OpenGov recognised 8 Victorian Government agencies and education institutes for
using technology to improve citizen engagement and public service delivery.
Recipients of this year’s Recognition of Excellence awards were:
(1) All-Party Parliamentary
Group on Artificial Intelligence
OpenGov recognised the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial
Intelligence (AI), co-convened by Minister for Innovation Philip Dalidakis and
Shadow Minister David Southwick, for preparing Victoria to benefit from this
Victorian Parliamentarians are now taking the lead through the
establishment of a Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI to learn more
about AI, its impact and the implications for rhe economy and community.
Bringing together parliamentarians from across the political
spectrum, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI will be a focal point in the
Victorian Parliament for discussion of the critical and transformative nature
(2) Box Hill Institute
OpenGov recognised the Box Hill Institute for its leadership role
in developing a single national approach for tackling cybersecurity skills
gap in Australia.
In December 2017, CEOs and senior delegates from TasTAFE, TAFE
Queensland, TAFE NSW, Canberra Institute of Technology and other organisations
around Australia have signed a National TAFE agreement to work together on a
single national approach for addressing the issue. The program will deliver
common qualifications across the country based on courses developed at Box Hill
Institute in Victoria.
The Box Hill Institute has developed a Certificate IV and an
Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security to address Australia’s critical
cybersecurity skills gap, with funding support from the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Government invested AU$4.7 million from the AU$50 million TAFE
Back to Work Fund to support Box Hill to develop its cybersecurity
This solution has been developed in close partnership with industry.
Commencing in Term 1, 2018, the Cyber Security National Program will partner
with industry nation-wide to provide on-the-job experience for students and
address the national skills shortage in cyber security. The program will give
students access to accredited training provided by qualified teachers and trainers,
so they can get a job and help protect Australians online.
(3) Deakin University
OpenGov recognised Deakin University for the Deakin Genie digital
personal assistant tool for students.
New students at the campus typically have a multitude of questions
and a lot of time goes into replying to these inquiries that could involve
anything about the general student life at the campus. As these queries often
centre around similar issues, a self-learning chatbot frees up valuable teacher
time and to deliver satisfactory responses.
Deakin Genie uses a familiar chat interface and voice recognition
coupled with machine learning, which enables it to continually get smarter and
more intuitive as more students access the software and build on their
conversations. The 50,000 students at the school have 24/7 access to the
Deaking Genie is helping thousands of students every week, giving
answers to various queries and guiding students through a wide array of
processes, in the classroom, as well as with more administrative aspects of
campus life. For example, it can help students pay for parking at the campus,
how to submit assignments, where to enrol and how to navigate to the next
Along with the written explanation, many queries are handled using
rich media, such as maps, graphs, tables and images to help clarify matters for
(4) Department of Health and
OpenGov recognised the Department of Health and Human Services for
developing the Client Incident Management System (CIMS).
The CIMS was implemented for the Community
Services sector in January 2018. The project was a joint partnership with the
Community Services Program and Design Division, in support of a new client
incident management policy.
The solution was developed in-house as a
Platform+Agile project, based on the DHHS Azure Framework. The solution
extended the framework which was initially used for the Victorian Housing
Register Application (VHRA) and included functionality for incident reporting,
reviews, investigations and detailed analytics and reporting via a web-based
portal Client Incident Register (CIR), as well as development of an Application
Programming Interface (API) for integration with external provider systems.
Since the solution went live on 15 January, 393
Community Service Organisations (CSO) encompassing over 2,500 users have
registered to use the Client Incident Register, with a further 35 CSOs
registered to use the CIMS API. Approximately 400 major impact and over 1,700
non-major impact incidents have been logged with the department for review.
A key success factor for buy-in of the solution
with the sector has been the use of an external-facing end user group during
development, and joint business/technology meetings with external stakeholders
prior to go-live. Having a committed Product Owner working closely with the
BTIM technology team and acting as a conduit between the business and
technology staff was also critical for the success of the project.
