ACCESS and ASTRI Sign MoU to Jointly Promote Development and Commercialization of AI Chips in Hong Kong
The AI Chip Center for Emerging Smart Systems (ACCESS) and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) signed a memorandum of understanding today to jointly promote the R&D and industrialization of AI chips, with the aim of further promoting the development of AI chips in Hong Kong to the world's cutting-edge level.
As the first research center under the Hong Kong government's InnoHK Clusters initiative to formally establish a partnership with ASTRI, ACCESS will jointly develop emerging AI chip technology and hardware-accelerated AI technology, and promote the transformation of advanced technology into products with ASTRI by converging their R&D expertise. Currently, the two parties are embarking on the first research project collaboration, which focuses on advancing the application development of customised AI chips in the field of AI Internet of Things (AI-IoT).
With an initial funding of HK$443.9 million from the Hong Kong government's InnoHK, ACCESS was founded by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in collaboration on research with Stanford University, the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong, sought to realize ubiquitous AI applications in society seeking to create AI chips that are much faster and more energy efficient than that of existing solutions.
“The Center has a world-leading team of interdisciplinary experts. Since its establishment more than a year ago, it has conducted a number of researches in the fields of applied hardware joint design, computing-in-memory, as well as smart sensors and AI-IoT and made technological breakthroughs. By establishing a long-term cooperation with ASTRI, we can leverage its technical foundation and industry channels in AI technology applied research and AI chip solutions to transform these international collaborative research results into AI products more quickly, thereby achieving an efficient I&T development model from basic research to application,” said Prof. Tim CHENG, Vice-President for Research and Development of HKUST and Center Director of ACCESS.
ASTRI has been committed to promoting technological R&D in Hong Kong, and partnering with different institutions and companies in developing innovative technologies. ASTRI's researchers have devoted themselves to the R&D of next-generation AI technology and the design and application of AI chips for a number of years. In collaboration with ACCESS, ASTRI can directly apply the results of basic research, and transfer AI chip technology and solutions to the industry through mid-stream applied research, helping the development of AI and Innovation and Technology (I&T) industries in Hong Kong , and enabling integrated circuit technology to sublime to another realm.
“One of the missions of ASTRI is to transfer professional technology and R&D to the industry to benefit the entire technological research industry in Hong Kong, and the promotion of this work is in line with the purpose of establishment of InnoHK. The first project has officially commenced since the establishment of the platform, bringing AI chip technology to different fields. I am very happy about this, and I look forward to R&D of different technologies among ASTRI, ACCESS, and other units in the future to bring more cutting-edge technologies to Hong Kong,” said Dr. Denis YIP, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI.
About AI Chip Center for Emerging Smart Systems
ACCESS was founded by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in collaboration on research with Stanford University, the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong. It is the Asia's first transnational consortium and multi-disciplinary center to perform research and development on AI chip design. It sought to realize ubiquitous AI applications in society seeking to create AI chips that are 1,000 times faster and more energy efficient than that of existing solutions. As a research center under the Hong Kong government's InnoHK Clusters initiative, ACCESS will not only advance Hong Kong to become a major player on the world stage in AI chip and hardware design, but also create a conducive environment for nurturing a large pool of AI hardware talent that will support the AI chip industry.
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 with the mission of enhancing Hong Kong's competitiveness through applied research. ASTRI's core R&D competence in various areas is grouped under four influential technological divisions: trusted artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, communications technologies, Internet of Things (IoT) sensing and AI technologies, as well as integrated circuits and systems. It is applied across six core areas which are Smart City, Financial Technologies, Intelligent Manufacturing , Digital Health, Application Specific Integrated Circuits and Metaverse.
Over the years, ASTRI has nurtured a pool of research, I&T talents and received numerous international awards for its pioneering innovations as well as outstanding business and community contributions. As of 2020/21, ASTRI transferred almost 800 technologies to the industry and granted over 900 patents in the Mainland, the US, and other countries.
For further information, please visit www.astri.org.
The current-term Government has allocated HK$10 billion to this flagship I&T initiative. Two research clusters have been set up at the Hong Kong Science Park, namely Health@InnoHK, focusing on healthcare technologies, and AIR@InnoHK, focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies. InnoHK is committed to bringing together leading researchers from around the world to conduct world-class and impactful collaborative research with local universities and research institutions.
Since its inception, the InnoHK initiative spearheaded by the Innovation and Technology Commission has received an overwhelming response from many world-renowned universities and research institutions. After a rigorous selection and assessment process, 28 research laboratories have been admitted, involving seven local universities and research institutions as well as over 30 institutions from 11 economies, and pooling around 2,000 researchers locally and from all over the world.