Experts at Cybersecurity Forum organised by ASTRI urge enterprises to “get stronger cyber-defence not only for survival, but also for growth”

  • [Hong Kong, 18 April 2019] Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) organised the ‘Cybersecurity Forum: The Next-Gen Defence against Cyber-Threats on the second day of the Internet Economy Summit 2019.

    Cybersecurity is a key concern in the digital era – that is the inevitable way of life for individuals and businesses alike. The forum explored tools and strategies for better preparedness in that context – including regulatory and compliance issues, professional approach to cybersecurity, securing cloud and other trusted services, and safeguarding businesses against increasingly sophisticated cyber-crimes.

    In his welcome remark, Dr Martin Szeto, Chief Operating Officer of ASTRI, said, “As a major global economic hub, Hong Kong must safeguard its financial activities and assets, to drive future growth and prosperity. We can secure our valuable information, processes and systems by building a strong pipeline of cybersecurity research, applications and talents.”

    Dr Lucas Hui, ASTRI’s Senior Director of Security and Data Sciences presented an overview of Cyberscecurity – followed by four eminent experts from Hong Kong, Mainland and overseas – and shared views and insights on the all-encompassing cybersecurity landscape and ecosystem. The other speakers were: Mr Stefan Eigler, Practice Leader Mastering Risk & Compliance of TÜV Rheinland; Ms Samantha Alexander, Principal Accreditor of the global cybersecurity certification body CREST; Dr Qingni Shen, Professor and Vice Director of the Department of Cybersecurity in Peking University, and Dr Frank Law, Senior Superintendent of the Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force.

    The speakers later took part in a panel discussion – joined by Mr Teddy Ko, Managing Director of Singapore Telecom Hong Kong; Mr Frankie Li, Security Analyst of Dragon Advance Tech Consulting; and Mr Wilson Wong, Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation. The panellists had an interactive sharing with the audience, discussing tactics for businesses to embrace modern cybersecurity challenges.

    Well over 200 tech experts, public and private sector representatives, aspiring entrepreneurs and investors participated in the forum. Hosted by ASTRI, it was one of the thematic forums during the Internet Economy Summit 2019, which was organised by the Hong Kong SAR Government and Cyberport.

     

    About ASTRI

    ASTRI was set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI’s core R&D competence in various areas is organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Advanced Digital Systems, Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Intelligent Sensing Technology System, Intelligent Software and Systems, and Security and Data Sciences. Our R&D strategic focus covers five areas of applications: Smart City, Financial Technologies, Intelligent Manufacturing, Health Technologies, and Application Specific Integrated Circuits through our mandate as the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre (CNERC).

    ASTRI organised the ‘Cybersecurity Forum: The Next-Gen Defence against Cyber-Threats’ on the second day of the Internet Economy Summit 2019

     

    ASTRI’s innovations win 21 international accolades in Geneva

  • [13 April 2019, Hong Kong] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) continued its streak of success at the International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva. This year, in the 47th edition of this event, ASTRI won 21 awards including four Gold Medals with Congratulations of the Jury, seven Gold medals, nine Silver medals and one Bronze medal.

    The four ASTRI projects winning Gold Medals with Congratulations of the Jury are: Enhanced Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) Acquisition; Separator Coated with Self Shutdown Layer of High Porosity for Lithium Ion Battery; Compact Spectrometer Having Reflective Wedge Structure; and Medical Image Data Analytics Platform.

    ASTRI’s accolades are among the awards won by the Hong Kong delegation of around 42 institutions and universities. This is a remarkable feat given that it is only the second time ASTRI has participated in this global event.

    Mr Hugh Chow, CEO of ASTRI, said, “ASTRI is honoured and delighted to stand out among many world-class inventors and institutions with 21 prestigious awards. This recognition of ASTRI’s innovative endeavours once again demonstrates our R&D expertise and capability. While the city has increasingly embraced innovation and technology development in recent years, ASTRI continues to leverage its technical know-how to develop more applied solutions that benefit the public and the industries.”

    The awards won by ASTRI are:

    Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury

    1. Enhanced Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) Acquisition
    2. Separator Coated with Self Shutdown Layer of High Porosity for Lithium Ion Battery
    3. Compact Spectrometer Having Reflective Wedge Structure
    4. Medical Image Data Analytics Platform

    Gold Medal

    5. High accuracy low power time and frequency synchronisation methods for Bluetooth Low Energy wireless communication system
    6. Nomadic Mobile Base Station for Emergency Service
    7. Three Dimensional Fully Molded Power Electronics Module for High Power Applications and the Method Thereof
    8. Intelligent industry robot: 3D vision & cognition
    9. Integrated Bi-sensing Optical Structure for Head Mounted Display
    10. Efficient and Robust Human Detection/Tracking Method and System with Video Input
    11. Mobile Biometrics Authentication Technology

