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Think smart city innovations? Think InnoEX in Hong Kong

All over the world, smart city initiatives are getting up to speed. Hong Kong, in the meantime, is leading the charge. Visit InnoEX and HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair to discover smart city business opportunities.
Think smart city innovations? Think InnoEX in Hong Kong

Smart cities are finally taking form. From integrated public transport networks to smart grids for optimizing energy consumption, we increasingly see how cities are becoming technologically advanced.

Global examples show that the smart city idea has a growing buy-in from local governments. For instance, Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Urbanization has established a Smart Cities and Geospatial Technologies Department to facilitate the development of smart cities. The country also allocates substantial budgets to this industry, which is estimated to reach nearly a billion US dollars in revenue in 2024.

While Turkey's smart city initiatives are getting up to speed, other cities, such as Hong Kong, are leading the charge. This metropolis is actively shaping the future of smart cities, making it an ideal destination for those looking to contribute to the evolution of urban living. 

There are a variety of events available for those interested in exploring Hong Kong's innovation ecosystem firsthand. For example, a must-attend event is InnoEX, taking place alongside the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair. To be held on April 13-16, 2024 in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC), the fairs expect innovation and smart city enthusiasts from all over the globe.

You can register for the event here.

A visit to an innovation hotspot

Hong Kong has long been known as one of the global centers for innovation and technology (I&T). 

According to the Global Innovation Index 2023, the Shenzhen‑Hong Kong‑Guangzhou science and technology cluster is the second best-performing in the world. At the heart of this ecosystem is Hong Kong's burgeoning startup sector, actively supported by the local government through pro-business policies and other initiatives.

Hong Kong attracts startups in a diverse range of industries. But recently, with the rapid development of AI technologies, it has put a special focus on internet-of-things (IoT) and smart city innovations. 

AI, in combination with IoT, has the potential to significantly optimize things like infrastructure maintenance, energy management, and public safety, making cities more efficient and sustainable. By supporting smart city innovations, Hong Kong is looking to lead this sector.

Thereby, Hong Kong offers smart city-focused events, such as InnoEX and the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair. 

Organized by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the fairs will bring together thousands of local and international exhibitors – startups and global tech giants – to present the latest technologies and smart city innovations to international buyers and investors.

From engaging seminars on trending tech topics to mentoring sessions, pitching and networking opportunities for startups, these fairs are must-attend for companies looking to make use of Hong Kong's welcoming innovation ecosystem.

Why Hong Kong is the ideal canvas for smart city solutions

Hong Kong is not the only city in Asia looking to attract IoT and smart city innovators – so are Singapore, Seul, and Tokyo, among others. But Hong Kong stands out with straightforward government initiatives, highly-developed 5G infrastructure and willingness to apply AI, and the overall society's openness to smart city technologies.

Smart City Blueprint – a commitment to IoT

In 2017, the Hong Kong Government introduced its Smart City Blueprint, outlining 76 initiatives across six smart areas – mobility, living, environment, people, government, and economy. Supplemented with 60+ new initiatives in 2020, this blueprint aims to address urban challenges and enhance the effectiveness of urban services.

In its first three years, Hong Kong already brought several smart city initiatives to reality. For example, the introduction of the Faster Payment System, the broadening of free public Wi-Fi hotspot coverage, and the integration of diverse smart solutions at the airport. This demonstrates that the government's commitment goes beyond words and translates to real actions.

“We strive to build Hong Kong into a world-class smart city,” says the project's website. And that includes opening the door to foreign innovators looking for a base location for their smart city companies.

Developed 5G infrastructure & confidence in AI technologies

It's well-known that 5G technologies will have a significant impact on the development of smart cities. The low latency and ultra-high data transfer speed that 5G technologies provide are expected to significantly improve smart city efficiency and resiliency.

Hong Kong's 5G network is among the most extensive in the world, covering more than 90% of the population. This creates a convenient environment for testing and implementing smart city solutions.

5G technologies, together with the application of AI, will take IoT solutions to the next level. Recognizing this potential, the Hong Kong government has prioritized "AI and data science" as a cornerstone for new industrialization development. Supported by funding from the Legislative Council, Hong Kong currently houses 14 cross-industry AI research laboratories, while three universities in the region are now ranked among the world's top 30 for AI-related subjects and research.

Public trust in smart city technologies

A survey from 2022 found that Hong Kong residents “have widespread public acceptability of technology” and express strong confidence in the benefits of smart cities.

While this doesn't change the public's caution regarding the security of personal data, the positive attitudes towards technologies suggest that the residents are open to embracing smart city solutions. And no less importantly, are willing to engage with the government to ensure their successful implementation.

Dip your toes into Hong Kong's I&T ecosystem

There really is no better way to explore Hong Kong's I&T ecosystem than to attend the upcoming InnoEX and the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair on April 13-16, 2024, held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

In 2023, the two fairs, along with the HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), plan to gather over 66,000 buyers from around 160 countries and regions. Last year's event saw over 3,000 business meetings among the attendees, facilitating future collaborations and business opportunities.

To be part of the event where innovations and business happen, join InnoEX and the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair – register here.

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