Gerontechnology Platform
in Hong Kong

The SIE Fund's second flagship project
to foster the gerontechnology ecosystem
development in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's population is ageing rapidly. The future ageing population will be better educated and wealthier and are expected to seek a more self-reliant and quality living after retirement.

Gerontechnology, being an inter- and multi-disciplinary sector which combines gerontology with technology and focuses on the application of technology towards elderly-related products and services, is widely recognised as a key to addressing the challenges and tapping the opportunities arising from the ageing population. Gerontechnology products and services may very often be applied to rehabilitation and cater for the needs of people with disabilities.

In view of the challenges and opportunities arising from the ageing population, the SIE Fund has decided to build an inclusive platform which will be taken forward as the Fund's second flagship project to facilitate the development of the gerontechnology ecosystem in Hong Kong.

Currently, different organisations have embarked on their gerontechnology initiatives with a view to addressing the ageing issue and facilitating the development and application of gerontechnology in Hong Kong. The objective of SIE Fund's platform is not to replace, duplicate or crowd out the valuable work being taken forward by these organisations. Instead, the platform should facilitate knowledge and experience sharing as well as collaborations across these initiatives or platforms with the aim of gathering the efforts of all stakeholders to address the ageing issue in a holistic manner, avoiding duplication of efforts, building capacity, further synergising, and collectively achieving efficiency and effectiveness in the gerontechnology sector as well as bigger social impact for Hong Kong.


Intermediary

Design, develop and operate an inclusive Gerontechnology Platform

In 2020, the SIE Fund has appointed a collaborative coalition of ten organisations led by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) as an intermediary to design, develop and operate an inclusive one-stop Gerontechnology Platform. The Platform is to link up different stakeholders on the supply and demand sides and enhance synergy by way of engagement, cross-sector partnership and collaboration, with the aim of fostering the development and application of gerontechnology to enhance the well-being, quality of life, independence and self-reliance of the elderly as well as provide support to their families, caregivers, healthcare staff and institutions, particularly under the "new normal". The project has commenced on 1 January 2021 and will last for three years.

The Gerontechnology Platform will comprise four basic functionalities, namely:

  • a knowledge hub;
  • network and capacity building;
  • consultancy, localisation and testing support; and
  • impact assessment


(Please click here for a flyer containing more information about the member organisations of the collaborative coalition and contacts of the intermediary.)


Our Journey on Promoting Gerontechnology

Riding on the success of the first flagship project that the Fund has launched to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall food support service in Hong Kong (click here for more information) and in the light of the challenges and opportunities arising from the ageing population, the Fund has, since 2016, explored how to address the challenges and opportunities through innovative means and more extensive cross-sector collaboration.

In October 2016, representatives of the SIE Fund joined an overseas delegation to Japan to appraise the development of gerontechnology in other places. In February 2017, the Fund funded the first landscape study on gerontechnology in Hong Kong. Conducted by Our Hong Kong Foundation in partnership with HKCSS, the study looked into multiple products and services with the potential of widespread use in Hong Kong and summarised the difficulties faced by the gerontechnology sector including insufficient collaboration among stakeholders, difficulty in localising overseas successful products, lack of a testing ground for product development and others (the Gerontechnology Landscape Report can be downloaded here). With regard to the study report, the Fund held a cross-sector stakeholder engagement workshop in June 2017 to brainstorm opportunities. Stakeholders from different sectors were of the view that the Fund should consider establishing a gerontechnology platform that would link up different stakeholders to foster the development of the gerontechnology ecosystem in Hong Kong (a post-event report of the workshop can be downloaded here).

Subsequently, the Fund decided to establish an inclusive gerontechnology platform. A three-stage stakeholder engagement programme was launched from May to August 2018 to collectively shape the scope and design of the platform. The programme comprised a sharing session (click here for the video records), a series of visits (the post-visits report can be downloaded here) and two co-creation workshops (a summary of the key suggestions collected from the workshops can be downloaded here). Over 140 stakeholders from a wide spectrum of sectors participated in the programme and provided their views and suggestions.

In 2019, the Fund initiated an open invitation exercise to invite interested parties to submit proposals to act as the intermediary. In 2020, assessment of the proposals received had been completed and based on the assessment result, the Fund appointed the intermediary.