The DHHS Azure Framework is now being used and
extended to 9 other projects, including the Victorian Health Incident
Management System (VHIMS) project. The framework is being extended to include
re-usable microservices to complete common processes such as email and
(5) Department of Premier and
OpenGov recognised the Department of Premier
and Cabinet for pushing forward the Service Victoria Bill 2017. The Bill will
bring Victoria closer to creating new whole-of-government agency for
centralised access to Government services.
Victorians complete around 55 million
transactions with the State Government every year, accessing government
services and information can be excessively difficult and costly as there are
hundreds of phone hotlines and websites.
The Service Victoria Bill 2017 aims to break
down departmental silos and create a new whole-of-government agency, Service
Victoria, that will act as a central access point for members of the community
accessing Government services.
The Bill provides minimum standards around the
handling and sharing of information, ensuring community members have the choice
and control, over how their personal information is obtained and used.
The Bill will allow the new agency to be able
to process and handle high volume Government transactions such as car
registration, birth certificates, fishing licences and many others as Service
(6) RMIT University
OpenGov recognise the RMIT University for the establishment of the
RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, the world’s first research centre on the social
science of blockchain.
The RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub is the only full-service,
research, teaching and industry-linked blockchain body in the world.
Led by Professor Jason Potts in the School of Economics, Finance and
Marketing at RMIT University, the Hub will develop a world-leading
interdisciplinary research team focused on the economic, cultural and social
implications and impacts of blockchain technologies; partner with industry to
share research; develop and implement policy and industry-relevant measures of
the size and impact of the blockchain economy; and engage with government,
policymakers, stakeholders and the public debate on the social and policy
impact of blockchain technology.
The Hub will nurture students who will graduate work-ready with
skills in blockchain technologies and bring together policymakers in government
and industry practitioners looking for guidance about how best to meet
At the same time, in response to the growing importance of
blockchain as an emerging industry and in collaboration with industry, RMIT has
also launched Australia’s first university short course on blockchain strategy.
Through the eight-week course, students will have the opportunity to develop
in-demand experience, including strategic understanding of blockchain and how
to apply it to their industry and business.
(7) Transport Accident
OpenGov recognised the Transport Accident
Commission (TAC) Victoria for its data-driven citizen-centric approach.
Data insights are a critical enabler of the TAC
2020 strategy and beyond. Many data management activities are being automated,
enabling greater focus on high value analytics, leading to better reporting and
Everyone is taken along on the data journey,
not just the executives or IT. A Data, Reporting & Analytics competency
centre has been set up to bring together analytics pockets dispersed throughout
The Agency understood that solutions have to be
designed together with business. A working group was created with
representatives from various business divisions as well as IT and business
intelligence. A review was conducted of the current environment. The
Agency has now worked out how to get to its desired future state.
A hybrid approach is being followed by the
Agency for exploring advanced AI, machine learning and predicitive
analytics applications. The team understands the importance of getting
the foundations in place and is working towards it. At the same time, while
data governance and data quality issues are being resolved, in parallel the
team explores and experiments with the advanced applications. For example, TAC
is sing machine learning or predictive applications to create client profiles
for qualifying them for pre-approved medical services.
Another application being explored is when
clients are referred to vocational training service providers; the clients are
scored and classified according to levels of need. Then TAC can make baseline
predictions regarding the amount of time required for the client to get back to
the workforce. That information is passed on to the service provider as a
(8) Victorian Registration and
OpenGov recognised the
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) for its agile
project management of VRQA Home Schooling information systems.
VRQA is Victoria's education and training
regulator, an independent statutory authority that works to assure the quality
of education and training in Victoria. In 2017, VRQA faced the challenge
of implementing the changes to its IT systems rapidly, catering for the
flexibility necessary for newly established business processes. VRQA chose an
agile project management approach, with incremental delivery of the key
In December 2017 the enhanced Home Schooling
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to facilitate the new
registration process was released. The next iteration – the review process, is
being developed now and will become available in production in May in time for
the business to kick of its new annual process. Rigorous user testing and
thorough training of all stakeholders of the modified CRM system, was an
important aspect of this project.
