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Universities in both Australia and China are working together on new technological solutions to one of the toughest challenges of energy productions: how to even out the demand for electricity.

According to a recent press release, the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Energy Informatics and Demand Response Technologies is a new research centre that the Australian Government recently granted with AU$ 900,000.

This is part of the Australia-China Science and Research Fund Joint Research Centres to fund research into making energy supply more efficient and reliable.

The centre follows on from almost a decade of research collaboration between the University of Sydney in Australia and Tianjin University in China on energy solutions.

Rising energy problem during peak demand

Currently, the energy systems in Australia and China suffer during periods of peak demand. Because of this, there is a need to even out the demand for energy to avoid seeing big peak demands on the system.

Focusing on interdisciplinary research in computer science and engineering, the centre will make full use of state-of-art computer science techniques to better manage energy usage in households.

The new integrated system will be able to account for peak energy demand times and adjust the household’s electrical use accordingly.

According to the World Energy Outlook, China is currently the world’s largest energy consumer and without further action on energy efficiency, it will account for nearly 22% of the primary energy demand in 2040.

The Head of School of Electrical and Information Engineering at Tianjin University explained that the joint centre with the University of Sydney has significant scientific value that will produce innovative results in the energy field.

Hopefully, the centre will act as a vital link between the researchers and the public and be able to make important contributions to the development of new energy technologies in both countries.

Running a pilot program together

The teams are working with the State Grid Corporation of China and Energy Australia to run a pilot program using the smart meters that they have developed.

The meters draw on information about energy consumption and combine it with Internet of Things (IoT), or internet connectivity in everyday devices, to adjust household energy usage, making it more efficient and cost-effective.

The smart meters can detect when electricity demand is at its peak and most expensive and adjust household electrical devices.

The partnership between the University of Sydney and Tianjin University has already yielded an international patent proposing a computational method for using Internet of Things (IoT) devices with an enhanced data processing technique to efficiently collect data from distributed grid systems.

The other partners in the research centre are RMIT University and Energy Australia from Australia, and Tianjin University and Tsinghua University and State Grid from China.

A bold and historic initiative for collaboration in innovation and trade between Australia and China was made possible through Monash University’s new and novel partnership with the Chinese government and commercial partners.

Research Institute launched in China

According to a recent press release, the Monash Technology Transformation Institute (MTTI) is a new not-for-profit research institute focused on research and development (R&D) activities located in the Pingshan District of Shenzhen, China.

MTTI represents the largest commercialisation partnership negotiated between an Australian University and China.

The Institute was launched by the Shenzhen Municipality and Pingshan District Governments, the University and their commercial partners.

The University President and Vice-Chancellor shared that the Monash Technology Transformation Institute is a compelling demonstration of the University furthering its ambitious agenda for global impact.

Boosting medical research

The University will be pre-selecting early stage IP for development at the Institute from among their researchers’ outstanding discoveries in medicine, medical devices, materials and engineering.

Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said that this is yet another example of Victoria taking its research expertise and ensuring it is commercialised and available globally.

The University is a leader not only in R&D but also in the way it makes sure its medical research benefits human health.

Selected projects will receive funds for proof-of-concept studies from MTTI’s generous 10-year budget of AU$ 100 million.

Commercialisation expertise within the Institute will drive IP to the investible stage in previously untapped Chinese and global markets to improve human and animal health and wellbeing.

According to the University Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Enterprise), the Institute will drive new products to market in these and other sectors including advanced technologies and bio-pharmaceuticals.

It will help improve human and animal health and well-being as well as meet the growing demand for advanced technologies in medical practice and medical devices in China and around the world.

He added, “Bringing the MTTI to fruition has taken courage by both Monash and our Chinese partners and I look forward to moving ahead with this bold program aimed at benefiting people’s health within China and globally.

Reaching a wider market

The Institute provides a unique opportunity for Monash University to identify IP projects that are unable to obtain funding from sources in Australia and/or have a significant China market.

According to the World IP Organisation (WIPO), Chinese companies led the world in patent applications in 2018, lodging 40% of all applications, or 1.38 million patent requests.

Additionally, Shenzhen files approximately half of all patent applications in China each year.

MTTI complements the company which Monash University has established jointly with the University of Melbourne.

The company focuses on therapeutic and drug development in Australia. The Institute will be available to the company as a potential channel for taking its projects into the Chinese market.

The Australian and Chinese government are funding for a new Joint Research Centre (JRC) that will develop a new generation point-of-care testing device.

According to a recent report, the next generation testing device will be able to detect minute quantities of disease biomarkers in a patient’s bloodstream, at point-of-care.

The device will integrate a miniaturised microscope, with microsensors on a chip, and smartphone readout to detect the trace amount of circulating nucleic acids in the blood stream.

An increase in the levels of these molecules can be an indicator of a range of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders and infections.

