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The seventh annual Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES), a pioneering tech-centric event co-organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) was inaugurated at the esteemed Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The global pace of population ageing is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. According to the United Nations, the demographic aged 65 and above is projected to burgeon from 10% of the global populace in 2022 to a staggering 16% by 2050.

Image credits: Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

This demographic shift is particularly pronounced in Hong Kong, with projections from the Census and Statistics Department indicating that the proportion of elderly individuals will surge from 20.5% in 2021 to a staggering 36% by 2046. This extrapolation signifies that more than one in every three Hong Kong residents will belong to the elderly demographic.

Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP, emphasised the pivotal role of gerontechnology in revolutionising the city’s landscape, stating, “Gerontechnology stands as an indispensable tool in our efforts to craft a smarter and more adaptive urban environment, particularly tailored for our ageing population. With a robust gerontech ecosystem comprising over 70 companies, HKSTP remains steadfast in its commitment to elevate the well-being of the elderly and fortify our healthcare infrastructure through seamless collaborations encompassing governmental bodies, industrial entities, academic institutions, and research sectors.”

GIES has evolved beyond its initial role as a mere platform for gerontechnology awareness. It has transformed into a pivotal nexus for industry stakeholders, facilitating collaborative engagements, policy formulation, and technological advancements crucial for steering Hong Kong’s societal, economic, and technological growth.

Apart from being a stage for innovation, GIES is a networking hub fostering partnerships aimed at enhancing elderly care and fortifying Hong Kong’s status as an elder-friendly city. This year’s edition, spanning from November 23 to 26, boasts an impressive showcase featuring close to 800 innovative solutions curated by over 200 exhibitors, representing a remarkable two-fold increase since its inception in 2017.

Under the overarching theme of “Age Smarter with Hub of Gerontech,” the HKSTP pavilion stands as a testament to innovation and progress, uniting 43 Park companies to showcase breakthrough advancements across seven pivotal categories. These encompass health screening, vital sign monitoring, rehabilitation and cognitive care, fall risk management, service operations, tech-enabled care, and sensory aids.

Occupying a gross floor area of 500 square meters, this year’s HKSTP pavilion represents the most extensive showcase since the inception of GIES in 2017. Notably, the inclusion of seven InnoHK centres, including three from Health@InnoHK and four from AIR@InnoHK, debuting their pioneering gerontech solutions at the adjacent “InnoHK Zone,” further accentuates the depth and breadth of innovation on display.

To immerse attendees in a hands-on experience and actively engage end-users, HKSTP has meticulously curated an interactive zone within its pavilion, themed as “Rehab@Home.” This setting replicates a home environment, showcasing 13 specialized rehabilitation products and solutions designed for seamless integration into domestic settings.

Complementing this experiential zone are the “Gerontech Ambassadors” drawn from physiotherapy students at Tung Wah College and elderly ambassadors from Lingnan University’s “Jockey Club Gerontechnology and Smart Ageing Project.” These ambassadors are stationed to offer firsthand insights and share personal experiences regarding user-friendly solutions.

While advancements in technology, medicine and healthcare offer longer life spans, ageing does have challenges. Hong Kong has been eager to be a more inclusive country and aims to better care for its elderly.

OpenGov Asia reported that the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) showcased the technological achievements within the gerontechnology field through the Jockey Club Smart Ageing Hub Project. Collaboration among experts from various disciplines was facilitated to share their technological advancements and best practices and discuss the future of Hong Kong’s gerontech landscape.

Robotic advancement is revolutionising industries across the globe, bringing increased efficiency, precision, and new frontiers of exploration. These machines transform healthcare, palaeontology, and supply chains, demonstrating their adaptability and potential.

Image credits: new.nsf.gov

For instance, in Indonesia’s healthcare industry, robots are crucial, assisting surgeons in procedures, providing rehabilitation therapies, and even delivering medications to patients. Telesurgical robots offer enhanced skill and precision, minimising invasive procedures and improving patient outcomes. Robots can also perform complex manoeuvres and have a more comprehensive range of motion than human hands, helping reduce surgeon and physical fatigue during lengthy procedures and reducing data transmission delays.

