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Electronics Vol 1, 2010: Hong Kong Focus: ICT Awards

Appreciating Excellence
 

THE CONTINUING DEVELOPMENT OF ONE OF THE WORLD'S LEADING INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY CENTRES IS REFLECTED IN AN INFLUENTIAL SERIES OF AWARDS
 

Appreciating Excellence

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector is playing an increasingly important role as Hong Kong expands into new economic territory following the global financial meltdown.

Traditional pillar industries such as financial services, trading and logistics are continuing to play a major role in the Special Administrative Region's development, but there is increasing diversification into new areas that benefit from Hong Kong's close proximity to the Chinese mainland.

Enterprises around the world are looking at China both as a market for ICT and as a source of ICT talent and products, which creates many opportunities for Hong Kong's ICT businesses and professionals according to a leading industry expert.

"For instance, we can help both mainland and global companies adapt their intellectual property for one another's markets; we can manage mainland, regional and global distribution arrangements for them; and we can play a role in managing the delivery of services," says the Hong Kong government's Chief Information Officer Jeremy Godfrey, "We have therefore introduced a new category in this year's Hong Kong ICT Awards to recognise the role of Hong Kong in facilitating international collaboration in ICT - the Best Collaboration Award."

The Hong Kong ICT Awards were established in 2006 under a collaborative effort among the industry, academia and the government to recognise, promote and commend the excellent achievements to which Hong Kong ICT professionals and organisations contribute.

The awards also encourage local practitioners to develop innovative and creative ICT solutions that will uplift the image of Hong Kong ICT sectors, both locally and internationally.

The awards are growing in reputation, Mr Godfrey maintains, and their success showcases outstanding Hong Kong ICT achievements. "This year, the awards have again attracted an enthusiastic response, with more than 640 entries," he observes.

They comprise nine categories including:
· Best Business Award
· Best Collaboration Award
· Best Digital Entertainment Award
· Best Digital Inclusion Award
· Best Innovation & Research Award
· Best Lifestyle Award
· Best Professional Development Award
· Best Public Service Application Award
· Best Ubiquitous Networking Award

There is one Grand Award in each category and an Award of the Year selected from the nine Grand Awards by the Grand Judging Panel, and all winners are authorised to display the official Hong Kong ICT Awards logo in their promotional materials.

Various promotional campaigns are arranged to publicise the winners, who will be assisted in entering other international competitions, thus furthering the global awareness of the myriad exciting achievements of the Hong Kong ICT industry.

Mr Godfrey believes that ICT will also be a key enabler of other new industries - education, medical, testing and certification services, and the environmental, cultural and creative sectors. "In future, I am sure we will see an increasing number of awards for innovative applications of ICT that support the competitiveness and growth of these sectors," he predicts.

 

Appreciating Excellence

Grand Award
Winner: Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd
Entry: Logistic Control System (LCS2)

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd's (Hactl) Logistics Control System is an efficient and sophisticated computer system that handles cargo storage, transfer and retrieval in Hactl Super Terminal 1. The system, which was developed in-house and provides round-the-clock service, comprises the core LCS-CSS and LCS-BSS. In addition, a Geographical Information System (SDS) and a 3D virtual simulator (PLC simulator) track and visualise equipment location, resource distribution, and allow load performance simulation to project operation needs.

Judges'Comments: Continuous improvement of the existing Logistic Control System has enabled the company to increase current cargo handling capacity from 2.5m tons to 3.5m tons per year. However, the additional LCS investment per cargo ton is only HK$27. Furthermore, the company has applied technology to enhance its services to customers - more than 90 airlines and 1,000 freight forwarders - with more than 99.9% annual availability since the roll-out in 2005. Although it is quite difficult to identify a similar local company and system for comparison, it is clear that the company has performed well since Hong Kong is the number-one air cargo handling hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Collaboration
Grand Award
Winner: 3D QuickTools Ltd
Entry: 3D Metal Tooling Design Software

The 3DQuickPress and 3DQuickForm are special-purpose software for 3D metal tooling design in metal-related industries, including automotive, aircraft, furniture, architectural, precision metal stamping, and precision electronics. There are only 3-4 similar software packages in the world. The software provides geometric feature recognition, metal forming simulation, punch-and-die design automation and a number of other very special functions for metal-related operations. The product has nearly 600 customers in 23 countries and has been adopted by leading metal manufacturers in the US, Germany, Japan and on the Chinese mainland.