Home schooling website content was reviewed,
rationalised, expanded and a mobile responsive design was rolled out, so users
could easily access information on mobile devices. A real-time news feature was
introduced on the website to keep the community up-to-date with changing
Thanks to the project, over 3000 Victorian
families continue to educate their children at home without any hassle, despite
the change in regulations. VRQA officers obtained an enhanced IT system and
received important training. The home schooling community continue to receive
the services and are being informed promptly. The modified CRM system has the
capability to collect the necessary metrics for the Minister’s Office and for
VRQA Board. These metrics are paramount to regulate home schooling education in
Victoria to the highest standard.
The Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS), which aims to promote the science of analysing biological molecules (biomolecules) using information technology and data science, was recently established by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). This could pave the way for real-time environmental or health data monitoring and analysis, like how real-time traffic data can be obtained on mobile devices.
IDMxS, NTU’s newest national Research Centre of Excellence (RCE), is funded with a total investment of over S$160 million over 10 years, with the majority coming from NTU and the National University of Singapore and S$94 million coming from the Singapore Ministry of Education.
Digital molecular analytics, a novel scientific discipline that analyses individual molecules to discover, identify, and measure biomolecules with extraordinary accuracy, is at the core of the work done at IDMxS.
Such a science will open many new areas of research, such as the creation of diagnostic testing capabilities that may then inspire the creation of new technologies and commercial spinoffs, including blood testing kits that can generate findings instantly using nothing more than a smartphone camera.
The interdisciplinary centre is anticipated to house 100 full-time researchers and employees with backgrounds ranging throughout the spectrum of engineering and science, from optics, computer science, and artificial intelligence (AI) to biology, medical technology, and chemistry.
Postgraduate students from NTU will have exceptional chances for interdisciplinary education and training that spans the molecular sciences and information technology through the graduate programme of IDMxS. More than 30 PhD students will receive support from the Centre, four of whom have already begun their studies. As clinical diagnostics become more digital, IDMxS will also create continuing education programmes aimed at developing and modernising the healthcare workforce.
By fusing the fields of biology and information technology – which have each recently undergone revolutionary changes – IDMxS will create the new science of digital molecular analytics. The objective is to develop tools that can track environmental data, such as air and water quality, and health information, like viral infections or molecular signatures that signal the existence of a disease, in real-time. To develop innovative solutions for issues with health, sickness, and environmental monitoring, this process begins with the development of fundamental science.
The ability to simultaneously gather a variety of data types from a biological sample and use tools like AI and machine learning algorithms to analyse and interpret the enormous volume of data that would otherwise be impossible for humans to make sense of is at the core of IDMxS’ digital molecular analytical strategies. The research centre intends to someday spin out solutions like widely used software using digital molecular analytics.
Moreover, making blood sample test kits is one potential use for digital molecular analytics that IDMxS is investigating. The goal of this research is to create a tool that can recognise the various chemicals responsible for illnesses, infections, and diseases.
This suggests that a physician might someday be able to take a blood sample, analyse it with a smartphone camera, and obtain an accurate, real-time reading next to the patient at the doctor’s table. A similar idea might do away with the necessity for additional time-consuming laboratory tests.
The extensive surveillance of illnesses spread by insects like dengue and malaria is another project that is now under development. Researchers can one day create an imaging system that can swiftly detect and monitor dengue among the mosquito population by recognising and analysing the chemicals that make up the dengue virus. Such studies might also be used to track other airborne infections and infectious diseases, in addition to insect-borne diseases that affect urban health.