In the U.S. alone, robots are revolutionising the field of prosthetics, providing individuals with disabilities newfound mobility and independence. Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed robotic prosthetic ankles controlled by nerve impulses, restoring natural movement and stability to amputee patients. This innovative technology holds potential for improving the lives of individuals with lower limb amputations.

It is acknowledged that traditional prosthetic ankles rely on external controls, such as straps or cables, for limited movement. However, these methods often need more precision and responsiveness for natural movement. Neural control, on the other hand, harnesses the power of the user’s nervous system to control the prosthetic device directly. At the same time, this innovation has a lot of advantages, including intuitive and natural movement, improved stability and balance, and enhanced proprioception.

Researchers explored the effectiveness of neural-controlled prosthetic ankles. They collaborated with five individuals who had undergone below-knee amputations on one leg. Each participant was fitted with a prototype robotic prosthetic ankle that responded to muscular signals detected by sensors attached to their portion.

For evaluating the performance of the neural-controlled prosthetic ankles, the participants were instructed to react to an “anticipated perturbation” under two conditions: using their customary prosthetic devices and the robotic prosthetic prototype. The anticipated perturbation involved a sudden shift in the support surface, simulating the experience of encountering an unexpected obstacle or uneven terrain.

The study’s results revealed improvements in stability, balance, and proprioception among participants using the neural-controlled prosthetic ankles compared to their traditional prostheses. Participants equipped with the robotic prototype demonstrated an ability to maintain balance and coordination even when faced with unexpected disruptions. They also exhibited enhanced proprioception, enabling them to perceive the position and movement of their prosthetic ankle with greater precision.

The development of neural-controlled prosthetic ankles represents a leap forward in prosthetics. This technology holds the potential to revolutionise the lives of individuals with amputations, providing them with a level of mobility and independence that was previously unattainable.

As research progresses, neural-controlled prostheses are envisioned to become better and more accessible. Researchers are exploring ways to integrate additional sensory feedback, such as touch and pressure, to enhance the user’s experience further. Additionally, artificial intelligence and machine learning advancements could enable prosthetic devices to learn and adapt to the user’s needs and preferences. The future of neural-controlled prostheses will offer the restoring mobility, improving quality of life, and transforming the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Singapore and the Republic of Korea (ROK) recently solidified their commitment to tackle critical challenges in energy and climate change through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which signifies a joint effort to foster discussion platforms, explore collaborations, and encourage stakeholders to seize business opportunities.

Image credit: mti.gov.sg

This strategic partnership centres around five key areas of focus, emphasising long-term emissions reduction strategies, sustainable trade practices, regulatory frameworks, energy technologies, and private-sector collaboration.

The collaborative spirit between Singapore and the ROK holds particular significance against the backdrop of robust economic ties. Anchored by the Korea-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the Korea-Singapore Digital Partnership Agreement, both nations have witnessed a substantial increase in bilateral trade.

The ROK emerged as Singapore’s 7th largest trading partner in 2022, reflecting a 26% increase in bilateral merchandise trade compared to 2021. Investment flows between the two countries have also shown a consistent upward trajectory, growing by an average of 21% annually from 2017 to 2021.

Beyond economic prosperity, the MoU underscores a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. It recognises that sustainable economic growth is intrinsically linked to responsible environmental practices. By collectively addressing the challenges posed by climate change and energy transitions, Singapore and the ROK exemplify the power of international collaboration in addressing global issues.

This collaborative spirit extends beyond energy and climate change to highlight the importance of digital partnership agreements. Such agreements play a crucial role in facilitating collaboration between diverse entities, ranging from businesses to government bodies. They serve as instrumental tools in fostering shared resources, and joint projects and addressing common challenges.

