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SCED's speech at 2015 Symposium on Sustainability Management (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the 2015 Symposium on Sustainability Management today (May 22):

Mr Leung (Chairman of the Symposium, Mr Aldous Leung), Dr Lo (Advisor of the Symposium, Dr Lo Wai-kwok), distinguished speakers, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good morning. It is my great pleasure to join you all at the 2015 Symposium on Sustainability Management. Thanks to the Institution of Engineering and Technology, this Symposium provides a useful platform for policymakers, industry leaders, technology service providers, academics and engineers to share insights and applications in knowledge management.

Knowledge as a valuable asset

     Knowledge comes from data, information, experience, and interpretation of their meaning. It is a valuable asset that spurs organisational growth and sustained competitiveness, through sharing of best practices, evidence-based decision-making and faster response to key issues.

Robust ICT infrastructure

     Hong Kong possesses a robust ICT infrastructure, which facilitates speedy access and sharing of knowledge for the betterment of society. Our telecommunications infrastructure is one of the most sophisticated in the world, providing a wide range of services at affordable prices. Our fully liberalised regime also fosters a vibrant Internet services market, providing high-speed Internet services for the community and making Hong Kong an Internet hub of the Asia-Pacific region.

     To further strengthen Hong Kong's status as an Internet-ubiquitous city, we have widened the coverage and promotion of free Wi-Fi service for citizens and visitors through a common Wi-Fi brand, Wi-Fi.HK, whereby one can enjoy at least 30 minutes' free Wi-Fi service from each Wi-Fi.HK participating organisation without prior registration. At present, we have over 14 000 Wi-Fi.HK hotspots across the territory, and the number will increase to about 17 000 by end of this year. Our affordable, high-speed and ubiquitous Internet services provide a solid foundation for our tech-savvy community in their constant pursuit of information and knowledge.

The role of ICT in knowledge management

     ICT plays a crucial role in managing and organising knowledge. It enables acquisition, storage, sharing, collaboration, dissemination and reuse of knowledge in a faster and more convenient manner. Technology is now an essential tool for knowledge management. Technologies like the Internet of Things and big data analytics can even empower us to derive knowledge from data and information by turning patterns of data into actionable insights on phenomena, capabilities and collective behaviours. Such knowledge can help better decision making and provide intuitive services for the public.

Better decision making on city management

     Take city management as an example. To curtail water leakage, our Water Supplies Department has installed sensors in water pipes. By tracking the data, leakage in water pipes can be detected early to trigger prompt preventive actions. To minimise the risk of flooding and overflowing of sewage, our Drainage Services Department has installed intelligent ultrasonic sensors to track and detect water levels. The data collected from sensors are used for analysis to generate knowledge for prioritising maintenance and cleaning works. Through the use of data generated by various types of sensors, our Civil Engineering and Development Department has enhanced monitoring of landslides, thus protecting us from possible hazards.

Innovative usage of data

     The Government and other public bodies hold a wealth of information, ranging from demographic, economic, geographical and meteorological data to historical documents and archives. Understanding that wider dissemination and reuse of these data can increase their value to the community, the Government has set up a Public Sector Information (PSI) portal to provide PSI data for free reuse. These PSI data can become useful ingredients for mixing and blending into new, innovative applications and generation of knowledge and insights for businesses and the community.

     Currently, we are releasing over 4 000 data sets classified under 18 data categories. In March, we have revamped our PSI portal, providing more flexibility and capacity to facilitate the release of data. The opening up of these PSI data can promote development of more innovative applications and knowledge generation, and will be conducive to Hong Kong's development as a knowledge-based economy.

Knowledge sharing and collaboration

     Knowledge management can help improve people's skills through sharing and collaboration of work procedures, best practices and experiences. Like many other organisations, the Government has been implementing knowledge management to improve staff's performance and skills. We have been running a Government-wide portal, Central Cyber Government Office, for over a decade to provide Government staff easy access to regulations, guidelines, practices and other information useful for their work.

     Some Government departments have more vigorous knowledge management frameworks to improve the skills and knowledge of the staff. Take the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) as an example. It established its Knowledge Management Framework and launched a knowledge management portal in 2003. To facilitate access to information, knowledge and practices by government IT practitioners, the OGCIO has also set up 14 Communities of Practices on different knowledge domains to foster collaboration and knowledge creation. Each Community of Practices has a dedicated online forum to facilitate sharing and collaboration of knowledge, empowering staff to solve problems and issues encountered in their day-to-day work.

     With the OGCIO's Knowledge Management Framework, government IT practitioners can get the necessary information and knowledge to support government bureaux and departments in planning and implementing IT initiatives more rapidly and effectively.

     ICT promotes knowledge sharing and facilitates users to access timely knowledge through websites, portals, social networks and online forums. With data mining and analytics, data patterns can generate insights and knowledge for better and faster decisions. Today's Symposium is a great opportunity to share the latest trends and best practices of knowledge management. I wish you all a fruitful sharing.

     Thank you.

Ends/Friday, May 22, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:40