Nine Hong Kong Innovators Lauded
(29 July 2022, Hong Kong) Our Hong Kong Foundation (OHKF) presented the coveted InnoStars Award to nine outstanding individuals for their trailblazing creativity and innovation. HKSAR Chief Executive Mr John Lee, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Professor Sun Dong, and Secretary for Health Professor Chung-mau Lo attended the award.
The nine awardees were picked by a vetting committee and judging panel comprising 18 respected technology and business leaders. The awardees were chosen for innovating their way to excellence in science and technology, business model, social innovation, or culture and creativity. The InnoStars Award serves to inspire creativity and innovation, promote entrepreneurship, foster economic diversification, and showcase Hong Kong people’s innovative talent.
A record high of more than 120 nominations were received for this year’s award, which is the third edition. The nine winners were selected after two rounds of rigorous evaluation and they are all leaders in their own fields who demonstrated the power of innovation. Among the winners are: a scientist devoted to cutting-edge research, an industry leader spearheading metaverse and blockchain technologies, a unicorn company founder focused on solving social problems through innovative technology, and a rising star specialised in developing virus detection technology for the pandemic. In addition, some of the awardees have expanded their products and business to mainland China and the world. They embody the innovative spirit and exemplified how one can contribute to mankind through innovation.
Group Chairman of Fung Group and OHKF Vice-Chairman Dr Victor Fung continued to chair the judging panel this year. He said: “Over the past two years, Covid-19 has posed enormous challenges to various industries in Hong Kong. Amidst the uncertainties arising from climate change, geopolitical issues, and global turmoil, Hong Kong must continue to promote innovation and strive for excellence, so that we may build upon our past success and go from strength to strength.”
Dr Fung emphasised OHKF’s dedication to using policy innovation as a means to starting a new chapter for Hong Kong. The InnoStars Award aims to recognise outstanding talents who have contributed to driving innovation in Hong Kong, mainland China, and the world at large. The Award also encourages Hong Kong people to pursue creativity and entrepreneurship, thereby providing impetus for the sustainable growth of our city.
OHKF President Mrs Eva Cheng remarked: “When President Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong, he hailed the city for ‘daring to be the first in the world, daring to be a trendsetter’ since the return to the motherland. It is manifested in the immense creativity and robust growth that Hong Kong has achieved under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle.”
She further applauded generations of Hong Kong innovation leaders for their continuing pursuit to innovate. By commercialising innovation into products and services that meet market needs, they have carved out a niche for themselves in local, national and global markets, in turn bring continuous impetus to Hong Kong’s sustained prosperity.
The Award is supported by the Department of Education, Scientific & Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, and the Innovation, Technology and lndustry Bureau of the HKSAR Government. 18 major technology organisations, trade associations, social innovation, cultural and creative, and youth affairs organsiations in Hong Kong supported the Award as strategic partners.
The Nine InnoStars Award Winners:
Professor Vivian YAM
Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor in Chemistry and Energy, The University of Hong Kong
Decades of dedication and hard work into Inorganic Chemistry and Photochemistry have earned Professor Yam national and global accolades. At the age of 38, she became the youngest member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She pioneered the development of new classes of luminescent metal complexes that are applied to OLED display, a cheaper and more energy-efficient alternative to traditional lighting and display technology, thereby alleviating global warming and climate change. She has carried on teaching and disseminating knowledge, not only to promote the importance of science to the general public, but also to convey the message that Hong Kong is an excellent place for basic science research and to build the city’s reputation on the international stage.
Professor TO Chi-ho
Chair Professor of Experimental Optometry, Henry G. Leong Professor in Elderly Vision Health and Head, School of Optometry, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University;
Founder and Director, Vision Science and Technology Company Limited
Professor To Chi-ho, an authority on optometry in Hong Kong, is committed to safeguarding people’s eye health. After 20 years of researching into short-sightedness and overcoming countless difficulties, he invented the Defocus Incorporated Soft Contact (DISC) and the Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segment (DIMS) spectacle lens, which earned him international awards for effectively slowing down the progression rate of myopia among school children by 60%.
Professor To firmly believes that, as long as his research produces new knowledge that improves the well-being of humankind, he will carry on regardless of opposing voices.
Dr Ricky CHIU
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Phase Scientific
When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Ricky decided to redirect his company towards the research and development of Covid-19 testing and developed a Covid-19 nucleic acid test kit within an amazing pace of merely three weeks. As a result, Ricky rose to fame and was selected one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Hong Kong in 2021. In Ricky’s view, the existing medical system focuses on treatment but pays limited attention to early screening and prevention of diseases. Therefore, he strives to fulfil the intent to develop affordable, simple, and rapid testing tools so that people can better understand and manage their personal health. This is a step towards realising his greater goal of “making everyone healthier”.
