Signing of an agreement to set up a joint innovation lab marks the beginning of international collaboration between ASTRI and European R&D institution INL

HONG KONG, March 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) signed an agreement today to set up a joint innovation laboratory to pursue cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research for overall smart city development. The signing ceremony, held at ASTRI premises, also included an insightful seminar on "Nano and Sensing Technologies for Smart City" facilitated by leading scholars and experts from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Europe.

In his opening remarks, Mr Wong Ming-yam, Chairman of ASTRI said, "The partnership between ASTRI and INL sets a significant milestone for closer research collaboration among Hong Kong, Spain and Portugal, to leverage the power of technology for the benefit of communities and economies across Greater China and Europe." Professor Marina Villegas Garcia, Vice Chairman of INL Council and Director General of the Spanish State Research Organisation congratulated both organisations on the successful commencement of this partnership and hoped that "collaboration between Spain, Portugal, Mainland China and Hong Kong will lead to meaningful exchange of innovative R&D, technologies, knowledge and insights which will ultimately improve the quality of people's lives."

Mr Hugh Chow, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI and Professors Lars Montelius, Director General of INL signed the agreement on their respective organisations' behalf. Mr Chow said, "To have sustainable traction in smart city development, we need an integrated ecosystem approach where R&D institutions like ASTRI and INL must collaborate; through strong partnerships with big and small businesses; supported by investors, regulators and Governments." Professor Montelius said, "As an inter-governmental R&D institution, INL seeks to leverage international collaborations and sound technological exchanges to pursue innovative and practical applications. We are very pleased to have this partnership with ASTRI which perfectly complements our mission."

The seminar on "Nano and Sensing Technologies for Smart City" included two insightful panel discussions. The first one covered the topic "The changing society, and needs for international collaboration in life sciences". Moderated by ASTRI's Chief Technology Officer Dr MeiKei Ieong, it was participated by Professor Ren Tiang-ling of Tsinghua University; Professor Lorenzo Pastrana, Head of Department of Life Sciences, INL; and Professor Aaron Ho, Professor of Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The second seminar was moderated by Professor Lars Montelius, covering the topic "Nanotechnology in the next decade". The panellists were: Professor Stella Pang, Chair Professor of Electronics Engineering, The City University of Hong Kong; Dr Maganus Ryde, Partner, Spirit Ventures; and Professor Joao Gaspar, Head of Department of Micro and Nano Fabrication, INL. Both seminars saw very rich and thought-provoking discussions by the panellists on important topics such as physical and life sciences; healthcare and diagnostic technologies; advanced sensing and nano technologies; investment and funding for applied R&D; and collaboration platforms for smart city development.

INL is an international applied research institution jointly established by the Governments of Spain and Portugal. It seeks to leverage Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to promote smart cities. As the Hong Kong SAR Government's designated ICT R&D lab, ASTRI pursues Smart City development as an important pillar of its R&D strategy as well. INL conducts inter-disciplinary research on semiconductors, circuit designs, intelligent devices, and related applications. It is also active in medical imaging and diagnosis, food safety, and environmental monitoring. These are areas where ASTRI too has strong core competence.

The ASTRI-INL joint laboratory will seek to promote innovative R&D efforts in smart city and intelligent manufacturing, among other areas. In addition to conducting joint R&D projects and exchanges, the partnership will also focus on grooming a new generation of researchers through mutual collaboration.

Professor You On-ching, Science Advisor to the Innovation and Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government; Dr Vitor Sereno, Consul General of Portugal in Macau and Hong Kong; Ms Maria Perez-Ribes, Deputy Consul General and Commissioner for Economic and Commercial Affairs of Spain in Hong Kong; joined other senior officials, members of the diplomatic corps, senior officials and researchers from INL, ASTRI's senior executives and R&D leaders; scholars and technology business leaders from Greater China on the occasion.


Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness in technology-based industries through applied research. ASTRI's core R&D competencies in various areas are organised under seven Technology Divisions, namely Communications Technologies, Electronics Components, Mixed Signal Systems IC, Advanced Digital Systems, Optoelectronics, Security and Data Sciences, and Intelligent Software and Systems. Five areas of applications including financial technologies, intelligent manufacturing, next generation network, health technologies, and smart city are identified for major pursuit. For further information about ASTRI, please visit

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