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ASTRI challenge promotes STEM education

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The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has supported the International Mathematical Modelling Challenge (IM2C) to nurture STEM talent and innovative entrepreneurship for secondary school students in Hong Kong SAR and the rest of the Greater China region through the launch a challenge that includes problem-setting, field studies, summer internships and presentation competitions.

Established by a non-profit organization offering multidisciplinary and academically rigorous curriculum materials and teacher development programs based on mathematical exploration of real-world problems and an international organization based in Hong Kong focusing on educational, scientific and cultural development in 2015, the IM2C is a global innovation contest for secondary school students to explore the application of mathematical modelling in real-life situations to solve problems of importance today.

Water is an essential resource in daily life. A smart water supply system that can monitor flaws in pipes and valves is key to sustainable and efficient water use in Hong Kong.

Using ASTRI’s simulated scenarios from the real-life project on Smart Water Data Analysis, the Hong Kong team from Diocesan Girl’s School won the Outstanding Award for the 2020 IM2C Greater China Contest, which was featured in the July issue of the Newsletter of Hong Kong Laureate Forum.

The problems set for the IM2C 2020 in Greater China covered a wide spectrum of issues including Smart Water Data Analysis, Credibility in Online News, Grid Frequency Response and Cyber Insurance Incentive Strategy; Flash Sale is used for the international challenge.

The Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics of ASTRI stated that mathematical modelling provides an effective tool in applying logical thinking to solving the complex problems being faced currently.

Through their support to the IM2C competition, field studies and the Advanced Innovation Program platform, ASTRI hopes to stimulate young people’s interest in STEM education and careers and encourage them to take on the difficult challenges – an essential trait for technological innovation.

The ASTRI Chief Executive Officer stated that STEM education is becoming increasingly recognised as a key driver of opportunity. IM2C facilitates students to learn about the relevance of mathematical modelling to their studies as well as to their career including entrepreneurship – an important skill for the technology-driven economy of the future.

ASTRI will continue to promote STEM education and applied research to prepare our young people to work in a world that is progressively competitive yet collaborative.

The Director of IM2C Committee (Zhonghua) noted that ASTRI’s continuous support to the IM2C in promoting STEM education in Hong Kong and the Greater China region is valued. With the implementation of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong will play an increasingly active role as the international hub of science and innovation. ASTRI was thanked for the robust support and partnership to inspire more students to be engaged in international exchange in science and innovation.

The 2020 contest, the sixth IM2C, saw 650 teams from the Mainland, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan compete – a tenfold increase since its establishment.

The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000, aims to enhance Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.

ASTRI’s research and development strategic focus covers five areas of applications: Smart City; Financial Technologies; Intelligent Manufacturing; Health Technologies; and Application Specific Integrated Circuits through its mandate as the Hong Kong branch of the Chinese National Engineering Research Centre. Our core competence in various areas is grouped under five technology divisions, namely Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics; Communications Technologies; Cybersecurity, Cryptography and Trusted Technologies; Integrated Circuits and Systems, and IoT and Sensors.

ASTRI is working to develop technologies that address the needs of industries, institutions and communities in Hong Kong; as well as nurture talents to create economic value and societal impact.

To date, ASTRI has transferred more than 750 technologies to the industry and owns more than 850 patents in the Mainland, the US and other countries.

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