The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently debuted the akaChain blockchain platform, as part of a program introducing Make-in-Vietnam digital platforms.
The akaChain, developed by Vietnam’s largest tech firm, supports enterprises in quickly building their business network systems and distributed applications using blockchain technology. It shortens the time spent on several tasks like electronic-know your customer (eKYC), credit scoring, customer loyalty programs, and origin tracing. Soon, it will be further developed for strengthened security and transparency.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Thanh Hung, said despite being established in 2018 the platform has already become popular. He named several of its successful users from manufacturing, insurance and banking. The official took the occasion to call on digital firms to continue investing in the research and development of advanced technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, adding that it will help Vietnam catch up with the latest developments in the world and complete its national digital transition.
The introduction of Make-in-Vietnam platforms is part of the national digital transition program toward 2025 approved by the Prime Minister. Calling Vietnamese enterprises to continue investing in research of advanced technologies. Invented in 2008, blockchain technology has been developed and improved to become one of the biggest breakthrough technologies with the potential to greatly affect every industry and occupation, from finance to production, business, and education.
The MIC’s Deputy Minister, Nguyen Thanh Hung, noted that many countries are interested in blockchain and have issued related policies that create favourable environments to promote and develop the technology. Several state agencies around the world have plans to invest in blockchain to manage financial transactions, assets, contracts, and institutional compliance in the coming years.
In Vietnam, early research and application of this technology will be an opportunity for the country to actively keep pace with the development of the global economy. With the great potential of blockchain, it is likely that soon these technical applications will dramatically transform lives.
MIC praised FPT for advancing into this new field, creating a blockchain technology platform to help Vietnamese businesses be ready to integrate with the development of the economy, finance, and technology in the future. MIC called on digital technology businesses to continue investing in research of new technologies of the fourth industrial revolution so that Vietnam can keep up with the latest development trends of the world and complete the target of the national digital transformation plan, the Deputy Minister said.
MIC will also focus on database sharing between management agencies at both central and local levels, as it is key to the process of developing e-government. The organization is compiling an e-government development strategy, which serves as a pillar in Vietnam’s socio-economic development model, as OpenGov reported earlier. 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.
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) showcased a portfolio of its cutting-edge 5G technologies at the PT EXPO China 2020 in Beijing which was held from 14 to 16 October 2020.
Adopting the theme of “Promote 5G for an Intelligent Future”, ASTRI demonstrated its technologies and innovations that enhance the competitive strength of enterprises in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and around the world. These technologies include:
- 5G O-RAN Solution
- Industrial IoT applications
- 5G OpenUPF
- Ground-breaking Terabit 5G Standalone Core Network
- AR Intelligent Maintenance
- IoT Blockchain
- 5G Smart Mobility solution
The Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI stated that the agency’s technology and innovation must always serve a practical need in society. He noted that the organisation was delighted to have the opportunity to showcase so many of these ground-breaking success stories in one place, allowing them to truly demonstrate how wide-ranging and impactful their work is.
The PT EXPO China 2020 is hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. It is one of Asia’s largest and most influential Information and Communications Technology (ICT) events, exploring the impact of next-generation technologies across a variety of industries, as well as trends in the market. Last year, the event had more than 81,000 attendees and hosted over 400 exhibitors.
The Vice-President, Communications Technologies at ASTRI remarked that the agency’s network solution is fully compliant with 3GPP standard and low-cost. It can realise new application scenarios including private networks, Internet of Vehicles, industrial Internet and mobile phone OS cloudification etc., bringing 5G into the market quickly with valued services.
ASTRI’s 5G O-RAN Solution is an end-to-end 5G network solution, which complies with 3GPP standards and, through its flexibility, low cost and ease of deployment remove a traditional cost barrier to the industry looking to make the most of the 5G network. Our Industrial IoT applications include the development of simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) and robot navigation software running over a 5G network with industrial AGVs.
China Mobile’s 5G OpenUPF (User Plane Function) will enable open and flexible 5G deployment in network edge and drive vertical applications. ASTRI is one of the first members to have joined the OpenUPF initiative.