In a bid to become a digital airline, the Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company Ltd (VAECO), a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, has signed a cooperation agreement with private players to deploy an aircraft maintenance and engineering management software system. Under the agreement, the system will provide technical management tools, manage the maintenance programme more closely, and more efficiently synchronise data. This will contribute to reducing maintenance costs and time, improving the operational readiness factor for the fleet.
The software also provides tools for planning, controlling maintenance procedures, and managing human resources to optimise production processes. It will minimise labour costs for recording and data entry and work control, leading to an overall increase in labour productivity, by an estimated 15-20%
The software provides synchronous information about failure status, maintenance history, and the status of spare parts. This enables technicians to make effective and timely repair decisions. It is expected to reduce flight stoppages, delays, and cancellations.
Furthermore, the system will shorten the aircraft maintenance time and create favourable conditions for the airline to concentrate human resources to expand the outside maintenance market share. The Deputy General Director of Vietnam Airlines, Nguyen Chien Thang, noted that the new technology will make an important contribution to helping VAECO become a leading aircraft maintenance service provider in the region while accelerating digital transformation.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines is the airline with the largest fleet in Vietnam, with more than 100 aircraft including Boeing 787, Airbus A350, A321, A321neom, and ATR72. The airline is constantly modernising its fleet, as well as improving its aircraft maintenance capacity and mastering new technologies.
In January, the airline launched two e-commerce platforms VNAMAZING, VNAMALL as well as its Vietnam Airlines Gift Card. The services were the first of their kind in the domestic aviation sector. VNAMAZING offers online tourism services including tour and accommodation bookings. VNAMALL provides a wide range of aviation and non-aviation goods and services.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the Vietnam Airlines Gift Card is a product available on VNAMALL, which can be used to exchange airline tickets or avail of business class upgrade benefits on flights operated by Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO. An official from Vietnam Airlines said that the airline considers e-commerce development one of its top priorities.
In August, the carrier announced that passengers using the airline’s air service can now access a free-of-charge news-reader application called PressReader for Vietnamese and international publications. The application provides more than 7,000 digital newspaper and magazine titles available in over 70 languages. According to Vietnam Airlines, passengers can use the application 24 hours before the scheduled departure time and 24 hours after landing.
To use the app, passengers must download the Vietnam Airlines app, choose the PressReader button, and verify their booking code and flight information. Articles can be read online or downloaded for offline reading.
Most recently, Vietnam Airlines launched an online check-in service for passengers departing from Phu Bai airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. The move increases efficiency and improves customer experience and convenience. Passengers are now able to check in via the official portal or the Vietnam Airlines application within 24 hours to one hour ahead of departure.
The seven best smart cities in Indonesia were announced at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics seminar and exhibition on the Movement Towards Smart Cities (Smart City) in 2022 in Jakarta. Representatives from 141 regencies attend the event in a framework for evaluating the implementation of the Smart City 2022 program.
District/city officials who have succeeded in developing a master plan under the Smart City development in their respective regions attended. The session was organised to showcase the commitment of all regional leaders so that the community see the benefits and progress, said Bambang Dwi Anggono, Director of Government Information Application Services (LAIP) of the Ministry of Communication and Information.
The five best cities and two districts took the Smart City award in the following categories:
- Smart Governance: City of Bandung,
- Smart Branding: Surakarta City,
- Smart Economy: Semarang City,
- Smart Society: City of Yogyakarta,
- Smart Living: Demak Regency,
- Smart Environment: Madiun City, and
- National Priority Tourism Area: Wonogiri
The Smart City initiative is a strategic step toward addressing development plans holistically. The programme aims to harmonise regional government sectors and regional initiative programmes with other regional governments, the central government, the business world, and even other countries. Local governments can work together with other local governments, businesses, academia, and the general public to launch various initiatives that will have a positive impact.
The Smart City Movement aims to guide regions and cities across Indonesia in designing digital-based development that considers each region’s potential and challenges. Furthermore, the Smart City programme can bring innovations from Jakarta to other areas, ensuring an even distribution of development programmes.
