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Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

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19-07-2018
Incorporating VR into medical aesthetics

ONLY Aesthetics recently announced that they have incorporated virtual reality (VR) into medical aesthetics.The augmented reality software allows patients to try on assets for size, in real-time and in high definition. Patients can view several size options, with doctors recommending the best to suit their body shape using the technology which can be used for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes.Naturally, consultation plays a pivotal role in shaping patients’ decisions. During this period, patients express desires and find out more about surgical options. Incorporating VR into this process enhances interactivity and user engagement, empowering patients to make the right decisions for themselves.The process involves scanning the full body to generate a 3D image, which is projected in real-time onto a mirror. The customer can then change the size and shape of their body, monitoring the changes in real-time to ensure that they remain proportionate.When doctors simulate possible outcomes of the patients, it creates an opportunity for patients to express their requirement and concerns, and doctors can better educate them on the options in a more realistic and simple way.“This is probably one of the biggest – if not the biggest – change the industry is now going through and that will support the aesthetics field to become not only more accessible but more appreciated by patients as their understanding of it increases,” said Daniel, Head of Marketing at ONLY Group.

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19-07-2018
Real-time analytics tool for clinical research launched

SQN Clinical recently launched SQN Health Analytics, a real-time analytics tool for clinical research that provides clinical professionals with a clearer picture of the entire trial process and all collected data, whenever and wherever needed.Recognizing clients’ needs to improve clinical oversight and efficiency within clinical research, SQN understood the importance of developing an analytics suite that was flexible, responsive and reflected real-time fluctuations and unique evolution of respective trials."We can display any trial data in a clear and uncluttered way, real-time, anytime and anywhere. Reports and snapshots can still be generated for any point in the trial, providing reliable data for review meetings and to support decision making. The system allows for comparative analytics between or within trials, providing the opportunity to explore relationships and patterns that weren't easy to see before,” said Joseph Jameson, Data Analyst at SQN Clinical.SQN Health Analytics is fully integrated with SQN’s EDC and ePRO systems, providing a seamless data ecosystem. It gives sponsors access to information according to their role and the predefined access rights given to them. Senior teams can view high-level data for oversight management, comparing multiple sites and tandem trials. Dashboards with user-defined KPIs provide an instant snapshot of any element of the trial, and the data can be sorted and filtered in multiple ways to show any combination of factors."Our analytics does not use generic software adapted from another unrelated industry but has been specifically designed and built to support the complexity of clinical trial designs and their unique underlying data needs. It brings the data to life in a way not previously seen and includes a dynamic option to export selected data for further review, analysis and reporting,” said Jameson.Future phases will include machine learning and further artificial intelligence to provide predictive modelling and forecasting capabilities. The overall goal is to help professionals anticipate issues and events before they arise and enable them to take proactive steps to keep their trials on track."Reliable data is the cornerstone of clinical research and thanks to recent advances in technology we can now collect more meaningful and usable information than ever before," explains Tony Rees, Director at SQN Clinical. "The challenge is to maximize the use of data to better support the clinical trial process and patient oversight.”

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18-07-2018
Singapore Tourism Board launches new destination branding initiatives with Alipay

