASTRI presenting ASTRI’s R&D scopes and achievements at the “Shaanxi, Hong Kong, and Macau Science and Technology Innovation and Development Forum”

    Customs and Excise Department visits ASTRI

  • A delegation from the Customs and Excise Department of the HKSAR Government, led by its Commissioner Mr Hermes Tang Yi-hoi, CMSM, visited ASTRI on 4 May 2018. Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, welcomed the delegation along with Dr MeiKei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer; Ms Cammy Yung, Chief Financial Officer; and Ms Grace Hui, Chief Administrative Officer.

    The delegation visited the Smart City Innovation Centre and Cyber Range to learn about ASTRI’s R&D work in Cybersecurity, FinTech and overall Smart City development. Discussions and exchanges during the visit also included topics like data analytics, cyber-crime deterrence, biometric authentication technologies, identity management, as well as optical and sensing solutions.

    The delegation from Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, led by its Commissioner Mr Hermes Tang Yi-hoi, CMSM (seventh from right), visited ASTRI on 4 May 2018. Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI(sixth from right), welcomed the delegation along with Dr MeiKei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer(sixth from left) ; Ms Cammy Yung, Chief Financial Officer(second from left); and Ms Grace Hui, Chief Administrative Officer.(first from right)

    Delegation of CR Micro visits ASTRI, explores collaboration opportunities for innovation and technology development

  • A delegation of China Resources Microelectronics Ltd (CR Micro) and Zhongchen Investment Holding (Zhongchen) visited ASTRI today and witnessed a number of its smart city, FinTech and semiconductor R&D applications. Led by Mr Du Wenmin, Chairman of CR Micro and Mr Huang Jian – Chairman of the Zhongchen, the delegation also included Mr Chen Nanxiang – Deputy Chairman of CR Micro, Mr Zhang Shenwen – General Manager of CR Micro and Mr Yang Jun – General Manager of Zhongchen. Mr Wong Ming-yam – ASTRI’s Chairman, Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer, and Dr MeiKei Ieong – Chief Technology Officer welcomed the delegation to ASTRI premises and showed them around different R&D facilities including the Smart City Innovation Centre.

    The visit’s agenda included exploring collaboration opportunities in the area of high-end advanced technologies. Dr MeiKei Ieong briefed the delegation on ASTRI’s work in the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre that specialises in Application Specific Integrated Circuit Systems. In addition, other R&D experts demonstrated innovative applications and solutions on naked-eye 3D technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, Blockchain, Connected Cars and Smart Pole, Palm Fusion Biometric Authentication, as well as applications of 5G and other next generation network technologies.

    Exchanges and discussions during the visit stressed the importance of bringing together high-tech talents from Hong Kong and the Mainland especially for the development innovation and technology in the Greater Bay Area. This will enable prolific innovation in high-end advanced technologies, while strengthening commercialisation and technology transfers.

    Commenting on the visit, Mr Wong Ming-yam, ASTRI’s Chairman said, “Outstanding R&D capabilities is one of Hong Kong’s strength areas. Through strong collaboration, different players in the Hong Kong innovation and technology ecosystem can leverage each other’s capabilities, leading to maximised delivery and commercialisation of innovative technologies and solutions.”

    The two sides will engage further to explore various possible options to develop innovative R&D and solutions, and to actively commercialise technologies in the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Bay Area.

    Dali Delegation Visits ASTRI

  • A 20-member delegation from Dali Town of the Nanhai District in Foshan City, led by its Mayor Mr Huang Weiming, visited ASTRI today (26 April 2018) to learn about ASTRI’s R&D work and its role in promoting Hong Kong’s innovation and technology development. They visited the ‘Smart City Innovation Centre’ and took interest in various smart city applications developed by ASTRI. The solutions showcased to delegation at the Centre included the naked-eye 3D display technology and the Palm Fusion Biometric Access Control System.

    Mr Qiao Xiaoyang, Chairman of the 12th NPC Law Committee, visits ASTRI

  • Mr Qiao Xiaoyang, Chairman of the 12th National People’s Congress Law Committee of the People’s Republic of China, visited ASTRI today (26 April 2018) as part of his visit to Hong Kong Science Park. The visiting delegation also included Honourable Mr Nicholas Yang – Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, Honourable Ms Fanny Law – Member of the Executive Council of the the HKSAR Government and Chairperson of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, and Ms Annie Choi – Commissioner for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government. Welcomed by ASTRI’s Chairman Mr Wong Ming-yam and Chief Executive Officer Mr Hugh Chow, the delegation took a tour of the ‘Smart City Innovation Centre’ at ASTRI premises.

    Mr Qiao was impressed with ASTRI’s demonstrations of a number of smart city technologies, as well as with the work of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre’s (CNERC) Hong Kong branch for Application Specific Integrated Circuit System. Located in ASTRI, the Centre was established in 2012 with approval from the Central Government’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), as the first CNERC branch outside of Mainland China. The CNERC branch aims to help advance the competitiveness of China’s integrated circuit industry by driving world-class applied R&D in this sector, and by grooming talents for the industry.

    The demonstrations witnessed by Mr Qiao during his visit included Naked-eye 3D Display Technology, Next Generation Capsule Endoscopy System, Palm Fusion Biometric Access Control System, and next generation communication technologies for maritime, land and road transportation, and aviation sectors.

    Commenting on the visit, ASTRI’s Chairman Mr Wong Ming-yam said: “It is our honour to have Mr Qiao in our facility. We thank him for his support and appreciation for our work. ASTRI will continue its mission to help enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness, and contribute to national development, through applied R&D.”

    (From left to right) Dr Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI; Ms Annie Choi, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology; Mrs Fanny Law, Chairman of HKSTP; Mr Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology; Mr Qiao Xiao Yang, Chairman of the 12th National People’s Congress Law Committee of the People’s Republic of China; Mr Wong Ming-yam, Chairman of ASTRI; and Mr Hugh Chow at the Smart City Innovation Centre