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Thursday, August 18, 2016, 19:01

InnoTech Expo set to inspire HK youth

By Wang Yuke

HONG KONG - Fostering awareness of innovation and technology among people of all ages is one of the aims of the coming InnoTech Expo 2016 in Hong Kong next month according to the major organizer, local think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation.

The expo will be held for a week from Sept 24 to Oct 1.

Innovative technologies have made their way into our life and will make a more profound contribution to improving the quality of life, said the Honorary Adviser of the Hong Kong Association of the Advancement of Science and Technology and one of the governors of Our Hong Kong Foundation Tsui Lap-chee.

“Living in the age of innovative technology, however, many people in Hong Kong are oblivious of the fact that technologies have become a staple in our daily life and there is hard work behind each innovation,” Tsui remarked.

Hong Kong youngsters have ambitions in innovation and entrepreneurship, but they are often confronted with pressures from parents and social norms, said Tsui, who was also vice-chancellor and president of the University of Hong Kong until 2014. "For example, the youth are expected to get into the financial industry and discouraged from being their own boss. Hong Kong youngsters have limited choice of career paths and are restricted in choosing what they are interested in doing," Tsui said.

It is key to cultivate an awareness of innovation and technology among ordinary people, rather than just among the youth, Tsui argued. “People tend to take technologies that we use every day for granted, and we must show them the big things behind these innovations.

“Only if the general public develops a consciousness of innovation and technology can the industry advance and drive the progress of society,” Tsui argued.

With this mission in mind, the think tank aims to attract more parents to attend the expo with their children.

Executive Director of Our Hong Kong Foundation Eva Cheng Li Kam-fun said the InnoTech Expo will put lots of pioneering technologies on display, aiming to inspire participants to come up with novel ideas.

Highlights of the exhibits include the latest technologies in space exploration and the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, the precise-positioning of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, the Jiaolong submersible with a diving range of 2,000 feet, the world's fastest supercomputer, a potent vaccine against Ebola virus, and an exhibit on the world-renowned China Railway High-speed that has broken train speed records eight times, according to the organizer.

Apart from showcasing these achievements, 36 seminars, forums and demonstrations will be held during the expo, including keynote speeches given by seven mainland scientists, in order to appeal and involve more people, Cheng said.

Chair Professor Joseph Lee Hun-wei of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology lauded the expo as a pioneering venture that can benefit Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland in propelling the innovative technology industry.

Considering the mainland has set up 16 scientific research laboratories in Hong Kong, Lee said the cross-boundary collaboration between top scientists from both sides will create more innovation opportunities for young people in Hong Kong and allow them access to the cutting-edge technologies that emerge on the mainland.

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