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Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit opens (with photos)
     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung; the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), Mr Bernard Chan; and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), Mrs Fanny Law, officiated at the opening ceremony of the Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES) today (June 16) together with representatives from the major sponsors. This is the first large-scale event on gerontechnology led by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, aiming to raise public awareness on gerontechnology and explore strategies for applying technology and innovation to enhance quality of life for the elderly. It is also one of the signature celebration events for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.
     Mr Chan and Mr Cheung delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Mr Cheung said that Hong Kong is facing a rapidly ageing population, and that it should explore wider application of technology and innovation on elderly care to enhance service capacity and provide elderly persons with a more comfortable and quality life under the policy objective of "ageing in place as the core, institutional care as backup".
     At present, Hong Kong's technology, welfare and medical sectors have already had some successful experience in gerontechnological studies and applications. This notwithstanding, Hong Kong has the potential and edge to further promote healthy and active ageing through technological research and innovation. The GIES is an important step for relevant stakeholders to explore solutions together, making Hong Kong more elderly-friendly.
     Following the opening ceremony, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in China, Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, and the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), Dr Jane Barratt, delivered keynote speeches. The WHO and the IFA are two major international organisations striving to promote at the international level elderly welfare and strategies catering for ageing population, and the deployment of technology and innovation is the prevailing international trend. Both speakers reviewed from a macro perspective the strategies, developments and successful experience in application of technology in addressing ageing population around the world.
     There are four plenary sessions in the Summit, at which experts and stakeholders will engage in in-depth discussions on issues relating to gerontechnology. The first plenary session this afternoon will focus on the development of gerontechnology in Hong Kong. Speakers will include the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Stephen Sui; the Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Dr Lam Ching-choi; Co-founder of the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association Dr Law Chi-kwong; and an elderly representative, Dr Edith Kwan. The session will examine how Hong Kong can apply technology and innovation more widely and effectively to provide services of higher quality to elderly persons from the perspectives of stakeholders including policymakers, elderly services providers and elderly people.
     There will also be a Mainland forum this afternoon in which participants can better understand the ageing trend in the Mainland and the responding strategies. This forum will focus on the situation in Guangdong and Fujian Provinces, which are closely connected with Hong Kong. Speakers at the forum will be the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Civil Affairs of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Changsheng, and the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of the Committee on Ageing of Fujian Province, Mr Fang Shaoxiong.
     There will be two plenary sessions tomorrow (June 17). The morning session will focus on the application of technology in helping more independent elderly persons age in the community and at home. Speakers will discuss new directions, trends and applications of technology and elderly products for ageing in place. Speakers will include the Director of Accessibility Research of IBM, Dr Zhou Ruoyi from the US; the Founder and Managing Director of Ageing Asia, Ms Janice Chia from Singapore; the CEO of Abilities Care-net Incorporated, Mr Hiroyasu Itoh from Japan; and the Director of the Gerontechnology Research Center of Yuan Ze University, Professor Hsu Yeh-liang from Taiwan.
     The session in the afternoon tomorrow will discuss issues concerning the transition from hospital to community care for recovered elderly patients or elderly patients with chronic diseases. The session will look into the application of technology and new service models to enable elderly people to receive appropriate rehabilitative services in community. This session's speakers will be the Chief of Service of the Department of Medicine and Geriatrics of Tuen Mun Hospital and the Cluster Co-ordinator (Medicine and Geriatrics) of New Territories West Cluster of the Hospital Authority, Dr Mok Chun-keung; the Associate Professor of the Faculty of Policy Management and the Graduate School of Media and Governance of Keio University, Professor Takashi Iba from Japan; the AGE-WELL Robotics Research Project Lead and Network Investigator and Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society and Associate Professor of the University of Toronto, Professor Goldie Nejat from Canada; and the Deputy CEO of the Community Rehabilitation Network of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, Mr Peter Poon.
     The Healthy Ageing Summit on Sunday (June 18) will be co-ordinated by co-organiser the HKSTP. Speakers will include local and overseas renowned experts, who will exchange views on topics concerning innovations and technologies focusing on treatment and care for diseases affecting the elderly.
     As regards the Expo, the approximately 5 000-square-metre exhibition floor will house more than 110 local and international exhibitors to showcase their inventions and products covering mobility, personal hygiene and care, anti-wandering, food and other areas targeting the elderly.
     More than 20 sessions of workshops and briefings will also be held at the event, with focuses on specific streams of products or services such as application of robots, elderly food, elderly product design, smart city development, smartphone applications for the elderly, walking aids and digital healthcare. At 4pm tomorrow, there will also be a dedicated session for local and overseas young inventors to introduce their awarded inventions for elderly persons and to share their visions and ideas behind the inventions.
     During the Expo cum Summit, the HKCSS will hold "Future Camps" to facilitate public participation in discussion on developing new ideas to improve the quality of life of elderly persons through technology.
     The GIES is open to the public for free. Those who are interested may visit the event website (gies2017.hkcss.org.hk) for more information. A social media page (www.facebook.com/gies2017) has also been set up for sharing relevant information.
Ends/Friday, June 16, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:23
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The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, speaks this morning (June 16) at the Opening Ceremony of the Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit.
The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, this morning (June 16) attended the Opening Ceremony of the Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit. Photo shows Mr Cheung (third right); the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Mr Bernard Chan (second left); the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Mrs Fanny Law (second right); and other guests officiating at the ceremony.