the largest solar generator among Australia’s universities, the University of
Queensland (UQ) is slated to completely offset its electricity usage with
renewable energy upon completion of a solar farm by 2020.
The 154-hectare solar
farm will complement the existing array of UQ’s 50,000 on-campus solar panels,
and render the university energy neutral upon operation.
known as the Warwick Solar Farm, the project will consist of features such as
solar panels, trackers, inverters, a switching station, an operations building
as well as natural vegetation.
Construction of the Warwick Solar Farm is scheduled to begin by the end of
2018, and is expected to finish within a year. Australian solar farm developer
Terrain Solar will oversee the construction of the solar farm, and UQ will take
ownership of the project upon commencement of construction works. UQ will also
own and operate the plant over its expected life.
at a cost of 125 million AUD, the 64 megawatt solar farm is located on the
outskirts of Warwick in Queensland’s Southern Downs.
At full capacity, the
solar farm is expected to generate approximately 154 000 megawatt-hours of
clean energy on an annual basis — more than enough clean energy to negate not
only UQ’s current, but also projected future annual electricity usage.
information available on Terrain Solar’s official website, the solar farm is expected to reduce emissions in the
electricity sector by approximately 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide on
an annual basis.
solar farm will offset UQ’s current $22 million annual expenditure on grid
electricity once it is fully operational in 2019,” said Professor Peter Høj, UQ’s
Vice-Chancellor and President.
“This project makes a clear and bold statement
about UQ’s commitment to leadership in renewables and demonstrates UQ is
prepared to make a meaningful investment in creating a sustainable future.”
to Professor Hoj, “(the solar farm) will leverage UQ’s existing clean energy
strengths and provide the potential to venture into emerging research and
is recognised as a world leader in renewable energy research and strives to
promote energy awareness to the university community.
In addition to the
prospective Warwick Solar Farm, the university is also home to the Gatton Solar
Research Facility and a 2.14-megawatt integrated photovoltaic system at its St.
Lucia Campus, which is one of Australia’s largest integrated photovoltaic
The Warwick Solar Farm adds to UQ’s already comprehensive
portfolio of renewable energy research, and provides new opportunities for
enhancing the university’s renewable energy ecosystem.
the solar farm itself will be an environmentally-friendly source of energy and
serve as a venue for experiential learning as well as provide data for
renewable energy research, UQ also plans to install a number of electric
vehicle “fast chargers” and establish a visitor’s centre, effectively
transforming the Warwick Solar Farm into a renewable energy hub for public
benefits accrued by the construction of the solar farm also extend to job
creation and community empowerment: construction of the solar farm is expected
to generate 100 jobs, and following that it is expected to support six to seven
ongoing full-time positions in operations and maintenance.
generated over the construction phase, such as increased demand for accommodation,
meals and support services, will benefit the local community.
Terrain Solar is
also currently engaged in discussions with local subcontractors and is looking
into ways to maximise engagement with local businesses and trade specialists.
To provide a natural texture to the solar farm,
landscaping and ground cover works will also be conducted during the
At the end of the project life, the solar farm will be
decommissioned and returned to its original agricultural condition so that
agricultural activities may resume.
The NSW Department of Customer Service (NSW DCS) has appointed MessageXchange, a company that provides electronic data interchange (EDI) services for businesses to implement a sustainable e-invoicing solution that streamlines the payment experience for suppliers.
E-invoicing provides faster payments and automates the procure-to-pay process, providing many benefits for DCS and suppliers.
NSW DCS encompasses more than 30 different agencies, entities and business units, with excellent customer service a key goal across the organisation. DCS provides digital leadership and innovation in government services that align with the NSW Digital Government Strategy.
MessageXchange implemented e-invoicing through its Peppol-certified Access Point for NSW DCS, by creating a dedicated gateway on the MessageXchange cloud service that connects to the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system at NSW DCS.
In this gateway, the workflows and business rules have been applied to NSW DCS’s needs, to enable invoice data to be received correctly.
The technology flags any errors with NSW DCS staff and its suppliers. It has also established connections to accounting software used by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), so suppliers can send e-invoices.
The NSW Digital Government Strategy offers digital services that benefit customers and suppliers. E-invoicing is a streamlined system that enables DCS to pay suppliers within the government-stipulated five-day turnaround period. It is also more affordable for DCS and suppliers, as processing an invoice costs less than $10.
