Hong Kong Science & Technology Park (HKSTP) is the place to be, and its annual Career Expo is just one of many events you wouldn’t want to miss.
There, you’ll see the latest innovations ranging from surveillance drone quadcopters to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that allow you to walk right out the supermarket with charges immediately deducted from your bank account and without being held up indefinitely at the cashier.
Since its establishment in May 2001, HKSTP has been accelerating the development of technology in Hong Kong by nurturing talent, fostering knowledge transfer and introducing innovative solutions developed by its resident companies. Bearing testimony to its technological contributions are multiple international awards.
Bringing new blood into the IT industry
The incubation schemes provided by HKSTP have assisted technology start-ups – particularly during their vulnerable inception stages – enabling them to grow and flourish. Dennis Kwan and his IT services company, QBS System, is one of their many beneficiaries.
Thanks to HKSTP’s active support, Kwan’s company grew from a small start-up of five team members to a leading IT service company in Hong Kong, specialising in research in the applications of RFID technology and location-based services, among other projects.
Encouraging innovation for good
Long checkout lines at the supermarket are one of the biggest complaints about shopping. Soon, these lines could disappear when the ubiquitous universal product code (UPC) bar code is replaced by smart labels called RFID tags, which are intelligent bar codes that can communicate with a networked system to track every product that you put in your shopping cart.
“The most exciting project I’ve done is the RFID technology,” Kwan says. “Tracking the logistic process involves a lot of paper records, but now that everything’s electronic, it is an innovative way to reduce paper usage”.
RFID tags, a technology once limited to tracking cattle, are tracking consumer products worldwide; not only does this increase efficiency, but it also saves time and improves people’s quality of life.
Take another example of Kwan’s projects – the QBS green digital dashboard. It is a computer-aided tool that is creatively multi-purpose, serving to monitor, control and optimise the performance of both the workplace and our living environment in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emission, among others.
By comparing the actual data with the benchmarks in an intuitive way, the technology that Kwan is developing serves to facilitate the efficient and customised utilisation of energy and resources, leading to a significant drop in carbon dioxide emission and better environmental protection.
Fuelling innovation from generation to generation
Another prominent role HKSTP plays is during the incubation period, when it serves as a networking and sourcing agency, sourcing not only valuable collaborative projects for start-up IT firms like Kwan’s company, but also, importantly, sourcing bright young interns for these start-up companies to work with.
“Thanks to HKSTP, we can better leverage fresh ideas that only the younger generation can come up with; what’s so precious about these networking and sourcing opportunities is that they motivate us to be forward-thinking and to stay focused on the visions and needs of future generations,” Kwan says.
When asked about what other innovations for good he has in the pipeline, Kwan said with a twinkle in his eyes, “I’m setting my sight on enhancing the interactive user experience by developing inexpensive auto-trigger technology and providing customised services such as web design technology.”
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