Hong Kong Chief Executive praises partnership with ICE at bicentenary summit

Carrie Lam urged adoption of smart technology at ICE’s Innovation Summit looking at smart cities and climate change.

The summit, attended by ICE President Professor Lord Robert Mair and ICE Director General Nick Baveystock, saw over 350 delegates from across the globe participate in two discussions on smart cities and urbanisation, and intelligent infrastructure.

Speaking at the opening of the summit, Carrie Lam told delegates that ICE has long been a valued partner of the Hong Kong government in creating a quality environment for its citizens, but that the challenges of climate change and her administration's drive to promote smart cities mean the need for engineering expertise is greater than ever.

She said: "I am glad that as part of its global bicentenary celebrations the ICE is hosting its innovation summit in our city and has chosen smart city and climate change as its main themes,"

"This echoes our commitments to smart city development and environment sustainability, as evidenced by the initiatives announced in my maiden policy address delivered in October last year."

She announced her commitment to turning Hong Kong into a 'smart city' by improving the administration's capability to innovate using smart technology, alongside plans to invest $700m to move several project forward and develop Hong Kong's expertise.

She hailed the partnership between ICE and her administration saying:

"Collaboration brings synergy. We look forward to continuing our close co-operation with the ICE to make Hong Kong a more liveable smart city."

The commitment to utilising technology to improve the way assets are managed echoes the theme of ICE President Professor Lord Robert Mair's theme for his presidential year. Speaking at the event he said:

"Historically we have built without fully understanding our creations; but now we are beginning to. But what are the implications of this technology? And what does it mean to build 'smart'?"

He cited Hong Kong's Tsing Ma Bridge, the longest suspension bridge to carry both rail and road traffic in the world. It is equipped with more than 350 sensor channels. This data is monitored in real-time to check the health of various components."

"New technologies must be part of the future for civil engineering," he said, citing robotics, drones, tidal energy, new materials and 3D printing, mixed reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning as examples.

The summit continued with discussions, chaired by Dr Douglas Oakervee CBE and James Blake GBS, OBE, and included speeches from thirteen high profile industry leaders including CK Hon, Permanent Secretary for Development in the HKSAR Government and ICE Past President Jean Venables.

The summit continues with 'Engineering our Future: Masterclass for Potential Global Leaders which will see over 150 secondary and university students participate in a series of activities and debates, briefings from industry leaders.