Moreover, the collaboration between Singapore and the ROK aligns with the principles that underpin effective international partnerships. As the world grapples with complex issues, such collaborative efforts serve as beacons of hope, demonstrating that by working together, nations can achieve meaningful and impactful outcomes.

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is a shared goal for nations globally, and the collaboration between Singapore and the ROK aligns seamlessly with this imperative. One key aspect of a low-carbon economy is the focus on reducing carbon emissions and minimising environmental impact by optimising resource utilisation.

Besides, digital transformation provides businesses and industries with the tools for efficient resource management through data-driven insights, predictive analytics, and smart resource management systems.

Decision-making in a low-carbon economy involves analysing environmental data to identify areas for improvement and implement sustainable practices. Digital transformation complements this by offering the capabilities to collect, analyse, and interpret vast amounts of data. This enables organisations to make informed decisions regarding energy consumption, emissions, and overall sustainability, aligning with the goals of a low-carbon economy.

Implementing smart infrastructure and energy management solutions is crucial for achieving energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprints in a low-carbon economy. Digital transformation plays a vital role in this regard, with IoT devices, sensors, and smart technologies contributing to the creation of intelligent infrastructure. This optimisation of energy usage promotes sustainability across various sectors, including buildings and transportation.

Collaboration among businesses, governments, and communities is essential for implementing sustainable practices in a low-carbon economy. Digital transformation supports such collaborative ecosystems through digital platforms and tools that enhance communication and cooperation. These platforms facilitate partnerships that support sustainable initiatives and enable the exchange of eco-friendly technologies.

Encouraging innovation in clean technologies, renewable energy, and sustainable practices is a key focus of a low-carbon economy. Digital transformation serves as an enabler of innovation by providing tools such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and automation. These technologies contribute to the development and adoption of sustainable solutions across various industries.

The defence sector is experiencing a surge in digital technology, prompting New Zealand to actively incorporate these advancements into its military vehicles. This integration aims to revolutionise the country’s land forces, enhancing their operational capabilities across various domains. This ongoing initiative underscores New Zealand’s proactive stance in integrating digital technology into its military vehicles, showcasing its dedication to leading technological advancements and fortifying the capabilities of its land forces.

Image credits: nzdf.mil.nz

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is set to kick off their summer display season at the upcoming airshow, and this year, they are bringing a new element to the event. In addition to the aerial displays and military vehicles on the ground, the RNZAF aims to showcase its cutting-edge digital technologies and how they shape its operations’ future.

One of the highlights of the airshow will be the Black Falcons, the RNZAF display team, flying the T-6C Texan II aircraft. Integrating digital technology into their display makes their performance even more impressive. Through advanced avionics systems and digital flight controls, pilots can execute precise manoeuvres and formations accurately and safely.

The RNZAF Kiwi Blue Parachute Team will also demonstrate their ability to land on the mark using GPS tracking systems. By utilising real-time data and navigation technology, skydivers can plan and execute their jumps accurately, ensuring they land exactly where they intend to.

Another exciting addition to this year’s airshow is the brand-new P-8A Poseidon aircraft. This maritime patrol aircraft has the latest digital surveillance and reconnaissance systems, effectively detecting and tracking potential threats on and under the water. With its advanced sensors and data processing capabilities, the P-8A Poseidon is at the forefront of digital technology in modern warfare.

Joining the RNZAF at the airshow are United States Air Force members, who will be showcasing their C-130J model aircraft. This aircraft, similar to the one replacing New Zealand’s H-model fleet next year, is equipped with advanced digital communication systems, enabling seamless interoperability with allied forces. The C-130J’s digital cockpit and avionics suite also enhance situational awareness, improving the crew’s ability to respond to changing conditions.

On the ground, the New Zealand Army 16 Field Regiment will showcase their military vehicles, including a Light Armoured Vehicle. These vehicles have digital command and control systems, allowing for seamless integration with other units and real-time information sharing. A weapons display will also showcase the latest advancements in digital targeting and precision weapons systems.