The company was chosen as it met assessment criteria based on functionality and price and offered support and expertise.
It was also able to meet DCS strategic expectations to provide end-to-end automation to the procure-to-pay (P2P) cycle, to scale up throughout all areas of government.
The Managing Director of the company stated that with the firm’s e-invoicing solution, DCS can pay invoices faster and help its suppliers maintain cashflow.
The MessageXchange Access Point processes these e-invoices securely and accurately, reassuring DCS that its data and supplier information is secure.
It was noted that e-invoicing can make processing and sending invoices faster, more accurate and less expensive for organisations of all sizes, including government departments and private businesses.
The initial pilot was carried out in October 2019; phase one of the project started in January 2020 and went live in March, with phase two currently underway.
About the NSW Digital Government Strategy
The NSW Digital Government Strategy represents a vision for ICT reform and cultural change within the NSW Government.
The former ICT Strategy series provided a strong foundation which the government has built upon in consultation with industry partners and across government. The aim is to extend this to a partnership with the community.
The new Strategy is just an upgrade; it provides the backbone for the delivery of next-level, improved, user-centric services. It will ensure that the NSW Government is connected, customer-focussed and outcomes-driven.
Amongst other things, the NSW Public service will:
- use digital ways of conducting business where previously prohibited by outdated legislation
- co-design services with customers (taking into consideration expectations around the protection of privacy) and develop technology solutions in partnership with industry
- adopt a digital-by-default starting point when designing or reviewing new and existing policies • partner with industry focussing on technology solutions with a whole of government perspective
- experiment and be innovative in the use of new and game-changing technologies that have the potential to drive better service outcomes
- demonstrate how they are using data to inform decision making, including around investments
- optimise the sharing and use of data through the NSW Data Ecosystem, using real-time data and user-friendly formats for publishing
- use predictive analytics to drive better outcomes across the sector. The NSW Government is committed to exploring and implementing new and innovative ways of doing things, to achieve the best outcomes for the people of NSW.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications, database sharing between management agencies at both central and local levels is key to the process of developing e-government. MIC is compiling an e-government development strategy, which serves as a pillar in Vietnam’s socio-economic development model.
Under the draft strategy, which has been made public for comments, the development of e-government will be associated with the process of digital transformation, smart urban development, and ensuring network safety and security. Accordingly, all operations of state management will be digitalised to lead the national digitalisation process.
Citizens and enterprises will be the centre of the digitalisation process, which will aim at improving transparency, simplifying administrative procedures, and creating convenience when accessing public services. The most important thing was developing a database system and data sharing mechanism between state management agencies, according to the Ministry’s Authority of Information Technology Application.
The strategy aims to link the development of e-government with Vietnamese digital technology enterprises that have core technologies and open platforms to serve digital government services. Notably, enterprises could participate in providing public administrative services.
By 2025, 100% of national databases to serve e-government, including the database about population, land, business registration, finance, and insurance, are hoped to be completed, connected, and shared on a nationwide scale.
A representative from Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group said it was important to develop databases and data sharing to launch the digital government services. It was also necessary to carry out reviews on the process of transition from paper-based to digital and develop procedures for digital government services.
According to the United Nations’ recent report themed ‘Digital Government in the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development’, Vietnam ranked 86 out of 193 countries in the e-government development index, moving up two spots from 2018. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the list of members of the National Committee on e-government, which came into effect on 30 July. The PM chaired the committee.
The committee is in charge of studying and proposing policies, strategies and mechanisms to create a legal framework for the development of e-government towards a digital government, digital economy and digital society to create favourable conditions for implementing Industry 4.0 in the country.
The Vietnam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC) recently kicked off a course for the first 34 personnel chosen for a program on training 500 experts on internet protocol version 6 (IPv6). The advanced program, lasting from 2020 to 2025, targets technicians of IT units under ministries and public sectors and aims to support public agencies in completely switching from IPv4 to IPv6 in 2025.
According to research, internet connections using IPv6 are 1.4 times faster than IPv4. Vietnam’s internet has been upgraded to operate well on IPv6, in preparation for the country’ e-government development and national digital transition. As of June, it was ranked 10th globally in IPv6 adoption, with more than 36 million users.
