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Speech by S for IT at Hong Kong International Airport Technovation Conference and Exhibition

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Technovation Conference and Exhibition today (November 2):

Fred (Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Mr Fred Lam), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. Welcome! It is a pleasure to join you all today at the opening of this year's HKIA Technovation Conference and Exhibition.

When the solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse, completed its 40,000-kilometre around-the-world flight and landed in Abu Dhabi this July, the Secretary General of United Nations said:

"You may be ending your journey, but the journey to a sustainable world is just beginning. You are helping to pilot us to that future."

The Solar Impulse successfully demonstrated a true innovation, which unfolded many possibilities for adoption of green technologies in the aeronautics field, as well as many other areas.

The aviation industry today is facing tremendous challenges amidst environmental concerns, volatile fuel costs and increasing customer demands. We see cutting-edge technologies such as more aerodynamically efficient aircraft design using lightweight alloys and composite materials. We see alternative fuels such as second-generation biofuels and solar power. They are all trying to improve the efficiency, competitiveness and customer experience in aviation service.

Innovation and technology is critical to improving the operational efficiency of airports. With the expansion of international landing slots and routes, as well as the increase in cargo and passenger traffic, robotics and automation are already tackling some of the key challenges faced by airports around the world.

The Airport Authority Hong Kong, responsible for running one of the best and busiest airports in the world, has been at the forefront of application of innovative technologies and business processes. Through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID), beacons and video analytics technology and big data analysis, it is able to enhance operational efficiency and user experience at the Hong Kong International Airport. In fact, our airport has been an excellent incubating platform for application of R&D outcomes and innovative ideas.

I am proud to say that many of the innovations adopted at the HKIA are home-grown. For example, the Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies, or known as LSCM, in collaboration with the Airport Authority Hong Kong, developed an RFID luggage handling system utilising IoT (Internet of Things) devices to enhance baggage tracking and delivery efficiency. The LSCM-developed dual RFID and code reader system also allows passengers to home-print their luggage label for self-check-in. Such simple innovation helps reduce processing time at airline check-in counters and provides a more enjoyable pre-flight experience for passengers.

I am sure our distinguished speakers today will share with you their own experience and good practices. I also encourage you to join the tour of the Exhibition to see for yourself the latest robotics and automation innovation from Hong Kong and overseas.

All innovations require the support of a versatile smart manufacturing sector. Among the work priorities of the Innovation and Technology Bureau, we have put "re-industrialisation" at the top of our list. With Hong Kong's experience and expertise in manufacturing, trust for quality and reliability, and world-class R&D capabilities in our universities, we have the strength and capability to spawn a new generation of smart manufacturing industry, especially in the area of robotics and automation.

For innovation to create impact, it requires the collaboration and consensus of all stakeholders, including the Government, industry, academia and the research sector. I would like to thank Airport Authority Hong Kong for its continued support in the adoption of innovation and technology by working hand in hand with airlines, manufacturers and researchers.

Last but not least, I would also like to thank Airport Authority Hong Kong for giving me such a great opportunity to see their innovations and to share my thoughts with you. I wish everyone a fruitful sharing today.

Thank you very much.

02.11.2016


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