Judges'Comments: The successful market performance, wide global coverage and technical expertise in complex metal-related industries are impressive for a local five-man company and may be one of Hong Kong's best-kept secrets. More importantly, besides concentrating its R&D efforts in metal manufacturing and programming software algorithms, the company established a business model to work with a network of high-calibre support agencies in manufacturing-oriented countries. After penetrating the US market, the company has successfully collaborated with its partners to penetrate the German and Japan markets - two important metal manufacturing countries that account for almost 30% of the world's metal products.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Digital Inclusion
Grand Award
Winner: The Hong Kong Society for the Aged
Entry: Brain Fitness Gymnasium for the Elderly

The world's first website dedicated to promoting the brain health of elderly Chinese people, www.loveyourbrain.org.hk comprises extensive information about brain health including basic physiology and brain functions, tips for a healthy brain, recipes for brain health food, latest news about brain fitness and brain disease, and an Online Brain Test and Online Brain Training System. There are 15 brain-training games in the Online Brain Training System classified into five cognitive domains including Memory, Eye-hand Coordination, Attention, Calculation and Judgment. All the games have three different challenge levels from beginner to expert, ensuring the games are suitable for people with varied cognitive abilities. The brain training system records all the activities and achievements of individual users and has an easy-to-understand performance chart to enable users to manage their own brain health and training progress.

Judges' Comments: This is a cost-effective and marketable product that benefits both the user and the provider. Fully utilising touchscreen technology ensures website usability, games and the user's interest in ICT are effectively enhanced. This project addresses an important aspect of digital inclusion, i.e. providing content and application that can attract and encourage seniors' interest in ICT. The creativity of the project is much appreciated, but we suggest the creation of an English version to extend the service to the English-speaking community.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Digital Entertainment
Grand Award
Winner: Yip Wing Chung (Hong Kong Baptist University)
Entry: The Shoes

"When I thought about my childhood, I remembered people who left my life and I couldn't understand why. I didn't want them to leave, but never voiced my feelings. As I grew up, I realised people will always leave, one by one. No matter what I wish, no matter what we have been through, I am powerless. The one thing that will not go away is what is in our memory."

Judges' Comments: The Shoes has a simple yet candid storyline that touches the audience's heart. A true story about the love of a young girl for her grandmother, The Shoes has the power to engage its audience emotionally. The Shoes moves its audience by telling a common story with which we are all familiar - the departure of a loved one. The story was based on real personal experience and all the voice acting was done by the film's creator and her mother and sister, ensuring The Shoes radiates an honest, warm feeling throughout. The good use of visual arrangements and emotional background music help enrich the storytelling, while the main scene in the young girl's house gives the feeling of a live stage performance. The music and sound design complements the storyline by providing an emotional rhythm, giving the audience a heartfelt feeling of family love. Basic yet down-to-earth modelling and animation techniques ensure The Shoes connects with the audience in a personal way, resulting in a simple yet powerful piece of work. The Shoes shows the great potential of Hong Kong-made animated short films.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Innovation & Research
Grand Award
Winner: Hong Kong Observatory, HKSAR Government
Entry: LIDAR Windshear Alerting System

The LIDAR Windshear Alerting System (LIWAS) is an automatic system developed by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) to provide windshear alerts at the airport and assure flight safety. HKO devised an innovative method that uses the Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) laser beam to measure wind speed variations along airport flight paths. HKO also developed a sophisticated computer algorithm to automatically generate windshear alerts. LIWAS is the world's first operational system utilising LIDAR technology for automatic detection of windshear, putting Hong Kong at the leading edge of aviation weather services.