ASTRI has been working closely with an American multinational corporation and technology company in 5G technology development, including 5G core network, O-RAN development, 5G OpenUPF, and V2X infrastructure technology. They have worked together to optimise software and hardware to enable scalable 5G UPF. They also combined to deliver a ground-breaking performance of more than 1Tbps 5G UPF data throughput earlier in 2020.
Further, ASTRI also collaborated with a Hong-Kong-based technological company to introduce a jointly developed AR Intelligent Maintenance solution, designed to transform field engineers’ operations and maintenance processes. ASTRI has also developed an innovative IoT Blockchain platform that can securely monetise and strategically exploit enormous amounts of IoT data in real-time.
ASTRI and a Chinese multinational technology company also jointly demonstrated a 5G Smart Mobility solution that combines with ultra-low latency C-V2X communication and 5G edge intelligence to improve road safety and traffic efficiency.
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) was founded by the HKSAR Government 20 years ago with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research.
The agency’s core R&D competence in various areas is grouped under five Technology Divisions; Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics; Communications; Cybersecurity, Cryptography and Trusted Technologies; Integrated Circuits and Systems; and IoT and Sensors. It focuses on five areas of application including Smart City; Financial Technologies; Intelligent Manufacturing; Health Technologies; and Application Specific Integrated Circuits.
For decades now, ASTRI has nurtured a pool of research, I&T talents and received numerous international awards for its pioneering innovations as well as outstanding business and community contributions. To date, ASTRI has transferred more than 750 technologies to the industries and owns more than 850 patents in the Mainland, the US and other countries.
As a professor of Sustainable Land Management at Murdoch, Professor Richard Bell is fifteen years into a research journey that’s transforming agriculture in Bangladesh. The results are changing the lives of farmers, entrepreneurs and their families across the country.
He noted that there are lots of examples of international scientists going to developing countries with bright ideas, which is all very well. “But you’ve got to sit and talk to the local people and get their ideas to develop technology that gets used,” he commented.
Alongside a network of local academics, entrepreneurs and farmers, Professor Bell developed a new system of cropping for small farms and invented the small-scale machinery to make it possible. The team mechanized a system of planting where less than 25% of the soil is disturbed to place seed and fertiliser and keep the remnants of the previous crop in the field as a cover of the soil. It’s a type of agriculture called ‘conservation agriculture’, Professor Bell explained. The technology will help farmers in Bangladesh and, hopefully, other developing nations efficiently sow seed.
This type of cropping has spread to over 170 million hectares worldwide, but 85% of that is in five countries; Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the United States. Each of these countries has big farms and big machines, making the system easy to implement.
It has been a very profitable technique for the farming industries in these places due to the time and fuel saved, and it has reduced soil erosion. As compared to conventional farming, where you need to plough the soil two to three times and then seed, conservation agriculture requires a single operation for the sowing of seed.
However, the trouble is that this technique hasn’t spread in small farms as it’s not possible to get four-wheel tractors into these areas and big machinery isn’t accessible. Thus, the team is pioneering the system for Bangladesh, where the field sizes are much smaller.
Identifying the opportunity
The Professor first got involved in Bangladesh in 2005 trying to promote pulses – chickpeas and lentils – which are important parts of the national diet. Pulses seemed to be difficult to grow and were disappearing from the farming systems when the team arrived. When irrigation became available, farmers switched over to growing more rice and wheat and the legumes were squeezed out.
So, the team started this project to promote the growth of pulses and realised one of the constraints was that straight after rice harvest, the soil was wet, but dried rapidly. One must plant lentils and chickpeas very quickly after harvest to grow a decent crop without irrigation.
Getting those pulse crops to grow depending on the speed with which farmers could sow the seeds, but the traditional methods with bullock and plough were too slow. So, the research team began developing small machinery that could be used to plant crops very quickly.