Jim Rankin, RNZAF Display Director, emphasises the importance of showcasing the NZDF’s digital capabilities at the airshow. “Our highly skilled personnel and cutting-edge assets rely on digital technology to enhance our operational effectiveness,” Rankin explained. “We want the public to see firsthand how we utilise digital tech to better serve our country.”

By highlighting the role of digital technology in their operations, the RNZAF aims to demonstrate how these advancements are not only improving their capabilities but also ensuring the safety and security of New Zealand. The airshow allows the public to witness the power of digital innovation in the defence sector and gain a deeper understanding of how technology shapes the future of military operations, allowing the public to see firsthand how digital technology shapes the modern military landscape.

As the largest exporter in the global rice market, Thailand employs approximately 60% of its workforce in the agricultural sector, with rice being the most crucial food commodity, particularly in the ASEAN region.

Image credits: mdes.go.th

Recognising the potential of technological advancements, the Thai government sees an opportunity to transform the agricultural landscape into smart farming. This commitment aligns with the experiences of countries like the United States, Israel, and Australia, which have successfully integrated robotic technology into their agricultural practices.

While technological innovations in agriculture have peaked in some countries, Thailand is still in the early stages of implementing this technology in its agricultural sector. The potential to update and improve agricultural performance through technological innovation remains substantial.

Applying technology in agriculture can increase production yields and reduce environmental impact through more efficient resource utilisation. Using sensors, robotics, and intelligent systems can provide more accurate monitoring of soil conditions, crops, and pests, enabling farmers to make more timely and efficient decisions.

Furthermore, through the use and utilisation of technology, Thailand can address the ongoing challenges of climate change while enhancing its agricultural sector’s efficiency, productivity, and resilience. In this context, food security becomes crucial and must be addressed quickly.

In a recent initiative, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, has presided over the 1 Tambon 1 Digital Project (Drone Jai Community). This project aims to develop knowledge and skills related to applying and maintaining agricultural drones for communities and farmers nationwide.

The project envisions transforming traditional businesses into service centres for drone maintenance, spraying, and sales for agriculture. Within a year, it aims to establish 50 service centres nationwide, promoting the application of agricultural drones in 500 communities, creating an economic value of at least 350 million baht.

The opening ceremony of this project involved Assistant Prof Dr Nattaphon Nimmanphatcharin, Director General of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), and executives from various agencies. This initiative focuses on fostering a comprehensive understanding of the use and upkeep of agricultural drones, providing a platform for communities and farmers to benefit from digital technology.

The strategic goal is to encourage a shift toward digitalisation in traditional businesses, promoting the adoption of cutting-edge technology in agriculture. The 1 Tambon 1 Digital Project serves as a cornerstone for realising this vision, emphasising the importance of enhancing digital capabilities to create a competitive advantage for the country.

Minister Prasert emphasised the readiness of the Ministry of Digital Economy to drive the digital economy and society, mainly through initiatives like the 1 Tambon 1 Digital Project. The project aligns to enhance digital capabilities to create a competitive advantage for the country in response to the evolving digital economy era.

Farmers communities and the general public are invited to participate in training programmes on piloting unmanned aircraft and developing maintenance skills for agricultural drones. These activities aim to raise awareness and stimulate the application of drone technology for agriculture in five regions, including drone flying and maintenance competitions.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is leading the charge towards a more sustainable future with the launch of Gprnt (pronounced “Greenprint”), an innovative digital platform born out of Project Greenprint. This platform, set to progressively roll out from Q1 2024, is poised to transform the landscape of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data collection and access for both large enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Image credit: mas.gov.sg

Gprnt, currently undergoing live testing with selected banks and SMEs, is designed to streamline ESG reporting processes, offering an inclusive and interoperable data layer for businesses and financial institutions alike.

The platform’s capabilities are expected to automate ESG reporting, providing end-users such as financial institutions, regulators, and corporations with timely insights to inform their sustainability-related decision-making.