Judges' Comments: The Hong Kong Observatory has developed the world's first LIDAR Windshear Alerting System, an innovation that has drawn industry attention. The project has adopted a systematic research methodology, including pilot feedback and aircraft flight data reports. The invention greatly improves the safety of aircraft during take-off and landing, and is therefore useful to the international airline industry. This successful case demonstrates Hong Kong's abilities and advances in airport control.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Lifestyle
Grand Award
Winner: Music Powerhouse Ltd
Entry: MPh Music Discovery System

The MPh Music Discovery System is designed and developed to be a useful and efficient tool that helps music lovers explore and find more music from the huge and continuously growing online music library. The system has two parts - a discovery engine and a recognition engine. The discovery engine can proactively refer songs with a similar tone, mood and feel based on reference to songs that the user likes. The recognition engine can identify a song based on a 10-15 second song segment and provide the user with the song title in 10 seconds. It enables and performs intelligent and automatic music discovery and recognition functions on both mobile and Internet interfaces.

Judges' Comments: The system is designed to be a useful and efficient tool to help music lovers explore and find more music that they would like from the huge and continuous growing online music library. It is a great tool to introduce new music to, and help widen the music tastes of, music lovers. This is a good ICT innovation that enhances the quality of our lifestyles. With good strategies, the product has good potential in the mobile, Internet and music markets.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Public Service
Application
Grand Award
Winner: Efficiency Unit, Chief Secretary for
Administration's Office
HKSAR Government
Entry: Complaints Intelligence System

The 1823 Call Centre acts as a single point of contact for handling public enquiries and complaints, so that citizens have quick, one-stop access to government services and information. Some 300,000 of the 2.75 million calls and emails received each year relate to complaints. Since March 2009, the system has used text-mining technology to conduct efficient and in-depth analysis of the complaint messages collected daily. Besides statistics, the system allows users to extract consolidated information on subjects such as dripping water and events that have occurred in certain locations.

Judges' Comments: The system is smart enough to extract meaningful statistics and groupings from thousands of unstructured incoming complaint messages, enabling the unit to discover hidden social issues and form a basis for better resources allocation. Finding several complaints pointing to the same issue, the unit works with the appropriate department to arrange to fix all complaints at one time. Without the intelligence system, the hidden information cannot be located and presented easily.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Professional
Development
Grand Award
Winner: Information Systems Audit and Control
Association China Hong Kong Chapter
Entry: Certified Information System Auditor
Certification Program

The Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) is a worldwide recognised program that qualifies professionals in information systems audit, control and security. CISA candidates are required to demonstrate good understanding of, and experience in, various areas. Thanks to the efforts of the China Hong Kong Chapter in promoting, organising and managing the CISA program locally, some 2,500 of the 70,000-plus CISAs worldwide are in China and Hong Kong. Moreover, around 1,000 candidates participate in the CISA program each year in Hong Kong.

Judges' Comments: CISA has become a preferred qualification for professionals working in the fields of information systems audit, control and security, especially finance and government. As one of the largest chapters in the CISA world, the China Hong Kong Chapter has made a great effort to promote the CISA qualification and organise monthly sharing seminars for professionals to update their knowledge, which in turn has raised the standard of IT governance in different business sectors in Hong Kong.

 
Appreciating Excellence

Best Ub iquitous
Networking
Grand Award
Winner: Xtown Mobile Ltd
Entry: Xtown Mobile Publishing System

Xtown Mobile Publishing System is an industry-proven, cross-mobile platform publishing system for media-rich content delivery to customers anytime, anywhere. It provides users with a fun, smooth and user-friendly way to interact with online news and information. The system supports all common smartphone platforms with innovative use of mobile graphical user interfaces, and innovative business models. The existing model is an OEM targeted at mobile operators and content providers.

Judges' Comments: Xtown has created a new dimension and user experience in the mobile new-media platform. The company has promptly assisted content providers and mobile service providers in launching their media-rich content in line with the roll-out of new smartphones, thus greatly increasing the user base and enhancing customers' data utilisation rates. Good market performance has been achieved as the system has been adopted by key customers in, and outside, Hong Kong. The user interface is easy-to-use for general mobile users and has been well accepted by the market.