The team collaborated with a retired farmer from New South Wales to design these lightweight, simple and relatively easy to manufacture machines that would help the locals sow their crops faster. This design was refined over time with a colleague in Bangladesh, based on feedback from user trials. And that’s been the key – with this project and any other – the technology has to be accepted by the users.
The research team now partners with a small business in Bangladesh to make and sell these seeding machines locally.
Scaling the technology
One of the most common pieces of farming machinery in Bangladesh is the small two-wheel tractor. These are mainly operated by small business people, who use them to provide ploughing, transport, pumping and other services for farmers.
There are 700,000 of these two-wheel tractors in Bangladesh and the team is working to convince as many service providers as possible to offer a seeding service using the technology, the team developed which allows for conservation agriculture. The technology can be easily integrated into farmers’ seeding routines and will propel local farmers into the next generation of farming.
The team has delivered over 3000 on-farm demonstrations to prove the seeding machinery technology they developed works and also provides a range of incentives to locals who buy the machines. One of those incentives includes underwriting a free season of seeding for the farming customers of local service providers, to encourage take-up of conservation agriculture.
Their modelling shows that operators can buy the seeding machines and pay them off in two years, which makes it a viable and attractive opportunity for local service providers to add to their offering. On this basis, the research team has engaged banks to encourage them to provide finance to local service providers and established a farmer network of nearly 10,000 farmers to promote conservation agriculture. Eventually, the team of collaborators will step aside and let the system run itself.
Suffering from dry, itching hands due to daily multiple washes times with chemical disinfectants and soap as protection against contact infection of COVID 19 may well be over. New-age sustainable disinfectants and sanitisers may soon bring relief from chemical ones with their side effects. A number of Indian start-ups are now armed with a range of sustainable alternatives to conventional chemical-based decontaminants that can disinfect surfaces and even microcavities.
The structures and processes which made these extraordinary achievements possible are being incorporated in the upcoming Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020, confirmed Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, DST Secretary. They include technologies for disinfection of the biomedical waste generated at hospitals and the use of novel nanomaterials and chemical process innovations for long-lasting and safe sterilisation of the recurrent use surfaces.
Safe disinfection and sanitisation technologies have come from 10 companies supported by the Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), an initiative by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology (DST) implemented by Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay.
A Mumbai based start-up, with expertise in treating complex polluted water and wastewater, modified their technology to design and develop a system, VAJRA, for space and equipment disinfection to fight COVID 19 contamination. The VAJRA KE Series incorporates a disinfection system consisting of a multistage disinfection process by incorporating electrostatic discharge that generates ozone and the powerful sterilising effects of UVC light spectrum. Advanced oxidation, electrostatic discharge and UVC light spectrum are deployed to inactivate the viruses, bacteria, and other microbial strains present on the PPE. This saves costs by making the PPE, medical and nonmedical gear reusable.
Coimbatore based purification company offers advanced sterilisation solutions. It is using environmentally-sound micro-cavity plasma technology. This novel technology, where the disinfectant is produced directly from air or oxygen, offers a sustainable alternative to conventional chemical-based decontamination. The Complete Sterilisation by Microplasma Oxidation (COSMO) system can rapidly disinfect Covid-19 infected areas, including quarantine facilities, ambulatory care, and equipment surfaces. This innovative micro-plasma sterilisation system offers compact and scalable modular units which are robust, flexible, and energy-efficient.
The disinfectant is produced on-site, thereby eliminating the transport, storage, and handling of hazardous chemicals. These decontamination systems are 10 times less than the conventional system of equivalent capacity, making it suitable for resource constraint environments. Their advanced sterilisation systems surpass hypochlorite and other traditional disinfectants in its ability to neutralise multi-drug resistant pathogens. The company has already provided customised solutions to hospitals and healthcare settings to sterilise selective critical care areas. They have also taken this innovation to vulnerable communities. Presently their advanced integrated micro-plasma oxidation system for rapid sterilisation has been fully developed and tested rigorously for commercial use.