The Ministry of Communication and Information has facilitated interconnection with relevant parties in the Smart City development. In addition, the Ministry, through the LAIP Directorate, intends to include 50 regencies/cities in the Smart City master plan assistance in 2023.
“We hope that regional leaders (regents/mayors) will have the courage to innovate and make breakthroughs for the good of society. Correspondingly, we encourage regional heads to become change agents in these breakthroughs (SPBE),” said Bambang Dwi Anggono.
The Ministry intends to implement Smart Province next year. The Smart Province programme will select two provinces in 2023 to prepare the master plan. Smart Province development conceptualises development innovations at the provincial level and coordinates Smart City development at the district level within its jurisdiction. Two provinces will be selected to help prepare the master plan.
Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, Director General of Informatics Applications at the Ministry of Communication and Information, emphasised the importance of digital transformation as a foundation for building smart cities.
“Creating a Smart City begins with digital transformation; from there, every local government understands what is required. Because each Regional Government has unique characteristics. But, in the end, everything will point to the holistic Smart City that we taught,” he was quoted as saying.
He also stressed the importance of creating a master plan for the long-term development of Smart Cities as establishing a smart city would take 15 to 20 years. As a result, the Ministry has created a programme to educate local entities on constructing a Smart City.
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) has sped up the development of technology to keep up with the fast changes in the economy, society, and way of life. This is especially important for the year 2023 when people’s activities around the world are expected to rely more on digital systems, such as finances, business, information management, transportation, and many other things.
The Digital Post ID was recently introduced by Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES). The system is currently undergoing testing by the necessary organisations and is anticipated to be implemented by 2023.
The government agency is making strides to improve digital innovation infrastructure. According to the Digital Economy Promotion Master Plan (2018 – 2022), there is a proposal to alter the form of addressing information into a digital address, known as Digital Post ID by designating the Thai Post Office as a regulating body.
The MDES runs projects to improve Thailand’s delivery system, which has been based on five-digit postal codes for more than 40 years. This is done by making it easier to find people in Thailand with a digital 1post ID code that can be turned into their address coordinates down to the household level.
To facilitate having a digital post ID In the future, post offices or logistics providers will have QR code label printers that digitally affix a post ID to parcels or envelopes. Personal information will not be displayed on the box or envelope’s address, so both the recipient and sender may rest assured that their privacy will be protected.
The application must be installed on the device to scan the QR Code and display the sender-recipient information, and the QR Code has a single usage. In addition, access to various information is restricted in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2019 principles. In addition, it will ensure the purchase of e-Commerce products more because it may connect the delivery routes.
The Digital Post ID service provided by Thailand Post is an extremely helpful one that helps to maintain the safety and confidentiality of the documents owned by individuals. In addition, Thailand is rapidly embracing digital technology, and the country is becoming increasingly well-connected. With a population of over 69 million, the country is home to a wide range of Internet users, and digital technology is growing rapidly.
The Thai government has been proactive in promoting digital technology and has implemented several initiatives to help the country keep up with the rest of the world. This includes increasing access to high-speed Internet, encouraging digital literacy, and investing in the development of digital infrastructure.
The government has also been encouraging the use of mobile phones, tablets and laptops. These devices are becoming increasingly popular and are being used by people of all ages to access information and services.
The Thai government has also been investing in the development of cloud computing services. This has enabled businesses in the country to store their data securely and access it quickly and easily. Cloud computing has also enabled businesses to reduce their costs, as they can access services without having to invest in physical infrastructure. Furthermore, the Thai government is promoting the development of e-commerce and online payment systems
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced the launch of a S$5 million Virtual Production Innovation Fund to support the local media industry in developing the capabilities needed to harness virtual production technology to maintain the local media industry’s competitiveness as the international partner of choice to create premium IP.