At its core, Gprnt serves as an encompassing solution, simplifying ESG reporting by converting economic data into sustainability-related information. It achieves this through integrations with various digital systems used by businesses in their daily operations, including utility consumption, bookkeeping, payroll solutions, building and waste management, payments gateways, and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) sensor networks.

To facilitate seamless data collection for businesses in Singapore, Gprnt incorporates Myinfo business, enabling the retrieval of relevant data from trusted government sources via Singpass. This collaborative approach ensures a comprehensive and accurate representation of sustainability metrics.

The platform’s data computation process involves translating and computing source data into ESG-related outputs, allowing businesses to report with precision. In cases where source data is unavailable, Gprnt leverages AI tools, including intelligent document processing (IDP) and a GPT-4-powered chatbot, to extract key data from user-uploaded documents. This user-friendly approach aims to assist businesses in crafting sustainability disclosures and providing actionable insights.

Gprnt not only addresses the reporting needs of SMEs, which form the backbone of the global economy but also caters to the more sophisticated data needs of larger multinational entities and regional economies.

The platform’s expansion includes the creation of a new entity, Greenprint Technologies Pte Ltd, with strategic partners in both private and public organisations. This collaborative effort signifies a commitment to enhancing cross-border capabilities and supporting the complex data requirements of multinational corporations.

The platform’s flexibility allows businesses to share their ESG information with various stakeholders, including financial institutions for green and sustainability-linked loans, industry partners for accessing green business opportunities, government or regulatory bodies for climate reporting requirements, and international platforms like the Net Zero Data Public Utility.

Positioned strategically for future growth, Gprnt is poised to undergo a comprehensive evolution and expansion, enhancing its capabilities to meet the nuanced and intricate demands of larger corporations, financial institutions, and national authorities.

This forward-looking approach involves not only addressing current needs but also anticipating the evolving complexities of these entities. Gprnt’s commitment to continuous improvement ensures that it remains at the forefront of technological advancements, adapting to the dynamic landscape of ESG reporting and sustainability initiatives in the corporate and financial sectors.

As it expands, Gprnt aims to serve as a reliable and sophisticated tool, facilitating streamlined processes and fostering a more sustainable and transparent environment for its diverse user base. The envisioned growth involves establishing collaborative partnerships with organisations, leading to the development of specialised modules.

These modules will be tailored for sectoral data collection and outcomes tracking, championing a comprehensive and holistic approach to sustainability, particularly in pivotal sectors such as energy, industrial, and real estate.

This proactive approach ensures that Gprnt remains at the forefront of facilitating sustainable practices across diverse industries, contributing to a more environmentally conscious and responsible global landscape.

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanput) has set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE), the Advanced Technologies for Monitoring Air-quality iNdicators (ATMAN). It aims to build indigenous, low-cost sensors and improve artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) capabilities to improve air quality in urban and rural regions.

According to a press release, the CoE is a significant step towards the government’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) initiative. It also aligns with the vision of the Principal Scientific Advisor of India, aspiring to translate sustainable technologies and business models into tangible products and services accessible to millions worldwide.

Image credit: ATMAN Centre of Excellence

There are several projects underway at the ATMAN, with one notable initiative being the Ambient Air Quality Monitoring of Rural Areas using Indigenous Technology (AMRIT). This flagship project involves deploying a dense sensor ambient air quality monitor (SAAQM) network with 1,400 nodes across rural areas in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

AMRIT represents a pioneering effort to comprehensively monitor air quality in these regions, which have traditionally lacked extensive data collection and been limited to towns and cities. The CoE team is collaborating with the State Pollution Control Board of Bihar and the Uttar Pradesh Department of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.

“The State of Bihar took the initiative to collaborate with IIT-Kanpur towards [the] installation of sensor-based air quality monitors in all its 534 administrative blocks,” D.K. Shukla, Chairman of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, said.

