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HK Smart LAB holds first tech forum

Image Credits: Hong Kong Government, Press Release

The Smart Government Innovation Lab (Smart LAB) under the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) held its first technology forum on 26 June 2019.

The theme of the forum was “Smart City Infrastructure”. The event was organised in collaboration with Cyberport and the Hong Kong Science Park, attracted over 230 participants from government departments and the IT sector.

To be conducted at quarterly intervals, these technology forums aim to connect the service needs of individual departments with quality solutions from the IT sector.

A total of 14 companies focusing on networking technology and biometric technology joined today’s forum at Cyberport and presented their solutions and products – in an exhibition and on stage – to help government departments grasp the latest trends.

A representative from the Architectural Services Department shared details of the department’s experience in adopting innovative information technologies for service improvement and their way forward in engaging technology in services.

The OGCIO also briefed the audience on the Government’s pro-innovation procurement policy to enlighten the industry on the operational procedures of government departments.

The Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr David Chung, said in his opening address that the new government procurement policy gives quality solutions with innovative suggestions a better chance of success.

In alignment with this new policy, the Smart LAB was established to actively connect government departments with the IT sector, so as to foster close partnerships and inspire more novel innovation and technology (I&T) ideas which are conducive to building a strong and vibrant I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong.

The next forum is themed “Intelligent Transport System and Traffic Management” and will be held on September 25 at the Hong Kong Science Park.

Hong Kong’s Smart City infrastructure goals

According to the Smart City Blueprint, Hong Kong is working to promote retro-commissioning and building-based smart/IT technologies.

Moreover, the Government aims to install LED lamps in public lighting systems progressively under the LED Public Lighting Replacement Programme of the Highways Department starting from 2017-18 and encourage retrofitting LED lighting for existing government buildings.

In addition, the goal is to continue to include requirements, such as green building design, provision of smart water meter system, electric vehicle charging facility and real-time parking vacancy information for new land sale sites in Kowloon East, with a view to developing a green and smart community.

The Smart LAB

Hong Kong’s visionary Smart Government Innovation Lab (Smart LAB) was reportedly launched in Hong Kong, with the aim of supporting tech SMEs and start-ups to develop products that can help improve public services.

IT firms will be able to pitch technologies such as big data analytics, blockchain and robotics to the Smart LAB – which is located in Cyberport, a government-run business park housing 1000 digital tech companies. As well as helping SMEs to develop products for government, the LAB will also work to raise awareness across Hong Kong’s administration about technologies that might be useful to public servants.

Alongside the physical Smart LAB, there will also be a dedicated website where public bodies can post details of challenges that SMEs might be able to help them address. Businesses will be encouraged to pitch their ideas, allowing government departments to use it as a resource to find potential solutions and suppliers.

The opening ceremony showcased several innovations already in place – including sensor technology for monitoring tree stability in built-up areas. The sensor alerts the relevant authorities if a tree begins to tilt and could potentially present a danger to pedestrians or vehicles.

A “city dashboard” presenting open data in the form of interactive charts and maps for the general public, expected to go live later this year, was also on display.

Other technologies showcased at the launch included virtual reality technologies for assisting the design of construction sites, the monitoring of construction processes and urban development planning, as well as innovations related to the Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud technologies and big data.

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