This is Part 1 of a two-part series covering the Public Sector Innovation Day – Singapore. Read Part 2 here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in the world. It has ushered in a new normal, bringing a different era of governance and business operations. Technology is at the fore of this front, helping adapt to these disruptive changes in an unprecedented manner. The scale of this transformation is incredible – experts say CVOID-19 has driven two years of digital transformation in two months.
The public sector is at the heart of the response to COVID-19. The response has required action on multiple fronts, using technology advancements, not just for health measures, but to aid efforts to mitigate the economic effects on households, firms, and industries. The crisis has drawn attention to the tools and technologies that governments need to have to protect their citizens and enterprises as agencies struggle to minimise associated negative impact, deliver public services, and ensure the continued development of critical national infrastructure.
A digitally enabled government must go beyond merely digitising processes and offering services online. It must also find innovative ways to raise productivity in workplaces and bring convenience and efficient services to citizens. As the world prepares for the new normal and all the economic, social, and political question marks that accompany it, many are looking to the tools of data science to continue to inform this trajectory. Advanced data science, and the technology it powers, is rapidly becoming an essential component of nearly every industry.
The Singapore government, too, is looking to ramp up the adoption of digital technologies and the nation to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously national tech agencies developing new digital tools and services to support citizens and businesses. This requires a comprehensive approach including the ability to rapidly integrate new data, make accurate, multilevel forecasts and provide data-driven insights for policymakers.
Now, even as the journey to a post-COVID-19 recovery has begun, the question is still relevant: does the public sector has the necessary tools and technologies to respond effectively, recover quickly, rebound efficiently and reimagine the future which is critical to national interests?
OpenGov Asia held a Public Sector Innovation Day 1 for Singapore at Intercontinental Singapore. The session aimed to impart knowledge on how public sector agencies can accelerate digital transformation and innovation to emerge stronger post-COVID-19.
Attended by key policymakers from the public sector and technology industry experts, the session served as a great peer-to-peer learning platform to gain insights and practical solutions to understand the value of cutting-edge technologies available to make better, faster, and more cost-effective, data-driven decisions that make a difference in the lives of the citizens post-pandemic.
How COVID-19 Accelerated Public Sector’s Digital Transformation
To kickstart the session, Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia delivered opening remarks.
As early as 2019, there was consensus on the benefits of remote working, but it did not happen in any significant way. Then, at the end of 2019 came a crisis so debilitating that it brought the world to a halt almost overnight and it kept going relentlessly. But not all were equipped to do so and many just emulated what the other countries were doing. None the less, public services globally have been significantly boosted.
Countries from all over the world were looking to adapt to the challenge. Citizens needed access to government services more intensely and urgently. New information and data were being generated incessantly, necessitating new plans and decisions.
In the early stages, people were excited at the opportunity to work from home. Interestingly though, the step was considered a “pivot” – with the connotation of reaction rather than strategic. People and organisations were said to be “pivoting” to manage and mitigate the issues the pandemic brought like making people work from anywhere, anytime.
Beyond a doubt, the public sector did its job in terms of providing relevant services and initiatives throughout the age of COVID-19. But the question remains, were those initiatives innovative and intentional and sustainable? Were they just a good-to-have or a must-have?
The good brings with it the bad, the unsafe and the difficult. As the initial euphoria of remote working wears thin, people, once happy about the shift, realise that the new normal disrupts their work-life balance and their well-being. Other measures are facing the same reaction. Lacking data, this so-called digital transformation is rapidly losing its sheen and is being considered a band-aid solution.
With COVID-19 seemingly waning and the economy starting to open, governments are looking for ways to boost their economy. In this sea of change and disruption, often reverting to the known is comforting. Knowing this penchant, Mohit asked the delegates, “Do we want to go back to the old norm because it was beneficial at that time? Or should we welcome the wider adoption of technologies that helped us adjust to the new norm?”
Mohit reminded the delegates that by staying true to the lessons learned from COVID-19 and by increasing the usage of technologies like AI, Cloud and Data Analytics, agencies can move further along on their digital transformation journey.
Governments must find the right balance in their digital transformation journey between technology, people and processes. They must also find leadership and the will to empower the workforce with the right tools to achieve the ultimate end goal of a complete digital transformation in the new normal.
In closing, Mohit emphasised the need for agencies to find a suitable partner in this digital journey. They must find the right people who do what they do best for them to stay on the right path towards a full digital transformation.
Strategies to Enable Health Data Optimisation and Usage in Singapore
After the opening remarks, the forum heard a keynote address by Sutowo Wong, Director, Analytics & Information Management Division, Singapore Ministry of Health. He discussed various strategies to enable health data optimisation and its usage. Sutowo started by giving an operating context concerning the data processes in the Ministry of Health, especially during the pandemic.
First, as governments and agencies shape their data strategy, they need to be mindful of external macro trends such as the democratisation of data and analytics, where self-service analytics and the rising demand for data visualisation requires a better user experience for both data and insights.
Second is the rise of analytics apps where role-based actionable insights are more easily consumed and deployed and the adoption of improved decision-making procedures. Leaders must have the ability to support decision making by realising the value from investments in analytics.
He strongly believes that user experience matters. An effective data integration strategy must cater to the user’s expectations and needs by making sure that services are efficient, usable, interactive and can deliver on their promise. Adopters must learn that a data lifecycle has four stages: acquisition, management, access and distribution and exploitation. However, adopters are troubled by several key pain points.
Data acquisition is burdened with issues like significant lead time and cost required to collect data from source systems, leading to delays and high cost, multiple duplicative requests from different divisions/entities to collect same/similar data.
Data management is hindered by data duplication across different repositories, no comprehensive data catalogue and lack of standard data definitions, a large amount of data cleansing and analysis done manually using excel, and by having no data quality monitoring and remediation processes in place.
Access and distribution are bothered by issues such as different entities and systems having their de-identification and anonymisation processes, tedious and varied processes to seek data access approval for different datasets, and fear of residual liabilities for data provider when data is shared.
Lastly, exploitation of data faces challenges such as organisations having limited processing scalability, the governance of data scattered across many endpoints are demanding, the lack of model development and deployment processes for operationalisation of POCs, and the lack of reusable analytics assets e.g., codes, datasets.