    Silver Medal

    12. Sampling frequency offset tracking based on decision feedback channel estimation
    13. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Network, Security and Positioning
    14. Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) System for Road Safety and Smart Mobility Applications
    15. 3D Power Device Packages for High Frequency Power Conversion
    16. Micro-nano Structured Nano-size Aggregate Encapsulated in Micro-size Conglomerate for Conductivity Electrode
    17. Method for Error Correction for a Multicast Message
    18. Multi-location Learning Activity State Management for Distance Education
    19. Machine Learning Artificial Character Generation
    20. Efficient and Accurate Named Entity Recognition Method and System

    Bronze Medal

    21. Modified Pseudo-Cylindrical Mapping of Spherical Video Using Linear Interpolation of Empty Areas for Compression of Streamed Images

    The International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is organised annually jointly by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the Swiss Federal Government, the State, and the City of Geneva. It is acknowledged as the most prestigious and coveted event for inventors around the world. This year, around 1,000 new inventions and products have been showcased by more than 800 exhibitors from 40 countries and territories. Well over 31,000 visitors from all five continents made this the single largest innovation expo in the world.

    ASTRI’s innovations won 21 international accolades in Geneva

    ASTRI’s Cervical Cancer Screening Management innovation honoured at Hong Kong ICT Awards 2019

  • [4 April 2019, Hong Kong] The Cervical Cancer Screening Management System (CCSMS) developed by the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has won the Smart Living (Smart Healthcare) Silver Award at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2019. The awards presentation ceremony, officiated by Mrs Carrie Lam – Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR – took place on 4 April 2019.

    ASTRI’s CCSMS is a convenient, effective and accurate scalable computer-aided diagnostic platform. The CCSMS application enables the user to process and view medical images from different vendors and image formats, provides diagnosis recommendations for the doctor’s reference. It also allows healthcare professionals to have remote medical diagnosis. The solution has been commercialised through one of the largest diagnostic service providers in the Mainland China and Hong Kong.

    Health Technologies (HealthTech) form one of the five pillars in ASTRI’s innovation strategy. Commenting on this award-winning project, ASTRI’s CEO Mr Hugh Chow said, “Our HealthTech strategy aims to increase the efficiency of healer services, enhance and personalise medical services, and ultimately improve the quality of people’s lives. Through new applications of CCSMS, ASTRI works to contribute the improvement in Hong Kong’s healthcare industry and positively influence the city’s technological competence – for the benefit of its people.”

    The Hong Kong ICT Awards was established in 2006 which aims at recognising and promoting outstanding information and communications technology (ICT) inventions and applications, thereby encouraging innovation and excellence among Hong Kong’s ICT talents and enterprises in their constant pursuit of creative and better solutions to meet business and social needs.

    ASTRI’s Cervical Cancer Screening Management innovation has been honoured at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2019

    ASTRI leads in 5G and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies, joins Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for the 8th Year

  • [25 February 2019, Hong Kong] ASTRI is showcasing a series of its latest 5G communications technologies at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2019 from 25-28 February 2019. Collaborating with Anktion (Fujian) Technology Co. Ltd. (previously known as Sunnada Network), Intel Corporation, Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT) Inc, Fu Huake Precision Industry (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Foxconn Industrial Internet Co. Ltd.), Rohde & Schwarz, Keysight Technologies and Spirent Communications, ASTRI is performing joint technology demonstrations/showcases at multiple partners’ booths.

    MWC Barcelona is the largest mobile event in the world, bringing together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 leading companies, assembling today’s visionaries to explore the hottest topics influencing the industry.The theme of this year’s event is ‘Intelligent Connectivity – the term which uses to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

     

    ASTRI’s Communications Technologies R&D team, from left: Alex Mui, Director of Networking Software; Justin Chuang, Vice President of Next Generation Network, Eric Tsang, Director of Baseband solutions; and Victor Kwan, Deputy Director, 5G Wireless Systems
    ASTRI is performing joint technology demonstrations at Intel’s booth
    ASTRI is showcasing its 5G micro cell and Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) base station architectures with partners’ Remote Radio Unit (RRU) at the Hong Kong Technology Pavilion

     

    Technologies that ASTRI is showcasing at the MWC Barcelona 2019 include:

    5G Micro Cell

    ASTRI’s 5G micro cell provides a low-power and cost-efficient solution using NXP LX2160A ARM processors. The solution includes ASTRI’s ARM-based 5G physical layer software. ASTRI also realises CU-DU splitting with data path acceleration on LX2160A to support high throughput non-standalone (NSA) deployment.