To enable the camera to capture actors and visual effects in real time, virtual production technology uses LED panels to produce realistic background landscapes for television or movie sequences driven by video game engines. The site, road closures, location costs, permits, weather, set construction, and space rental will no longer be necessary for production.
With the help of technology, Singapore has a rare chance to get over some of its physical constraints, like the lack of suitable locations for on-location filming and room for large sets.
The ability of the storytellers to reproduce historical sites or any other environment will allow them to generate content that was previously impossible. This will revolutionise the creative process of storytelling.
The adoption of virtual production by the media sector is further encouraged by the strong signals emanating from international media giants that this technology will be widely employed in the creation of movies and television shows and will become the standard in the next years.
To strengthen capabilities in virtual production and ensure that the media companies and talent can keep up with international production methods to remain competitive, IMDA will pursue a two-pronged strategy to prepare the media sector for the future.
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the UK has collaborated with IMDA to adapt the school’s Certificate in Virtual Production course to the requirements of the sector to train media professionals to use this technology.
From December 2022 to April 2023, fifteen professors, trainers, and media professionals from Singapore will participate in virtual lectures and undergo hands-on training at NFTS’s virtual production facilities.
Over the course of the following 12 months, several masterclasses and workshops given by professionals from the business will be offered. A Singapore-based firm that specialises in developing immersive experiences, held a display to exhibit how virtual production can enhance imaginative storytelling.
Hands-on demonstrations will be given by guest speakers from virtual production leaders. They will discuss and explore best practices in the workflow to inventive ways to use different technology in storytelling.
Local businesses can also test out virtual production to realise their creative ideas for brief pieces of content, such as music videos, short films, and brand advertisements, among others. Companies can submit their suggested content concepts from now until February 15, 2023.
The capacity to best utilise virtual production technologies to realise a project’s creative vision will be taken into consideration while evaluating proposals.
Additionally, IMDA is working to organise an industry challenge with an internationally renowned gaming company. This challenge will encourage organisations to experiment with and use the cutting-edge real-time 3D creation tool developed by this gaming company. Currently, the aforementioned tool powers globally popular video games.
Teams whose concepts are shortlisted will receive personalised coaching and training from the gaming company. In addition, they will receive prize money from IMDA to assist with content creation.
Since virtual production technology has advanced in recent years, the country is now able to produce visual effects in real-time without building actual sets, thereby overcoming the constraints of scale, complexity, and space.
India will Chair the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), an international initiative to support the responsible and human-centric development and use of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, represented India virtually at the GPAI meeting held in Tokyo for the symbolic takeover from France, which is the outgoing Council Chair.
Chandrasekhar stated that the country would work in close cooperation with member states to put in place a framework to fully exploit the power of AI for the good of consumers across the globe. This means ensuring there are adequate guardrails to prevent misuse and user harm.
According to the Minister, India is building an ecosystem of modern cyber laws and frameworks based on three principles: openness, safety, and trust and accountability. With a National Programme on AI and National Data Governance Framework Policy (NDGFP) in place as well as one of the world’s largest publicly accessible datasets programmes in the works, the Minister reiterated India’s commitment to using AI to catalyse innovation and create good, trusted applications.
The NDGFP strives to ensure equitable access to non-personal data and improve institutional frameworks for government data sharing, promote principles around privacy and security by design, and encourage the use of anonymisation tools. It also aims to standardise the way the government collects and manages data. The NDGFP along with an envisaged Indian Data Management Office (IDMO) shall catalyse the next-gen AI and data-led research and startup ecosystem.
Through the datasets programmes, anonymised non-personal data will be available for the entire AI ecosystem. The AI market globally was nearly US$ 59.67 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.4% to reach around US$ 422.37 billion by 2028. With the rapid growth of AI and machine learning (ML), experts predict that most businesses will shift to AI-powered systems, apps, security systems, data analysis, and other applications in the future. AI is expected to add US$ 967 billion to India’s economy by 2035 and US$ 450–500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, accounting for 10% of the country’s US $5 trillion GDP target.
