The Head of the National Space Organisation (NSO) stated that the Taiwanese government plans to build a rocket launch site for the long-term development of the country’s space programme. The plans were disclosed after the Taiwan-based commercial rocket company sought and gained approval to launch its first domestically built rocket in Australia.
According to a statement, the company will conduct a test flight of its Hapith I — a 10m, two-stage, sub-orbital science rocket — from the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex, which is operated by Southern Launch. The Head of NSO said that the company had been scheduled to launch the Hapith I rocket at a site in Nantian Village, Taitung County, Taiwan, but the plan was suspended because of legal disputes.
The NSO then came up with a plan for the company to launch its research rocket at a site in southern Pingtung’s Mudan Township, but before the proposal could be approved, the company turned to Australia and obtained approval there.
Taiwan’s government, however, has a long term plan to build a rocket launch site. Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) last year released a set of security guidelines for the launch of research rockets.
According to the guidelines, the site in Mudan Township has been designated as a short term project for rocket launches, but that plan has not yet been finalised, as negotiations with the residents there are still in progress. The NSO’s ultimate goal is to build a permanent national rocket launch site for the long term development of the nation’s space programme.
The planning for that launch site is expected to begin next year, after the expected passage of a draft bill on the country’s future space development, which was put forth by MOST. If the bill is passed, it will allow for the upgrade of the NSO to an independent agency directly under the science and technology ministry, noting that currently, it is one of eight research centres under MOST’s National Applied Research Laboratories.
According to a page, the primary focus of Taiwan’s Long-term National Space Technology Development Programme is satellite development. Having laid the foundation for indigenous space technology in the first and second phases of the programme, the nation is now launching the third phase, which will run from 2019 to 2028.
The programme aims to push domestic aerospace technology to new heights and meet the challenges of cutting-edge space missions. At the same time, the programme also aims to extend and spread the benefits of the aerospace technology industry, nurture space technology talent, and build an aerospace industry supply chain of Taiwan’s own.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, Taiwan is stepping up efforts to tap into the global aerospace market, with a particular focus on developing a specific kind of satellite. Among different market segments, those related to the development of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are particularly worth pursuing for Taiwan. Those satellites, often designed in constellations, have a shorter life cycle — between two to four years, compared with larger ones and therefore offer more of an opportunity for Taiwanese businesses.
In addition, LEO satellites are crucial to the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), which has been pursued by global technology and communications heavyweights. That is because the relatively inexpensive LEO communication satellites can be launched in large enough numbers to economically provide sufficient bandwidth for the data transmission required by the IoT.
The space development promotion act is expected to help. The act, which will regulate the country’s space-based activities, shows the world Taiwan’s ambition to carve out its own niche in the space economy.
The first-ever Innopreneur Experience Journey co-organised by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) and Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), aims to gather over 30 students from local secondary schools under a new programme that aims to enable their technology, creativity and new industry.
Over the four days, students will visit various companies and obtain real job experience to develop their understanding of the latest development and opportunities of new emerging industries, cultivate their passion for innovation and technology (I&T) and broaden their horizons and prepare them for further studies and future careers.
The programme has attracted 30 participating companies, which are FHKI member companies and a variety of HKSTP partner companies at Science Park and INNOPARK. The participating companies will offer executive shadowing, site visit and on-the-job experience to the students, demonstrating a concerted effort of industries in fostering future pillars.
The Kick-off Ceremony was held successfully at FHKI headquarters. The Under Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs, and corporate representatives attended the ceremony to witness the students commencing their extraordinary journey.
The FHKI and HKSTP Chairman stated that talent is an indispensable part of building up Hong Kong as an international I&T hub. HKSTP and FHKI are committed to cultivating local talent via various educational events which allow students to be exposed to I&T and related industries at an early stage and be inspired by I&T fellows and industrialists.
The Deputy Chairman one of the sponsoring companies and Chairman of the Hong Kong Innovation Foundation stated that innovation is the key to the long-term success and sustainable development of Hong Kong as our city grows into an international innovation and technology hub.
Talent development is, therefore, particularly crucial. The Hong Kong Innovation Foundation aims to provide a holistic innovation ecosystem, catering to the diverse needs of various sectors of the community. The Deputy Chairman thanked partners at the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and the Hong Kong Science Park for developing this important platform.