    Two demonstrations are being presented on the show:

    • The first demonstration showcases ASTRI’s 5G micro cell ARM-based physical layer integrated with Fu Huake’s 5G eCPRI Remote Radio Unit (RRU). The solution can also be connected to Anktion’s 5G CPRI RRU with PCIe-CPRI conversion card. Keysight DSAV334A Infiniium V-Series Oscilloscope and 89600 VSA software for 5G NR modulation analysis will be used to demodulate and verify the four-layer 256QAM 5G NR standard compliant signal.
    • The second demonstration showcases ASTRI’s NSA micro cell with CU-DU splitting architecture. ASTRI has integrated NSA Central Unit (CU) on NXP LX2160A with data path acceleration. The CU connects to 4G and 5G Distributed Units (DUs) with up to 2 Gbps eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband) throughput for 5G traffic.

     

    5G Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Base Station

    ASTRI’s 5G C-RAN base station includes the L1 design based on Intel Xeon processor, integrated with Aricent L2/3, Anktion’s 5G CPRI RRU with PCIe-CPRI conversion card, and Fu Huake’s 5G eCPRI RRU. With ’STRI’s leading L1 design such as FPGA based LDPC decoder and up to four layers MIMO, the 5G C-RAN base station supports up to 2 Gbps throughput. The total solution offers a complete flexible and scalable 5G sub-6GHz base station reference design for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and Network Equipment Providers (NEP) for developing commercial-grade products – enabling them to effectively seize market opportunities. In the demonstration, ASTRI C-RAN base station forms 5G Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) data link with ASTRI UE 5G emulator. Radio units are based on Anktion’s 5G CPRI RRU and PCIe-CPRI conversion card solution. The 5G standard compliant signal is verified with an R&S RTO2000 oscilloscope and the R&S VSE-K144 vector signal explorer software for 5G NR measurements.

    Narrowband Internet-of-Things (NB-IoT) Base Station

    ASTRI’s NB-IoT base station solution is powered by its NB-IoT L1 software. The software is based on cost-efficient and low-power NXP BSC913x System-on-Chip (SoC). The solution has been integrated with Aricent’s L2/3 protocol stack and Anktion’s Operations Management and Maintenance (OAM) system to provide a complete NB-IoT base station reference design. The on-site demonstration includes the integration of ASTRI’s NB-IoT base station with a commercial NB-IoT EPC as well as NB-IoT dongles to support the end-to-end network NB data streaming. This reference design can support China Mobile NB-IoT QSite requirements and is ready for commercialisation.

    5G Standalone (SA) Core Network with Service Based Architecture (SBA)

    5G Core Network provides the essential flexibility to support different 5G applications and scenarios. ASTRI is performing live demonstration of its 5G Standalone (SA) Core on Intel x86 server. ASTRI’s 5G SA core complies with the new network architecture in 3GPP release 15 standards, with new capabilities of Control User Plane Separation (CUPS), Distributed User Plane (UPF), Service-based Architecture (SBA) support and flow-based QoS.  ASTRI’s 5G SA core can scale up to 200Gbps on a single x86 server. It supports cloud native deployment with containers support, cloud scale load balancing and scaling, log/metrics/alarms management as well as visualisation.

    Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) Software System with Roadside Video Analytics for Road Safety and Traffic Management

    C-V2X technology plays a key role in facilitating interactions between vehicles, road users, and roadside infrastructure – enabling smart mobility applications.  ASTRI will demonstrate its C-V2X Software System that leverages capabilities such as rapid object recognition (e.g. pedestrians) and traffic situation detection. Using C-V2X technology, the system can detect imminent danger on roads, and issue real-time alerts like pedestrian crossing to drivers.  To minimise the latency, the video analysis algorithm is executed on ASTRI’s C-V2X Edge system, and the results are communicated between multiple C-V2X Road Side Units (RSUs) through direct Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications. This technology enhances road safety and traffic management, and brings significant benefits to road users and ordinary residents.

    Next-Generation Central Office

    As an ecosystem partner on the Next-Generation Central Office (NGCO) supported by Intel and QCT.  ASTRI incorporated the Next Generation Mobile Core Network into the NGCO architecture. It enables network transformation of traditional central offices at both the core networks and the edge to pave the way for 5G. For more details, please visit the NGCO showcases and refer to the recently published whitepaper: https://goo.gl/3bZzbc .

    China Mobile Hong Kong Partners with ASTRI and HKSTP to Accelerate Smart City Development in Hong Kong

  • First Network Provider in Hong Kong to Complete 5G Commercial Equipment Base Station Field Testing; Plans to Conduct the Autonomous Vehicle Trial, as Hong Kong Moves towards the 5G Era

    China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) today announced the signing of a strategic agreement to collaborate in research and development of 5G technology, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) data exchange, and other technologies to help accelerate Hong Kong’s development in establishing a Smart City. At the same time, CMHK is partnering with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) on various 5G technology-related projects at Hong Kong Science Park including an autonomous vehicle trial.

