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Innovation

TRLabs signs health R&D pact with Hong Kong

HONG KONG and CALGARY – Joint development of telehealth products is the focus of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed between the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) and TRLabs, Canada’s largest information and communications technology (ICT) research and development consortium.

A first pilot project will leverage industry players in both jurisdictions to jointly develop a healthcare tablet and telehealth application to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of care in the hospital and the home.

The MOU was signed by Mr. Robert Tasker, Chief Executive Officer of TRLabs, and Professor Peter Yum, Chief Technology Officer of ASTRI, and witnessed by the Honourable Doug Horner, Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, and Professor Edward Yang, Senior Advisor to CEO of ASTRI, at ASTRI’s headquarters in Hong Kong Science Park on October 13th, 2010.

“TRLabs and the Province of Alberta have worked very hard to develop a strong relationship with Hong Kong and China,” said Minister Horner. “The mission to Asia gave us a chance to renew and reinforce relationships in education, research initiatives and technological commercialization.”

“As Hong Kong is facing the challenges of an aging population, researchers at ASTRI are putting much effort in advancing technologies in telehealth,” said Professor Yum. “ASTRI can benefit the community by developing eHealth products and platforms, and TRLabs’ eHealth innovation experience is invaluable to helping us achieve that.”

“The relationship between ASTRI and TRLabs is mutually beneficial because it leverages Canadian ICT and application development strengths, and China’s manufacturing strength,” said Robert Tasker. “This is also a means to provide industry players with the ability to access new healthcare markets.”

For the telehealth tablet pilot initiative, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and Alberta Health Services will be engaged to define requirements to ensure the technology is built in-line with market needs. The two parties will use their respective market knowledge and networks in cultivating the Canadian and Greater China markets.

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary (U of C) was also in Hong Kong in support of the new partnership between ASTRI and TRLabs. The U of C administers the Ward of the 21st Century (W21C) – created to respond to the urgent need for healthcare innovation in Canada with a mission to innovate, educate, and evolve to create new paradigms of healthcare delivery.

The W21C anticipates being an active partner in the development and evaluation of a number of bedside, tablet-based applications for patients and caregivers.

About TRLabs
TRLabs is Canada’s largest information and communications technology (ICT) research and development consortium. As an innovation performer, TRLabs fast tracks innovation to market by working with its 99 industry, government, and academic partners and clients to discover, develop and commercialize technology. Research activity focuses on three themes: Digital Media; eHealth; and Emerging Sectors. Labs are located in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg. In 2010, TRLabs adopted a new market-driven commercialization service model that offers market need identification, business & technology assessments, applied research, proof of concept, prototyping, and technology transfer services to industry. In its 23-year existence, TRLabs has trained 930 highly skilled university graduates, created 399 technologies adopted for use by companies, and generated 61 active patents (issued or filed).

About ASTRI (www.astri.org)
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 to enhance technological advances for Hong Kong through applied research. In 2006, ASTRI was designated the Hong Kong Research and Development Centre for Information and Communications Technologies by the Innovation and Technology Commission to perform leading-edge R&D for technology transfer to industry, develop technological human resources and act as a focal point bringing together industry and university R&D assets. During the past years, ASTRI has been conducting a spectrum of world-class and customer-focused R&D, and has built teams of excellent researchers, produced a volume of intellectual property and created real economic impact by transferring technologies to its clients in Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland and the region.

Posted November 4, 2010

 

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