Brainiacs of all ages showcase outstanding innovations for smart city development
Allen Ma, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP, celebrated the success of the winners with guests and audience. He said that the City Challenge has showcased the vastness of Hong Kong’s innovation technology talent pool, whom are geared up to support Hong Kong’s gradual shift towards a more innovation-driven economy. (Group Photo)
Open Group’s Champion – the “Capheart” team said that the mission of City Challenge coincided with their own: to build a more liveable Hong Kong with technology. They were glad that they had joined the competition, and that winning the competition has earned them the acknowledgement and encouragement for them to continue working on the development of Capheart. The competition allowed them to get to know passionate individuals from all walks of life, whom provided them with valuable advice that helped them refine their project, whereas the cash prize would help support their operations and shorten the development time in the days to come.
(Hong Kong, 19 July 2016) - Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP”) today hosted the City Challenge – Bridge to a Smarter City (“City Challenge”) Award Presentation Ceremony, recognising over 200 winning contestants from different age groups as well as schools with outstanding participation, for their efforts to transform their ideal smart city concepts into a design blueprint or working prototype throughout the past half year.
The City Challenge was fiercely competed across all groups, which included the Primary Group, Intermediate Group and Open Group, with over 520 teams submitting more than 3,400 entries. Participants were aged from 6 to 76, attesting to the age diversity of Hong Kong’s massive innovation and technology talent pool. To enter the competition, participants had to submit novel ideas for tackling one of the five smart city challenges, namely Integrated Transportation, Energy Management (Reduction, Generation and Efficiency), Waste Management, Public Services Digitisation and Smart Home Living. The submitted projects must have the end goal of transforming Hong Kong into a more efficient, liveable and sustainable smart city.
The competition was supported by more than 50 corporate partners, with a judging panel comprised of professionals from different sectors ranging from the Government, public services, technology, education to culture and media. In addition, HKSTP provided participants of the Intermediate and Open Groups with a series of training on product design, application development and fabrication skills, as well as organised visits to leading technology corporations in the city for them to learn directly from the professionals working in the technology sector.
As the vanguard promoting the research and development as well as adoption of technology and innovation in Hong Kong, HKSTP, through organising the City Challenge, aims at inspiring Hong Kong citizens to utilise their creativity to advance Hong Kong’s transformation into a smart city.
HKSTP’s multi-faceted support for technology talent to turn innovative ideas into applicable solutions
Allen Ma, Chief Executive Officer of HKSTP, said, “The City Challenge has been resoundingly popular among Hong Kong citizens. With the majority of contestants not having a background in technology fields, it proves that Hong Kong citizens recognise the fact that innovative technology will create disrupt impacts and make contributions to the society. I am heartened to know that so many people resonate with us. This competition also showed us the vastness of Hong Kong’s innovation and technology talent pool, which I am sure is fully geared up to support Hong Kong’s gradual shift towards a more innovation-driven economy. Another thing that pleases me is that the prototypes presented during the finale all demonstrated a high degree of completeness, an indication that we have in our community today the necessary resources widely available for those who are developing innovative technology. It also tells Hong Kong people, known for our capability to identify market trends and needs, that whoever wishes to shine just have to take a step forward to seize their occasion.”
Ma added, “The City Challenge not only has manifested our contestants’ efforts, but also put in the spotlight the three elements essential for Hong Kong’s transformation into a smart city. The first key element is the genuine ‘concerns’ for the community, which the contestants have demonstrated by diving deeply into the various issues plaguing the society. The second element is the ‘determination’ to change. The contestants took the initiative to participate in the competition and they strived to transform their ideas from mere concepts into a working prototype. The last element is ‘perseverance’. Although our contestants experienced challenges as they developed their products, with perseverance they succeeded and created practical solutions that could benefit the community. Their journey has been very inspirational to us. In fact, we believe Hong Kong’s future depends on those talented individuals with the determination to bring positive change to the city through innovation. This competition not only allowed those entrusted with our future to experience how innovative technology can change the future, it also opened a door for them to pursue a career in the innovation and technology industry. HKSTP will continue to support this group of people, and provide them with multi-faceted support as they go on with their technoentrepreneurial journey.”
Participants determined to solve urban problems Winning entries applied extensive use of innovation and technology
Each winning entry from all groups was assessed by a panel of judges. For the Intermediate and Open Groups, a public vote was also included as part of their grading. Winners of the City Challenge have the opportunities to attend internship offered by Science Park’s companies and be admitted into HKSTP’s Incubation Programmes. They are also entitled to prizes from a prize pool amounted to over HK$400,000 – including a cash prize of HK$120,000 for the champion of the Open Group to kick-start the commercialisation of their smart city idea and realise their technoentrepreneurial dream.
The Primary Group’s contestants submitted drawings or writings that exhibited the harmonious relationship between man and nature, with an emphasis on how innovative technology could result in sustainable development of our city. The finalists of Intermediate and Open Groups submitted prototypes for smart city applications, and the winning entries utilised a wide range of technologies, including the Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, green technology, and concepts such as “Sharing Economy”.
The second runner-up of the Intermediate Group, “Smart City - Automatic Waste Separation and Recycle Bin” combines hardware and software to help citizens process waste efficiently. For the first runner-up, “Smart Umbrella”, the team uses the concept of sharing resources as basis to create the umbrella rental system. The champion, “Multi-purpose Walking Stick”, is designed to benefit the elderly and mobility challenged. It has demonstrated the power of makers- to fully utilise any accessible resources for R&D.
The Open Group consists of tertiary students, the working class and the retired. The second runner-up “Seniors' Angel” monitors the home of elderly 24/7; first runner-up “Solar Energy Station” brings out the possibility of harnessing solar energy in the suburb to provide free recharges for mobile devices; and the champion project, “Capheart”, helps users quickly locate nearby AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) in the city, demonstrating the importance of big data in smart cities.