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Alipay, a mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, have launched a series of joint marketing initiatives aimed at increasing Singapore’s destination branding and awareness.Spending in SingaporeThe new initiatives come in the wake of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last year, in which both parties agreed to explore co-investing in joint-marketing initiatives to encourage Chinese tourists to spend with Alipay while in Singapore.Importantly, the partnership was envisioned to deepen STB’s understanding of Chinese visitors’ consumer behavior and spending patterns, by leveraging Alipay’s insights.It emerged that Alipay has since experienced double-digit growth in user spending. Moreover, China has also become Singapore’s top market in 2017 for both tourism receipts and visitor arrivals, contributing S$4.2 billion in tourism receipts and 3.2 million visitor arrivals.New marketing activitiesThe new marketing activities are designed to incentivize Alipay users, and drive tourist spending among Chinese visitors. This will be achieved through rewards and discounts offered across different types of tourism-centric businesses such as retail, food and beverages, and attractions,“With China being Singapore’s top source market for both visitor arrivals and tourist spending last year, we are pleased to partner with Alipay as their keen insights and deep understanding of Chinese consumers will help us to continue to grow in this critical market,” said Jacqueline Ng, director of marketing partnerships and planning at STB.“We hope to continue to broaden over time our partnership with Alipay to explore more innovative marketing initiatives in the areas of content, digital and technology to further enhance the Chinese visitor experience,” she said.According to a recent Nielsen report, 65% of Chinese tourists used mobile payment platforms during their overseas travels, more than six times in comparison to non-Chinese tourists.Further reading:Alipay data shows impact of Chinese travelersFive marketing lessons for new CMOs in AsiaAlipay follows Chinese tourists around Southeast Asia Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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18-07-2018
Entrepreneur First launches Singapore’s largest cohort of tech startups

Entrepreneur First (EF), which pioneered the talent-first model of building and investing in technology startups, has announced its third cohort of startups at its bi-annual Investor Day in Singapore.The event marks the culmination of an intensive six-month programme for the 45 founders who presented at Investor Day. These 45 founders met their co-founders, developed their ideas, and launched their companies during the programme, with the support of EF’s expertise, global network of top entrepreneurs, and distinguished alumni.This cohort of portfolio companies have worked on cutting-edge artificial intelligence technologies that have the potential to reshape major industries such as manufacturing, entertainment and healthcare. These startups are primed to solve ambitious problems on a global scale. EF’s third Singapore cohort is also its largest to date as 23 teams were built and funded by EF on the programme. This follows the 12 and 14 Singapore-funded companies built in EF’s first and second cohorts respectively.At Investor Day on 17 July 2018, 23 teams took to the stage to pitch to an audience of angel investors, venture capitalists and other prominent figures in the Asian startup ecosystem.The latest cohort of promising startups include Entropica Labs, which is developing quantum computing tools for genomics analysis; Pencil, an AI platform that generates original, pre-optimised ad copy and visuals scaled to unlimited audiences; Bus Uncle Company, the beloved Singaporean chatbot platform with a focus on personality and social networks; and Articulink, which is building a revolutionary wearable brain-computer interface.“It is a very proud day for all of us involved at Entrepreneur First. Much credit goes to the outstanding founders who have bought into the EF model from the beginning and allowed us to support them in this journey of fulfilling their greatest ambitions. Our greatest assets truly are our people and the amazing ideas presented today validate that EF is the best place to find a co-founder, build a company and access the world’s best investors.”, said EF co-founder Matt Clifford.Alex Crompton, managing director of EF Singapore, added: “Six months ago, this cohort joined us as extraordinary individuals, and today they have extraordinary companies. We’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to support South East Asia's most ambitious people, funding hundreds of founders a year. EF companies have raised over a third of Singapore's professional seed capital over the last 12 months, and EF alumni new and old are helping Singapore to elevate its status as one of the world’s top startup ecosystems.”Since launching in Singapore in 2016, EF’s alumni have gone on to achieve tremendous successes and this has contributed to an increased uptake in local technology entrepreneurship.For instance, Transcelestial Technologies, a spacetech company from EF’s inaugural Singapore cohort - which is developing a laser communication solution to replace existing wireless communication technology - is already working with South Korean telco SK Telecom to deploy 5G connectivity in Seoul - a collaboration facilitated through the Facebook-backed Telecom Infra Project (TIP). The company also remains on track to launch its first nanosatellites in mid-2019; SensorFlow, which offers full-stack energy management solution with a special focus on the hospitality industry, raised a S$750,000 seed funding round led by Cocoon Capital in April this year. 

