HONG KONG — January 17, 2023 — The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) successfully held the HKRITA Innovation & Technology Symposium 2023 today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Under the theme of “Innovating Zero”, the Symposium served as a key platform for government officials, industry experts, business leaders and academic representatives from around the world to discuss climate change and share insights into the role of innovation in driving the sustainability and re-industrialisation of the textile and fashion sector. The event underlined the importance of technologies and innovative applications in paving the way for a sustainable net-zero future, while preparing for the challenges in the new normal.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at HKRITA. We have now reached a point in our development where we work not only in the lab, but also bring real world solutions at scale to factories, supply chains, warehouses, stores, and recycling facilities. We are fortunate to be doing all of this in Hong Kong where we have strong support from the government’s Innovation & Technology Fund to help us scale and industrialise these solutions,” said Ms Teresa YANG, Chairman of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel. “Like the rest of the world, Hong Kong has published carbon neutral goals. The key question is how to become a carbon neutral industry in a carbon neutral world and achieve ‘zero’. This is the urgent question that affects all of our businesses for the future.”
“The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) supports over 200 projects involving environmental technologies with funding close to HK$500M. Our five Research and Development (R&D) Centres, including HKRITA, have also successfully completed many award-winning green technology projects with the support of the ITF over the years. The Government is determined to build Hong Kong into an international I&T hub together with the efforts from all our companions and I look forward to witnessing more exciting collaborative projects from the HKRITA and its partners”, said Ms Lillian CHEONG, Acting Secretary for Innovation, Technology & Industry, The Government of the Hong Kong SAR, in her opening address.
Groundbreaking MoU between HKRITA and HKSI encourages future collaboration in the development of innovative sports training apparel
A highlight of the Symposium was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between HKRITA and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) for their future collaboration on innovations, reinforcing the recognition of their concerted efforts to develop next-generation high-performance sportswear and devices tailored for different sports. Ms Teresa YANG, Chairman of The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, and Dr Trisha LEAHY, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, signed the MoU, solidifying the successful partnership of the two Institutes and underpinning their continued close cooperation.
Dr Trisha LEAHY, Chief Executive of the HKSI, thanked HKRITA for its support to elite sports development over the years. She said, “This collaboration has enabled Hong Kong athletes to better adapt to the sports and competition environment. While the HKSAR Government is facilitating the professionalisation and development of sports into an industry, HKRITA’s continued support is critical for athletic success in upcoming international sport competitions.”
Showcasing key innovations that will shape the industry’s future
HKRITA has developed several innovations and technologies to fully unleash the potential of the textile and fashion industry and further enhance its sustainability. Exhibits at the Symposium included sportswear adopted by local elite athletes and used throughout multiple training sessions and international competitions, including the Tokyo Olympics. These provide the athletes with comfort, style and functionality to better adapt to the sports environment and competition needs. In addition, aprons made of carbon dioxide (CO2) capturing cellulosic materials were also displayed at the event. The cellulosic yarn, functionalised by amine containing molecules, has been developed to capture CO2 from the surrounding air and textiles produced from these yarns may contribute to the reduction of CO2 levels in the environment if they are used in large quantities in everyday life. The concept of The Open Lab which develops solutions to address climate change was also showcased.
Heavyweights from the government and industries shared insights regarding further development of the textile and fashion sector
The HKRITA Innovation & Technology Symposium 2023 gathered distinguished guests, including government officials, industry experts, business leaders and representatives from academia. Core speakers included Ms Lillian CHEONG, Acting Secretary for Innovation, Technology & Industry, The Hon Duncan CHIU, Legislative Councillor (Technology and Innovation Constituency), The Hon Sunny TAN, Chairman of Hong Kong Productivity Council, and Mr Andrew LO, CEO, Crystal International Group Limited, Ms Anne-Laure DESCOURS, Chief Sourcing Officer, PUMA Group, Mrs Christiane DOLVA, Strategy Lead Planet Positive, H&M Foundation, Prof Marshall L FISHER, UPS Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Prof Xiaoming TAO, DoRI-IWEAR and Chair Professor of Textile Technology, School of Fashion and Textiles, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Prof Christine LOH, Chief Development Strategist, Institute for the Environment, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Experts from various industries were invited to share their experiences on sustainability practices in a panel discussion.
Posted: January 19, 2023
Source: The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA)