Some of Hong Kong’s Top Minds in Science and Technology visit ASTRI, as part of an ASHK delegation

  • A high-profile delegation from the Academy of Sciences Hong Kong (ASHK) visited ASTRI on 6 November 2017, to exchange views on scientific and technological R&D. The delegation included the Academy’s founding president Professor Tsui Lap-chee, GBM, GBS, JP; ASHK’s founding member Professor Tony F Chan, JP, President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST); Professor Joseph J Y Sung, SBS, JP, Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK); and ASHK Secretary General Mr Terence Chan. Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP, Chairman of ASTRI, welcomed the delegates to ASTRI along with Dr Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer and other senior executives.

    The ASHK delegation learnt about ASTRI’s various R&D initiatives including Financial Technologies, Cover Glass and Touch Panel Glass Automatic Defects Inspection Systems, Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) Platform, as well as 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) Displays. They were also briefed on the projects and accomplishments of the Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Centre (CNERC) for Application Specific Integrated Circuit System, which is based in ASTRI.

    The ASHK delegation stressed the need to foster stronger collaboration and exchange between academic institutions, technology developers and the industry. Professor Tsui recently spearheaded an ASHK Mentorship Programme for Hong Kong’s secondary school students, offering them a chance to mingle with the city’s scientific and engineering elite. He dubbed the collaboration between students and technology experts as a springboard that can “produce the city’s the next great scientist through the interaction between Distinguished Masters and Accomplished Students”. The two University Presidents shared their wish to facilitate more career development opportunities for science and technology graduates in association with ASTRI.

    Echoing the delegation members’ suggestion to expose youngsters to practical research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), ASTRI Chairman Mr Wong said, “It is imperative to have regular and meaningful interaction between all the players in the technology ecosystem, including students, technology developers and businesses.” Mr Wong referred to the many career development opportunities available at ASTRI which “welcomes talented scientists and engineers to join various R&D areas in ASTRI – to sharpen their skills and make a difference.”

    Professor Chan and Professor Sung, Presidents of two of Hong Kong’s most globally-renowned universities, placed strong emphasis on providing students with real-life exposure into science and technology R&D. They cited examples of the FinTech Career Accelerator Scheme (FCAS) co-organised by ASTRI and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), where HKUST and CUHK are both participating universities. More such opportunities and platforms are needed for university students and graduates to work with institutions like ASTRI, and gain valuable practical experience.

    The delegates showed a keen interest in ASTRI’s innovative technologies and learnt about their impact on Hong Kong residents’ everyday lives. While visiting the Smart City Innovation Centre, developed jointly by ASTRI and Hong Kong Science Park, the delegates witnessed practical applications like AR Head-Mount Display, Smart Navigation and Smart Parking, Smart Meter for utility services, and Connected Cars for Smart Mobility. The discussions during the visit referred to the Hong Kong Smart City Consultancy Study Report recently released by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). The Government’s smart city vision for Hong Kong involves “building a strong economy, enhancing the quality of people’s lives, and making Hong Kong a smart, sustainable city.”

    Professor Sung mentioned “elderly care” in particular, when discussing the future challenges in Hong Kong’s smart city development. With an ageing population, “offering a safe and comfortable living to the society’s senior citizens shall be a key priority” for the Government as well as for public service providers, he said.

    ASTRI’s Health Technologies R&D involve developing applications and solutions, especially in the areas of preventive health monitoring, medical diagnosis, medical computing and data analytics. In the recent past, ASTRI’s R&D teams developed an innovative cardiovascular monitoring device, a hybrid tracking system used in elderly care centres, an e-Education and Infotainment Platform for senior citizens, an intelligent preventive healthcare system which combines wireless sensors and smart devices to track and report key health indicators.

    ASTRI, as the largest applied R&D institution in Hong Kong, undertakes a number of initiatives in smart city development. While exchanging experiences and insights with the visiting ASHK delegation, ASTRI’s R&D professionals discussed various innovative projects that the Institute has pursued over the years. These include: smart connectivity, smart mobility, smart utility and public transportation, smart healthcare, and public safety. In supporting the Government’s Smart Hong Kong vision, ASTRI leverages a number of R&D fields such as Internet-of-Things (IoT) – including Internet-of-Vehicles (IoV) and Device-to-Device (D2D) communications, Pre-5G and 5G communications, data analytics, smart city software platform and network security.

    The delegation acknowledged ASTRI’s highly-capable R&D teams, and hoped that ASTRI would “continue to invest in its R&D capabilities, people and infrastructure” to deliver innovative solutions in full alignment of Hong Kong’s socio-economic priorities. They also talked about global as well as regional benchmarking, and how neighbouring cities and economies are approaching their smart city development.

    Professor Tsui summed up the visit by saying, “Through this visit, we have been enlightened by the developments and achievements at ASTRI. We wish ASTRI continued success and look forward to hearing more breakthrough stories in the not too distant future.”

    Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP, Chairman (5th from left) and Dr Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer (2nd from left), welcome the ASHK delegates Professor Tsui Lap-chee, GBM, GBS, JP (5th from right); Professor Tony F Chan, JP (3rd from left); Professor Joseph J Y Sung, SBS, JP (4th from left); and ASHK Secretary General Mr Terence Chan (4th from right) to ASTRI. Also present in the picture are: Ms Cammy Yung, Chief Financial Officer (2nd from right); Ms Grace Hui, Chief Administrative Officer (1st from right); Dr Justine Chuang, Vice President, Next Generation Networks (3rd from right); and Ms Eunice Cheng, Director, Public Affairs (1st from left).


    Mr Wong Ming-yam, BBS, JP, introduces ASTRI’s R&D partnerships and joint labs to ASHK delegates.


    Dr Meikei Ieong, Chief Technology Officer, introduces ASTRI’s R&D projects to ASHK delegates.


    Mr YK Li, Senior Director of Advanced Digital Systems, introduces ASTRI’s R&D projects to the delegates.


    ASHK Delegation learning about ASTRI’s Next Generation Network technologies R&D

    ASTRI supports Symposium on Innovation and Technology; its Chairman and Board Director join other dignitaries in strategic forum

  • Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, a high-profile symposium on Innovation and Technology was organised in the 37th HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair along with the 21st electronicAsia on 13 October, 2017. The event was attended by a number of senior leaders from Government, Legislature, Technology and Business domains, including Mrs Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Government. One of the flagship events at the Fairs was the Symposium on Innovation & Technology under the theme “Connected Living”. ASTRI was a supporting organisation in the programme.


    The Symposium opened with the Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government Carrie Lam as the officiating guest. She said that innovation and technology create quality jobs for young people, opportunities for young entrepreneurs, improve people’s livelihood and help power Hong Kong’s future economy. “The Government would adopt the right policies, invest the necessary resources and connect with talents and renowned research institutions”, she added. The Chief Executive also said that in a highly competitive global environment with rapid advancements in the Mainland, Hong Kong needs to promote innovation and technology (I&T) “with the right vision and the right policies”. Mrs Lam told the audience, “Hong Kong is entering a period when opportunities and challenges co-exist. This also applies to I&T development.” She referred to the development taking place across the industrial sector in the South China Greater Bay Area, and how Hong Kong stands to gain from it.


    The Symposium featured speakers from technology giants such as Microsoft and Tencent sharing the latest technology developments. Ms Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong Limited, who is also a Board Director of ASTRI, spoke about how mixed reality and intelligent cloud are helping to drive the digital transformation. She explained how Internet of Things – complimented by virtual, augmented and mixed reality – are empowering businesses, engaging customers, transforming products and boosting efficiencies.


    Mr Wong Ming-yam, Chairman of ASTRI, moderated a panel discussion on ‘Smartly – We Connect’. Mr Wong facilitated a lively discussion on the roles for start-up ventures, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and technology experts in enabling innovation and fostering positive change. The discussion centred around catalysing a culture of innovation in Hong Kong to fast-track Smart City development. The panel featured two members of the Hong Kong SAR Legislative Council: The Hon Ir Dr Lo Wai-kwok who represents the Engineering functional constituency and The Hon Mr Charles P Mok who represents the Information Technology functional constituency; as well as Mr Chan Yam-ki, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Google Hong Kong; Mr Zane Moi, Head of Business Development for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, Amazon Web Services; and Mr Alex Wong Ka-hang, Director of Solution Sales, Huawei International. The panellists were unanimous in urging the Government to take up a more active role in boosting innovation and technology. The Hon Mr Mok said it was a good sign that the new Policy Address acknowledged that resistance towards technological advancement came partly from within the Government. He hoped that the Government would continue to listen to the industry and build a world of “Connected Living” together.


    The day-long symposium covered a series of other topics: smart city, cloud technology, autonomous driving, machine learning, IoT, cellular vehicle-to-everything technology, and artificial intelligence.


    ASTRI, as the largest applied R&D institution in Hong Kong, actively pursues sophisticated IoT and communications technologies as well as Smart City applications. ASTRI is well placed to support the industrial sector to leverage the innovative manufacturing technologies while gearing up for ‘Industry 4.0’ and ‘Made in China 2025’.

    Guests and speakers at the Symposium on I&T


    Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, at the Symposium on I&T


    Ms Cally Chan at the Symposium on I&T

    Panel Discussion at the Symposium on I&T


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    Mr Wong Ming-yam at the Symposium on I&T


    Chief Executive announces major policy initiatives to boost the SAR’s I&T endeavours

  • Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, delivered her maiden policy speech today at the Legislative Council. In her speech, the Chief Executive (CE) said in order to sustain the favourable trends for our economy, diversification is the only solution. The current-term Government considers that both innovation and technology (I&T) and creative industries have the competitive edge and much potential, not only to bolster economic growth, but also to create quality employment opportunities for our young people.

    The CE also highlighted the need to catch up in the global I&T race to turn Hong Kong into a global I&T hub. In the 2017 Policy Address, she announced a series of new, major policy initiatives to boost the SAR’s I&T endeavours. She said the Government has set a goal to double the Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product from the current 0.73% to 1.5% within its five‑year tenure. The Government will also step up its efforts in eight key areas in that regard: investing more resources into R&D, nurturing a talent pool, promoting venture capital, strengthening scientific research infrastructure, carrying out legislation review, opening up data, streamlining government procurement, and boosting STEM education.

    Encouraging significantly greater investment in R&D, the Chief Executive announced HK$10 billion funding for R&D in universities, and major tax deductions for R&D expenditure incurred by businesses enterprises. The Education Bureau is going to offer scholarships worth HK$3 billion to local students admitted to postgraduate research programmes. The Innovation and Technology Bureau will launch a HK$500 million ‘Technology Talent Scheme’, including the establishment of a ‘Postdoctoral Hub’. At the same time, the Government will strive to attract the best overseas talents and scientific research institutions to Hong Kong.

    Announcing an additional HK$700 million investment to “immediately take forward several projects to develop Hong Kong into a smart city”, Mrs Lam said she will personally lead a high-level, inter-departmental Steering Committee on Innovation and Technology to scrutinise and steer measures under the eight areas of I&T and smart city development. The Committee will offer advice to the Government on I&T development to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness in the global arena and enhance Hong Kong’s alignment with the development of our country.

    The Chief Executive promised to streamline Government institutions and operations, fostering innovation and collaboration, and embracing smart technologies across all levels of the administration. She put her faith in people – it is the enterprising spirit of the “brilliant Hong Kong people” that has made the city so successful over the past half-century.

    ASTRI welcomes the strong emphasis put in by the HKSAR Government on Innovation and Technology development in Hong Kong. As ever, ASTRI will remain steadfast in our mission to fully align with Government initiatives in I&T, gearing up for cutting-edge R&D efforts to support local economic growth.


    Read the full speech here.