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18-07-2018
CWHK Awards 2018: Simplified SD-WAN management

Juniper takes the crystal

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18-07-2018
CWHK Awards 2018: Singtel scores again

Network assets lauded

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18-07-2018
EPFL Blue Brain Project deploys supercomputer to unlock secrets of the brain

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced recently that the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s (EPFL) Blue Brain Project, a Swiss brain research initiative, has selected HPE to build a next-generation supercomputer for modeling and simulation of the mammalian brain. The new supercomputer, called ‘Blue Brain 5’, will be dedicated to simulation neuroscience, in particular simulation-based research, analysis and visualization, to advance the understanding of the brain.Brain disorders are complex phenomena spanning from genes to circuits to the whole brain. Establishing an integrated view of how these levels work together and are perturbed in brain diseases is the primary challenge in understanding the brain. The Blue Brain Project is pioneering the approach of reconstructing and simulating digital models of brains to address this challenge. Blue Brain systematically releases open-access data, models and open-source tools to help the community, such as the European Human Brain Project, understand the brain at its different levels of organization.Based on the supercomputing requirements derived from the project’s scientific roadmap, the Blue Brain Project followed a rigorous procurement process and after evaluation of the bids received, HPE was awarded a first contract at the end of 2017. Including a subsequent phase, the total value to provide state-of-the-art supercomputing technology and expertise can go up to CHF 18 million (USD 17.9 million). The advanced supercomputer built by HPE is based on the HPE SGI 8600 System, providing tailored and scalable compute performance to enable the Blue Brain Project to pursue its scientific roadmap goal for 2020 to model entire regions of the mouse brain, in particular the thalamus and neocortex.   “Our mission is to create technologies that improve our quality of life, including powering technologies for the healthcare industry to deliver targeted treatments and save lives,” said Antonio Neri, president and CE of HPE. “Through our relationship with the Blue Brain Project, HPE is bringing advanced supercomputing and bespoke applications to empower new research that can have transformative benefits for the neuroscientific community and society at large.”HPE designed Blue Brain 5 to specifically support the various compute-intensive challenges of the Blue Brain Project’s reconstruction and simulation workflows. The flexible architecture of the HPE SGI 8600 System is especially important in the Blue Brain Project’s mission as it can host different sub systems that are specifically geared for tasks like visualization or deep learning, while being operated as one single system. Blue Brain 5 integrates four different configurations – each optimized for a different workload profile, providing specific strengths in areas like memory bandwidth, network bandwidth, processing power, graphical processing and input/output.“The Blue Brain Project’s scientific mission is critically dependent on our supercomputing capabilities,” said Felix Schürmann, Co-Director of the Blue Brain Project. “Modeling an individual neuron at Blue Brain today leads to around 20,000 ordinary differential equations – when modeling entire brain regions, this quickly raises to 100 billion equations that have to be solved concurrently. HPE helps us to navigate the challenging technology landscape in supercomputing.”The Blue Brain Project’s HPE SGI 8600 supercomputer is comprised of 372 compute nodes delivering 1.06 petaflops of peak performance. The system is equipped with 94 terabytes of memory – a memory equivalent of 23,000 laptops – and runs Intel Xeon Gold 6140 and Intel Xeon Phi 7230 processors as well as NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphic processors. The system uses single and dual-rail Mellanox InfiniBand high-performance networks and has 4 petabytes of high-performance storage from DataDirect Networks (DDN), delivering more than 50GB/s aggregated bandwidth, associated with an innovative 80 GB/s Infinite Memory Engine (IME) flash-based burst buffer.With the HPE SGI 8600 system designed to solve the most complex problems and powering some of the fastest supercomputers in the world, Blue Brain gains scalability to thousands of nodes in an “easy-to-manage” architecture. The system also features an energy efficient liquid cooling solution that does not exhaust heated air into the data center. The new system has been installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland.

