February 27, 2024

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Spotlighting Creative Technology to Help Society

Image Cedits: HKUST, Press Release

Addressing societal issues has become a topic of common interest for the HKUST-Sino One Million Dollar Entrepreneurship Competition this year, with two of the three winning teams proposing solutions hoping to help save the planet.

With Hong Kong striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, two winning student groups came up with plans to help reduce the city’s waste by upcycling bread scraps and making cutlery that can be savoured together with the food.

Meanwhile, another team created a real-time, non-invasive, and easily accessible technology to monitor athletes’ stress and muscle fatigue levels to keep them from possible injuries induced by overtraining. All three winning teams have been working with their industrial partners on commercializing the products.

Despite the pandemic, the contest has attracted 185 participating teams this year – the largest number since its inception in Hong Kong in 2011, which has expanded to seven other regions covering Macau, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Zhongshan and the Yangtze River Delta for its latest edition. Winners from all the regions including that of Hong Kong will compete in a Grand Final round later.

The Acting Director of HKUST’s Entrepreneurship Center said that in recent years a greater number of submitted proposals not only focusing on technology and a profit-making business model but also on creating values for the society.

The HKUST Entrepreneurship Center actively promotes “social entrepreneurship” to facilitate students’ entrepreneurship development. Students are encouraged to integrate commercialisation with social innovation and are offered advice as to how social innovation projects can attain long-term business sustainability.

The Associate Director (Innovation) of the company that sponsored this competition amid the pandemic, companies of all sizes and from all industries have seen the importance of innovation and technology in driving digitization, efficiency, and new solutions.

The champions of the competition this year started their waste bread recycling business in 2019 when they realized that nearly 1,700 tonnes of unsold bread are discarded by bakeries alone every day. The team came up with a proposal that turns leftover bread and unsold pizza crust into bottles of fruity and flavourful pale ale, which are now available in five stores with ongoing expansion plans.

The company is an incubatee of HKSTP’s STEP Program (The Science and Technology Entrepreneur Program).  They have also won the Platinum Award, Student Gold Award, and Elevator Pitch Award in this Competition.

The winner of the Gold Award (first runner-up), came up with a different approach to realize their same vision of cutting waste. In the light of the surging amount of plastic cutlery being dumped at the landfill as people order more takeaways during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team created a set of edible whole-grain spoons, forks, and chopsticks which can also be consumed upon the end of the meal.

The vegan and biodegradable cutlery are slated to replace 9 tonnes of non-environmentally friendly disposable cutlery, and, in the process, reduce carbon emissions equivalent to planting 11,000 trees by 2023.

Meanwhile, the Silver award winner is an incubatee of HKSTP Incu-Tech Program; they developed a system to monitor human muscle fatigue.  Its core technology involves an ultra-thin antibacterial nano-membrane that could deduce an athlete’s stress level and warn them of overtraining through a connected mobile app. The technology is now under trial with several prominent sports teams and institutes in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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