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Ground-breaking ‘Signal Radar’ Solution Revolutionises Search and Rescue

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) has collaborated with the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and a partner company to enhance emergency rescue capabilities through an innovative solution called “Signal Radar.” This achievement was made possible by leveraging the extensive ecosystem of HKSTP, which comprises more than 1,400 companies within its parks, enabling effective solution scouting.

The ground-breaking solution, known as “Signal Radar,” harnesses local innovative technology to aid rescue teams in locating and saving lives, even in the most remote and difficult terrains. Developed in collaboration between the HKPF and a partner company, this solution, without explicitly mentioning the name, enables rescuers to effectively detect SOS signals generated by the “HKSOS” application.

By operating independently of mobile network coverage, the “Signal Radar” solution surpasses other wireless technologies in its category by detecting signals over significantly longer distances. Its remarkable capability extends to detecting SOS signals even in intricate terrains. Whether in densely forested areas or out at sea, the solution can accurately transmit the GPS coordinates of individuals in distress to rescue teams.

Hong Kong, with its more than 60 islands and 40% of the land designated as country parks, presents formidable challenges to rescuers due to its mountainous terrain. The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) reports a staggering 370% increase in search and rescue missions over the past four years. In response to these limitations and growing demands, the “Signal Radar” solution has been specifically designed to address these challenges. It is believed that this solution has the potential to enhance rescue capabilities, enabling responders to seize the crucial “golden window” for saving lives.

The implementation of the partnering company’s patented technology in the “Signal Radar” solution marks the first time it has been used for a search and rescue application. This innovative solution has garnered international acclaim for its pioneering capabilities, as evidenced by its receipt of the Gold Medal award in the “Security, Search & Alarm” category at the prestigious 48th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva in April 2023, along with the Congratulations of the Jury. The unique attributes of this solution are expected to generate significant interest not only in Hong Kong but also in regions and countries worldwide that confront comparable challenging rescue conditions and scenarios.

The Senior Superintendent of Police from the Digital Policing Services Bureau of the HKPF emphasised that the adoption of new technologies in policing and the promotion of innovation and technology are strategic priorities for the HKPF. They highlighted the importance of collaborating and partnering with industry and academia to achieve these objectives. Notably, the HKPF stands out as the largest government department to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HKSTP, demonstrating its commitment to fostering innovation and technology advancement.

The Vice President of Business Development from the partnering tech company expressed gratitude for the support received from HKSTP and the privilege of working with the HKPF to develop a significant and innovative solution aimed at saving lives. They eagerly anticipate the implementation of this locally developed solution in search and rescue operations, with the expectation that it will have a positive societal impact both locally and globally.

The Head of Partnerships at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation stated that the collaboration between the HKPF and the partner company goes beyond simply adopting a technology. The HKPF actively participated in the co-creation of a solution tailored to their specific needs and applications.

This approach holds significance in expediting the introduction of innovative solutions to the market. The aim is for this collaboration to set a precedent that encourages increased cooperation in innovation and technology between corporations, government departments, and startups.

In September 2022, the HKPF and HKSTP formalised their collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU outlined their joint efforts to explore innovative solutions in five specific areas: Search and Rescue Operations, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM), and Augmented Reality (AR).

The successful development of the award-winning “Signal Radar” solution, created through the collaboration between the HKPF and the partnering company, represents the first milestone achieved under this MoU. As part of their ongoing partnership, HKSTP has already facilitated the connection of over 40 tech ventures with the HKPF, aiming to drive innovation, promote technology commercialisation, and foster the implementation of technology within the innovation and technology sector.

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