To drive the development of the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Automotive Institutions, Robotics and Lot Malaysia (MARii) announced that they are collaborating on developing new generation vehicles (NxGV). Specifically, they will be looking into re-manufacturing and recycling and intelligent manufacturing technology (smart manufacturing) through a variety of research and development (R&D).
One of the projects carried out includes the development and commercialization of electric car (EV) batteries, supported by Research and Development efforts by both parties focusing on battery performance, battery replication, lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production development and more.
The Vice-Chancellor of UKM stated that the signing of the MoU showed closer cooperation between the two institutions in enhancing technological capabilities. It is hoped that the emergence of the digital economy in the Industrial 4.0 landscape will drive more sustainable innovation in various domain applications for the benefit of the government, organizations, and all citizens.
This innovation can be further utilized to change the way Malaysians live and work, creating an inclusive digital society with the same goal, which will not only generate wealth for better well-being but also bring peace and prosperity to the world, the academic stated while delivering a speech at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UKM and MARii, in Cyberjaya recently.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of MARii noted that the collaboration will complete the network of strategic expertise needed to implement projects related to research and development of basic materials for the manufacture of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, cybersecurity and digitization in the mobility sector.
These projects will add value to the development of NxGV, Maas and IR4.0, in line with NAP2020. This collaboration will also be able to show the development of a special network for Reverse Logistics, which includes the process of collection, recycling and end-of-life vehicle (ELV).
The Smart Data Initiative will also be implemented and focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the manufacturing process. The aim is to push forward Smart Manufacturing in Malaysia. With Industry 4.0 technology, the project will focus on cybersecurity methods that use various techniques to protect data and resources.
About Malaysia’s National Automotive Policy 2020
The National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) is expected to contribute RM104.2 billion to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years, an earlier article by OpenGov Asia noted. The forecasted contribution is in line with its projection of total production volume of 1.47 million vehicles and total industry volume of 1.22 million vehicles by 2030.
The overall intended outcomes of the NAP2020 are an increase in research of new technologies; the creation of business and job opportunities, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and the development of new manufacturing processes and value chains within the local automotive and overall automobile sector. The NAP2020 will further enhance the Malaysian automotive sector by transforming it into connected mobility.
The element of technology such as Next Generation Vehicle (NxGV), mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and Industrial Revolution 4.0 are in line with disruptive trends that have emerged in global markets, the Minister stated.
The NAP2020 is a holistic policy that covers the comprehensive development of industry capacities including supply chain, human capital, indigenous technology, aftermarket, exports, infrastructure readiness, standards and regulations. The NAP2020 will focus on the development of ecosystems for the NxGV, MaaS and Industry 4.0 technologies while continuing its focus on enhancing the development of Energy Efficient Vehicles.
The policy entails the National Roadmap Automotive for the mobility value chain, technology, mobility talent, aftermarket and National Blueprint Automotive for mobility as a service, robotics and IoT. It also envisions driving a policy that focuses on connected mobility, while enhancing Malaysia’s automotive industry in the era of digital industrial transformation.
The NAP2020’s vision includes integrating supply chains, local manufacturing, engineering capabilities, the latest technology trends, and sustainable development.
The Minister of Electronics, Information Technology, and Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced that the government is working to provide connectivity in the far-flung, remote, border areas of strategic importance, to ensure a better quality of life.
The country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the 2300km-long submarine optical fibre cable, between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar at a virtual event earlier this week.
In his speech, the Prime Minister said that the cable will help Andaman and Nicobar get cheaper and better connectivity and all the benefits of the Digital India initiative, especially in improving online education, telemedicine, banking systems, online trading, and to boost tourism.
The Indian Ocean has been the centre of India’s trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years and Andaman and Nicobar are an important centre for India’s economic-strategic cooperation.
The Islands of India play an important role in India’s new trade strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
Under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India’s strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is high and will increase; the Island Development Agency was formed three years ago to strengthen its role. The projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years are being completed now.
High-impact projects are expanding in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Apart from providing better internet and mobile connectivity, the government aims to further improve physical connectivity through road, air, and water.
The Prime Minister referred to the work on two major bridges and the NH-4 to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman. He said the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle a capacity of 1,200 passengers. Along with this, the airports are ready for operations in Diglipur, Car Nicobar, and Campbell-Bay.