The Ministry of Health addressing these issues and improving its capabilities, policies, and legislation. The MOH Consolidated Data Repository (MCDR) allows MOH and authorised users to gain access to cleaned and concorded healthcare data to reduce the time and resources expended by consolidating and optimising the data from different sources to the MOH central platform.
A Data Management Workstream (DMW) standardises and automates data extraction, fusion, and pre-processing as well as utilises a team of data concierges to develop data catalogues and coordinate data requests to allow collected data to be cleaned once for multiple uses in the future. By pre-linking a wide range of datasets, the turnaround and readiness of providing data will improve significantly over ad-hoc and piecemeal efforts.
Data Governance works with the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) to clarify data accountabilities as data flows between MOH and Public Healthcare Institutions (PHIs) to centrally drive data governance and facilities for anonymised and identifiable data to improve data accessibility and distribution across the board.
Sutowo added that users are looking for actionable insights, which is why the MOH must be flexible enough to meet these differing needs. The ministry is making sure that data is curated, and a catalogue is being created to improve data discoverability. Requests for data and packages are to be addressed by using a standardised and streamlined process, providing access to the required tools in a sandbox to analyse the data, and deploying the output and monitoring the performance in operations continuously.
Sutowo touched on MOH programmes that utilise data analytics. The Nationwide Predictive Model for Admission Prevention – Hospital to Home (H2H), provides holistic care for patients who are at home via the common care model for Transitional Care. The predictive model was launched in all public hospitals in Singapore in April 2017. As of 6 May 2018, more than 15,000 patients have been enrolled on the H2H programme.
The ministry launched a self-learning retinal screening tech that cuts the time needed to spot signs of diabetic eye disease as well as an automated tool to diagnose uncertain cases of appendicitis to guide the optimal use of CT scans.
Sutowo emphasised that beyond data, the rapid growth in digital health presents opportunities to redefine our care and financing models. The Global and APAC digital health market has been growing rapidly and is poised for further growth. Singapore is home to 170 local start-ups, between 20 to 30 foreign start-ups and 40 multinational companies in the digital health space.
In closing, he noted that the nation’s public healthcare IT ecosystem has undergone significant shifts and will continue to transform for the better.
Fireside chat: How can the public sector leverage data revolution to respond, recover and reimagine next-gen citizen-centric services?
The session moved to a fireside chat segment where Mohit and Remco den Heijer Vice President – ASEAN SAS discussed how the public sector can leverage data revolution to respond, recover and reimagine next-gen citizen-centric services.
On being asked why he sees data as the heart of the COVID-19 recovery, Remco explained that data is the perfect element in terms of recovering from the pandemic because it is everywhere, both in the private and public sectors.
The world should embrace technologies that are scaling and continuously evolving. Disruptive technologies can extract actionable insights from this data, which is why both sectors must use this development and advantage to recover from the pandemic. Software, hardware, and related skills must be enhanced to leverage technology and data for recovery purposes.
Remco touched on the topic of AI being used by governments in their processes. AI adopters, he advises, must continuously update their AI models with new and updated data to strengthen their predictive capabilities that will provide possible solutions for present endeavours.
He is convinced that that AI functions at its finest when it is incorporated with human intelligence. Having that human lens on top of the tech will always be an important aspect.
Remco urged delegates to continue doubling down on networks and partnerships and to continue learning from each other in this journey.
Applying real-world AI & Analytics to Improve Decision-Making and Provide Efficient Citizen Services in the New Normal
Following the fireside chat, the session heard from Deepak Ramanathan, Vice President – Global Customer Advisory SAS on how AI and analytics in the new norm have improved citizen services and transformed decision–making.
There are several reasons as to why leaders should take a new approach when it comes to decision-making, Deepak says. A new approach may result in a significant need to make better use of resources, improve the efficacy and efficiency of decision making and result in the right service delivery in a timely fashion, drive revenue, control costs and reduce risks. Any new approach should promote the idea of automating data acquisition and using analytics/AI that will drive these desired and needed efficiencies. All in all, decision making will increasingly get digitised.
Deepak cited several examples of augmenting decisions that drive digital transformation and deliver value. One of which was advanced mental health care with the predictive analysis used in California, USA. The project required the integration of data across country departments and information systems. It is focused on building a unified view of every client resulting in improved and effective services.
The Los Angeles country utilised a cross-agency service to measure the cost and benefits of serving the indigent adults in the country’s General Relief Programme.
In Amsterdam, the health sector used computer vision and predictive analytics to better identify cancer patients who are candidates for life-saving surgeries.
Automating real-time, transactional decisions can help in the long run. It can be vital in improving safety and emergency response using sensors to predict disasters, early detection of insider threats for public safety and national security organisations, transforming predictive maintenance for complex equipment and infrastructure, protecting tax revenue, and streamlining expenditure.
Technological advancements will help boost employee satisfaction and drive revenue fields while protecting resources.
Deepak and his team at SAS recognise several principles for responsible AI. They believe that AI should have inclusive growth capabilities, sustainable development and well-being, human-centred values and fairness transparency, robustness, security, and safety, and accountability.
Accelerating Singapore’s Journey Towards Precision in Public Health
Taking over the session, Terence Ng, Director – Policy & Technology Innovation Office Health Promotion Board, Singapore shared how Singapore’s Health Promotion Board innovates in terms of the population’s health using partnership, research, and data.
Today, Terence believes, is an opportune time to reimagine and further invest in health and wellness promotion, as these are the hottest points of discussion during the age of COVID-19. There is a growing need for early detection and preventive health interventions. This is because of the continued growth in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) particularly chronic conditions & associated health risks, a rise in medical costs. Singapore medical costs are twice the global average and 10 times the inflation rate – and the -19 pandemic is amplifying the urgency for health promotion and disease prevention.
COVID-19 has accelerated the development and adoption of digital health and tech. Organisations and institutions are looking at data and technology to improve health knowledge and delivery. The ubiquity of smart devices allows for more continuous and granular data and more individualised approaches, while AI and machine learning are adopted for predictive and personalised health analysis.
Precision in public health is about delivering the right intervention at the right time, every time, to the right population. The approach must be holistic, precise, personalised, multi-channel, and continuous.