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18-07-2018
FGII adds WhatsApp to delivery system to enhance service

With WhatsApp users in India numbering in excess of 200 million, it was only a matter of time before businesses use the platform to engage with customers.The general insurance arm of the joint venture between retail giant Future Group and global insurer Generali, Future Generali India Insurance (FGII), has become the first insurance company in India to initiate delivery of policies via WhatsApp. This is an instant and an additional delivery option adopted by FGII to enhance the convenience and ease of its services for its customers.FGII has already rolled out delivery of policies through WhatsApp and has delivered more than 5200 policies via the WhatsApp Messenger as part of the pilot run which started on 15th June 2018.“Being the first insurer in India to launch a policy delivery service via WhatsApp highlights our regional focus which is to deliver a better service to our customers. When we launch new initiatives, such as this, the aim is to always enhance the experience for our customers and we believe they will certainly benefit from the ease of having their policies delivered to them from such a popular instant messaging service,” said Neil Gardner, chief customer officer, Asia, Future Generali India Insurance.FGII customers will now be able to use WhatsApp to register claims and upload videos of vehicles damaged in accidents. In addition when they purchase or review their policy they will receive an instant confirmation message on WhatsApp.“WhatsApp has wide acceptability and has grown to become a preferred mode of communication. It’s convenient for the customer as he/she gets instant access to the policy document. It is one such app that everyone knows how to use, be it a senior citizen, working professional or a young adult; both in rural and urban areas,” said K.G Krishnamoorthy Rao, managing director and ceo, Future Generali India Insurance.He added that the use of instant messaging service like WhatsApp has the potential to reshape the insurance industry with increased level of customer engagement. “For FGII, technology-driven efficient customer service is of prime importance and we are proud to be the first insurer in India to launch this service,” explained Rao.In 2016, FGII embarked on a digital transformation journey through the launch of its in-house motor claim settlement platform i-Moss, which ensured on-the-spot settlement of most motor insurance claims filed. Earlier this year, the company launched an Intelligent Video Streaming and Settlement (i-ViSS), a video-based motor claim settlement facility for customers. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto/divyesh kachhdiya

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18-07-2018
HKMA's blockchain trade finance platform to launch in September

HKMA is preparing for the commercial launch of its planned blockchain trade finance platform, which is being developed in collaboration with five banks

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18-07-2018
Hong Kong employees frustrated with annual reviews

Hong Kong workers in the technology and other sectors are dissatisfied with the annual performance review process and would prefer continuous feedback

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18-07-2018
Thai drivers to get rebate if they drive safely

Thailand is getting a new digital insurance platform one that encourages safer driving habits by giving up to 30% on annual premiums back to consumers who do not make any claims within that policy year.“The high rate of road accidents in Thailand resulted in high claim frequency of 65% of total number of policies. Motor insurance premiums are expensive in Thailand, relative to the region, and there are few measures to prevent fraudulent claims or encourage safer driving”, said Thanasak Hoontrakul, co-founder and country manager, FairDee.FairDee’s market research has shown that safe drivers are penalized when premiums increase, as insurers seek to cover the risks of unsafe drivers. The same research also showed that colleagues, friends, and family are often best informed about an individual’s driving behavior. This insight also allowed Fairdee to incorporate a community aspect to the insurance cashback by grouping at least 4 customers of similar driving profiles together. Customers get 15% cash back of their premium if they themselves do not claim and an additional 15% if the entire group does not submit a claim.FairDee is working with 6 major insurers: Bangkok Insurance, Dhipaya Insurance, MSIG Insurance, Thaivivat Insurance, Thanachart Insurance, Tokio Marine Insurance, and leading broker, Maxi Insurance Broker.“FairDee’s insurance innovation is a great channel to promote safe-driving culture in Thailand. The rate of car accidents is directly affected the car insurance premium. Therefore, safer roads would result in affordable premiums. I am delighted to see the young professionals coming in the industry and creating an innovation which benefit both insurers and customers, said Jiraphant Asavatanakul, President of Thai General Insurance Association.FairDee is the first startup to be approved by the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) to take part in Insurance Regulatory Sandbox. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto/Gargolas

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17-07-2018
CWHK Awards 2018: Making document management smarter

Fuji Xerox helps enterprises manage business workflows

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17-07-2018
CWHK Awards 2018: Mobile services: more important than ever

HKT leverages LTE and services, scores award

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17-07-2018
Digital nomads: the future of work in Singapore?