The Closing Graduation Ceremony, including sharing sessions of participating students and company representatives, will be held on the last day of the journey. To nurture a new generation of young talent for the I&T and industrial sectors, we hope to organise more Innopreneur Experience Journeys in future to create opportunities for students to get exposure to new emerging industries. HKSTP and FHKI will continue to join hands in bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences, creating a diversified and vibrant I&T and industrial ecosystem in Hong Kong.
InvestHK notes that talent is a crucial factor in growing the economy, and nurturing a powerful, talented I&T generation is viewed as the priority. As such, Hong Kong is investing resources into STEM teaching and innovation in every phase of education from primary to secondary and tertiary.
The HKSAR Government and other relevant institutions have launched various funding schemes/programmes to support the I&T sector. The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), administrated by the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), includes different schemes to support I&T research activities; facilitate technology adoption; nurture technology talent; support technology start-ups and foster an I&T culture.
Both the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks and Cyberport have set up individual incubation/acceleration programmes and funding schemes for assisting I&T start-ups and nurturing talent.
Other industry-specific schemes that target the I&T development of segments such as environment protection, construction, logistics, Chinese medicine and transport are being rolled out. Moreover, there are schemes tailor-designed for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) regarding market development and loan guarantee as far as their I&T activities are concerned.
While nursing education mainly consists of classroom teaching and clinical practice, face-to-face teaching and clinical placements at medical institutions have been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, to develop the training and learning experience of nursing students, a research team led by Dr Justina LIU, Associate Professor of School of Nursing, and Dr Kitty CHAN, Senior Teaching Fellow of the same school, has developed a virtual learning system “Virtual Hospital” that uses virtual reality (VR) technology to offer an innovative experiential approach to nursing education.
Virtual Hospital is the first-of-its-kind virtual learning system in Hong Kong that simulates the complex and chaotic environment of a real-life hospital ward. With a total of 11 games, the system provides five scenarios, namely “Clinical Practicum Orientation”, “Challenges of Delirium”, “Managing Multitasks”, “Prevention of Errors” and “Potential Heart Attack”.
Over 1,200 combinations of randomised situations and multiple choices make it difficult for students to predict the tasks they will be handling, while they are required to provide instant responses to multitasks and make appropriate nursing decisions through assessing a patient’s condition and interpreting their medical information.
It was noted that the majority of existing VR learning systems are skill- and procedure-focused and adopt a single patient management setting. The PolyU-developed Virtual Hospital requires students to handle multiple beds and take care of multiple patients at the same time. Unexpected incidents and clinical pitfalls are generated to test the student’s ability to apply their knowledge and prioritise nursing tasks amid various disruptions within a limited time.
Through VR experiential learning, students can improve the soft skills that are essential for their clinical practice, including situation awareness, flexibility to handle emergencies, as well as decision-making and communication skills.
Virtual Hospital allows users’ responses and decisions to be displayed on a TV monitor for group participation, while their communication with the virtual patients can be recorded for review. By answering multiple-choice questions, the student can reflect on the judgements and decisions made. In addition, the game data and the automated assessment function of the system also provide convenience for teachers in tracking students’ progress and evaluating learning outcomes.
Since its launch in January 2022, Virtual Hospital has benefited over 450 nursing students. With Virtual Hospital, students are provided with a cooperative case-based learning opportunity. Supplemented with current practice on patient simulators, it is hoped that Virtual Hospital can further help students master the skills necessary for clinical nursing and most importantly for reducing errors in actual clinical situations.
The team is pleased that the virtual learning system has received positive feedback from students, and looks forward to incorporating interprofessional and interdisciplinary elements in the future, as well as introducing the system to other nursing institutions in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.
A Year-3 student from PolyU School of Nursing noted that she was impressed by the fidelity of the Virtual Hospital in terms of the environmental details. The VR learning experience strengthened her confidence in clinical practice as the system allowed every student to deal with nursing problems on their own, which helps them better prepare for the stressful work situation faced by nurses in the real clinical environment, she said.
Governance and the improvement of basic public services have come a long way with the help of digital technology. Given the number of crises in 2020, digital solutions platforms and tools have been a huge help to disaster preparedness and critical event management.
A lot of earthquakes and tsunamis happen near the coast of Indonesia. One of them is Banten, which is on the southern coast of the Lebak Regency. Studies show that a megathrust earthquake could have a magnitude of 8.9 and cause a tsunami that is up to 20 metres high.