The desired outcomes for precision in public health are as follows:
- Drive better health-related outcomes: reverse risk factors and slow down growth in NCDs / chronic disease and encourage sustained health behaviours and improve mgmt. & outcomes for patients (e.g., diabetes)
- Increase scalability & reach: scale and maximise the reach of interventions to more and different segments of Singapore pop. through better customisation, and leverage technology as an enabler to increase scalability
- Measure the impact of interventions: Better measure outcomes and effectiveness of interventions (incl. programmes, policies), constantly refine and improve approaches to health promotion based on evidence; use tech as an enabler to measure outcomes
- Improve cost-effectiveness of the system: enable more efficient and cost-effective healthcare system using technology and focus on preventive health
- Create new economic value & innovation: further, establish Singapore as a global & regional public health innovation hub and create training opportunities to develop up-skill home-grown talent
Partnerships, research, and data analytics are key in achieving precision in public health, Terence says. Better data and data banks enable researchers and the entire government to access world-class data, data integration and interoperable systems. This has accelerated the development of a Health Data Hub for the population. Better research will come from creating an ecosystem of research partners for next-gen discovery and innovations and better partnerships in public health interventions and major collaborations with leading technology firms and researchers.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health is transforming the healthcare system to adapt to the new normal. The ministry believes that their services should be beyond healthcare and should focus more on prevention and wellness. Services that go beyond a hospital, resulting in less hospital-centric, more relative shifts to right-sited care and beyond quality to value, and by providing more cost-effective treatments and interventions.
Governments Leading Through Change
Jason Loh, Head of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, Asia Pacific, Global Tech Practice SAS took over to talk on how analytics and AI machine learning helped organisations and government agencies face unprecedented challenges during the pandemic.
He acknowledged that COVID-19 changed working conditions and, essentially, life in general. In less than a year since the virus emerged and just over 6 months since tracking began, it upended day-to-day lives across the globe. The pandemic has changed how people work, learn, and interact as social distancing guidelines have led to a more virtual existence, both personally and professionally.
Machine learning is an innovative approach that has extensive applications in prediction. This technique was applied to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic and predict the risk in healthcare. Machine learning analyses the risk factors as age, social habits, location, and climate as well as identifying patients at high risk, mortality rates and other critical parameters and trend lines.
The technique can be used to understand the nature of the virus and further predict the upcoming issues. This learning algorithm creates inferences out of unlabelled input datasets, that can be applied to analyse the unlabelled data as an input resource for the pandemic. It provides accurate and useful features rather than a traditional explicitly calculation-based method.
Organisations and governments have gravitated toward predictive analytics in the last several years, as they use data to anticipate future trends and needs, especially during the onset of COVID-19. But forecasting demand is difficult even in normal times, and the pandemic’s unpredictability has been challenging. Since the pandemic started, simple descriptive analytics using good data about the present and recent past has helped the public sector.
Jason cited examples of how governments from all over the world utilised AI and data analytics to adapt to the new normal brought by the pandemic. The Chinese used machine learning for epidemiology tracking and neuro-linguistic programming for contact tracing.
Another example was the development of a COVID-19 e-health hub for health professionals in Australia. The e-health hub is dedicated online and by an over the phone mental health and wellbeing network. Developed rapidly to meet an immediate need, the initial release of the platform aims to deliver mental health assessment and access to resources and digital self-help and self-management in times of lockdowns caused by COVID-19.
Jason exhorted leaders to develop better citizen outreach programmes through AI in social media and chatbots. They need to develop platforms and tools that understand what the citizens need in each household. Using the information, they should incorporate it into an advanced data management system using AI and machine learning to help deliver services more efficiently.
Responsible and Ethical Use of AI in Public Sector: Application, Challenges, and Best Practices
After Jason Loh’s presentation, the delegates heard a presentation from Lim Chinn Hwa, Senior Director Smart Nation Platform Solutions, Government Technology Agency, GovTech. He discussed how the public sector can apply responsible and ethical use of AI and the best ways to do so.
The public sector uses AI to make data-driven decisions, improve efficiency and productivity, bring convenience to citizens and personalise public services. That being the case, he notes, AI must be human-centric.
The National AI Strategy seeks to establish Singapore as a global hub for developing, test-bedding, deploying, and scaling AI solutions. The strategy is a key step in the country’s Smart Nation journey. It spells out the nation’s plans to deepen the use of AI technologies to transform its economy, going beyond just adopting technology to fundamentally rethinking business models and making deep changes to reap productivity gains and create new areas of growth.
The National AI ecosystem is made up of a triple partnership helix consisting of the government, the research community and industry. This supports whole-of-government applications with in-house capabilities in Machine Learning/Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, and IoT & Robotics. AI must be identified in national projects that deliver impactful social and economic benefits to citizens.
Moreover, Lim Chinn Hwa mentioned specific areas that greatly concern citizens. Areas like transport and logistics that can use AI for intelligent freight planning, smart cities and estates with seamless and efficient municipal services, healthcare facilities that can predict and manage chronic diseases, the education sector that AI can personalise through adaptive learning, assessment and safety and security that could use an AI tool for border clearance operations.
AI is vital to sustainability and food security and is fundamental to Singapore’s 30 by 30 vision to produce 30% of its nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030, including fruit and vegetables, fish and poultry.
One example is the challenge fish farms are facing. Fish larvae feed on large amounts of plankton called rotifers – every few hours. To ensure a constant healthy rotifer supply, samples need to be examined daily. A trained technician takes 40 minutes each day to manually examine samples under a microscope.
GovTech worked with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to develop an AI mobile app to automate the rotifer inspection process. Technicians upload photos of rotifer samples to a mobile app then the app automatically classifies healthy and unhealthy rotifers – reducing inspection time from 40 minutes to 1 minute.
Singapore is kept smoke-free by an AI-powered smoking activity detection unit. The tech has a deep learning pose estimation-based solution using security camera video feeds. It provides near real-time notifications to users on the detection of smoking activities. The cloud-based solution allows the exportation of data for trending analysis and optimises the deployment of National Environment Agency officers to targeted hotspots.
More recently, AI was also used in the country’s battle against COVID-19. One example is the Smart thermal scanner with deep learning face detection of up to 10 faces at once. It is lightweight, affordable, and works both indoors and outdoors. The software licensed to the private sector is for free.