A new study revealed that seven in 10 Singaporeans (69%) want to work remotely to travel the world, especially younger Singaporeans (74% of 15 to 34 year-olds). However, they are worried about which countries will continue to welcome them.This is according to a survey released  by online money transfer service TransferWise[1], which surveyed more than 1,000 Singaporean citizens and PRs to understand Singaporeans’ attitudes to migration, the future of work, and what a more open world looks like for future generations.Top countries of choice for long-term migration include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom (in order of preference).In a separate study by IDP Singapore, students favor Australia as the top education destination, followed closely by the UK and the US.However, more than half of Singaporeans (52%) are worried about losing the freedom to move abroad due to the evolving geopolitical climate, a concern that particularly resonates with millennials (65% of 20 to 24 year-olds and 63% of 30 to 34 year-olds).TransferWise head of banking Lukas May said: “As a cosmopolitan hub, Singapore recognizes that lives and ideas today are more global than ever before. More Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, are seeking experiences around the world for personal and professional growth. However, our research also shows that people are feeling anxiety about how they can live their life – and move their money – without being held back by physical borders.”View as infographic: Is Singapore ready for digital nomadism?Living abroadThe survey revealed that, while a significant majority (85%) of Singaporeans would like to live outside of Singapore, they would not like to stay away from home for long. Only 18% of Singaporeans want to move abroad for good, while half (50%) of Singaporeans want to live abroad for up to five years.Those polled in the healthcare industry ranked highest (92%) in terms of desire to move abroad, while Singaporeans in the technology (91%) and manufacturing industries followed (88%). Those working in the government had the least desire to move abroad (78%).This aligns with the Government’s vision of internationalizing Singapore businesses, signalled by the launch of new agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) early this year.[2] With Singaporeans across industries vying to seek experiences abroad, this international exposure will better facilitate the competitiveness of local industries and the introduction of new innovations.However several concerns still remain for the increasingly cosmopolitan Singaporean: 60% of respondents say they are worried about the loss of Singaporean talent with increasing migration, while more than half (52%) note their inability to part with their loved ones as a major obstacle to migration – with more women (58%) citing this reason than men (45%).Lukas added: “Singaporeans are optimistic about a well-connected world as their vision of the future. As technology continues to make the global movement of people, money and ideas easier, we expect the future landscape of work and life will accelerate in this direction of a more open world.”With more Singaporeans moving abroad, a survey commissioned by TransferWise[3] also found that the second highest reason for overseas money transfers is for Singaporeans to support their friends and family living overseas, just behind the top reason, which is travel.International migration is at an all-time high with more than 250 million migrant workers across the globe[4], and a growing number of Singaporeans living and working out of the country.[5][1] Commissioned by TransferWise, an online survey of more than 1,000 Singaporean citizens and PRs was undertaken by research agency Toluna in June 2018.[2] Enterprise Singapore, 2018[3] Commissioned by TransferWise, an online survey of more than 1,000 people was undertaken by research agency Toluna in December 2017.[4] World Bank, Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016[5] Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, 1990-2017. Pew Research Center, 2018

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16-07-2018
CLOUDSEC 2018 to be held in Hong Kong in August

Trend Micro will be holding the eights CLOUDSEC internet security conference in Wanchai in August

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CyberLink Vol.118 July 2018

Digital Silk Road spotlighted at the Belt and Road Summit

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CyberLink Vol.117 June 2018

Cyberport's Smart-Space 8 in Tsuen Wan is open for online application

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CyberLink Vol.116 May 2018

Message from CEO

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