A mechanical hand sanitising dispenser machine which quantifies the steps of hand sanitisation through touchless, real-time monitoring via dashboard is offered by a Chennai based startup. A bio-solution company from Pune has developed silver nanoparticles based on non-alcoholic liquid sanitiser. Their technology pending for patent also inhibits the RNA replication activity – preventing the spread of the virus and blocks surface glycoproteins – making the virus ineffective.
An instant microwave-based handheld steriliser ATULYA and a microwave-assisted cold sterilisation device OPTIMASER for hazardous biomedical waste disinfection and making linen and PPE reusable is the offering from Lucknow based Maser Technology.
OPTIMASER is microwave-assisted cold sterilisation superior technological advancement over the conventional Autoclave. It allows for disinfection and sterilisation of the PPE Kits and the masks to ensure the 100 reusabilities, ensuring the cost-effectiveness. ATULYA is an Instant Microwave based handheld steriliser which offers the cutting edge over the UV tube-based steriliser, sanitising sprays and all the possible methods of sterilisation & protection.
Incubators like SINE IIT Bombay FIIT, IIT Delhi, SIIC, IIT Kanpur, HTIC, IIT Madras, Venture Centre, Pune, IKP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad, KIIT-TBI, Bhubaneswar provided timely advice on technical progress, guided the startups to follow all necessary guidelines, signing of MoUs, etc.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has dominated 2020 and seems to be poised to take over at least the first half of 2021.
But what have we learnt from the unprecedented health crisis of the past year? Have we gleaned enough to be well prepared for the next pandemic or natural disaster? Have governments and organisations gained adequate insights to be resilient and continue operations during future critical events?
These are some crucial questions that must be answered to know how well prepared you are for the next major critical event. OpenGov Asia delved into these important issues at its recent OpenGovLive! Virtual Insight with delegates from Singapore, Australia, India and Hong Kong.
Keeping with the OpenGov Asia track record, there was 100% attendance from delegates who were fully immersed in the interactive OpenGov Asia experience.
A collective and coordinated effort of different parts of an organisation is key to strengthen resilience
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia gave an overview of the session with the audience with his opening presentation.
Mohit recounted historically countries across the globe have been overcome different kinds of disasters individually or is clusters but never have they encountered such a situation where the whole world has been hit by a crisis of such magnitude.
This is part of the reason organisations and leaders were stopped dead in their tracks when the pandemic initially hit. There was a lot of panic in the general public as well as top leaders as at the most basic of the necessities seemed endangered at the start.
No one was prepared to run entire businesses with people locked up at home. Business continuity management plans did not take into consideration a critical event od such scope and depth.
The world is at a tipping point and will be quite unstable until there are concrete signs of an effective cure and vaccine. So, organisations must put together all their resources in a coordinated manner with sound planning to keep operations running without compromising the safety of people.
Mohit left the audience with advice to partner with experts in Critical Event Management space rather than trying to come up with a solution on their own.
Being prepared in advance is the secret to successful critical event management
After Mohit laid the foundation, Graeme Orsborn, Vice President – International CEM Business Unit, Everbridge shared his insights on the topic.
Graeme began by very simply explaining the meaning of critical event management. When things that people care about like our friends, family, staff, infrastructure, supply chain and reputation intersect with threats like physical disruption, threats, system failures etc., that leads to a critical event.
All organisations are undergoing a fundamental shift in the way they operate our businesses and the key is to be prepared in advance for the impending danger or critical event.
Graeme went on to acknowledge that while being prepared sounds very simple and easy, implementing it can be quite a challenge for organisations. Currently, the process of managing critical events is largely manual, disjointed and takes significantly longer to work through.
He enumerated the challenges to critical event management as follows:
- Problems in locating who and what is impacted
- The criticality of impact on the assets
- Taking the right action to protect endangered business assets
- Analysing the situation to assess the effectiveness of a plan
After highlighting the problems, Graeme proposed the solution or the correct approach for dealing with critical events. He suggested a four-step strategy:
- Assess the context and severity of the critical event
- Locate and identify stakeholders and assets
- Take action to inform, notify, rally, collaborate and recover
- Analyse own performance and improve
He also shared with the audience the wide range of CEM solutions offered by Everbridge to help organisations mitigate risk and accelerate resolution when events become critical.