Another example is Access Control with Video Analytics. The tech is a fully automated, contactless gantry system for temperature screening and optimises temperature screening process duration to 2 seconds per visitor.
Lim Chinn Hwa ended his presentation by emphasising that the public sector can scale the usage of AI by making timely collection, analysis and sharing of data and by building reusable components and scalable, interoperable platforms. He also sees wider adoption of augmented analytics, robotics, smart devices, autonomous vehicles, smart facilities management, more real-time AI services, and open digital platforms soon.
Future of Digital Government: Anticipatory, Intuitive, and Invisible
After Lim Chinn Hwa’s presentation, the session welcomed Dr David Hardoon, Senior Advisor for Data and Artificial Intelligence, UnionBank Philippines. He shared how the future of government must be anticipatory, intuitive, while government officials are invisible to the public eye.
David feels that a digital government must be citizen–centric and perceived from an engagement point of view. Citizen experience should be at the heart of a digital government. A digital government must not retrofit programmes and processes to digital, instead, they must make programmes and initiatives that are digital by design.
Beyond citizen centricity, governments must provide safe experiences for their citizens. Digital transformation will be accompanied by cybersecurity across the board, and not just in financial transactions. Governments must learn how to create safe experiences by using data and available technology.
Governments and agencies must learn to be non-visible at times and create seamless experiences for their citizens or customers. Too much visibility, like transferring from one agency to another just to avail of a service, can result in unrest from a citizen’s point of view. Governments must be made aware that users just want to avail the service and avoid the tediousness of varying processes. Expanding on his view that the future of digital governments is invisible, he felt that cutting down on the approvals from various agencies when trying to access a service is the way to go.
Governments must be motivated by the results and outcomes, not by the money they are going to make. Leaders and decision-makers must find the right tools to measure these underlying outcomes. The more agencies use technologies like AI, machine learning and data science, the more it is critical to make a direct link between the effort that has been put in and the outcome that is derived from it.
David ended his presentation by saying that governments must move on from sandbox treatments and trials to the actual production of programmes for their citizens using disruptive technologies such as AI, machine learning, and data science. Building a digital future must be made in a scalable, robust and secure manner.
Mohit joined Dr Adam Chee, Chief – Smart Health Leadership Centre, Institute of System Science, National University of Singapore, Dr David Hardoon, Senior Advisor for Data and Artificial Intelligence, UnionBank Philippines, Jason Loh, Head of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, Asia Pacific, Global Tech Practice SAS, and Christopher Tan, Partner Revenue Acceleration, Director – APJ, Intel in Power Talk to discuss how the public sector can further adapt to the changing times.
Jason Loh believes that the personalisation of services will be more prominent in the new normal. He reiterated that the world should continue to embrace technological advancements and new policies and not return to the old norm.
Dr David Hardoon does not feel transformation is about changing culture; it is about how to incorporate technology within the context of culture.
Christopher Tan argues that leadership and the building of digital infrastructure are critical in the changing times.
Dr Adam Chee emphasised the need for digital training and data and information dissemination within governments and organisations in the new normal.
The OpenGov Public Innovation Day – Singapore Day 1 ended with the closing remarks from Mohit. He strongly felt that the change must come from the top so it can trickle down to the workforce and communities.
Change must start from people who understand technology because these technologies use data and data gives you insights; that is the driver behind everything else. Governments should be an example to everyone and by doing that, the desired outcomes will follow.
For more on OpenGov Asia’s Public Sector Innovation Day – Singapore: “Accelerating Digital Transformation, Resiliency, and Innovation for Public Sector in Post-Pandemic Recovery” read Part 2 here.
Cleveland train users will be the next to benefit as the rollout of the Smart Ticketing system continues. Customers travelling from Central station and Cleveland station will have access to the system from 30 November 2022. Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Main Roads stated that the AU$ 371 million project continued to gather pace, with Cleveland line customers now having more ways to pay.
He said that delivering better public transport services for Queenslanders is not just about acquiring more trains or buses but about making it easier for people to use the trains without barriers. This trial allows adult customers to use their credit card, debit card, smartphone, or smartwatch to pay for their train journey – meaning you do not need to think before hopping on a train, you can just tap and go.
The Member for Capalaba stated that the system would put Queensland on par with major cities like London, Singapore, and New York. He said that record levels of investment in the region mean that commuters can get home safer and sooner, spending more time with family and friends.
Meanwhile, the Member for Lytton encouraged commuters to use the new system. She said that there is no doubt this trial is proving to be immensely popular with public transport users. She looks forward to seeing the rollout extend onto local buses, which is set to take place next year.
The project will replace 1300 fixed devices and 12,000 onboard readers to bring 18 different payment systems across the regional bus network together under one Smart Ticketing umbrella. Whether commuters are visiting family and friends in Cairns, Bowen, Rockhampton or Bundaberg, there will be one seamless way to pay.
The Member for Bulimba praised the success of the trial, which had already clocked up more than two million trips. She said that commuters and tourists alike are finding it easy to use, and we’ve seen incredible numbers tap on and off using the system since it began.
The region will continue to develop the system to bring concession card holders onboard while also encouraging those who travel at a discounted rate to continue using the go card for the time being.
The Member for Greenslopes noted that the expansion added new destinations to the Smart Ticketing map, adding that this is another crucial step toward rolling out the system across the South East Queensland heavy rail network, following on from trials already underway.
Next, the South Brisbane and South Bank transport hubs will begin the rollout of the Smart Ticketing system. This will connect the area to the hospital and health precinct as well as South Bank businesses.
Smart Ticketing is already operational on the Ferny Grove, Ipswich/Rosewood, Springfield Central, Sunshine Coast/Caboolture, Redcliffe Peninsula, Doomben and Shorncliffe train lines. Next, it will launch at the Airport, Beenleigh, and Gold Coast lines, enabling customers to interconnect from the Gold Coast Light Rail through to Brisbane CBD and the airport, with buses and ferries set to follow next year.
Train users who prefer to pay with their go card will be able to continue doing so. Customers travelling on a child or concession fare should continue to use their go card for now, as should customers travelling to or from destinations not yet using the trial, or anyone using a connecting bus or ferry service.
What is smart ticketing?