With this, the ITB team then did a service programme, which included making maps of residential areas in Cimampang and Sukarena, modelling tsunami flooding, mapping exposure with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and making public information boards, surveying village resources, and digitising evacuation route maps. ITB works with different groups to get the southern coastal community of Lebak ready by doing things that are related to the Disaster Resilient Village indicator.
Since 2021, ITB’s service programme for the people on the southern coast of Lebak has been running well with the help of many offline and online partners and one of the things that were done was to teach people how to protect themselves from earthquakes and tsunamis. To be able to prepare for disasters, education needs to be a higher priority. People also think that the parameters of the emergency response plan and the early warning system at the school are still low, so they need to learn more.
Several government agencies and other groups took part in an evacuation drill. After the group simulation, people worked together to make tents, find places to stay, run a public kitchen, collect data on health, and do triage.
On the other hand, perceptions and understandings of the residents are strengthened through artistic expression channels after simulation activities. With help from the local government, teachers, and students, they put together materials to help keep school-based efforts to reduce disaster risk going.
By adding more art elements, the final forms of educational materials were made in a way that worked well. First, the book “Edukasi Siaga Caah Laut” has stories about how people in the area dealt with the tsunami and what they learned from evacuations and simulations of evacuations.
The second piece is a dance performance set to Sundanese Kidung that the students have written, sung, and played; and lastly, the word “Mitigarium,” which is an installation, is made of things that can be found in schools. The way things are set up shows expressions of tsunami events, evacuations, and other situations.
Furthermore, due to its location on the Ring of Fire, Indonesia is vulnerable to droughts and floods, as well as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes. Java and Sumatra, the islands in the south and west, face a wide range of natural dangers. Most of the time, droughts and floods happen on the other islands. Heavy rains cause flooding and landslides in places in the middle of the country with steep terrain.
Indonesia is one of the countries in the world with the most earthquakes, thus, the government is coming up with new ways to get ready for these disasters. The nation’s Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) cited that they will maximise their digital technologies to improve their systems for collecting data on earthquakes and to get more accurate information and parameters.
A Hong Kong homegrown start-up specialising in diagnostics technologies applicable for wide-range of infectious respiratory diseases, recently announced a strategic partnership with a China-based firm that specialises in the high-tech space biological industry coinciding with the Grand Opening of its manufacturing site at the MARS Centre (Medical Accessory Resilience Supplies Manufacturing Centre), which is established by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) in Tai Po INNOPARK.
Supported by the partnership, the world’s most comprehensive diagnostic system developed by the firm (the system) will begin official clinical trials and product registration in Mainland China. Aimed at addressing the world’s most pressing medical needs, the system is a powerful solution for infectious disease control which can detect more than 40 pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and Monkeypox, with a single test in around an hour – a breakthrough in diagnostics innovation.
Underpinning the demand for effective and comprehensive detection systems for emerging viruses and bacteria is the COVID-19 pandemic; both firms regard diagnostic technologies as a powerful tool against infectious diseases. The second firm will provide financial support while backing the clinical trial with its expertise and extensive network in China, enabling the commercialisation success of the system soon.
The system significantly enhances the reliability of test results while substantially saving costs, making it easier for wide adoption in the market. The platform technologies can be applied across multiple areas, from infectious diseases, cancer, and genomics, to food safety and environmental testing, and more.
The Co-Founder and Chairman of the firm that developed the system stated that transforming successful research deliverables into a qualified medical product is never easy. The partnership with the biotech firm will solidify the foundation of the system’s commercialisation journey and represent an important milestone for the company.
Meanwhile, the Deputy General Manager of the biotech firm stated that the start-up has made an important breakthrough in diagnostic technology. The biotech firm is excited to commercialise the system on the mainland.
The start-up is concurrently celebrating the launch of its reagent manufacturing site in Tai Po INNOPARK. Together with the device production site which recently obtained ISO 13485 accreditation, the start-up now has the necessary manufacturing capabilities to support the upcoming clinical trials.
The Chairman of HKSTP noted that the Park has repositioned the three industrial estates in Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tseung Kwan O as INNOPARKs. The MARS Centre launched in 2021 and innofacturers have gradually moved in this year. HKSTP is delighted to witness the start-up’s grand opening at MARS, as the first batch of tech ventures to use the ISO-certified cleanroom facility for the production of reagents and micro-fluidic cartridges, and its collaboration with Shenzhou Space Biotechnology Group to further achieve the vision of innovated, designed and made in Hong Kong.
