Speeches and Presentations

Government supports developing radio frequency identification technology

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, said today (October 9) that with the clear objective of making Hong Kong a regional hub of innovation and technology, the Government had been working consistently to promote the development of technology in areas where Hong Kong had a competitive edge. @@

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Radio Frequency Identification Centre (Supply Chain Innovation Centre) at Hong Kong Science Park, Mrs Lau said one of those technology areas was radio frequency identification (RFID), which was often regarded as the next emerging technology after the Internet and could have even greater direct impact on daily and business life. @@

Mrs Lau said, "RFID technology can be applied throughout the business process from material sourcing to after-sale services. Indeed, there are so many innovative ways to apply this technology to various aspects of our life such as health care, transportation, food safety and shipping.

"The Government has been a staunch supporter of the development of RFID technology in Hong Kong. It is one of the top research areas for our Hong Kong Research and Development (R&D) Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies," she added.

From 2004 to 2007, the Government's Innovation and Technology Fund provided financial support for a total of 17 RFID-related projects amounting to some $108 million, covering areas such as improvement in RFID tagging and embedding technology, application of RFID technology in food safety, enhancement of privacy protection and communication security, and development of a real-time manufacturing shop-floor information infrastructure. @

"We are in Hong Kong exploring new uses for this technology every day, "Mrs Lau said. "Despite the many technological and practical constraints, Hong Kong has established itself in the past decade as a leader in the development of RFID technology and its applications." @

Citing successful examples of RFID applications in Hong Kong, Mrs Lau noted that the Hong Kong International Airport was the world's first airport to fully utilise the technology to ensure the efficient flow of passengers and cargo. And the Octopus card, one of the world's earliest RFID-enabled payment solutions, won the Chairman's Award of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance's Global IT Excellence Award in 2006, and the approach has been emulated in the Oyster card in London. @@

Noting that RFID could also be used for specific operational needs, she said that a tenant at the Science Park had successfully worked out a mobile RFID solution for jewellery management systems. Its high performance RFID reader can capture more than 100 tags simultaneously, facilitating stock-taking and management.

"The Hong Kong RFID Centre (SCIC) that opened today is yet another initiative to promote the development of RFID," Mrs Lau said.

Occupying an area of 4,500 square feet, the Hong Kong RFID Centre (SCIC) is the largest of its type in the Asia Pacific Region. It aims to encourage the business, industry and technology sectors to showcase their capabilities and explore further opportunities for development. It also demonstrates to the public the many possible applications of the technology, to enhance their awareness and understanding of the next generation of RFID technology and its significance to the future economic and social development of Hong Kong. @@

After the opening ceremony, Mrs Lau toured the manufacturing, logistics and consumer zones of the centre to see how RFID technology could enhance people's daily lives locally and globally.

Also attending the opening ceremony were Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, Mr Eddy Chan, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Mr Anthony Tan, and Chairman, GS1 Hong Kong, Mr Philippe Giard.

Thursday, October 9, 2008