    As one of the city’s leading mobile communications brands, CMHK has been supporting the development of Smart City in Hong Kong. Through the strategic cooperation with ASTRI, Hong Kong’s largest applied science and technology research centre, CMHK will fund ASTRI’s research and development of an edge computing platform, which will potentially overcome the inadequacies of cloud computing, while enabling even faster data processing and analysis to support ultra-low latency applications such as autonomous vehicles. CMHK and ASTRI also plan to conduct an autonomous vehicle trial over 6 to 12 months at Hong Kong Science Park, to facilitate the system’s awareness monitoring within the 5G networks and to initiate research on related technologies.

    Announced earlier, CMHK is the first network provider to complete the Commercial Equipment Field-Testing of 28GHz 5G base stations and antenna in Hong Kong, carried out at Science Park. In these tests, the 5G network was connected to the 5G routers, which allowed non-5G mobile phones to connect to the Internet with connection speeds of up to 500Mbps*. The test was also demonstrated at the “[email protected] Kong: Our Smart City Journey” Conference today, symbolising a milestone in the collaboration between CMHK and HKSTP on 5G technology development. In addition, CMHK plans to relocate its 5G Innovation Centre “Hong Kong Open Lab” to Hong Kong Science Park in the first quarter of 2019, to join the innovation and technology ecosystem at the Park and further develop 5G mobile service applications.

    CMHK is also actively exploring other innovative 5G-related applications, such as applying AR/VR in entertainment and education. Other applications, such as palm print and facial recognition systems that apply biometric and AI image analysis, are expected to be utilised in payment tools and high-security authentication systems in the future.

    Mr Sean Lee, Director and Chief Executive Officer of China Mobile Hong Kong, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with ASTRI and HKSTP. The promotion and development of 5G are important elements in establishing Hong Kong as a Smart City. We proactively cooperate with different industries and apply 5G to advance our designs and services to promote Smart City development in Hong Kong. Concurrently, we also promote the nurturing of next-generation innovation and technology talents. Last October, the China Mobile OneNET Start-ups Marathon Competition was introduced in Hong Kong for the first time. We hope to create more opportunities for local talents to join the science and technology industry through this competition. We also hope to take the lead and attract more local companies to join and support those who have dreams in innovation. We encourage young people in Hong Kong to join the creative and innovation industry, cultivate more talent for Hong Kong, and contribute to the establishment of Hong Kong into a technology-leading smart city.”

    Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said: “The evolution of Smart City will bring significant opportunities for sustainable economic development in Hong Kong and our neighbouring areas. I believe our collaboration with CMHK will deliver fruitful results, advance the development of the innovation technology ecosystem, establish Hong Kong as an international innovation centre, and steer towards the Hong Kong Government’s innovation-led vision.”

    Mr Albert Wong, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP, said: “Hong Kong Science Park provides an ideal living laboratory for innovative solutions and leading technologies, with Smart City being one of the strategic focus areas of HKSTP. We are pleased to see that 5G technology has achieved positive trial results at the Park. We will continue to work with our partners in the innovation and technology ecosystem to promote the co-creation and applications of 5G technologies in various scopes, and achieve Hong Kong’s vision of a Smart City through joint efforts. ”

    CMHK established the 5G Innovation Centre Hong Kong Open Lab in Kwai Chung in March 2018, and became the first network provider to receive the 5G trial permit in Hong Kong. The 5G test results were announced on 27 July 2018, with CMHK the first network provider in Hong Kong to successfully complete end-to-end 5G network testing (client terminal to application) – using 5G routers to allow the 5G network to browse Internet websites. CMHK will soon launch several new technologies to promote smart city development in Hong Kong, and shape the future with 5G network.

    *The data is according to the Office of Communications Authority’s OFCA speed test.

    China Mobile Hong Kong, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) today announced multiple collaborations related to 5G at the “[email protected] Kong: Our Smart City Journey” Conference.

     

    CMHK and ASTRI plan to conduct an autonomous vehicle trial at Hong Kong Science Park

    New World Collaborates with ASTRI to Create Hong Kong’s First Property-Purchase Blockchain Platform With BOCHK as First Participating Bank

  • Saving Time and Resources through PropTech in Smart City with Property-Purchase 2.0

    (20 February 2019, Hong Kong) New World Development Company Limited (NWD) today announces the creation of Hong Kong’s first property-purchase blockchain platform, in collaboration with Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI). Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) is the first bank to participate and apply the new platform to its services. Advanced blockchain technology allows the platform to provide an all-in-one support service to buyers, banks and related bodies. With the collaboration, PropTech (Property Technology) is the breakthrough that will fundamentally reshape Hong Kong’s real estate industry, saving time and resources in the property-buying process. First-time buyers will soon enjoy a fast and convenient user experience in the new era of Property-Purchase 2.0, coming on-stream in the second quarter of 2019.

    Building on the success of FinTech in the financial sector, PropTech heralds a revolution in Hong Kong’s real estate industry. Mr. Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice-chairman and General Manager of NWD, said, “In the past 30 years, the real estate market has very rarely seen high technology introduced into the purchasing process. Traditionally, buyers, real estate developers, banks and law firms all work separately – until now, there has been no one-stop platform to connect all parties. Today, NWD and ASTRI have created the first and brand-new cross-sector platform, with BOCHK as the first participating bank. The new PropTech platform’s greatest advantage is to open up the entire real estate industry chain; it also marks the first implementation of blockchain technology into the real estate industry. This is a landmark in revolutionising the traditional model while remaining fully in sync with the government’s vision in creating a smart city and a new era of PropTech.”

    Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said, “Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT – also known as Blockchain technology) could fundamentally change the dynamics of the property sector – making it more efficient, resilient and reliable. Blockchain is a major focus area within ASTRI’s overall R&D efforts – catering to FinTech applications and other industrial sectors. We are pleased to work with New World Development in leveraging Blockchain technology, relying on PropTech as a strong boost to the innovation-led growth of Hong Kong’s property sector. It will help to enhance the operational efficiency of developers, bring convenience and security to consumers and benefit the entire ecosystem of the property sector.”

    Mrs Ann Kung, Deputy Chief Executive of BOCHK, said, “BOCHK is committed to supporting and driving the development of financial technology in order to provide convenient services for the general public. NWD has collaborated with ASTRI to introduce the first property-purchase blockchain platform in Hong Kong, which helps enhance customer experience by offering a seamless integration of mortgage services in our customers’ property purchase journey. We are delighted to be the first bank in Hong Kong to use the platform. Going forward, we will continue to drive innovation and promote customer-oriented Fintech services.”

    The revolutionary advantage of integrating blockchain technology into the property-buying platform is that it allows an unprecedented reduction of time and work between signing the provisional agreement and finalising the deal. The one-stop blockchain platform can save up to 8 hours on a transaction by integrating all the time-consuming intermediary steps: the filling-in of long and complex application documents, the tedious back-and-forth between banks and lawyers, and the time-consuming research into information about mortgage loans. Moreover, the one-stop platform benefits service providers and saves around 47 hours of work. The entire industry chain will save around 55 hours in total.  

     

    Mr Adrian Cheng (Centre), Executive Vice-chairman and General Manager of NWD, Mrs Ann Kung (Right), Deputy Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong), and Mr Hugh Chow (Left), Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, announced the collaboration to work together in the new era of ‘Property-Purchase 2.0’.

     

    Six Key Advantages of Combining PropTech and Blockchain Technology

    1. 24/7 Streamlined Service with no Restrictions on Time or Location  

    With the aid of the new high-end encrypted network, buyers, property developers, banks and related bodies will break away from traditional procedures and will benefit from the seamless integration of each element in the whole industry chain. Completely free from location restrictions, buyers will be able to enjoy a far faster and more user-friendly service with easy access to all information, also benefitting from regular status updates on mortgage applications and procedures.

    2. Saving 6 Hours in Mortgage Application Procedures
    First-time buyers are usually directly involved in comparing mortgage proposals from at least four banks, a process which requires repetitive, complex and extensive paper work. The blockchain platform will send the purchaser’s authorised, encrypted and digitally signed provisional agreement to the selected banks, saving buyers at least six hours of following up with the different banks, and thus dramatically shortening the time spent in the application process.

    3. Instant Intelligence – Keeping Buyers on Track
    First-time buyers have to sign legal documents and complete payments in a given time-frame. It is easy to miss transfer deadlines or leave out certain steps, and this can lead to unnecessary loss and delay. Buyers also need to follow up with lawyers to get updates on status, each transaction needing at least 15 phone calls on average, thus resulting in considerable inconvenience to buyers. The blockchain platform incorporates procedural notifications to remind buyers of important dates such as the settlement of deposits, key agreement dates, and final submission of formal paperwork. The new platform allows a brand-new hassle-free purchase experience for all customers, where buyers can easily access instant updates and relevant information, saving around 2 hours during the process.

    4. Quick Digital Verification of Buyer’s Information
    Under the old model, developers, banks and related bodies each needed to input the buyers’ information and verify it manually and separately. All information required painstaking input and verification by hand. But in the new system, buyers can authorise banks and related bodies to access their securely encrypted information through the blockchain platform. This can drastically reduce time and procedures, making the process far more efficient.

    5. Environmentally Friendly and Paperless Procedures
    In the past, whether for bank mortgage application, a lawyer’s preparatory document, or a developer’s progress report, if buyers were applying mortgages with four different banks, it was necessary to print a large number of documents involving at least 120 sheets of paper. With the introduction of the blockchain platform, all parties can reduce unnecessary document printing, and the entire process become far more environmentally friendly, while saving precious time and resources.

    6. Open Up More Exciting Possibilities for the Real Estate Industry
    NWD is active in reforming traditional industries. Last year, we created a brand-new online registration service for first-time buyers. We introduced initial deposit by credit card to replace cheque payment, thus eliminating wasted time for buyers forced to wait in bank queues. In these ways and more, our blockchain platform will reshape the whole real estate industry and establish a new era: Property-Purchase 2.0.

    BOCHK is the first bank to participate in the property-purchase blockchain platform in Hong Kong. NWD invites other banks to join the platform so that a wider range of mortgage plans can be offered to new NWD property buyers, satisfying their diverse needs more effectively.

    Safe and Reliable Blockchain Technology  
    Blockchain is an innovative technology. It utilises a distributed system to verify each transaction so that transfers are guaranteed to be safe and secure. Information held on a blockchain exists as a database, shared by buyers, sellers, banks and lawyers. The records are truly public, transparent and traceable so it is difficult for a transaction record to be corrupted. Information security is thereby greatly enhanced.

    ASTRI Inspires a Smarter Future Empowered by AI at the Technovation Summit 2018

  • Distinguished speakers from Government agencies, academia and the industry attended the annual forum hosted by ASTRI

    Officiating guests at the inauguration session of ASTRI Technovation Summit 2018 (From left: Mr Jason Pun, Assistant Government Chief Information Officer; Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI; Mr Wong Ming-yam, Board Chairman of ASTRI; Mr Nicholas W Yang, GBS, JP, Secretary for Innovation and Technology; Mr Ivan Lee, Acting Commissioner for Innovation and Technology; and Mr Charles Mok, Legislative Council Member)

    [Hong Kong, 14 December 2018] As Hong Kong’s largest applied research and development centre, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has a mission to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. The Institute today hosted the ASTRI Technovation Summit 2018 that brought together over 30 thought leaders and experts from Government agencies, research community and the industry. Exploring ideas and sharing experiences on a smart future for our city empowered by AI, the Summit attracted over 400 experts, entrepreneurs and top-level executives from across the industry to explore opportunities in driving a smart, innovation-led Hong Kong.

    In his opening remarks, Mr Nicholas W Yang, GBS, JP, Secretary for Innovation and Technology said that “Artificial Intelligence is an important technology area unlocking a whole new world of potential and Hong Kong definitely has an edge in developing AI. We are working at full steam to build the research cluster ‘[email protected]’ focusing on AI and robotics technologies in Hong Kong Science Park. We will continue to render full support under the Innovation and Technology Fund to finance applied R&D projects on AI. The Government will also lead by example by adopting AI to improve public services.” With the concerted efforts of the industry, academia, R&D centres and the Government, “Hong Kong would be playing a crucial role in developing more AI applications to bring better life for our citizens in the future,” Mr Yang added.

    Acknowledging the important role played by ASTRI and its partners in the industry, Mr Wong Ming-yam, SBS, JP, ASTRI Board Chairman said in his welcome remarks, “Artificial Intelligence and connectivity solutions offer unprecedented opportunities for Hong Kong to innovate solutions, facilitate growth and development, and inspire the entire ecosystem of Hong Kong’s technology sector.”

    The day-long summit featured seven keynote presentations and five panel discussions. Speakers included the Honourable Mr Charles Mok, JP, Legislative Council Member; Mr Jason Pun, Assistant Government Chief Information Officer; Ms Esther Wong, Managing Director of Strategic Investments of SenseTime; Dr Winnie Tang, Founding and Honorary President of Hong Kong Smart City Consortium;  and Professor Henry Chung from the Department of Electronic Engineering of the City University of Hong Kong. In his presentation, Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI shared the experience and insights from ASTRI’s innovation journey, and the role it plays in supporting Hong Kong’s I&T and Smart City development endeavours.

    The panel discussions focused on applications of AI and next generation communications technologies across a wide variety of sectors, such as ‘smart government’, ‘smart mobility’, ‘cybersecurity’ and ‘smart manufacturing’. The panellists represented public sector institutions and government departments such as Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, Hong Kong Police Force, Water Supplies Department, Hong Kong Fire Services Department, and Customs and Excise Department. Academic and private sectors were represented by HKT, Standard Chartered Bank, TNG, Octopus, Nova, Marvel Digital, Huawei, Master Concept, Profit Peak and Smart Secure ID.

    The Summit wrapped up with a panel discussion by former ASTRI members – ASTRIANs – who left the Institute but continue to contribute to the advancement of I&T either from other organisations of through their own ventures. The ‘ASTRIANs: Brightest Minds, Powerful Impacts’ session covered how innovative ideas incubated in ASTRI turned into inspirational ‘Made in Hong Kong success’ stories. ASTRI Alumni Network – or ASTRIAN – is an important initiative that bridges ASTRI and its current team with alumni members, seeking to maximise the support offered to past and present team members while also leveraging the collective professional strength of the alumni community.

    ASTRI Technovation Summit 2018 sought to facilitate meaningful dialogues and impactful collaborations for Hong Kong’s advancement in the I&T sector and its overall Smart City development. The Summit’s speakers unanimously called for more traction in AI-based research and active commercialisation of smart technologies in Hong Kong, predicting robust economic development and improved quality of residents’ lives.

    Honourable Mr Nicholas W Yang, GBS, JP, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, speaking at the inauguration session of ASTRI Technovation Summit 2018

    ASTRI wins three awards at Hong Kong Awards for Industries (HKAI) 2018

  • [Hong Kong, 12 December 2018]  The Hong Kong Science and technology Research Institute (ASTRI) Company Limited has been recognised once again for its innovation excellence – this time with three awards at the Hong Kong Awards for Industries (HKAI) 2018. The Awards’ presentation ceremony was officiated by Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR.

    A total of 259 entries were received in the 2018 edition of HKAI. ASTRI received three honours: 1) Technological Achievement Award for its Narrowband Internet of Things solutions, 2) Equipment and Machinery Design Certificate of Merit for the All-in-one Virtual Reality Head Mount Display, and 3) Equipment and Machinery Design Award for the Collaborative Mobile Manipulator for Industrial Head Clean Room, jointly with its partner SAE Magnetics (Hong Kong) Limited.

    (From Left to Right) Mr Berry Yen, Director; Dr Justin Chuang, Vice President; Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer; Mr Tony Wu, Manager; Dr Lucas Hui, Senior Director; Mr Bill Zhang, Senior Director; Mr Wong Ming-yam, the Chairman; Dr T John Koo, Director; and Dr MeiKei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI at the HKAI Awards 2018 ceremony

    Information about ASTRI’s award winning projects:

    Technological Achievement Award for Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) solutions: ASTRI’s NB-IoT solutions include an IP platform that supports the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard for User Equipment applications consisting RF transceiver, digital baseband, power management unit and power amplifier. The design and implementation of the solution enable miniaturised chips, saves design and production cost, and facilitates a wide range of applications and devices in the modern era.

    Equipment and Machinery Design Certificate of Merit for All-in-one Virtual Reality Head Mount Display (HMD): ASTRI developed the unique all-in-one HMD device that leverages both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies. Its innovative sensor fusion and optimised operating system offer advanced multi-functional features for numerous Smart City applications such as healthcare, infotainment and education.

    Equipment and Machinery Design Award for Collaborative Mobile Manipulator (CMM) for Industrial Head Clean Room: SAE Magnetics (Hong Kong) Limited and ASTRI developed the CMM platform with mobility, sensing and manipulation capabilities for reconfigurable, flexible, and highly automated manufacturing. Equipped with advanced sensors and able to significantly reduce operational complexity, the CMM can work autonomously or collaborate with human operators. It has a very wide application potential across Smart Factories in the Industry 4.0 era. It is particularly suited for material logistics and automatic work cells that produce magnetic heads in a clean room environment.

    ASTRI’s Chairman Mr Wong Ming-yam, SBS, JP, and its CEO Mr Hugh Chow were present on the occasion as the winning R&D teams received the HKAI honours. Congratulating the winners, Mr Chow said, “Thanks to the collaborative efforts of ASTRI and its industrial partners, we have attained strong breakthroughs in smart technologies that leverage Industry 4.0 development potential and support the re-industrialisation agenda of Hong Kong. Intelligent Manufacturing is one of the core initiatives in ASTRI’s R&D strategy. We will continue to develop cutting edge technologies to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in business and industries powered by industry-relevant smart applications.”

    HKT and ASTRI innovation partnership in pursuit of Smart City solutions for Hong Kong

  • HKT and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) have established the HKT-ASTRI Smart City Joint Laboratory to pursue advanced technologies and solutions for Smart City. HKT will provide financial support to the joint laboratory which will leverage ASTRI’s R&D expertise in next generation communications technologies and sophisticated data solutions.

    Dr David Chung – Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government, said, “The development of a smart city cannot solely rely on the government for a people-centric smart city should be built together with the participation of the private sector and the public. Only by this, we can derive smart measures that best suit the needs of the people. The cooperation between HKT and ASTRI today well demonstrates the joint effort of the public and private sectors in utilising technology to improve the life quality for people. I am looking forward to your successful applications very soon.”

    Ms Susanna Hui – Group Managing Director of HKT, said, “In this digital era, HKT has already transformed from a traditional telecom operator to a provider of innovative services and solutions for smarter living and smarter business operations. We aim to bring more positive changes to the lives of Hong Kong people and the economy at large through this collaboration, in support of the Government’s Smart City vision.”

    Mr Peter Lam – Managing Director of HKT Engineering, said, “We are delighted to continue and strengthen our cooperation with ASTRI through the establishment of the joint laboratory, which will leverage the R&D capability of both parties to explore advanced technology and applications for Smart City in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.”

