LCQ1: Implementation of pilot projects relating to smart cities
The Government is currently inviting views from various stakeholders and sectors of society on the Report of Consultancy Study on Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong submitted by a consultant in June this year, and it expects to publish a smart city blueprint in the third quarter of next year. The recommendations put forward in the aforesaid Report include the implementation of small-scale trials, such as the setting up of a smart region living lab by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation in collaboration with the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the purpose of assessing the practicality of different pilot projects under the local environment and operational constraints. In fact, quite a number of public and private organisations have separately or jointly implemented a number of small-scale trials relating to smart cities. For example, the Hong Kong Productivity Council has, on its own, researched and developed smart street lamps and a wireless charger for electric vehicles, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has joined hands with a Mainland car hailing software company to promote the transfer of research and technology achievements in the area of intelligent transport systems. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows the details of the pilot projects relating to smart cities being carried out separately or jointly by public and private organisations in Hong Kong at present; if so, set out by project name in a table the contents of the various projects and the amounts of subsidies provided by the Government (if any);
(2) whether it will proactively contact the organisations mentioned in (1), so as to collect the data obtained from their trials and, through appropriate procedure, make use of such data to take forward the work on the development of a smart city; and
(3) as it has been reported that the pilot projects on cashless transactions, unmanned driving, etc to be carried out in the aforesaid smart region living lab need about three to five years to complete, whether the Government will consider publishing a smart city blueprint only after all such pilot projects have been completed and the relevant data have been thoroughly analysed; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The Government has been actively developing smart city, by making use of innovation and technology (I&T) to address urban challenges, enhance city management, improve people’s quality of living as well as Hong Kong’s attractiveness to global businesses and talents, so as to drive sustainable economic development.
The consultant engaged by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) submitted its study report on smart city blueprint in mid-2017. The consultant recommended a series of short-, medium- and long-term initiatives under six areas, namely Smart Mobility, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart People, Smart Government and Smart Economy, as well as in promoting further opening up of data.
We briefed the LegCo Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting in July 2017 and conducted public consultation in August and September 2017. Various sectors gave very positive responses to the consultancy report and hope that the Government could announce the smart city blueprint earlier. In view of such, the Chief Executive announced in the Policy Address that we will advance the announcement of the smart city blueprint to within this year. Prior to that, we will invest $700 million to take forward three key infrastructure projects for smart city development, namely providing an electronic identity (eID) for all Hong Kong residents, launching a pilot Multi-functional Smart Lampposts scheme and reforming the development technology of e-Government systems and building a big data analytics platform. The Chief Executive will personally chair the newly established Steering Committee on Innovation and Technology, which will steer and examine measures under the eight areas of I&T development and smart city projects, with a view to driving the I&T and smart city development of Hong Kong in a highly effective manner.
My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:
(1) Successful smart city development not only depends on the work of the Government, the participation of public and private organisations are also important. Various Government departments, as well as public and private organisations, have been using I&T to improve services and enhance the efficiency of city management.
For the Government, the Innovation and Technology Bureau (ITB) assists Government departments to use I&T to improve service quality, efficiency and effectiveness through a block funding of $500 million. Since the scheme rolled out in mid-2017, it has been well received by departments. The ITB has agreed to support more than 20 applied technology projects or studies proposed by departments, involving over $100 million of funding and covering a number of smart city projects, including monitoring of city weather, red tide and air pollution; enhancing water supply management and the efficiency of sewage treatment; illegal parking monitoring in Kowloon East; and the provision of real-time transport and leisure information on Lantau, etc. Some of these projects can commence in this financial year the earliest.
Furthermore, in the past three years (i.e. from April 2014 to September 2017), the Public Sector Trial Scheme under the Innovation and Technology Fund had subsidised 100 trial projects, 42 of them involved smart city, with a total subsidy of $120 million. Examples of trial projects include: in collaboration with the Airport Authority Hong Kong, the Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies (LSCM) has developed a barcode and radio-frequency identification scanner, which can facilitate passengers to print luggage tags at home and check in luggage by themselves at the counter; the LSCM co-operated with the Customs and Excise Department to launch the Single E-lock Scheme, which reduces customs clearance time through the seamless clearance service provided by Internet of Things and e-lock-based technology. The details of the projects are at Annex.
Apart from the above, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, in collaboration with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is planning to set up a living lab to support the pilot application of innovative solutions, including social culture platform, autonomous vehicles, smart building and facility management, cashless society, etc. The Hong Kong Productivity Council has also conducted smart city research projects, such as Multi-standard Mobilised EV Smart Charger, food waste total recycling system, etc.
As regards financial technology (FinTech), as at late October 2017, 25 FinTech projects were tested or being tested via the Fintech Supervisory Sandbox launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), including biometric authentication, chatbot and blockchain, etc. In addition, the HKMA and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute launched the Fintech Innovation Hub in November 2016, facilitating new products and service tests of the financial industry.
(2) As regards open data, the OGCIO has been in contact with various public and private organisations, encouraging them to release data through the data.gov.hk portal for free reuse by the public, thereby encouraging development of innovative applications and solutions, driving smart city development. The consultancy report has also made a series of recommendations regarding open data, covering transport, education, medicine, finance and economy, etc. The OGCIO will follow up with relevant departments on the recommendations.
(3) In recent years, different cities around the world have been striving to develop smart cities. It is essential for Hong Kong to press ahead smart city development in full steam. As mentioned above, in response to the feedback received from different sectors, we will advance the announcement of the smart city blueprint for Hong Kong to within this year, setting out directions and goals for Hong Kong's smart city development. Smart city development is an on-going process. The ITB will keep an eye on the latest developments in relation to smart cities around the world, and the results of various trials and pilot schemes by public and private organisations, with a view to driving smart city development as well as updating the smart city blueprint of Hong Kong at the appropriate juncture.
Ends/Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:11
Issued at HKT 16:11