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Opening remarks by S for IT at ASTRI Technovation Summit 2019 (English only)
     Following are the opening remarks by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) Technovation Summit 2019 today (November 25):
Sunny (Chairman of ASTRI, Mr Sunny Lee), Dr Lam (Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Dr Lam Ching-choi), Hugh (Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, Mr Hugh Chow), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good morning. Welcome to Hong Kong Science Park. Welcome to ASTRI. I would like to first congratulate Sunny Lee for succeeding M Y Wong as the new Chairman of ASTRI. Sunny has served on the ASTRI Board for seven years. He will be taking over leadership with great experience. Another note is that we have two Sunnys now at Science Park, one is Sunny Chai who is the Chairman of HKSTPC and then of course Sunny Lee. Hopefully there will be lots of sunshine here.
     It is a great pleasure to join you all today at the ASTRI Technovation Summit. ASTRI has selected "Smart Future for All" as the theme of this year's event. Indeed, Hong Kong people do embrace the changes brought by digital transformation, which is the key to shape our future, make our lives smarter and also better.
     Two years ago, the Government published the first-ever Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong, putting forth more than 70 concrete and specific initiatives to improve Hong Kong people's quality of living while promoting economic growth. We have seen many major developments since then. For instance, the launch of the Faster Payment System in September 2018, and the adoption of various smart solutions at the Hong Kong International Airport. I am happy to share with you today that we are in the process of preparing the Smart City Blueprint 2.0, which will include many new initiatives, and shall be ready for release in the first half of coming year.
     In realising our vision to build a Smart Hong Kong, applied research plays an important role in transferring the latest technologies to practical use. Over the years, ASTRI has made significant contributions in our smart city development, bringing innovation and technology closer to our daily living, and benefitting Hong Kong as a whole.
     Let me cite a few examples of ASTRI's achievements. On Smart Mobility, ASTRI has been developing its proprietary C-V2X technology, through which vehicles can communicate with each other and with pedestrians and roadside infrastructure to enhance road safety. ASTRI has also been actively engaging in the research and development of 5G technologies. Apart from developing 5G application platforms to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness, ASTRI is the first and the only Hong Kong institution participating in the international 5G standardisation meetings, demonstrating its leadership position in 5G development.
     On Smart Economy, ASTRI's Fintech initiatives have been well-received by Hong Kong's banking sector. Its AI-enabled Chinese handwriting recognition and optical character recognition automatic form processing system, together with its Cantonese-supporting mixed languages chatbot, have helped financial services providers improve their services. In addition, ASTRI has created Hong Kong's first property-purchase blockchain platform, which helps save time and resources in real estate property transactions.
     On Smart Living, ASTRI has developed a smart analytics platform for utilities applications such as smart water management, which helps to reduce water wastage.
     On a separate front, Hong Kong is moving full speed ahead with the establishment of two world-class research clusters, one focusing on healthcare technologies and the other on AI and robotics technologies, right here at Science Park. Over 60 proposals have been received from the best of the best in the global research community. The two research clusters are expected to be set up progressively in the coming months, and we will also examine the setting up of a third research cluster to further enhance global research collaboration in Hong Kong. I am sure ASTRI will actively participate in these world-class research clusters.
     Today, Hong Kong is facing big challenges from the global trade war and internal social unrest. Yet, the Government remains fully committed to developing innovation and technology here in Hong Kong, using I&T as a key economic and social driver to help improve our citizens' daily lives and diversify our economy. We should never lose faith and I am confident that we will overcome our current challenges.
     In closing, I wish today's Summit every success, and all the guests and participants a most rewarding and enjoyable day.  Thank you very much!
Ends/Monday, November 25, 2019
Issued at HKT 13:04
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