Smart Ticketing is an innovative ticketing technology that enables more ways to pay for public transport across Queensland. Over time, more Queenslanders will be able to pay for travel with contactless payment methods using a Visa, Mastercard and American Express debit card, credit card, smartphone, or smart device. As a long-term project, the aim is to have more Queenslanders tap on and off to conveniently pay for everyday travel on train, tram, bus, and ferry.
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and an IT service management company jointly launched the “Idea Launcher” co-ideation initiative to foster and accelerate innovation and technology (I&T) development in Hong Kong through extensive support, mentoring and coaching to help early-stage start-ups nurture innovative ideas and research projects.
The project is another addition to HKTSP’s co-incubation mission with sector leaders, with the Idea Launcher being the first partnership with a corporate leader under HKSTP’s IDEATION Programme. The IT service management company collaborate closely with HKSTP to specifically support the development of early-stage ideas from emerging start-ups and next-generation entrepreneurs.
The Idea Launcher continues the strategic collaboration that the two parties began earlier this year, covering the four key pillars of Research & Development, Technology Simulation, Co-incubation, and Talent and Culture Cultivation. It is a six-month co-ideation initiative that provides early-stage start-ups and entrepreneurs with technical training, business consulting, capabilities assessment as well as project feasibility to optimise start-up solutions and concepts.
HKSTP will offer HK$ 100,000 in seed funding and incubation training to selected start-ups, while the IT service management company will provide tailor-made AWS innovation culture workshops to help start-ups build up their innovation capacity. Programme participants will also receive up to US$ 25,000 in the IT service management company’s cloud resources, as well as technical support and training through their Program, set up especially to help start-ups optimise their business models and fuel future development.
The Head of Business Development at the IT service management company’s Hong Kong and Macau branch stated that with its established start-up ecosystems and investment development teams in Hong Kong and beyond, the firm gathers talent with investment institution backgrounds and entrepreneurial experience that is geared to supporting start-ups throughout their growth cycle. He noted that the company looks forward to deepening its partnership with HKSTP to advance local start-ups and propel Hong Kong on its journey to international I&T hub status.
The Chief Corporate Development Officer of HKSTP stated in partnering with one of the world’s largest and most iconic start-ups, HKSTP is ready to elevate Hong Kong’s talented entrepreneurs onto the global stage.
About the IDEATION programme
The IDEATION programme was launched by HKSTP in 2019, furthering its support for early-stage research and development projects and innovative ideas. Well-received in the start-up community, the number of participating members and teams in the programme has more than tripled from 60 to over 230.
Start-ups will receive help turning realising their ideas and beginning their entrepreneurial journeys with the Ideation Programme – an up to one-year start-up support programme for tech-focused entrepreneurs. Through the programme, participants can develop the fundamental skills they need to kickstart their businesses. All-round support will be provided from designing a business model to finding investment. Participants will receive guidance along every step of the way, to fine-tune their ideas for technical development.
The programme provides seed funding in the form of a grant worth up to HK$ 100,000; a mentor for business advice; training on a variety of topics including Hong Kong’s start-up ecosystem, business modelling, pitching and investment, and more; access to centre facilities like co-working spaces (subject to availability), and potential to bridging programmes which means participants will be prepared for admission into other HKSTP incubation programmes.
Singapore and the United Kingdom held the 7th UK Singapore Financial Dialogue, where they renewed their commitment to deepening their financial partnership, which was agreed upon in 2021. They also discussed sustainable finance, fintech, and innovation.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the UK-Singapore FinTech Bridge, which is based on an agreement signed in 2016, which removes barriers to fintech trade by opening new regular talks between regulators and businesses. The FinTech Bridge will build on the active interest of fintech players in the areas of payments, regulatory technology, and wealth management. It will also provide a structured engagement that will aid the development of policy actions, enhance assessments of emerging issues, such as the development of distributed ledger technologies and data sharing, and support trade and investment flow between respective markets.
According to a press release, the countries recognised the importance of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA), which was signed earlier this year. They exchanged views on recent developments in the fintech sector, including advancements in crypto-assets, and agreed on priority areas for further cooperation. They shared their latest assessments of market developments, opportunities, trends, and longer-term expectations for the crypto-assets sector.
Further, the risks and challenges relating to financial stability and regulatory arbitrage were discussed. They shared their progress in strengthening rules on consumer protection and developing the regulation of stablecoins. Both sides agreed there is a strong need to support the safe development of a digital assets ecosystem while ensuring that risks posed by digital assets are consistently managed.
They will continue to actively participate in the shaping of robust global regulatory practices through engagement within international multilateral fora such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
Regarding digital payments, Singapore provided updates on the progress of its review of e-wallet caps and the expected next steps. The event covered the recently released consultation, with the UK providing views on the key proposals. Singapore also updated on the new digital banks that recently launched their operations in Singapore.
Moreover, the sides have agreed to a roadmap for activities in sustainable finance, fintech and innovation, and other areas of mutual interest, leading up to the next Dialogue scheduled to take place in London in 2023.
The Financial Dialogue was co-chaired by the Deputy Managing Director (Markets and Development) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Leong Sing Chiong, and the Director General (Financial Services) of HM Treasury (HMT), Gwyneth Nurse.
Two industry-led UK-Singapore business roundtables on sustainable finance and FinTech took place on 24 November 2022. Industry participants from both countries participated in this discussion. The sustainable finance Roundtable examined the implementation challenges faced by corporates in meeting their net zero targets, and how the financial industry could help to address these challenges. The FinTech Roundtable discussed the opportunities and challenges faced by FinTech firms, and how these firms could better access overseas markets, including by partnering with financial institutions.
The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has inaugurated a Digital India start-up hub at the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) centre in Davanagere, Karnataka. According to a press release, this is the 63rd STPI centre in the country and the fifth in the state of Karnataka. STPIs are autonomous bodies under MeitY, established to encourage, promote, and boost software exports from India. They fuel a culture of tech entrepreneurship and innovation in the country.
The state government had provided 10,000 square feet of built-up space in the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) Regional Centre to establish the STPI. Among other facilities, the centre has a plug-n-play 102-seater incubation facility, network operations centre (NOC), 16-seater conference room, 32-seater cafeteria and provisions for high-speed data communication facilities, and other amenities for export of software and services.