Graeme concluded his presentation by sharing Everbridge’s strategy to deal with the most recent critical event, i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic. The three broad parts of this solution included: Know your risk, protect your people, recover and protect your operations.
Make resilience a part of organisational culture to tackle critical events effectively
After Graeme’s presentation, Arunabh Mitra, Chief Continuity Officer, HCL technologies spoke on the topic at hand.
Arunabh opined that as a result of globalisation today, organisations are faced with several interconnected challenges. While on one side, processes like globalisation and industrial revolution are indicators of progress, on the other, risks hovering around them also have a cascading impact on all industries and sectors. He alluded to the fact that our world today is no longer a simple linear structure, rather it’s a system of systems highly interdependent.
He then expounded about the shocks and stresses that disrupt the usual operations and test the resilience of governments and organisations time and again. He shared with the delegates the iceberg model of disruptive events: better preparedness for the events we have better visibility of as we can relate to those events better. However, he conceded that the recovery path for the different events in the iceberg model will vary.
Arunabh moved on the COVID- 19 crisis and how it impacted organisations globally. He reiterated that it was an event unprecedented in scale, complexity and velocity.
He talked about the 3R wave or pattern of organisations’ response to the pandemic::
- Response: This was the initial stage of the hit when organisations were occupied with keeping their people safe and continuing business.
- Return and Reimagine: This stage kept organisations busy with envisioning and implementing what the new workspace will look like
- Reform: This is the stage when organisations are contemplating how to enhance productivity in the hybrid workspace.
Arunabh explained that companies that made people a priority, who had invested in resilience and who had made it a part of their culture, did it better than others.
He concluded his presentation by highlighting that the key to being truly resilient is to embed it in the DNA of every layer of the organisation with certain design principles in place.
After the informative presentations, it was now time for the interactive polling session with the delegates.
On the first question regarding an organisation’s preparedness to respond quickly and decisively to critical events, a majority of the delegates voted that they are well prepared but there is room for improvement (72%).
To this, a deputy director from a media company in Singapore reflected that after dealing with the recent pandemic, they are confident that they are prepared to deal with a future crisis but at the same time there is a lot that they still don’t know and can learn, so cannot be complacent.
On the next question about the department/organisational division responsible for leading the response and preparedness efforts during a critical event, a major chunk of the delegates voted for other than operations, human resource, Information and Technology, or the CEO (47%).
On this issue, a delegate from a public sector organisation shared that they have a separate safety division responsible for coordinating actions and preparedness at the advent of a crisis or a critical event.
On the final question of instant access to critical information needed to evaluate risk and take action during emergency events, 57% of delegates voted that they have established systems to spot events that could endanger company assets.
The president of a major healthcare organisation from India shared that since they are responsible for the lives of not just their employees but also their patients, they have made sure that they have the correct systems in place that inform them of an impending disaster.
After the interesting insights and sessions, Graeme once again addressed the audience to conclude the session.
He felt that it would be interesting to see how culture in organisations will undergo a shift to adapt to the new norm of working. He was also convinced that big data and analytics would play a major role in helping organisations to be more predictive and better prepared for future critical events.
Graeme urged delegates and their organisations to move from having a reactive approach to being proactive in their response to managing critical events and to leverage technology in their efforts.
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently held a ceremony to promote the VNPT electric know your customer (eKYC) solution, which can detect abnormal features on ID cards and other personal documents.
It is part of a series of events aimed at introducing Vietnamese-made services in the nation’s national digital transformation until 2025 with a view to 2030. VNPT stated that among several other capabilities, eKYC can spot fake IDs, validate documents, authenticate portraits, detect invalid papers, and identify customer video calls, thanks to a large Vietnamese-specific database and the high accuracy of its optical character recognition.
According to a news report, the company says that the solution can warn about ID cards that have been tampered with, helping to reduce risk, shorten check-in times, and enhance security in information validation. eKYC has been developed based on cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and biometric recognition.