The collected air quality data will undoubtedly assist in devising an action plan to protect the respiratory health of the rural population in the state. In doing so, Bihar would pioneer the first-of-its-kind collaboration with an institution such as IIT-Kanpur, Shukla noted.

Sachchida Nand Tripathi, leading the CoE, expressed enthusiasm about the impactful research in progress, stating that CoE ATMAN is at the forefront of integrating indigenous technology for a self-dependent India. Working with state government departments in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is instrumental in bridging gaps in the data-driven Air Quality Management (AQM) policy.

Meanwhile, the ATMAN’s Dynamic Hyper-Local Source Apportionment (DHSA) represents a cost-effective approach to source apportionment. It is currently being pioneered in Lucknow and Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Measuring and understanding the levels and causes of air pollution is the first step towards addressing it. DHSA is geared towards providing city authorities with valuable data to make informed decisions in their air quality action planning. The long-term goal is to scale DHSA systems to cities throughout India, enabling dynamic and real-time insights into emissions and sources of air pollution.

The ATMAN’s PM2.5 Prediction and Airshed Management project leverages micro-satellite imagery, sensor-based ambient air quality networks, and machine learning techniques to forecast PM2.5 levels at finer resolutions. The CoE is also actively working on an airshed approach to tackle air pollution at a broader scale, relying on data-driven policy decisions.

Projects like these put the CoE at the forefront of advancing indigenous air quality sensor fabrication, incorporating AI/ML models. The optimisation of this technology includes strategic sensor placement to enhance overall citizen satisfaction with publicly available air quality information.

The Principal Scientific Adviser to the government, Ajay Sood, said, “The CoE ATMAN has been set up to strategise and execute projects in the field of air quality with indigenous sensor manufacturing that is scalable globally. I appreciate the nurturing of Indian start-ups by this Centre. The coordination between science and government agencies is at the centre of citizens’ welfare.”

The landscape of Bac Giang province in Northern Vietnam is set for a digital overhaul as it gears up for a significant transformation in its agricultural and rural sectors. Under the directive of Duong Thanh Tung, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province is steering its focus towards a digital revolution that will shape the future of agriculture until 2025.

The ambitious plan revolves around establishing an intricate data ecosystem encompassing land, crops, livestock, and fisheries. At the heart of this initiative lies the digitalisation of data on concentrated agricultural production areas. This digital footprint, coupled with an electronic diary system, is poised to revolutionise product traceability, enabling efficient origin tracking and the issuance of vital codes for planting areas, packaging facilities, and farm identification.

Image Credits: Vietnam Plus/VNA

Over the coming years, Bac Giang aims to empower farming households dealing in key agricultural and One Commune One Product (OCOP) goods by facilitating their integration into e-commerce platforms. Support initiatives will include aiding these households in creating comprehensive accounts showcasing their products, complete with crucial details such as pricing, adherence to quality standards like Global Good Agricultural Practices (GlobalGAP) and Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) and ensuring transparency in production methodologies.

Bac Giang Province has embarked on a comprehensive rural revitalisation plan in conjunction with an ambitious digital transformation agenda. Until 2025, the province is set to prioritise the development of state-of-the-art rural communities and villages, leveraging smart technology integration and emphasising tourism growth to uplift living standards and augment the income of its residents, as highlighted by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

The province’s roadmap for 2025 also outlines a concerted effort towards bolstering smart agriculture and precision farming, with a target of allocating at least 15% of the economy to digital agriculture. Blockchain technology will be harnessed to trace product origins, while a dedicated monitoring centre for forest management will take shape within the province.

Bac Giang’s strides in digitalisation aren’t confined to theoretical planning but have already materialised in practical applications. The integration of digital technology has birthed smart village and nature-based agriculture models, laying the groundwork for a digitally-infused agricultural landscape. Additionally, businesses and cooperatives in the agricultural domain are being actively supported in their digital transformation journey.