Speaking at the event, Chandrasekhar said that STPI, Davangere will usher in new opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship for the people in the region. Over the past few years, the government’s emphasis has been on the growth of information technology (IT), IT-enabled services (ITeS), and the electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) industries in newer cities. This should not be confined to the metropolitan centres, he noted.
STPI centres across the state have IT exports of US $35 billion while just Karnataka state exports more than US $70 billion each year. India has the fastest-growing innovation system with more than 80,000 start-ups and over 107 unicorns, Chandrasekhar said. “We have assumed the presidency of the G20, a league of [the] world’s largest economies, and the GPAI an international initiative on artificial intelligence. It is the fastest growing major economy that has surpassed the UK to emerge as [the] fifth largest economy, receiving its highest ever FDIs of US $83 billion,” he explained.
India aims to transform its electronics production sector into a US $300 billion electronics manufacturing powerhouse by 2026. In August, Chandrasekhar launched a report that detailed how India can achieve this electronics production target and an export target of US $120 billion over the next few years. The report is titled, ‘Globalise to Localise: Exporting at Scale and Deepening the Ecosystem are Vital to Higher Domestic Value Addition’. It was prepared by the India Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), in collaboration with the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).
As OpenGov Asia reported, to achieve its targets, the government has emphasised strengthening the country’s domestic manufacturing ecosystem to make it more resilient to supply chain disruptions. The aim is to emerge as a reliable and trusted partner in global value chains. The report postulates that the country must export aggressively to reach the scale in electronics manufacturing. “In addition to domestic production, and supplies and domestic consumption, the exports are [an] important way to get the scales of the other economies that are competing with us,” Chandrasekhar said. Exports will create a network effect of creating supply chain interests, and supply chain investments that in turn will increase value addition in the Indian electronics segment.
The global spread of COVID-19 has been a disaster of unparalleled proportions. Not only has it halted the world economy, but it has also made even the most optimistic leaders reconsider how soon things would return to how they were before the outbreak.
Even as the pandemic disrupted businesses and services around the world, a sudden and dramatic increase in internet consumption was observed. Businesses had to shift to digital communications and tools as the key medium for maintaining productive and interesting relationships with their many stakeholders – internal and external.
While the private sector was quicker to alter procedures in the early phases of the pandemic, the public eventually successfully adapted and innovated to continue citizen service delivery. Of course, early on, most governments rapidly put into place digital communication and emergency response platforms.
By allowing users to access their data and applications from any internet-connected device, cloud computing expands the scope of digital transformation beyond simple technology adoption to encompass a comprehensive redesign of all related procedures, resources and user interactions.
The cloud and digital transformation are now inextricably linked. Organisations across the board need to adopt a cloud-first strategy if they want to ensure the longevity of their operations and realise their transformation objectives.
Most organisations and agencies have benefited from the digital change, but some industries are behind the curve. To keep up with the fierce competition in their industries, they must guarantee the reliable operation of the cloud communication platforms that serve as a direct line of contact between the organisations and their consumers and aid in the promotion of their offerings.
The OpenGov Breakfast Insight on 25 November 2022 at M Hotel Singapore provided Singapore’s public, education, financial and healthcare sectors with the advantages of the most recent cloud technology.
Simplifying Things via Cloud Communication
Mohit Sagar, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, OpenGov Asia believes that the cloud has transformed the way organisations communicate, cooperate and carry out many other critical business and service functions.
Cloud communications are voice and data communications solutions that organisations employ to manage cloud-hosted applications, storage and switching.
“Cloud communications services are becoming an increasingly intrinsic choice for organisations looking to streamline their operations and enable their remote workforces to stay connected and productive,” observes Mohit.
Cloud communications enable organisations to interact with their employees and customers over many channels, including email, audio calls, chat and video. All of these leverage internet-based connectivity to minimise faulty connections and lag in communication.
This communication model has become the go-to option for addressing the growing need for efficient internal communications in the hybrid workplace. As numerous workers are returning to the office, and for many of those who have remote work capabilities, hybrid work arrangements are swiftly becoming the new standard.
Organisations are figuring out ways to make hybrid work as interesting and effective as they can. Leaning into what is working, changing what is not working and adapting as lessons are gained are the first steps in creating an effective hybrid strategy, work environment, and culture.
Employee access to the system from anywhere on any device is the need of a mixed work environment. Regardless of the apparatus they are using or their location, employees need to be able to connect to the system.
“User-friendly features in cloud communications make it simpler for staff to become used to the technology,” Mohit explains. “Up until now, better work-life balance, more effective time management, control over working hours and location, prevention of burnout and higher productivity have been the main benefits of hybrid work.”
Having the appropriate tools to be productive at work, feeling less a part of the organisation’s culture, poor cooperation and relationships, and disturbing work processes are some of the biggest obstacles to hybrid work.
Apart from the initial expenditure, virtual meetings result in reduced expenses because of the decline in maintenance and transportation costs. Moreover, integrations of cloud telephony enable companies to place and receive calls from any device that is connected to the Internet.
This means that cloud communications can potentially maximise resources for organisations. Procedures, implementation and adaptability can all be accelerated with a cloud communications strategy, which also offers limitless high-volume information transmission.
According to Mohit, cloud communications must have robust security components to ensure compliance with data privacy laws and the security of all stakeholders. “To assist in safeguarding data in the cloud, emerging cybersecurity tools should also be taken into account.”
These include Artificial Intelligence (AI) for IT Operations (AIOps) and Network Detection and Response (NDR). Both programmes gather data on the security and stability of cloud infrastructure. After data analysis, AI notifies administrators of any unusual behaviour that might represent a threat.
Ultimately a well-thought-out cloud communication strategy with strong security features can serve organisations and gain a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital landscape and VUCA environment.
According to Lucas Lu, Head of Asia, Zoom, if communication fails to give the greatest possible experience, everyone suffers – from employees to consumers to investors. And neglecting to address this essential avenue has ever-worsening implications.
Organisations are going through some significant changes, he explains. The first is in the general business environment. Organisations are under tremendous pressure to boost efficiency, adapt fast as competition rises and keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and technological advancements.
This problem is becoming even more pressing because of economic uncertainties. Furthermore, solving these problems requires effective communication between consumers, prospects and staff.