At the ceremony, the Director of the Authority of Information Technology Application, Nguyen Huy Dung, praised the solution as a passport for entering the digital world.
Ngo Dien Hy, the General Director of VNPT-IT, noted that eKYC can be applied in many sectors such as banking and insurance whilst noting that the identity verification might not be completely accurate but can significantly minimise fraud.
The country has been prioritising the development and implementation of industry 4.0 technologies, including 5G. Earlier this month, the military-run Viettel High Technology Industries Corporation and VinSmart Research and Manufacture Joint Stock Company signed a cooperation agreement to create a 5G gNodeB base station system at a ceremony in Hanoi.
The signing ceremony took place under the direction of MIC. The Viettel Group and VinGroup plan to research and develop 5G technologies to successfully commercialise 5G broadcast stations owned by Vietnamese people. Accordingly, VinSmart is responsible for developing and supplying an 8T8R radio unit (RU); an 8T8R antenna; and a Massive MIMO Radio 64T64R (integrated with both RU and Antenna); VHT research and development of signal processing equipment (CU-DU); 5G core network system; providing 5G service and new technologies such as Beamforming and Multi-User Massive Mimo, which also provides high-speed services to many users.
The two sides agreed to complete the set of specifications for 5G base station products and complete two laboratories for each side. In November, the two sides will make the first test call on the 3,600 – 3,800 MHz frequency band.
The goal of VHT and VinSmart is to successfully commercialise the 5G gNodeB 8T8R base station on 30 June 2021 and the 5G gNodeB 64T64R base station on 30 June 2022, these will be the first high-quality 5G broadcast stations that are jointly owned by two Vietnamese technology groups.
Addressing the event, Member of Party Central Committee and MIC’s Minister Nguyen Manh Hung, the Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee (PCC)’s Communication and Education Commission, asked VinGroup to focus on developing radio. Viettel will focus on signal processing, the core network, and integration into commercial products.
The Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) announced the launch of “HKSTP InnoAcademy” on 7 October 2020. The Academy is dedicated to the continuous nurturing of young technology talent to inspire and drive success in Hong Kong’s innovation and technology (I&T) industry.
The HKSTP InnoAcademy aims to boost Hong Kong’s I&T competitiveness with a sustained series of programmes, including training and value-added support to upskill technology talent from various sectors into future leaders. The day also marked the inauguration of eight high-potential talents from the first cohort of HKSTP InnoAcademy’s signature “Technology Leaders of Tomorrow” (TLT) programme, as they embark on an extensive 26-month journey within the Hong Kong Science Park ecosystem.
Since enrolment began in July 2020, the TLT programme received an overwhelming response with over 600 applications from graduates in Hong Kong and across the globe, which are the world’s top 50 universities in 2020. Among the many applicants, 60% of them were holders of a Master’s degree or PhD, majoring in Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Information Technology or Data Science.
The CEO of HKSTP stated that talent development, attraction and retention are crucial factors in sustaining the growth momentum of Hong Kong’s I&T sector. HKSTP recognises that grooming quality talent into inspiring and standout leaders is a critical ingredient to maintaining the city’s global competitive edge.
The mission at HKSTP InnoAcademy is to build the ideal I&T breeding ground to nurture future technology leaders and pioneers. With HKSTP’s extensive ecosystem, the Park and its partners will work together to develop forward-looking learning and training programmes tailored to young graduates and mid-level professionals.
HKSTP InnoAcademy will focus on developing young talent across HKSTP’s strategic technology areas, including Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Biomedical Technology, Data and Smart City and FinTech, as well as establishing partnerships and connections with key industry leaders, training providers and tertiary education institutions. The continuous learning approach provides talent with multiple career pathways to join the I&T industry while supporting future skills acquisition.
TLT Programme Offers Diverse Opportunities
The eight selected talents from the first cohort of the TLT programme will first enter a two-month HKSTP internship and enjoy valuable exposure to Hong Kong’s leading I&T ecosystem. From there, each talent will take a 24-month full-time R&D role at one of HKSTP’s partner companies for continued career mentoring and development.