Notable milestones in Bac Giang’s tech-driven agricultural sector include the utilisation of drones for tasks such as sowing seeds and pesticide spraying in rice and lychee fields. Advanced digital transformation models have been deployed across various localities, such as the Biofloc technology in intensive fish farming and drone-based pest control in rice and lychee cultivation, all in alignment with stringent quality standards.

In livestock management, the province has embraced the Vietnam Animal Health Information System (VAHIS), integrating information technology for disease management. Meanwhile, in fisheries, Bac Giang’s embrace of automation technology, integrating sensors, environmental measurement devices, and remote monitoring systems, signifies a futuristic approach to fisheries management.

The recent completion of comprehensive livestock and fisheries production databases in multiple districts and the continued updates to irrigation databases further reinforce Bac Giang’s commitment to digitalisation. The province’s initiatives in digital mapping of production areas and the introduction of planting area codes underscore its forward-thinking approach to agricultural innovation.

Bac Giang’s journey towards technological integration in agriculture stands as a testament to its commitment to not only modernise its rural landscapes but also ensure sustainable, high-quality agricultural practices. As this digital revolution continues to unfold, Bac Giang province emerges as a beacon of innovation in Vietnam’s agricultural landscape, paving the way for a technologically empowered future.

Vietnam’s Bac Giang province prioritises technology and digital transformation for smart new-style rural areas, aiming to process document-based tasks online and meet IT requirements at all levels to better serve citizens.

OpenGov Asia reported on Bac Giang’s strategy to enhance digital transformation and the implementation of technology to develop new-style rural areas. In addition to fostering rural economic growth and reducing the disparity between rural and urban regions, the objective of the plan is to establish smart new-style rural areas.

The designation of a new-style rural commune in Bac Giang province is contingent upon meeting a comprehensive set of 19 criteria across various domains. These criteria encompass planning, socio-economic infrastructure, economy and production, socio-culture, and environment. Each region has specific requirements tailored to its unique characteristics.

The advent of electric vehicles represents a significant step in technological innovation, particularly within the scope of digital technology. These vehicles, powered by electrical systems, have redefined the perception of transportation. They are not merely standards to travel from point A to point B but an amalgamation of digital technology and sustainable mobility.

Image credits: brin.go.id

The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is spearheading the development of the Micro Electric Vehicle-Teleoperated Driving System (MEVi-TDS), a micro-sized electric vehicle prototype enabling remote control via WiFi networks. This prototype embodies a concept in the evolution of electric vehicles.

It marks pushing beyond conventional limits. MEVi-TDS represents a revolutionary step in electric vehicle development, not just in its single-passenger physical dimensions but also in its cutting-edge approach to fostering digital connectivity.

According to Bambang Wahono, a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Smart Mechatronics Research at BRIN, the research is ongoing with the goal of navigating zigzag obstacles on roads this year. In facing zigzag obstacles on the road, the speed of decision-making by the system becomes crucial to ensure the safety of passengers and the vehicle.

Bambang explained that their technology involves various sensors such as stereoscopic cameras, ultrasonics, and 2D LIDAR to detect obstacles in front of the vehicle, “We use the top camera technology to have a forward view, while GPS is used for positioning. Additionally, radar installation is planned for 2023,” Bambang asserted.

The current research is focused on gathering data through sensors such as cameras, LIDAR 2D, ultrasonics, and GPS. Furthermore, there is programming of control systems for data processing and decision-making, machine learning model training for decision-making, control system testing in real environments, control system improvements, and machine learning model training based on test results.

Bambang envisioned that the MEVi-TDS research could become a solution for future transportation in Indonesia. “If this technology is widely adopted, it will reduce congestion by using teleoperation systems as an interim solution before fully autonomous electric vehicles are produced,” he further elaborates.

Bambang underscored that autonomous electric cars represent the commitment of Indonesia to utilising digital technology for modern transportation development. The fundamental concept entails a vehicle that can not only move independently but also execute the entire range of driving tasks performed by humans.