The workforce is likewise seeing a paradigm shift. People desire the option of remote employment and are asking for the cutting-edge equipment and communication systems they need to do their jobs.
HR managers concur that a high-performing workplace’s future requirements would include collaboration, regular communication and a mentorship culture between managers and teams. “You run the risk of losing the ‘War for Talent’ if you don’t deliver,” Lucas asserts.
With every new tool and software that is made available, communication becomes more difficult and complex. Employees, clients and potential consumers are just a few of the stakeholders who have preferences and expectations about how, when and where they conduct business.
Due to this, many businesses choose their battles carefully when it comes to facilitating communication. They follow a variety of routes, including:
- Maintaining already-established systems that are deemed adequate
- Making use of the fundamental, built-in communication capabilities that are provided with other software packages, even if they don’t entirely satisfy the organisation’s demands
- Using different approaches based on the circumstances. You might, for instance, employ one communication tool for internal cooperation and another for clients, investors, and outside events
“All these strategies are meant to provide organisations with fundamental communication,” says Lucas. “These methods provide some flexibility, but they also change the environment for prospects, employees and consumers. People are compelled to alternate between various options based on their needs as a result.”
This causes unneeded annoyance, rework, expenditures and misunderstanding. Employees may feel alienated and impatient. Customers’ interactions with the brand are disorganised and unprofessional. And various instruments frequently make business slower.
In this uncertain business environment, organisations that can move beyond basic communication into universal communication have extraordinary potential. They can develop intuitive connections to all parties, employees, customers and investors, regardless of location, technology or business activity.
This will be accomplished by integrating the individual and organisational connection demands that will result in a) Delivering a consistent and quality experience for all participants, b) Making human connection effortless, and c) Enabling rapid innovation to maintain relevance.
These results may:
- Satisfy both the primary business requirements and the consumers’ expectations
- Redirect internal resources from managing communications to new services and capabilities; and
- Increase the marketability and perceived agility within the organisation and in the market.
An organisation’s reputation is directly related to the quality of its communication services. In addition to the fact that employees, clients and customers can work remotely, those returning to the office do not t want to compromise on the at-home office environment to which they have grown accustomed.
Organisations must adapt to this new hybrid environment to guarantee that everyone receives high-quality service regardless of circumstance or location. Expectations are simply greater and it is unacceptable if a session fails due to dropped participants or subpar audio or video.
“With Zoom, you may use a top-notch infrastructure that is specially made to prevent failures to safeguard your company from communications disruptions. You eliminate a work-limiting unpredictability risk by doing this,” Lucas says confidently.
When communications are down nowadays, it is impossible to conduct business. Hence, organisations may provide a controlled experience by enabling their staff to work without being concerned about the underlying technology. Additionally, they can analyse the underlying cause of any problems in their surroundings and take preventative measures.
With this, employees can concentrate on their work without unneeded interruptions or ambiguity and will have faith that the communication solution their organisation has deployed will work as planned.
“Partnering with Zoom enables quick innovation to keep up with the times. You can take advantage of a constant flow of fresh features that correspond to actual user requirements,” Lucas says. “Moreover, by frequently communicating with their support group, organisations will rapidly realise what is possible.”
Fireside Chat: How to Prepare for the Transition to the “Cloud Culture”
Geetha Gopal, Head of Infrastructure Projects Delivery and Digital Transformation, Panasonic Asia Pacific believes that every day, new technologies emerge and the culture of change is driving a paradigm shift for which an organisation must be prepared.
“As the COVID-19 outbreak rocked the world and we were unsure of what to do, our investments in technology became our strength,” says Geetha.
As the trend toward digitisation of remote work transforms the traditional office culture, a cloud culture has evolved. Likewise, cloud computing has become a competitive advantage for these organisations.
Every step toward better efficiency in the manufacturing sector increases competitiveness. Because of this, the industry’s embrace of cloud communications has become a crucial turning point. Cloud communications have changed the game for manufacturing by enabling increased efficiency while lowering IT expenditures.
“Cloud computing is the future, and organisations are successfully transitioning from the traditional office culture to the cloud culture,” Geetha says firmly.
Streamlining operations using scalable technological solutions for essential tasks and process optimisation not only helps reduce costs but also frees up time for businesses to devote to value-adding endeavours.
This is crucial now more than ever as operations teams struggle to keep up with the quickening speed of product and investment strategy development being observed among clients.
The new service-focused, client-centric operating model for investment operations will be made possible by technology, data and scalability. Organisations need to realise that the greatest way to prepare for the future is to create it as they deal with this period of constant innovation.
As a result, operations leaders who are taking steps to redesign, reinvent and adapt their operations may ultimately be in a stronger position.
Geetha emphasises that collaboration, communication and connectivity are crucial for success in today’s work environment. The key to maximising these contacts is digital communication. “For efficient communication and productivity, your company primarily depends on specific systems, platforms, and applications.”
More organisations are understanding the enormous advantages of migrating their systems to the cloud as technology continues to progress. In addition to allowing organisations to remain relevant in a competitive market, innovation plays a vital role in economic growth. Innovations are required to solve key problems.
One of the tactics that may be employed to save money while maximising organisational resources and extending communication skills and reach is advance planning.
An advantage of cloud communications for aiding staff members in a hybrid workforce is the reduction in time spent travelling to the workplace. Employees can save time travelling with the hybrid model simultaneously offering the chance to be more productive.
Despite the importance of enabling technology, it is the human workforce that will not only execute the organisation’s digital transformation strategy but also ensure its long-term success.
Guaranteeing that personnel are up to the task, however, needs not only technical training but also a radical transformation in thinking and decision-making.
It is important to focus on organisational culture by changing the management programme and making concerted efforts to close the gap between the internal aspect and employees.
Organisations that are unable to develop and achieve new goals that will assist their employees and business to thrive are those that are unwilling to alter existing practices.
“The pandemic can no longer be an excuse or the reason – remote work is here to stay. If we want skilled employees then we need to concentrate on their needs – we must empower our employees,” Geetha concludes.
Lucas believes that every problem has a solution since most organisations fail to connect their strategy to their innovation objectives. “Change is a constant process, and what we say today might leave a legacy tomorrow. Any plan for digital transformation, in our opinion, must be built around digital innovation.”