According to a press release, Prasad spoke about the various projects being implemented by the Department of Telecommunications to provide connectivity in remote and difficult areas.
He said that a tender for 354 uncovered villages in the strategic, remote, and border areas of the country has been finalised and is under implementation in 144 villages of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.
Villages in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and other priority areas of Gujarat have been strategically selected to cover border area connectivity on mobiles.
After the commissioning of these villages, there will be no uncovered villages in J&K and Ladakh for mobile connectivity. Satellite-based Digital Satellite Phone Terminals (DSPTs) are also being provided at 1,347 sites for Army, BRO, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, and SSB use. 183 sites are already commissioned; the remaining are in process.
The Minister added that the Department of Telecommunications is also working on providing mobile connectivity in villages of 24 Aspirational districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
The remaining 44 Aspirational Districts for 7287 uncovered villages in Chhatisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh will also be covered, for which government approval is under submission.
The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT) and the Indian Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) signed an addendum to the agreement on the establishment of a Centre for Software Development and Training in Vietnam, last week.
Ambassador of the Republic of India to Vietnam, Pranay Verma, and President of PTIT, Vu Van San, signed the deal in Hanoi yesterday.
Under the agreement, CDAC will provide non-refundable aid of US$ 1.08 million from the ASEAN-India cooperation fund to set up a modern information and communication technology (ICT) centre in order to provide advanced IT training, online classes and e-learning at PTIT in Ho Chi Minh City.
The centre will be recognised as an authorised CDAC training centre for two years. The CDAC will send two experts to the centre in Vietnam to support its operations for six months. The centre will provide IT training courses according to the framework and standards of the CDAC’s advanced informatics training schools to improve capacity for local industries and remove digital gaps.
CDAC is a premier research and development organisation under the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) that carries out research in IT, electronics, and associated areas.
CDAC has successfully implemented 40 projects to establish ICT centres in many countries around the world.
The project in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
According to an expert from the Indian ICT industry, Vietnam holds tremendous potential for IT development thanks to its young and talented human resources and attractive investment climate, thereby becoming one of the brightest investment destinations for Indian firms.
He stated this during a virtual seminar on Vietnam’s key macroeconomic policies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and potential sectors for long-term investors held by the Vietnamese Embassy in India.
The event drew the participation of about 100 businesses, investors, experts, and scholars of the two countries.
At the event, Vietnamese delegates updated their Indian counterparts about the Vietnamese government’s policies in the context of COVID-19 and potential sectors for investment, stressing that the country has become a bright spot in both economic recovery and fighting the pandemic.
With an open economy and favourable business climate, Vietnam boasts the potential to become of the nations with the fastest economic growth in the world in the post-pandemic period.
The number of Indian companies invested in Vietnam’s IT field, standing at only 23 so far, has yet to match the potential of the sector and the cooperation potential between the two countries.
An Indian tech company is working on a major investment plan worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Vietnam, which may employ 8,000 people in the upcoming fiscal year, especially in the software and service sectors. It also eyes the establishment of one of its largest hubs in Southeast Asia in Vietnam.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently launched a communications programming platform called Stringee in Hanoi.
The communications platform-related comprehensive technology solution allows businesses to communicate with customers on mobile phone apps or websites without the use of another app such as Zalo, Skype, or Messenger. Businesses also need not invest in building software with communications features.
Stringee is among other Made-in-Vietnam digital platforms selected by the ministry with the aim of promoting comprehensive and wide-ranging digital transformation in terms of economy and society, contributing substantially to realising goals in the National Digital Transformation Program.
According to the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Thanh Hung, Stringee is the only platform in Vietnam that can provide full infrastructure and features similar to solutions from foreign countries.
The platform currently provides about 2.2 million minutes of calls a day to some 45 million users nationwide. In the context of the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are accelerating digital transformation efforts in order to cut costs and maintain operations to survive and recover, the Minister noted.
He called on Vietnamese digital businesses to fully tap into opportunities and develop more digital platforms serving comprehensive digital transformation in different fields. The formation of communications platforms in general and Stringee, in particular, is expected to drive Vietnamese businesses to improve the quality of their customer care and competitiveness.
In line with its mission to shift to e-governance, in June, debuted a corporate governance platform, 1Office, at a ceremony in Hanoi.
