Press Release

Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit closes with enthusiastic response

     The three-day Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES) successfully concluded today (June 18), having received an enthusiastic public response. The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man; the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Frank Chan; the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), Mrs Fanny Law; and the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), Mr Chua Hoi-wai, officiated at the Closing Ceremony today together with other guests.

     Offering his congratulations on the successful organisation of the event, which drew positive comments from sectors across the community, Dr Ko said he would like to see the momentum in caring for the elderly be sustained in the community and called on the young generations to come up with innovative solutions on enhancing elderly persons’ quality of life.

     More than 43 000 people visited the three-day GIES, showing great local interest in technological and innovative advancements. The Summit served well as a platform for exploring various issues regarding ageing in the technological era from angles including social care and healthcare.  Speakers and the audience engaged in constructive and interactive exchanges.

     To follow up on the GIES, the HKCSS and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department will organise a design competition targeting youngsters to encourage them to use their creativity to help improve elderly persons’ daily living. A series of roving exhibitions on selected products will be held in various districts in the coming year. The HKSTP will also launch a challenge named Silver Innovators in the fourth quarter this year in which winners of the competition will be provided grants and other support to transform their relevant innovative concepts into prototypes.
   
     The GIES was the first large-scale event of its kind led by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to showcase new technology products developed in various places worldwide and explore strategies of applying technology and innovation to enhance quality of life for the elderly.

 


Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit opens

 

    The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung; the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), Mr Bernard Chan; and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), Mrs Fanny Law, officiated at the opening ceremony of the Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES) today (June 16) together with representatives from the major sponsors. This is the first large-scale event on gerontechnology led by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, aiming to raise public awareness on gerontechnology and explore strategies for applying technology and innovation to enhance quality of life for the elderly. It is also one of the signature celebration events for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.
      
     Mr Chan and Mr Cheung delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Mr Cheung said that Hong Kong is facing a rapidly ageing population, and that it should explore wider application of technology and innovation on elderly care to enhance service capacity and provide elderly persons with a more comfortable and quality life under the policy objective of "ageing in place as the core, institutional care as backup".
      
     At present, Hong Kong's technology, welfare and medical sectors have already had some successful experience in gerontechnological studies and applications. This notwithstanding, Hong Kong has the potential and edge to further promote healthy and active ageing through technological research and innovation. The GIES is an important step for relevant stakeholders to explore solutions together, making Hong Kong more elderly-friendly.
      
     Following the opening ceremony, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in China, Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, and the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), Dr Jane Barratt, delivered keynote speeches. The WHO and the IFA are two major international organisations striving to promote at the international level elderly welfare and strategies catering for ageing population, and the deployment of technology and innovation is the prevailing international trend. Both speakers reviewed from a macro perspective the strategies, developments and successful experience in application of technology in addressing ageing population around the world.
      
     There are four plenary sessions in the Summit, at which experts and stakeholders will engage in in-depth discussions on issues relating to gerontechnology. The first plenary session this afternoon will focus on the development of gerontechnology in Hong Kong. Speakers will include the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Stephen Sui; the Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Dr Lam Ching-choi; Co-founder of the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association Dr Law Chi-kwong; and an elderly representative, Dr Edith Kwan. The session will examine how Hong Kong can apply technology and innovation more widely and effectively to provide services of higher quality to elderly persons from the perspectives of stakeholders including policymakers, elderly services providers and elderly people.
        
     There will also be a Mainland forum this afternoon in which participants can better understand the ageing trend in the Mainland and the responding strategies. This forum will focus on the situation in Guangdong and Fujian Provinces, which are closely connected with Hong Kong. Speakers at the forum will be the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Civil Affairs of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Changsheng, and the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of the Committee on Ageing of Fujian Province, Mr Fang Shaoxiong.
      
     There will be two plenary sessions tomorrow (June 17). The morning session will focus on the application of technology in helping more independent elderly persons age in the community and at home. Speakers will discuss new directions, trends and applications of technology and elderly products for ageing in place. Speakers will include the Director of Accessibility Research of IBM, Dr Zhou Ruoyi from the US; the Founder and Managing Director of Ageing Asia, Ms Janice Chia from Singapore; the CEO of Abilities Care-net Incorporated, Mr Hiroyasu Itoh from Japan; and the Director of the Gerontechnology Research Center of Yuan Ze University, Professor Hsu Yeh-liang from Taiwan.
      
     The session in the afternoon tomorrow will discuss issues concerning the transition from hospital to community care for recovered elderly patients or elderly patients with chronic diseases. The session will look into the application of technology and new service models to enable elderly people to receive appropriate rehabilitative services in community. This session's speakers will be the Chief of Service of the Department of Medicine and Geriatrics of Tuen Mun Hospital and the Cluster Co-ordinator (Medicine and Geriatrics) of New Territories West Cluster of the Hospital Authority, Dr Mok Chun-keung; the Associate Professor of the Faculty of Policy Management and the Graduate School of Media and Governance of Keio University, Professor Takashi Iba from Japan; the AGE-WELL Robotics Research Project Lead and Network Investigator and Canada Research Chair in Robots for Society and Associate Professor of the University of Toronto, Professor Goldie Nejat from Canada; and the Deputy CEO of the Community Rehabilitation Network of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, Mr Peter Poon.
      
