Dr. Winnie TANG, MH, JP
Dr Winnie Tang, MH, JP, is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Engineering (Department of Computer Science), the Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Geography) and the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She is a local IT entrepreneur from Hong Kong, and has over 25 years of experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
Dr Tang is the Founder and Chairman of Esri China (Hong Kong) Limited, which is an international office of Esri, specialising in geographic information system (GIS) technology. Esri is among the top 50 software companies in the world. She is also the Founder and Honorary President of the Smart City Consortium.
In addition to the GIS profession, Dr Tang is passionate when participating in many government and non-governmental organizations. She has been working hard to unite professionals from all walks of life, she has established a number of non-governmental organizations to promote innovative technology and social development, including the Smart City Consortium, Conservation E3 Foundation, eHealth Consortium, and Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN).
Over the years, she has been actively advocating the use of technology and sharing her views on the ICT industry, eHealth, environmental conservation, entrepreneurships and the smart city through her services in government and non-government organisations in Hong Kong.
As a renowned columnist and keynote speaker, Dr Tang has been invited to share her views and promote technological and social developments at conferences, seminars and workshops organised by international organisations, such as the World Bank Group, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Asian Productivity Organization (APO).Dr Tang has published 14 Chinese and English books and over 600 research papers, newspaper articles and journals. Her Chinese book, Surfing the IT World, published in 2016, won the publishing award (the category of Commerce and Management) in the first Hong Kong Publishing Biennial Awards 2017.
Dr Tang has paid close attention to the ICT industry, eHealth, environmental protection, startups and the smart city, she has contributed actively to these professional areas.
During the SARS outbreak in 2003, Dr Tang voluntarily led her team to draw the "SARS Global Map", showing the latest situational updates of the virus spread, which allowed medical staff worldwide to reference the data and help control the epidemic. Dr Tang founded the eHealth Consortium in 2005 to connect the medical community and the ICT industry, so that they could cooperate closely and promote the implementation of the electronic health record sharing system to improve medical services. In 2007, she helped to set up the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) to promote the application of the electronic health record system and improve the medical services and management of health systems in Asia. After making several submissions to the government, the "Electronic Health Record Sharing System" was officially launched in Hong Kong in 2016.
To further give back to the Hong Kong society, Dr Tang has promoted health, education and environmental conservation to the public since 2011. She took the lead in using GIS and Web 2.0 technology to develop and establish the "Treeprint 2.0" mobile application and online platform. This is a new initiative combining three elements: a crowdsourcing platform, the internet and a mobile application for smartphone users to download for free. By doing so, people can share the idea of caring for trees and convey the message of environmental conservation. In the same year, a charity group "Conservation E3 Foundation" was established to promote the concepts of conservation, the environment and energy to the public through e-channels.
In 2015, Dr Tang's company worked with Hong Kong Education City to provide free GlS software to all primary and secondary school students in Hong Kong. This free e-learning program called "Map in Learning", launched a pilot project to various primary and secondary schools at the end of 2015, and received positive responses. By mid-2016, it was officially launched with support from the Education Bureau, and aimed to enhance the problem-solving skills of young people. So far, more than 220 schools have participated in the program and over 1,700 teachers and students attended relevant events and trainings. The software helps students to use spatial data to connect to an electronic map, which displays the causes of a problem in a hierarchical manner, thereby enabling students to discover different solutions. The program inspires diverse thinking in young people and cultivates more creative talent for Hong Kong.
In addition, Dr Tang has set up many scholarships and startup funds, including Tang Chui Wai Hing Project Prize at HKU, Winnie S M Tang Scholarship in Applied Artificial Intelligence at HKU, and Dr Winnie S M Tang-PolyU Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship Scholarship at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, etc, aiming to unlock the potential of young entrepreneurs’ to serve the community.
In 2016, Dr Tang connected professionals from a broad cross-section of society to establish the Smart City Consortium (SCC). This group aims to provide professional advice and suggestions for building a smart city in Hong Kong. It also seeks to encourage cooperation with stakeholders around the world in creating a suitable ecosystem to promote Hong Kong’s innovation and sustainable economic development. Since the establishment of the SCC, it has submitted several proposals to the government, and many of the recommendations have been adopted by the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong. In February 2020, Dr Tang initiated the expert volunteers from the SCC to work with the Development Bureau and the Lands Department for the development of the first Interactive Map Dashboard about the latest situation of COVID-19 in Hong Kong. This dashboard provides the public with a one-stop location for up-to-date information on the COVID-19 epidemic. The project was completed in just three days, as a result of the joint effort from multiple policy bureaux and departments, demonstrating an effective case of cooperation between officials and citizens.
Dr. Tang believes that smart city starts with smart planning. With her professional knowledge and extensive experience in smart city and spatial analytics, she has been appointed by the government to participate in a number of advisory works related to urban planning and new development areas of Hong Kong in recent years, including member of Common Spatial Data Advisory Committee, member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Study Related to the Artificial Islands in the Central Waters and member of the fifth term of the Lantau Development Advisory Committee. She is also the current Honorary Fellow of HKU’s Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning.
Dr Tang has been serving many government and non-governmental organizations to encourage the social and technological developments. Some of her current major appointments include:
- Member, Education Commission, Education Bureau, The Government of HKSAR
- Member, The Fourth-term Commission on Poverty Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force, Innovation and Technology Bureau, The Government of HKSAR
- Honorary Advisor, The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation
- Advisor, Our Hong Kong Foundation
- Founder & Honorary President, Smart City Consortium
- Board Member of Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN)
In recognition of Dr Tang's work, she has been awarded the Honorary Fellow by Lingnan University in 2020, the Distinguished Alumni by the Faculty of Science, HKU in 2009, the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 2006, the Women of Influence – Young Achiever of the Year Award by the American Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and the Ten Outstanding Young Digi Persons Selection in 2001.