A government official outlined India’s priorities as Chair GPAI next year, stating that the country would focus on promoting greater involvement of the global south in the conversation regarding the use of AI for solving societal problems. The country has also emphasised the need for the responsible and ethical use of AI.
GPAI is a congregation of 25 member countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore. In 2020, India joined the group as a founding member. It is a first-of-its-type initiative that aims to better understand the challenges and opportunities around AI. It works in collaboration with partners and international organisations, leading experts from industry, civil society, governments, and academia. These stakeholders collaborate to promote the responsible evolution of AI and guide the development and use of the technology, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently announced that a PolyU-supported start-up has successfully developed the Nano Multi-rings Defocus Incorporated Lens for controlling the progression of myopia (or short-sightedness).
The start-up collaborated with the State Key Laboratory of Ultra-precision Machining Technology (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) (SKL-UPMT) and the School of Optometry of PolyU to create the new solution by integrating DISC technology and Ultra-precision Nano Multi-rings Machining Technology, offering children and adolescents a convenient, non-invasive and effective option to delay myopia progression.
PolyU holds the patents for both DISC technology and Ultra-precision Nano Multi-rings Machining Technology. The launch of the Nano Multi-rings Defocus Incorporated Lens signifies the University’s long-term commitment to driving research and innovation and its continuous effort in facilitating knowledge transfer and research commercialisation by supporting cutting-edge technology start-ups.
PolyU’s School of Optometry invented the novel DISC technology, which is proven to retard the myopia progression of children by 60%. The method produces a clear image on the retina and a defocused or blurred image in front of the retina simultaneously, enabling children to have clear vision while controlling the development of myopia. Based on this technology, the DISC-SH soft contact lens was introduced in 2018.
The Ultra-precision Nano Multi-rings Machining Technology, developed by SKL-UPMT, merges advanced optics design, ultra-precision machining and ultra-precision measurement technologies, and ultra-precision mould-making to apply DISC technology in spectacle lens production. By employing an ultra-precision process, the new spectacle lens provides added comfort for wearers, while offering more stable vision. The non-invasive design also makes it more suitable for children of different ages.
The Visiting Chair Professor of the School of Optometry of PolyU and Co-founder of the start-up noted that the partnership with SKL-UPMT and the School of Optometry to launch the new Nano Multi-rings Defocus Incorporated Lens resulted in a breakthrough in DISC technology. This initiative helps address the spiralling myopia problem among children, especially in markets with a relatively high ratio of myopes such as Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.
The Professor of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Director of SKL-UPMT at PolyU stated that ultra-precision machining technology is a multi-disciplinary advanced manufacturing technology, which is the backbone of crucial industries like optometry, semiconductors, advanced optics, aerospace, energy, biomedical and new materials development.
He noted that SKL-UPMT is at the forefront of the development and application of technologies and have a proven track record in designing and implementing new methods, process, systems and facilities in ultra-precision machining and ultra-precision measurement.
The locally developed Ultra-precision Nano Multi-rings Machining Technology was extended to fine-tune and manufacture optometric products and will continue to create new technologies and solutions for diverse industries to benefit society. In doing so, Hong Kong and mainland China’s competence and strategic advantages in design and advanced manufacturing will be furthered, he said.
The Nano Multi-rings Defocus Incorporated Lens is expected to be rolled out in Hong Kong and mainland China soon. The company will continue collaborating with PolyU to develop new myopia control products based on DISC technology to protect the vision health of children and adolescents.
Founded by PolyU’s professor and alumni, the start-up has received financial support from the PolyU Micro Fund and the PolyU Tech Launchpad Fund. In 2018, the company secured a licence from PolyU for commercialising DISC technology, which the start-up manufactures and distributes DISC lenses at its authorised optometric clinics and fitting centres.