Australia-China Joint Research Centre

The Australia-China Joint Research Centre (JRC) for Point of Care Testing will be led by University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry Science (CIAC).

The Federal government funding of AU$936,000, from the Australia-China Science and Research Fund, will be matched by the Chinese Government to establish the Centre.

It aims to address the challenges being encountered in the health sectors of both countries, strengthening the ties with global partners and boosting research capacity.

The combined expertise of researchers on nanotechnology, diagnostics and rare earth-based optical materials will produce a compact, low cost and easy to use device that can be used in point-of-care settings such as surgeries of GPs and homes of patients.

The Director of the University’s Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices (IBMD), Professor Dayong Jin, will co-lead the new JRC.

According to him, developing a non-invasive early-stage diagnostic tool is possible with the capability of identifying and monitoring these molecules.

Improving personalised healthcare practices

Personalised healthcare practices that lead to much improved survival rates are highly sought across the globe.

However, there is no single technique, to date, that works by itself to help tackle major global health challenges such as the detection of cancer in its very early stages.

Bringing together smart minds with complementary skills and resources will help make this a reality.

The funding of this new centre positions Australia and China at the forefront of innovation in diagnostic biotechnology.

Collaborating for new tech

In Australia, the University’s School of Biomedical Engineering and the Elemental Bio-imaging Facility will be connected into the new centre together with the University of Wollongong and several commercial partners.

In China, Professor Jun Lin from CIAC will co-lead the JRC with support from the South University of Science and Technology of China, the Fujan Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, and the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.

Using the latest technologies to develop affordable devices to better screen for illnesses can have a very real and positive impact upon the future of healthcare in Australia and around the world.

This will particularly affect the remote or developing areas where access to hospitals is limited.

Australia-China partnerships

As reported, an AU$ 4.7 million boost from the Coalition Government will strengthen innovation and science links with China to help tackle challenges facing key industry sectors, with a focus on developing medical and alternative energy security technology.

Aside from the UTS, the funding will help other world-class Australian research institutions build links with China, which is an important collaborative partner for Australia in science and research.

Also receiving a grant of over AU$ 900,000 each are:

  1. University of Melbourne and Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology to develop low-cost flexible solar cells and new near-infra-red technologies.
  2. Flinders University and Nankai University to develop accessible medical sensing devices to enable early detection of emerging health concerns and empower healthy choices.
  3. University of Adelaide and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University to develop combined wind-and-wave power generation technologies to improve energy security.
  4. University of Sydney and Tianjin University to develop energy informatics and demand response technologies that improve energy sustainability, improve energy affordability, and secure energy infrastructures.

Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore made a speech on 25 May where Singapore was hosted as Country of Honour, at the Pujiang Innovation Forum In Shanghai. The Minister spoke on how Asia is rapidly advancing in Technology. He highlighted examples in China and areas where Singapore had also accelerated.

China companies at the forefront deploying technologies

The minister mentioned how many Chinese companies are now at the forefront of deploying technology, making dramatic changes to how people live, work and communicate with one another. These include China’s “BAT” – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Baidu is one of the top online search engines in Asia; Alibaba – the world’s top e-commerce retailer; and Tencent – an internet company with one of the largest social networks, linking billions of people across the globe.  Just two days ago, the CRRC Qingdao Sifang unveiled a prototype of the magnetic levitation train with speeds of up to 600km/h.

The Minister said that in order to harness the opportunities that technology is opening up. Let me share three key thrusts that Singapore is taking to harness the potential of technology: First, to take a holistic, integrated approach to technology and innovation; Second, to address issues that are most critical to our people; and third, to take concrete action towards collaboration.

Holistic and Integrated approach to technology and innovation

The first stage mentioned was to take a holistic and integrated approach – linking our basic research and development, with innovation and enterprise development, and in the deployment and diffusion of technology.

“Like China and many other nations, Singapore is a firm believer that technology and innovation are key driving forces to our future. Our national R&D effort started in 1991, with our first five-year National Technology Plan. We are now investing in our 6th plan to build our R&D base.”

The Singapore government invests about 1% of GDP in research and development and this has catalysed private sector spending of more than 1% of GDP. We are taking a further step to look at development of start-ups, which is now a major force in innovation. This is a total of about 2% of GDP invested in supporting research and development– similar to China and other OECD nations.

He said for Singapore’s innovation to flourish, having people with the right skills are most important. Singapore invests heavily in growing our talent from young – building up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and also the arts as a foundation.

Shanghai companies partner with Singapore

To enable people to broaden their networks and horizons, the Singapore government encourages them to gain overseas experiences.