Mr Hendrick SIN
Co-Founder, Executive Director and Vice-Chairman, CMGE Technology Group
Hendrick’s entrepreneurial idea originated from his love of video games when he was a child. With the belief that “one who works hard can create their own destiny”, he gave up his stable investment banking job and headed north to the Mainland and founded his own mobile game company CMGE. CMGE focuses on the development of IP games and has achieved unprecedented success in the market. CMGE has become one of the Chinese game companies with the largest IP reserve and the distributor of the highest number of IP mobile games. Hendrick hopes to make China’s IP famous around the world through mobile games, and promote China’s 5,000-year culture as well as folklore globally.
Professor LING Kar-kan
Director, Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Since leaving the post of Director of Planning of the HKSAR Government, Professor Ling Kar-kan has turned away from his previous life in urban planning and instead devoted himself to social innovation and led the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The Institute presented innovative and practical solutions targeting different social problems such as transitional housing, empathising with elderly in workplace, and building intergenerational communities. Professor Ling believes that the most important element for social innovation is empathy—to profoundly understand the pain and needs of those you serve. He also believes that improving the lives of the grassroots through innovative projects can influence government policy planning, raise government and public concerns on social problems, and stimulate social innovation from the bottom up.
Professor JIA Jiaya
Founder and Board Chairman, SmartMore
As an expert on computer vision, artificial intelligence, and computational imaging, Professor Jia Jiaya has gained a renowned reputation worldwide for his academic achievements. With his eyes set on the enormous market potential of smart manufacturing, he founded SmartMore in November 2019. His goal is to transfer more than 20 years’ of research outcome into products and services, thereby accelerating the progress of smart manufacturing in China and the world. “Innovation is not just a flash of inspiration, but a process of continuous creation and evolution,” Professor Jia said. To this end, he is leading the SmartMore team to encourage manufacturers and even the entire manufacturing industry to actively implement advanced smart applications and products. A new wave of the global industrial revolution is about to begin.
Mr Yat SIU
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Animoca Brands
Yat Siu and Animoca Brands are at the forefront of the blockchain and NFT gaming world, working to develop the open metaverse. Since Yat founded the company in 2014, he has turned it into one of the global leaders in blockchain and gamification, having made more than 150 investments in various blockchain metaverse companies. He also envisioned the rise of the open metaverse—a new, inclusive, more equitable virtual society that fairly rewards participation. Yat endeavours to become one of the builders of this grand project, and has pivoted his entire business to pursue this new goal.
Professor Chung-mau LO
Hospital Chief Executive, The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (2016-2022)
With over three decades of clinical work, teaching, and research experiences, Professor Chung-mau Lo has made distinguished achievements in liver transplant and has been a world-renowned expert in hepatobiliary surgery. From 2016 to 2022, Professor Lo has led innovative reforms that made The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital the youngest “3A hospital” in Guangdong, one of Guangdong’s first “High Level- Summit Programme” hospitals, and a pilot hospital under the national plan for High-quality Development of Public Hospitals. Professor Lo constantly strives for breakthroughs and is committed to contributing to China’s national healthcare reforms and improving health for the people. “The pursuit of health should never stop and it is a doctor’s lifelong mission to fight diseases,” he said, “Doctors must be revolutionary and innovative to advance medical care development.”
Mr Matthew TAM
With the aim of solving the problems that traditionally beleaguered the logistics industry, Matthew and his partner co-established Lalamove in 2013. They developed a fit-for-purpose intelligent system that allows users to quickly match with drivers on a digital platform. This one-stop solution has improved the experience for both drivers and customers while meeting the needs of the market. As of 2021, Lalamove operates in more than 30 cities in Asia and Latin America. It also operates under the Huolala brand in 350 cities across mainland China. “The secret to remaining innovative is to embrace a ‘back to basics’ mentality,” said Matthew, “Don’t dwell on past experience and knowledge. Always stay curious.”
About The InnoStars Award
The global business environment is facing rapid and sudden changes, leading to a high degree of unpredictability. To overcome the emerging challenges and to embrace new opportunities, Hong Kong needs constant innovation to drive its economic and social development. Riding along the success of the first two InnoStars Award in 2018 and 2019, the Our Hong Kong Foundation organised the Third InnoStars Award.
The InnoStars Award aims to recognise Hong Kong leaders who innovate their way to excellence in science and technology, business model, social innovation, or culture and creativity by pushing beyond traditional boundaries and bringing innovative products and services to the Mainland and overseas. The Award serves to inspire creativity and innovation, promote entrepreneurship, foster economic diversification, and showcase Hong Kong people’s innovative talent.