The Chairman noted that HKSTP will continue to incubate more advanced tech ventures to contribute to Hong Kong’s sustainable development and economic growth by Innofacturing.
With the support of the Public Sector Trial Scheme under the Innovation and Technology Fund, the start-up’s system has been under stringent evaluation since 2020 through Professor Yuen and other medical facilities. The firm’s team expects successful clinical trials with the high-quality performance exhibited by the system.
Originated by the Emerging Viral Diagnostic Limited and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University with the support from The University of Hong Kong, the start-up’s system is now translated into a medical technology breakthrough. The collaboration has demonstrated a concerted effort in multidisciplinary innovation and research translation, pushing forward the industrialisation of advanced biotechnology in the Greater Bay Area.
Giving hardware the ability to see has enabled a variety of applications, including self-driving cars, object identification, and crop monitoring. However, unlike animal vision systems, artificial vision systems are unable to evolve in their natural environments.
“Our system could be of use in the development of unconventional applications, like panoramic motion detection and obstacle avoidance in continuously changing environments, as well as augmented and virtual reality. Currently, the size of a semiconductor optical unit, commonly used in smartphones, automobiles, and surveillance/monitoring cameras, is restricted at the laboratory level,” says Young Min Song, professor of electrical engineering and computer Science at GIST.
Dynamic visual systems that can navigate both land and water have thus yet to power the machines, prompting the researchers to develop a novel artificial vision system that closely replicates the vision of the fiddler crab, which can navigate both terrains.
Because all current systems are hemispherical, the semi-terrestrial species – fondly known as the calling crab because it looks to be beckoning with its large claws – has amphibious imaging ability and an extraordinarily broad field-of-view.
The artificial eye, which resembles a round, generally unremarkable, tiny, black ball, interprets its inputs using a combination of components that process and comprehend the light. The researchers enveloped a 3-D spherical structure in an array of flat microlenses with a graded refractive index profile and a flexible photodiode array with comb-shaped patterns. Light rays from numerous sources would always converge at the same location on the image sensor, independent of the refractive index of its surroundings, thanks to this design.
Both the amphibious and panoramic imaging capabilities were evaluated in in-air and in-water studies by imaging five objects of varying distances and directions, and the system produced constant image quality and a nearly 360° field of view in both terrestrial and aquatic situations. That is, it could see both underwater and on land when prior systems could only see in one.
When it comes to fiddler crabs, there’s more to them than meets the eye. Because they live both underwater and on land, their gigantic claws have powerful, one-of-a-kind eyesight systems. Their flat corneas, along with a graded refractive index, counteract defocusing effects caused by changes in the external environment – a significant limitation for other compound eyes.
An ellipsoidal and stalk-eye configuration gives the microscopic critters a 3-D omnidirectional field of view. To avoid attacks on large open tidal flats and to communicate and engage with partners, they’ve evolved to gaze at virtually everything at once.
A wide field-of-view (FoV) camera that reproduced the compound eyes of an insect was described in Nature in 2013, while a wide FoV camera mimicking a fisheye was reported in 2020. While these cameras can capture enormous areas at once, it is structurally difficult to get beyond 180 degrees, and commercial solutions with 360-degree FoV have lately entered the market.
With this, the crab was an excellent muse. During the testing, five adorable items (a dolphin, an aeroplane, a submarine, a fish, and a ship) were projected onto the artificial vision system from various angles. The scientists experimented with multi-laser spot imaging, and the fake images matched the simulation. They dipped the apparatus partly in water in a container to go deep.
Looking at biologically inspired light adaption strategies in the hunt for higher resolution and superior image processing approaches is a logical continuation of the work. This is an amazing feat of optical engineering and non-planar imaging, combining aspects of bio-inspired design and modern flexible electronics to attain capabilities not found in traditional cameras. The potential applications range from population surveillance to environmental monitoring.
The government has approved a national programme for smart rural development. The programme will focus on building new, modern rural areas through digital transformation. It is expected to boost the rural economy, improve rural living standards, and bridge the gap in service quality between rural and urban areas.
The initiative will be implemented in all rural areas across Vietnam by the end of 2025, including extremely disadvantaged communes in ethnic minorities and mountainous and coastal regions. By 2025, the government aims to have at least 90% of central, 80% of district-level, and 60% of communal public documents handled online. And at least 97% of communes should meet the new-style rural criteria on information and telecommunications.