“The launch of our Global Innovation Alliance links Singapore with innovation nodes around the world. I am happy to welcome Shanghai as our latest alliance partner, with the signing of the MOU between Enterprise Singapore and Xnode yesterday. I am confident that Shanghai will be a key partner in these efforts.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Asia-Pacific Future Financial Research Institute (AFF) signed a FinTech Co-operation Agreement yesterday to promote academic exchanges, information sharing and research co-operation on FinTech. It aims to encourage greater collaboration between business communities, academia and think tanks from Singapore and China. The agreement was signed before the FinTech Roundtable, co-organised by MAS and AFF.

Under the Agreement, both parties have also committed to facilitate greater cooperation among financial institutions in Singapore and China to leverage on FinTech to benefit their consumers.

Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “Singapore and China have been longstanding partners on many fronts. This agreement is another step towards closer collaboration between the FinTech ecosystems of Singapore and China to benefit consumers and businesses.”

“We look forward to greater knowledge exchange and deeper financial collaboration with the FinTech community in China to nurture a more vibrant global FinTech ecosystem in both countries” he added.

Ms Du Yan, Executive President, AFF, said, “The FinTech era requires more international communication and cooperation. Regulators from different jurisdictions need to promote innovation in financial services to enhance financial inclusion globally. Additionally, different institutes should share knowledge and cooperate on innovation. We would like to make joint efforts to construct a better financial eco-environment and promote responsible innovations.”

ETDA is launching the ‘Young Talent Platform’ during Thailand’s e-Commerce Week 2019 (31 January – 2 February 2019) to bring together young Thai people with the aim of helping them be digitally ready for working in the e-Commerce era.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) announced that they aim to attract 1 million teenagers to join the e-commerce workforce and 200,000 micro-SMEs to go online this year to boost the online economy.

Ms Surangkana Wayuparp, president of ETDA said “We see potential growth for e-commerce business if Thais act now and build a digitally skilled workforce that serves the industry trends.”

E-Commerce Park inspired by China

In order to meet this goal of a skilled digital workforce, the ETDA are setting up an E-commerce park. The e-Commerce Park concept comes from China, where 2,000 e-Commerce Park locations are located around the country. The ETDA has signed a MOU with Dong Guan Province, China’s no.1 e-Commerce district for exchanging ideas and experiences.

The establishment of e-Commerce Park comes from the collaboration between ETDA and Srinakharinwirot University through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote electronic transactions and e-Commerce. During the e-Commerce week, there will more collaboration with other educational institutes to help increase the numbers entering Thai e-Commerce market. Srinakharinwirot University is going to be the first prototype location for the e-Commerce Park.

The e-Commerce Park at Srinakharinwirot University, not only aims to be the center of education and training but will also work with agencies overseas to create more channels for Thai businesses to export their products to global markets.

The Park is going to be an e-Commerce hub which supports the Thai e-Commerce industry from SMEs, product manufacturers to service providers, both domestic and international. It will be a knowledge centre and business network centre to help give businesses a competitive advantage and to ensure they meet international standards.

Young Talent Platform

“Young Talent Platform” will be launched at the upcoming e-Commerce week at the end of the month to support the workforce by gathering Start ups and experts to create the first centre of e-Commerce in Thailand to develop it’s e-Commerce ecosystem.

The services on offer will range from e-Commerce business consulting, searching for jobs, searching for funds, business matching, e-learning and online media connected to the e-marketplace and it will also include services for business registration.

The platform will help building an entire community of young talent ready to exchange knowledge and to assist with using e-Commerce tools such as e-Payment systems and Online Marketing platforms.

ETDA also set priority for developing and supporting manpower by cooperating with leading educational institutes to support the newly graduates or students who seeks to earn money by joining e-Commerce Park where the young generation are able to develop their potential and assist SMEs to use e-Commerce tools securely and correctly,” Mrs. Surangkhana stated.

According to a recent report, the Malaysian government is are getting increasingly confident about facial recognition technology. Most recently, Malaysia installed a new facial recognition system to help fight crime in the state of Penang.

The Chief Minister of Penang said that the new system uses technology from an American multinational information technology company and is expected to enhance the 767 closed circuit cameras installed by the Penang Island City Council.

He noted that this technology, which is capable of detecting the faces of criminals or people wanted by the police, will be operated from the CCTV control room of the MBPP and the Penang police headquarters.

At the launch, the Chief Minister stated that the monitoring via CCTV is an initiative by the Penang state government to reduce crime, especially street crimes, in an effort to maintain the safety and well-being of the people.

The government spent MYR46.2 million (US$11.15 million) on the cameras thus far and said that the current project involves spending another MYR 12 million (US$2.9 million) on the technology and on the installation of an additional 150 cameras.

Penang Island City Council Mayor believes that the new system can help increase the efficiency of the police force in preventing and resolving criminal cases.

In the case of a snatch theft on the street, for example, the cameras could not only help identify the criminal but also alert the police about his whereabouts — all using facial recognition technology by an American multinational information technology company.