Autonomous electric cars not only facilitate ease in setting destinations. Moreover, they are imbued with automation systems that enable operation without human intervention. This has broad implications for designing a safer, more efficient, and integrated driving experience.

The research is about directly confronting obstacles and building a system that can learn from every experience. Through machine learning model training, the research team strives to optimise the capabilities of MEVi-TDS to make increasingly precise and adaptive decisions in various road situations.

MEVi-TDS is the result of joint research from several research centres under BRIN’s umbrella, including the Centre for Data and Information Science Research, the Centre for Smart Mechatronics Research, the Telecommunications Research Centre, and the Transportation Technology Research Centre.

The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and the Housing Bureau (HB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to harness innovative technology solutions for the betterment of construction efficiency, safety, and property management processes.

To advance construction and property management, ASTRI and the HB will co-develop cutting-edge solutions using innovative technologies. The signatories of the MoU, including the Permanent Secretary for Housing/Director of Housing and the Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI envision a collaborative effort that leverages ASTRI’s expertise in research and development (R&D) and the application of innovative technologies to address challenges in the construction and property management domains.

Image Credits: ASTRI, Press Release

The Secretary for Housing emphasised the Housing Bureau’s proactive approach to embracing advanced technologies to enhance safety and efficiency, optimising property management. The collaboration with ASTRI, known for its R&D capabilities, is expected to significantly enhance quality and efficiency in construction, estate management, and customer services.

The Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry expressed the Innovation and Technology Bureau’s support for the Housing Bureau’s integration of innovation and technology (I&T) solutions into construction and property management.

The collaboration with ASTRI, with its track record in transferring R&D deliverables in Hong Kong and the Mainland, is seen as a catalyst for cross-sectoral collaboration, accelerating the transfer of R&D and fostering new opportunities for Hong Kong’s I&T development in housing.

The Chairman of ASTRI highlighted the collaboration as a pivotal moment in Hong Kong’s construction and property management development. He emphasised the adoption of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G communication, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and optical sensing, which would contribute to improved construction efficiency, worker and site safety, and energy conservation. These technologies, according to Lee, also play a role in reducing environmental impact and fostering the smart city development of Hong Kong and the Mainland.

The CEO of ASTRI expressed delight in collaborating with the Housing Bureau to create a more liveable environment through innovative technologies. He highlighted the potential of the collaboration in addressing future housing needs and promoting technologies to the Mainland and global markets. In construction and property management, the adoption of technology can simplify tasks, reduce the workforce needed, and ensure precise and secure task completion.

The vision outlined in the 2023 Policy Address for a liveable, innovative, and green Hong Kong serves as the backdrop for this collaboration. The Housing Authority’s upcoming pilot scheme in selected Smart Estates, focusing on the adoption of innovative technologies, aligns with the goals of the MOU.

The collaboration between ASTRI and the Housing Department is poised to promote the development of innovative technologies, with the first batch of technologies under consideration including:

  1. Smart Optical Sensing for High Precision Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) Positioning: This technology utilises smart optical sensing, positioning tracking, edge AI, and other technologies to analyse real-time data from dynamic visual sensors. The aim is to calculate the precise location of MiC modules for installation, minimising physical tasks and enhancing site safety, especially in challenging environments.
  2. Enhanced 5G Coverage for Remote Crane Control: Deploying a low-latency and reliable 5G private network solution with advanced Internet of Things (IoT) technology on-site supports a massive number of device connections, enabling remote control of cranes. This implementation facilitates real-time safety and progress monitoring, thereby lowering safety risks for workers and improving the accuracy of crane tasks.
  3. Universal AI Predictive Maintenance System for Lifts: Leveraging IoT data, this system analyses and develops an AI system capable of predicting lift breakdown patterns. Compatible with lifts from various manufacturers, the AI Predictive Maintenance System reduces lift downtime by enabling more efficient on-site maintenance checks through remote, real-time monitoring and accurate breakdown prediction, thereby enhancing the quality of property management services.


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Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.