For Immediate Release
Three teams of students were crowned Create Smart District Competition winners at an awards ceremony held at the Vocational Training Council (VTC) today (14 June).
A total of 91 VTC students formed 18 teams to identify issues in various districts around Hong Kong and to come up with innovative and technology-based solutions to resolve these challenges. After a preliminary round of judging, the teams were narrowed down to 10 finalists who presented their final pitches to the judges today.
“The quality of the entries and the innovation that these students have demonstrated is outstanding. Every now and again, someone offers a solution to a problem which, in hindsight, seems so obvious that it makes us ask why didn’t anyone think of it before,” said HKGCC CEO George Leung. “We look forward to continuing to work with the students to bring these solutions to fruition.”
Many of the final 10 teams developed working prototypes of their solutions to demonstrate how they would work to the judges, comprised of heads of technology companies and associations.
“We were all impressed how the students went beyond just the theoretical process to create working models of their projects, which is not easy -- even for companies,” said Patrick Lee, Convenor of HKGCC’s Smart City Working Group, who initiated the project.
First place went to “Smart FIT Station” for their idea to encourage the elderly to play light recreational games to train their cognitive and physical abilities.
Second place went to “Smart Bus Boarding Solution” for their idea to make it easier for physically disadvantaged and visually impaired people to take public buses.
Third place went to “VisualGo” for their idea to create a mobile app to enhance the shopping experience for visually impaired people in supermarkets.
Ir Dr Eric Liu, Deputy Executive Director, VTC, said the Create Smart District project provided a useful platform for students to gain invaluable experience by giving them a foretaste of what to expect in their careers whether as part of an organization or as an entrepreneur. “Problem-based learning also helps students gain a better understanding of real-world issues in more lasting ways than classroom lectures,” he added.
In preparation for the competition, students participated in a 20-day emerging technology workshop conducted by VTC’s Innovation & Technology Co-creation Centre. Despite serious disruptions to the school calendar due to the pandemic, students engaged in the project managed to overcome these challenges and kept to schedule.
Dr Lawrence Cheung, Chief Innovation Officer of Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), said: “HKPC strives to promote advanced technology application in all walks of life for achieving the better use of resources in the community and improving the quality of life. The Create Smart District project is a valuable opportunity to keep teachers and students up-to-date with the latest technology, as well as Smart City solutions to realise long-term sustainable development. I&T industry will be the dominant trend with R&D talent being the leaders of tomorrow, HKPC is pleased to see all participants have fully demonstrated the ‘dare-to-try’ spirit and achieved innovation through imagination.”
The Create Smart District Competition was organized by HKGCC, in partnership with the HKPC and the VTC, supported by the General Support Programme under the government’s Innovation and Technology Fund, and sponsored by NEC and Octopus.
More details of the projects can be found via this link.
Photo 1: Team members of “Smart FIT Station” demonstrate their application which encourages the elderly to play light recreational games to train their cognitive and physical abilities.
Photo 2: First place “Smart FIT Station” (top photo), second place “Smart Bus Boarding Solution” (middle photo) and third place “VisualGo” (bottom photo).
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