The road of digital transformation must involve a competitive advantage that can only be sustained by introducing innovations and contemporary methods if it is to stay modern and please clients with cutting-edge goods and services.
For every change, there is a call for managerial backing to be successful and transformative. Zoom is happy to discuss how digital transformation budgets differ from traditional business or IT budgets to meet the demands of any organisation.
Lucas believes that cloud computing is transforming not only how many organisations access and store data, but also how many of these businesses run. It provides greater protection, flexibility, data recovery, minimal to no maintenance and ease of access.
“Although many people used to hesitate the cloud computing, they have now realised how important it has become to organisations,” Lucas has observed.
Mohit believes that changes in computers and how technologies are distributed are altering the ecosystem, especially for those who work in a hybrid environment. He encourages delegates to start establishing a strategy to utilise the cloud’s benefits for their businesses and services. “Organisations should determine the types of cloud services for which you require solutions, then meet with cloud service providers to determine the best long-term match.”
Both public and private organisations benefit from the adaptability, efficiency, scalability, security, improved collaboration and cost savings that cloud computing offers. “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption, but it is anticipated that cloud computing is here to stay, especially since hybrid work assumes a central role,” Mohit concludes.
India ranked 61st in the recently released Network Readiness Index 2022 (NRI). The report ranks a total of 131 economies that collectively account for almost 95% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). The United States ranked first place as the most network-ready society. The report is titled ‘Stepping into the new digital era: how and why digital natives will shape the world’.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Communications, this year, India jumped six places. It ranked 11th within Asia and the Pacific. Further, the country not only increased its ranking but improved its score from 49.74 in 2021 to 51.19 in 2022. Apart from placing first in AI talent concentration, the country has done well in mobile broadband Internet traffic within the country, international Internet bandwidth, and annual investment in telecommunication services and domestic market size. Its ICT services exports ranked fourth, followed by FTTH/building Internet subscriptions and AI scientific publications. The country’s weakest indicators were happiness, online access to financial accounts, and the gender gap in Internet use.
As per the report, India has greater network readiness than expected, given its income level. The nation scores higher than the income group average in all pillars and sub-pillars. It said the country’s main strength relates to people and the greatest scope for improvement concerns governance.
Major progress was made by Singapore, which jumped from the seventh position to ranking second in this year’s index, pushing Denmark (6th) and Finland (7th) out of the top 5. The other five countries that made up the top ten included Sweden (3rd), the Netherlands (4th), Switzerland (5th), Germany (8th), the Republic of Korea (9th), and Norway (10th). The ranking is based on each country’s performance in technology, people, governance, and impact, covering 58 variables.
Recently, to secure digital data, the government, through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY), announced it would discuss various aspects of digital personal data and its protection. It has formulated a draft bill titled ‘The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022’. As OpenGov Asia reported, the purpose of the draft Bill is to provide for the processing of digital personal data in a manner that recognises both the right of individuals to protect their personal data and the need to process personal data for lawful purposes.
The Ministry has invited feedback from the public on the draft Bill. The submissions will not be disclosed and held in a fiduciary capacity, to enable people submitting feedback to provide the same freely. The government has said no public disclosure of the submissions will be made. The government said the draft Bill uses simple language, allowing citizens to understand it easily. It is accessible on the Ministry’s website, along with an explanatory note that provides a brief overview of its provisions.
At the Launch Ceremony of the national system of Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology (PReCIT)” as one of the PolyU’s 85th Anniversary celebratory events, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) hosted the “Forum on Integrating I&T into GBA. PReCIT is a University-level interdisciplinary policy research centre with the aspiration to be the leading I&T think tank in Hong Kong and the region.
Some 300 staff, students, alumni, leaders from I&T, finance, academia and guests gathered to exchange views on how Hong Kong can proactively integrate into the Nation’s development plan.
The Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, HKSAR Government stated that the new Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology will play a key role in facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration for more impactful research, in the I&T field.
PolyU’s President stated the establishment of PReCIT is just another timely step taken by the University to respond to key national strategies that unleash unlimited opportunities for Hong Kong’s future development.
The Vice President (Research and Innovation) and Director of PReCIT introduced the Centre’s background and three major research foci – carbon-neutral cities, the Greater Bay Area I&T development, and the Belt and Road Initiative development in Southeast Asia, with a view to dovetailing with the National 14th Five Year Plan in supporting Hong Kong to develop into an international I&T hub.
He stated that the respective strengths of Hong Kong and the mainland must complement each other in deliberation on cross‑boundary integration proposals which aim to foster R&D commercialisation to unleash the potentials of the GBA and Belt and Road economies as well as the opportunity associated with re‑industrialisation. To achieve this, a cross‑boundary policy on I&T cooperation including regarding the flows of I&T material, capital, data and people between Hong Kong and mainland provinces is needed. PReCIT, as the advocacy body of PolyU, endeavours to formulate strategies that support Hong Kong’s participation in the national pioneering technology missions.
The Co-Founder of the Greater Bay Area Association of Academicians; the President of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences; the Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries; and the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute, Our Hong Kong Foundation, were invited to share their insights, ahead of the announcement of the Hong Kong I&T Development Blueprint, in the panel discussion session moderated by
The Co-Founder of the Greater Bay Area Association of Academicians shared his experiences in cooperating with the innovation and technology sector on the mainland. He reiterated that it is important for the HKSAR government to work together with stakeholders, especially experts and the capital market, to advance I&T development.
The President of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences called on the government to set an R&D policy direction that supports the Nation’s development. He also suggested Hong Kong and other cities in the GBA together establish an intellectual property exchange platform for university researchers to present their research outcomes and attract further funding.
Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries explained how Hong Kong serves as an industrial and I&T headquarters in connecting the GBA and ASEAN for research commercialisation and empowering advanced manufacturing, capitalising on the City’s strengths in the industry chain and as a financial centre.
The Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute, Our Hong Kong Foundation stressed that joint cross-border policy initiatives are needed to overcome barriers to deepening market access and facilitating movements of factors of production.
Finally, the Head of the Department of Applied Social Sciences and Co-Director of PReCIT concluded that concerted effort from all sectors of the community is essential to provide a sustainable and supportive environment for high-calibre and potential I&T talents to be persuaded to stay in Hong Kong.