Further, to boost the rural economy, the plan will promote the digital economy. Accordingly, at least 70% of communes will have cooperatives and 70% of districts will have agricultural business models, which will connect the production and distribution of key farming products using digital technology.
Additionally, at least 40% of communes and districts should be able to provide at least one essential public service in healthcare, education, community surveillance, security, environment, and culture. They must collect feedback on people’s satisfaction regarding rural development on a virtual platform. All centrally-run cities and provinces should have at least one trial smart rural commune model in the field, which holds advantages of, for example, economy, rural tourism, environment, and culture. The models will serve as a reference for the development of a new set of criteria for new-style rural building plans for the 2026-2030 period.
The government is also pushing for the digital transformation of urban parts of the country under its smart city initiatives. The overall goal is to accelerate digitisation in urban governance by building an electronic government including features such as digitised transport, energy, and society.
In January, Politburo issued a resolution on the planning, management, and sustainable development of Vietnam’s urban areas by 2030 with a vision until 2045. It is well established that smart cities can be effectively and successfully developed when digital transformation is comprehensively deployed across all areas of a city. Sustainable cities are built on a foundation of robust urban management that employs a host of digital and tech solutions. Simultaneously, both government employees and citizens need to be upskilled and trained.
As OpenGov Asia reported, Vietnam’s digital transformation is based on three pillars: digital governance, digital economy, and digital society, with an average point of 0.3 on a 1.0 grading scale. From a focus perspective, digital government is ranked higher point than both the digital economy and digital society primarily because of the e-government development process. As of June, a total of 59 out of the 63 localities in the country launched programmes on digital transformation, which will be rolled out over the next five years.
Vietnam is in the early stages of applying smart city services. There is still much more to be added in terms of smart urban planning and smart urban construction management. Smart city projects must have a comprehensive approach with the goal of not only solving urgent problems of cities but also striving for long-term socio-economic development.
The government of Western Australia launched a new Interagency Data Science Graduate Programme, a first for the Western Australian public sector, to put graduates at the forefront of some of the State’s most innovative projects and critical initiatives.
Following the launch of the Digital Strategy 2021-2025 and the focus on using data-driven decisions to benefit the community, the government identified the need to create a defined data science career pathway in the public sector.
The Department of Communities, Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the WA Police Force are combining to deliver a data science programme that will help to grow the sector’s digital capabilities. The programme offers graduates a unique opportunity to apply their data skills and knowledge to inform Government policy, services and programs to improve the lives of Western Australians.
The programme is structured over 12 months, with graduates completing three four-month rotations between the participating agencies. It will harness the diverse skills and backgrounds of graduates to help deliver convenient, smart and secure digital services to the WA community.
The programme will be seeking graduates with skills and qualifications in data programming languages, analysis of geospatial data, statistical modelling and data visualisation software. Successful applicants will commence the program in February 2023. While data science skills are already benefitting WA significantly, there is a need to encourage more to enter the industry, with 3,000 new local jobs expected in the next 10 years.
The 12-month Interagency Data Science Graduate Programme will offer insight into a wide range of exciting opportunities available across the public sector and provide graduates with the practical skills and professional experience to kickstart their careers. Applications are now open to join the 2023 Interagency Data Science Graduate Programme.
The WA Innovation and ICT Minister stated that under the region’s Digital Strategy 2021-2025, the government is investing in the growth of the public sector’s digital and data analytics capabilities. He said he was also looking forward to announcing the launch of this graduate programme as there is tremendous potential for graduates from a data science background to help to shape WA’s digital future.
About the Digital Strategy 2021-2025
WA Government agencies will collaborate to deliver the vision and objectives of the Digital Strategy 2021-2025. The Office of Digital Government and WA Government agencies will codesign annual strategy roadmaps, that will highlight the different projects and initiatives being worked on and delivered that financial year.
The Digital Strategy Roadmaps will include whole of government and agency-led initiatives that help to progress the strategic priorities and key objectives of the Digital Strategy. Most importantly, the strategy roadmaps will help WA Government agencies to identify opportunities to participate in whole of government initiatives, or ways that they can leverage digital capabilities from other agencies.
With a solid digital foundation, the WA Government can now reimagine the role of digital in how government serves people, businesses and communities. These foundations will enable the government to deliver convenient, smart, and secure services for all Western Australians.