Welcome remarks by Acting S for IT at HKRITA Innovation and Technology Symposium 2017 (English only)(with photos)

     Following are the welcome remarks by the Acting Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr David Chung, at the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) Innovation and Technology Symposium 2017 today (September 7):
Mr Chung (Legislative Council member and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Fashion Summit (HK) 2017, Mr Chung Kwok-pan), Dr Lee (Chairman of the Board of Directors of the HKRITA, Dr Harry Lee), Edwin (Chief Executive Officer of the HKRITA, Mr Edwin Keh), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you all at the opening of the Innovation and Technology Symposium 2017.
     I would like to thank HKRITA for organising this annual signature event to showcase the latest development and application of innovative research and sustainable solutions in the textiles and apparel arena. 
     With a very fruitful outcome in 2016, the 2017 Symposium is organised in collaboration with the Fashion Summit. And I am pleased to note that this is the first large-scale conference in Asia focusing on sustainable fashion. The Symposium brings together top-notch researchers, experts and industry leaders from all corners of the world to share their knowledge and experiences. With your participation and contribution, I am certain that we will see many creative ideas on the sustainable development of the fashion industry.
     Since its establishment in 2006, HKRITA has commenced over 170 projects under the Innovation and Technology Fund, involving a total project cost of over $500 million. In recent years, there is a growing demand for green products to live up to our social and environmental consciousness. Leveraging this business opportunity, HKRITA has worked tirelessly with the industry to develop innovative green technologies. 
     As we all know, many clothing items are discarded before the end of their life span, producing huge volumes of textile waste ending up mostly in landfills. Fortunately, more and more industry players are putting the focus on the sustainability of their products. HKRITA has been collaborating actively with leading fashion brands to develop new technologies to recycle blend textiles into new fabrics and yarns through mechanical, biological and chemical methods. The Institute also collaborates with local and overseas universities to develop effective methods for recycling post-consumer textiles. Such promising research projects would be conducive to textile waste reduction and facilitating the re-industrialisation of Hong Kong. 
     Apart from contributing to the industry, HKRITA is also spearheading many projects in developing new materials and high-performance textiles which benefits people from all walks of life. Last month, I personally tried out a "multifunctional" apron developed by HKRITA. Encompassing technologies from various research projects, the apron not only possesses water, oil and stain repellent and anti-microbial features, it also has a self-cleaning function. The apron clearly demonstrates the commercialisation potential of HKRITA's research outcomes. I believe Edwin and his team will be sharing more exciting stories with us. 
     Research and development centres and the research community are our best partners. With the Government's strong support, I am confident that HKRITA will continue to be a key driver and facilitator in the development and application of innovation and technology. I would also like to take the opportunity to convey our gratitude to Dr Lee and Edwin for their dedication and commitment in leading the centre.
     Lastly, I wish everyone a fruitful sharing and a rewarding exchange at today's Symposium. Thank you.  

Ends/Thursday, September 7, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:43