1Office is one of the Made-in-Vietnam platforms introduced to enterprises in the national digital transformation process. The ministry hoped Vietnamese digital tech companies would grasp opportunities and develop more platforms to fully serve national digital transformation.
The ministry previously introduced other Made-in-Vietnam platforms used for e-government building such as distant training, health check-ups and treatment, postal codes, webinars, and cloud computing.
It also called on its units to popularise digital platforms to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to succeed in domestic and global markets.
Last month, MIC developed a national portal, PayGov, designed to promote electronic payments for public services.
As OpenGov reported, PayGov is not a payment service but acts as a platform to connect public service portals and single-window systems with intermediary payment service providers. Once connected with the platform, online public service portals of ministries and local authorities will be provided with a single interface to use all the services of the intermediary payment providers.
At the same time, intermediary payment companies can provide their services to all ministries and local authorities through PayGov.
In addition to public services, PayGov can provide payment services for other utilities such as electricity, water, healthcare, and education, all in one place.
The MIC Deputy Minister explained that PayGov is just the beginning of a process to promote electronic payments for public services. The Vietnamese government is aiming to raise the ratio of public services that can be delivered online to at least 30% by the end of 2020. As of June, the ratio had doubled to 14.6% from the end of last year but remained far behind the target.
The launch of PayGov is anticipated as one of the measures to accelerate the delivery of online public services and meet the above target. The platform is also expected to help Vietnam realise the target of 50% of the population having electronic payment accounts by 2025, and 80% by 2030 as part of the national digital transformation program.
The incubatees at Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab continue to release novel and relevant innovations amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently two of the Lab’s firms, Chinasoft International Technology Services (HK) Ltd and InnoBlock Technology Limited announced their solution which is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution 1 – iBot
The government or public service departments usually focus on improving citizen services and effectively solving social problems.
In addition, they have to deal with budget and related legislation restrictions. Thus, the iBot was developed to help companies reduce operating costs, replace manual execution of some transactional tasks, and allow the government to focus on public services.
The solution can apply automation to legacy systems, data migration and assists in system upgrades or maintenance across multiple systems at the same time. It also can be used in real-time services to provide guided solutions through customer robots that can effectively answer part of citizens’ questions as well as maintain and update citizen information.
All operations comply with the principles of compliance, accuracy, efficiency and automation.
The solution can be applied across the areas of Broadcasting, City Management, Climate and Weather, Commerce and Industry, Development, Education, Employment and Labour, Environment, Finance, Food, Health, Housing, Infrastructure, Law and Security, Population, Recreation and Culture, Social Welfare as well as Transport.
The iBot uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation.
- iBot can log-in to websites, search and download needed information automatically
- Working with Chatbots, assist citizen to fill in different forms
- Recognize invoice and input to the financial system
- Part of your digital transformation
- Automate many HR processes
Solution 2 – SafeGuard Series
SafeGuard Series is an enterprise security solution that aims to tackle internal threats which include data leakage and misuse. The solution does this by combining facial recognition, object detection and blockchain technologies.
It consists of three products:
- SafeGuardChain: The system will automatically log out or go to the lock screen when unauthorized users and target objects such as cameras are detected. To maintain the integrity of the data all records will be kept on the blockchain which becomes immutable.
- SafeGuard Lite Mobile: Uses watermark and object detection to prevent and detect sensitive data leakage through external cameras. It applies to both personal and work phones.
- SafeGuard Lite PC: this system uses watermark and object detection to prevent and detect sensitive data leakage through external cameras (e.g., a snapshot from a mobile phone).
The solution was developed to be applied in the area of CyberSecurity.
The SafeGuard Series uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Machine Learning and Mobile Technologies.
The potential use cases for the technology include:
- IT security enhancement for remote working: Remote working during the COVID-19 crisis has increased the likelihood of a cyber-breach according to research by Centrify;
- Strengthened protection at endpoints: 70% of all breaches still originate at endpoints, despite the increased I.T. spending on this threat surface, according to IDC.
Solution and Benefits: Apart from traditional cybersecurity and data loss prevention software that tackle cyber-attacks, the SafeGuard Series focus on the external threats typically from unauthorized users or by snapshots from live cameras. This helps prevent internal data leakages (e.g., personal information) and detect external threats (by sending notifications to the Admin right away) for immediate follow-up.