Beyond the current TLT programme, InnoAcademy will continue to roll out an extensive range of talent development and training initiatives, in collaboration with major academic and industry partners to unleash the potential of young graduates and equip them to become a driving force in the future of Hong Kong’s I&T sector.
In July 2020, HKSTP launched the Technology Leaders of Tomorrow Programme (TLT Programme) which aims to nurture future technology leaders in Hong Kong and has been designed in collaboration with 11 leading HKSTP’s partner companies at the pilot stage. The programme is now calling for ambitious graduates across the city who are committed to an I&T career to submit applications.
The HKSTP CEO had stated that The Park is committed to accelerating the growth of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology through supporting the development of local start-ups and introducing young people to the promising career prospects and rich opportunities in the industry.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming rollout of 5G are expected to drive up the number of gamers in Thailand. However, economic difficulties still weigh on their spending per person, according to the promoters of Thailand Game Show 2020, scheduled for next month.
The Managing Director for Digital and Media Platform Online Station under one of the core businesses of Thailand’s fully-integrated digital service providers, which is a key supporter of the show, stated that the pandemic ushers in positive aspects and challenges in the game industry.
The global number of gamers has surged 36.9% since the outbreak, helping the home entertainment business, while game downloads have jumped 20%. While there is no official data on the segment in Thailand, it is likely to follow the global trend.
This is a challenging year for the country’s game industry, as gamers’ per-person spending is likely to fall in line with the economic woes. It is expected that the whole gaming market in Thailand to rise as the industry takes a smaller hit from the economic impact than other sectors.
Thailand has 27.8 million gamers or 41% of the population of 69 million. The industry’s market value is expected to reach THB27 billion in 2020, up 15% from 2019. In the worst-case scenario, the gaming industry would grow 10% following the postponement of the launches of new PC and console games.
Thai gamers spend an average of THB940 per person per year. Gamers aged 25-34 are the most willing to pay for games. In Thailand, mobile games account for 71% of the gaming industry’s revenue, followed by PC (22%) and console (7%). At the global level, mobile games represent 49%, trailed by console (28%) and PC (23%).
It was noted that mobile games are expected to increase momentum due to rising smartphone penetration, while console games will also thrive due to the upcoming launch of new game consoles. Cloud-based games are also projected to gather steam in the next few years.
The Thailand Game Show 2020 will be held as a hybrid offline and online event from 14 to 15 November 2020 at Siam Paragon’s Paragon Hall. The space will be divided into two zones: one for a stage show with a THB100 ticket for entry and another for 24 booths of game accessories vendors. The show lets gamers meet game idols, casters and cosplayers.
OpenGov Asia recently reported that Deputy Director-General of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) announced a collaboration with Thailand’s largest GSM mobile phone operator and the leading source of all tech and business news in Thailand and Southeast Asia to launch an online seminar which will feature a comprehensive overview of the gaming and e-sports industry.
The parties will come together to develop a new path for the game industry in Thailand. The partnership aims to increase the number of industry opportunities in the esports, a sector which many people still as lacking potential. Moreover, a case studies of the successful implementation of esports industry initiatives will be done and the results will determine the measures needed to apply them to the gaming industry in Thailand.
Across the world, people are turning to gaming platforms to view virtual concerts, for messaging, gambling, dating and even virtual celebrations of weddings and birthdays in an increasing number, the company found. They predict that the global consumer gaming industry will reach a value of $198 billion by 2024, not including sales from hardware and devices, augmented reality, virtual reality and advertising.
The industry is turning from selling individual games to offering subscription services, with several tech giants offering gaming subscriptions and competing with major players. Moreover, the firm found that 58% of gamers use or intend to use gaming subscription services, while 38% use or intend to use cloud gaming services. About 22% of people who bought their first virtual-reality headsets this year did so during the virus outbreak, the firm reported, with most users intending them for videogames.