In recent years, several states and provinces in the US, the UK, China, and the UAE have started exploring the technology — and there have been some hiccups.

According to another report, facial recognition software used by the Metropolitan Police force has returned false positives in more than 98 per cent of cases. The system used by the South Wales Police, on the other hand, has returned more than 2,400 false positives in 15 deployments since June 2017.

China, on the other hand, has been delivering success after success with its facial recognition system. In fact, one of the biggest victories was when a suspect was identified among a crowd of 60,000 Jacky Cheung concert goers in Jiaxing, a city in eastern Zhejiang province.

In Malaysia, only time will tell how effective the system is and what the investment actually delivers in terms of results.

In April 2018, OpenGov had reported that Auxiliary Force Sdn Bhd (AFSB), a member of Royal Malaysia Police Cooperative Bhd., became the first security force in the country to integrate body-worn cameras with facial recognition technology.

AFSB’s main responsibility is to administer and manage Polis Bantuan of the Royal Malaysia Police Cooperative Berhad. In addition, the services of AFSB are utilized by private sector entities such as, such as I-City, ERM, MIC, Hatten Group and others.

AFSB is also responsible for enhancing the knowledge, skills and ability of Polis Bantuan personnel and it offers the Polis Bantuan Foundation Course of Excellence. Currently, AFSB monitors and manages the accreditation of private bodyguards in Malaysia.

AFSB is working with YITU Technology (YITU), a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and innovation, for this initiative to transform and augment Malaysia’s public safety and law enforcement efforts.

AFSB is using the facial recognition technology to allow officers to review captured video footage to spositively identify persons of interest post-event. The objective is to enhance the way auxiliary police safeguard the community, infrastructure and assets.

Implemented since February 2018, the body-worn cameras are currently in use by auxiliary police officers of AFSB at various critical infrastructure. Going forward, there are plans to expand the roll-out to more locations across Malaysia in the near future.

According to a recent report, a Chinese medical tech platform has raised US$1.01 billion in its Hong Kong listing, sources told a major multination news reporting agency recently. This makes the platform one of this year’s last big deals in the Asian financial hub to end on a positive note.

The Shanghai-listed app priced its listing at HK$68 (US$8.71) per share, at the middle of an indicated range of HK$64.1-HK$71.5, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter.

It could raise up to US$1.16 billion if an over-allotment option is exercised within a month of the start of trading.

The platform could not be immediately reached for a comment, according to the report.

This listing should come as good news for Hong Kong where many firms have sunk below their IPO prices, while others have scaled back their targeted fundraising amid jittery markets.

Bankers have been hoping for the app and the Chinese tech giant’s music arm, which launched its hotly-anticipated U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of up to US$1.2 billion on Monday, to go well and help usher in 2019 on a positive note.

One source said that the platform could have priced higher – it was giving guidance of HK$70 on Thursday – but wanted to leave money on the table because of volatile markets this week.

Hong Kong is on track to become the world’s top IPO centre by volume this year, with US$33.2 billion raised so far, according to data provided by a global provider of financial markets data and infrastructure. However, concerns over a China-U.S. trade war and slowing growth in the world’s No.2 economy continue to be a drag.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index is down more than 12 per cent this year.

The Shanghai-based platform describes itself as the largest pharmaceutical R&D services platform in Asia by revenue. The company had revenues of 4.41 billion yuan ($641 million) in the first half of this year, versus 3.67 billion yuan in the same period last year, according to its listing prospectus. Its profits jumped 67 per cent to 1.3 billion yuan in the first half.

The company intends to use the proceeds from the listing to expand capacity across its units globally, invest in seven China projects such as a Chengdu R&D campus and set up a bioanalytical laboratory in San Diego, California, the prospectus says.

It also intends to fund the acquisition of contract research organisation companies.

The platform’s shares will begin trading in Hong Kong on 13 December 2018.  A major US bank and two other global investment powerhouses and banks are sponsoring the listing.

As reported earlier by OpenGov Asia, recently, another major tech player – a cryptocurrency giant – chose Hong Kong to make it’s IPO.

The reason is that, in April 2018, the Hong Kong bourse changed its rules to allow some companies with two classes of shares to list, in a bid to lure listings from large innovative companies.

This has proved to be rather ingenious as it has led to the boom of IPOs being offered on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recently.

According to another report, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has become a hot spot for attracting the initial public offerings of some of the largest companies in the world.

According to the director at a firm which conducts financial markets research, Hong Kong is perfectly positioned to provide effectively an access point to one of the fastest growing regions of the world. It was also noted that Hong Kong has a developed economy and financial market, and provides international investors with a link to mainland Chinese markets through the “stock connect” program.

Thus, it is expected that the region will become the world’s top IPO centre by the end of this year.A

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