     The Healthy Ageing Summit on Sunday (June 18) will be co-ordinated by co-organiser the HKSTP. Speakers will include local and overseas renowned experts, who will exchange views on topics concerning innovations and technologies focusing on treatment and care for diseases affecting the elderly.
      
     As regards the Expo, the approximately 5 000-square-metre exhibition floor will house more than 110 local and international exhibitors to showcase their inventions and products covering mobility, personal hygiene and care, anti-wandering, food and other areas targeting the elderly.
      
     More than 20 sessions of workshops and briefings will also be held at the event, with focuses on specific streams of products or services such as application of robots, elderly food, elderly product design, smart city development, smartphone applications for the elderly, walking aids and digital healthcare. At 4pm tomorrow, there will also be a dedicated session for local and overseas young inventors to introduce their awarded inventions for elderly persons and to share their visions and ideas behind the inventions.
      
     During the Expo cum Summit, the HKCSS will hold "Future Camps" to facilitate public participation in discussion on developing new ideas to improve the quality of life of elderly persons through technology.
      
     The GIES is open to the public for free. Those who are interested may visit the event website (gies2017.hkcss.org.hk) for more information. A social media page (www.facebook.com/gies2017) has also been set up for sharing relevant information.


HKSAR Government to hold its first large-scale expo and summit on gerontechnology

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government will hold its first large-scale expo and summit on gerontechnology to showcase new technology products developed in various places worldwide. The event will also explore strategies of applying technology and innovation to enhance quality of life for the elderly.

The Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit (GIES) will be held from June 16 to 18 at Halls 3D and 3E of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event is co-hosted by the HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), and co-organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP). The GIES is one of the celebration events for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR.

Gerontechnology is an interdisciplinary field of scientific research and product development in which innovations in technology are directed towards caring for elderly persons. It aims at helping the elderly to live in the community and institutions comfortably, healthily and independently while remaining closely connected to the community and their families. The application of gerontechnology covers all facets of daily living including healthcare, home design, food, personal hygiene and care, digital communication and mobility enhancement.

The Head of the Policy and Project Co-ordination Unit of the Chief Secretary for Administration’s Private Office, Ms Doris Ho, said at the press conference today (May 31) that the proportion of the elderly in Hong Kong’s population is expected to increase from the existing 17 per cent to more than 30 per cent in 20 years. The elderly people of this new era are healthy, active and better educated, she said, adding that the Government, while striving to enhance social and healthcare facilities and services to cope with increasing demands, should also promote a wider application of innovative technology and service models so as to provide a better quality of life for the elderly today as well as the future cohorts. Ms Ho noted that the increasing elderly population should not be perceived as a social burden, as population ageing also brings opportunities and developments.

Ms Ho said the objective of the GIES is to promote community awareness and knowledge on the application of gerontechnology. The Summit will enable stakeholders from different parts of the world and disciplines to exchange views and share experience in order to shed light on the strategy for further promoting development of gerontechnology in Hong Kong.

The GIES will consist of two parts: the Expo and the Summit, both to be held side by side for three consecutive days from June 16 to 18 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The opening of the Summit will be officiated by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and the Chairperson of the HKCSS, Mr Bernard Chan. The World Health Organization’s Representative in China, Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, and the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing, Dr Jane Barratt, will deliver keynote speeches on the theme of “Ageing in the technological era”. On June 16 and 17, the Summit will have four plenary sessions in which international, Mainland and local experts and stakeholders will exchange views on issues related to population ageing and gerontechnology. The Healthy Ageing Summit, co-ordinated by the HKSTP, will be held on June 18. Leading international and local academics and practitioners will speak on innovations and technologies focusing on treatment and care for diseases affecting the elderly.

As regards the Expo, the approximately 5,000-square-metre exhibition floor will house more than 100 local and international exhibitors to showcase their inventions and products. At the press conference, the Chief Executive of the HKCSS, Mr Chua Hoi-wai, introduced some of the products to be exhibited, including an automatic toileting aid system, a smart phone book and an infrared thermal sensing safety alert system for the elderly. These products can help enhance the quality of life of the elderly and provide great convenience for their carers. Some products to be shown at the Expo will be exhibited for the first time in Hong Kong.

In addition to the exhibition and the Summit, more than 20 sessions of workshops and briefings will be held at the event, with focuses on specific streams of products or services such as application of robots, elderly food, elderly product design, smart city development, smartphone applications for the elderly, walking aids and digital healthcare.

The GIES is designed for all sectors of the community and the general public, especially stakeholders in elderly care and the services sector, elderly persons and their family members and caregivers. The Expo, the plenary sessions of the Summit and the workshops will be open to the public for free. Those who are interested may visit the event website (http://gies2017.hkcss.org.hk) for more information and pre-registration for attendance at various sessions. A social media page (www.facebook.com/gies2017) has also been set up for sharing relevant information.


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The Hong Kong Council of Social Service

Address: 12/F, Duke of Windsor Social Service Building

15 Hennessy Road Wanchai, Hong Kong

Telephone: 2876 2463

Fax: 2865 0823

Email: gies2017@hkcss.org.hk

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