    Referring to the Government’s Smart City vision, Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said, “The Smart City revolution will create enormous opportunities for sustainable economic growth for Hong Kong and this region. Our partnership with HKT is fully aligned with the Government’s vision for an innovation-led smart Hong Kong.”

    The HKT-ASTRI Smart City Joint Laboratory will start with a few initial focus areas on Smart City infrastructure, Smart Mobility (including Electronic Road Pricing and Connected Vehicles) as well as fore-running technologies such as Blockchain, big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Smart Economy, in which ASTRI’s R&D expertise in next generation communication technologies, blockchain, video and data analytics, AI and cyber security will come into play.

    Hong Kong’s Smart City development blueprint is all about addressing urban challenges, strengthening governance, enhancing public services, improving quality of lives, and ensuring safety and sustainability – with the power of innovation and technology. The HKT-ASTRI Smart City Joint Laboratory will pursue sophisticated and market-relevant innovations contributing to that goal.

    About HKT

    HKT (SEHK: 6823) is Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider and leading operator in fixed-line, broadband and mobile communication services. It meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sales, outsourcing, consulting, and contact centres.

    HKT offers a unique quadruple-play experience in Hong Kong delivering media content on its fixed-line, broadband Internet access and mobile platforms jointly with its parent company, PCCW Limited.

    HKT also provides a range of innovative and smart living services beyond connectivity to make the daily lives of customers more convenient, whether they are at home, in the workplace, or on the go. For more information, please visit www.hkt.com.

    About ASTRI

    Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was set up by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.

    ASTRI’s core R&D competence in various areas is organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Electronics Components, Intelligent Sensing Technology System, Intelligent Software and Systems, Security and Data Sciences and Communications Technologies. Our R&D strategic focus covers five areas of applications: financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, health technologies, smart city and the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre (CNERC), forming our five-pillar R&D strategies.

    For more information, please contact:
    Stella Wong
    HKT
    Tel: +852 2888 2253
    Email: [email protected]

    Iris Fu
    ASTRI
    Tel: +852 3406 0266
    Email: [email protected]

    Dr David Chung – Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology (centre), Mr Wong Ming-yam – Chairman of ASTRI (3rd from right), Ms Annie Choi – Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (2nd from right), Mr Hugh Chow – Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI (right), Mr Peter Lam – Managing Director of HKT Engineering (3rd from left), Honourable Mr Charles Mok – Member of the Legislative Council (2nd from left), and Dr Henry Wong – Head of Strategic Wireless Technology and Core Networks of HKT Engineering (left) jointly announce the establishment of the HKT-ASTRI Smart City Joint Laboratory

    Hong Kong’s first-ever Smart Open Data Advancement Consortium formed to unleash a new era of data-driven innovation

  • The ‘Smart Open Data Advancement Consortium’ was officially launched on 1 November 2018 during Hong Kong FinTech Week, aiming to revolutionise data-driven innovation endeavours and create tangible impact through a secure and user-friendly platform to effectively leverage open data. The Consortium’s founding members are: ASTRI, City University of Hong Kong, Deloitte, FORMS SYNTRON, JETCO and Nova Credit.

    [Hong Kong, 1 November 2018] Senior executives of the founding members of the Smart Open Data Advancement Consortium, and industry representatives attended the ceremony to launch the Consortium which will bring  ground-breaking improvements to various public services and commercial sectors in Hong Kong through data-driven innovation.

    First of its kind in Hong Kong, the Consortium is being founded by six organisations: The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), City University of Hong Kong, Deloitte, FORMS SYNTRON, JETCO and Nova Credit. As the membership base grows, the Consortium will strive to raise public awareness of the massive power of data, and promote cross-industry adoption of its platform to deliver maximised scale and impact. Targeting digital-savvy businesses and professionals, the Consortium will build a trusted data ecosystem where consent-based design will ensure full information security and privacy. In addition to saving time, effort and resources to deal with data, it will also mitigate fraud risk and adopt globally accepted best-case examples.

    An ecosystem-driven initiative, the Consortium will enable public sector and commercial organisations in Hong Kong – and subsequently in the Greater Bay Area – to develop and implement data-driven smart applications and services to boost productivity and enhance user satisfaction. With its human and organisation-centric approach, it will provide a secure, user-friendly platform for various sectors to unleash the full power of data in their operations and businesses. From government agencies to industry regulators, public service providers to financial institutions, academia to different business sectors – the platform will adopt a Triple Helix model. In this model of innovation, academia and R&D centres come up with technological solutions and platforms, the Government sets the regulatory and enabling framework, while the industry leverages the innovation to enhance productivity and improve customer experience.

    This initiative can be extremely impactful through a robust ecosystem-wide adoption in Hong Kong. It comes at a time when the Government and the industry are actively striving for better utilisation of big data to foster economic growth and offer better services to the people. In future, the Smart Open Data Advancement Consortium can also target the huge growth potential of business and innovation in the vibrant Greater Bay Area market.