(Hong Kong, 14 September 2021) Two green and anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) innovations of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) have won the “Innovation Awards” at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo 2021 (TechConnect) in Washington DC, USA, acknowledging HKPC’s outstanding achievements in research and development and its efforts to develop innovative technologies and improve human life.
TechConnect is an international event uniquely designed to accelerate the commercialisation of innovations out of the lab and into industry. The TechConnect Innovation Awards, ranked by the TechConnect Corporate & Investment Partner Committee, identify the top 15% of submitted technologies based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector. Innovations are submitted from global academic technology transfer offices, early-stage companies, the US government’s “Small Business Innovation Research” program awardees, and government and corporate research laboratories.
HKPC’s winning innovations include:
(1) A Compact Sewage Bio-Reactor for Energy Recovery
By immobilizing bacteria as biofilm on floating carriers and using creative mixing strategy, this invention which is developed with funding from the “Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle” supported by Shenzhen government, uses only 20% of energy as compared with the conventional biological treatment system. Therefore, instead of consuming lots of energy for purifying sewage, the energy-efficient bioreactor can capture over 90% of carbon from sewage to produce biogas as renewable energy. Also, it only occupies 30% of the conventional system’s footprint, thus saving plenty of land resources from sewerage treatment works. It can also be used to upgrade the existing sewage treatment processes to reduce the operating cost and footprint and combined with some new sewage treatment technologies to form the advanced A/B process to achieve carbon neutral. The technology has earlier won a Gold Medal at the “2021 Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions”.
(2) kNOw Touch - Contactless Elevator Control Panel
As one of the approved projects under the special call of the Public Sector Trial Scheme of the Innovation and Technology Fund of the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government for projects to combat the COVID-19 epidemic, the “kNOw Touch” contactless elevator panel is a cost efficient technology that only requires a small twist without the need of vast mechanical alteration to perform. By fitting a set of infrared distance sensors near the control panel and calibrating according to the distance and layout of the elevator buttons, the users can just select the corresponding floor by pointing their fingers at close range without touching the panel, an effective means to minimise the risk of virus transmission through touching the elevator buttons. kNOw Touch has already won a string of local and international awards, including the Gold Medal with Congratulations of Jury in the “2021 Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions”; winner of “Infrastructure Technology – Building Services and Facilities” category at the Hong Kong Business Technology Excellence Awards 2021; and a finalist in the “R&D 100 Awards”, a renowned worldwide competition organised by R&D World Magazine, which is one of the most prestigious annual events of the US science and technology sector.
Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC, said, “It is heartening that HKPC innovations have been recognised at the TechConnect Innovation Awards, one of the world’s largest commercialisation events. This is indeed a testament of the competence of Hong Kong R&D talents who attach great importance to the concerns and demands of the public and industry, and are committed to forging novel solutions to address their pressing needs and desire to live a more sustainable way of life. HKPC will continue to leverage its wealth of multi-disciplinary technical knowledge and experience for the development of more applied R&D solutions and to promote Hong Kong as an international innovation and technology hub and a smart city.”
For more details, please refer to the official list of TechConnect 2021 Innovation Awardees
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