Hong Kong Social Enterprise Wins the WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards 2010

Posted by admin on July 5, 2010  |   No Comments »

[Hong Kong • 30 May, 2010]  Mobile Link Service, provided by Senior Citizen Home Safety Association (SCHSA), has won the Grand Prize of the Digital Opportunity Award in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) Global ICT Excellence Awards 2010. The latest in a string of achievements after winning at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2008 and the Asia Pacific ICT Awards 2009, it shares the honours this year with the Institute for Information Industry (III) — The Driving Force of Taiwan’s Information Society, U.S. President Barack Obama’s Open Government Initiative and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, etc.

SCHSA hosted a press conference at E Online Tsui Ping Centre today. Mrs. Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, was invited to be the officiating guest. Besides visiting the centre, Mrs. Lau also chatted with the staff at SCHSA’s 24-hour Call Centre to know more about the needs of Personal Emergency Link and Mobile Link Service users.
Mobile Link Service is a brand new outdoor support and care service specially designed for senior citizens aged 60 and above, and was co-launched by SCHSA and CSL Limited (CSL) in December 2008. The service enables the elderly to enjoy active lifestyles in their communities with total peace of mind. The two parties also launched “Safety Phone”, which runs on the Mobile Link Service platform, in March 2010.
The award was nominated by the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation (HKITF). The Digital Opportunity Award is presented to a private or public sector entity that has made remarkable and successful efforts in providing digital opportunities to those in need.
It was the first time not only for a social enterprise and a commercial enterprise in Hong Kong to share the Digital Opportunity Award, but also for a product designed for senior citizens to win the award, reaffirming SCHSA and CSL’s shared commitment to providing a worry-free living environment for the elderly. The award also highlighted the innovation and excellent quality of Mobile Link Service. When in need, service users can connect to SCHSA’s 24-hour call centre by simply pressing a button.

Mr. Albert J. Cheng, JP, Co-founder and Board Member of SCHSA said, “Mobile Link Service has fully realized the government’s Digital 21 Strategy for information technology. We are helping to tackle the challenges disadvantaged groups face in using information and communications technology, thus creating a more inclusive, knowledge-based society.”

Mr. Erwin Steve Huang, Convenor of SCHSA’s Technical and Engineering Sub-Committee and the Mobile Link Service, said, “Mobile Link Service was launched after two years of planning and testing, and we hope it brings the elderly peace and allows them to enjoy outdoor activities with ease. It is like a buddy who is at your side 24 hours a day. The unique features of the device, such as “special remotely controlled buzzer” allows passers-by to provide immediate assistance, the “low battery reminder” and the volume control function are all services designed for the elderly. Also, SCHSA’s call centre can identify the approximate location and pathway of movement of the Mobile Link device; we can even help redirect calls when the service user is in need. By doing so, we enable the elderly to enjoy active lifestyles in their community. ”

Ms. Irene Leung, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Business Market of CSL Limited, said, “The partnership with SCHSA is a successful illustration of a shared vision between a social enterprise and commercial organization. It reinforces the positive message that social enterprises and commercial organizations can join forces to develop useful solutions to address emerging needs of our society. The unique model of Mobile Link Service demonstrates the innovative use of ICT technologies as we transform advanced mobile technologies into simple to use but useful service for ‘non-traditional’ customer segments like the elderly in Hong Kong. CSL is also glad to have worked with a group of highly talented local ICT experts, including our solution partner mSolution, who demonstrated creativity and professionalism at all levels.”

Mr. Francis Fong, President of HKITF said, “We are pleased to see Hong Kong Technology recognized in a prestigious worldwide awards programme. We really appreciate the effort jointly made by social enterprises and commercial organizations. We should also honour those ICT professionals who devoted considerable effort and rendered remarkable achievements in the development of this indigenous solution. This year, our Hong Kong winner exhibited the exceptional use of ICT in a disadvantaged (elderly) community. This also encourages us to explore more on how ICT can be better deployed for the betterment and benefits of the elderly who have contributed a lot to build our society.”

WITSA is a consortium of over 70 national ICT industry associations from economies around the world. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA advocates policies that advance the industry’s growth and development by facilitating international trade and investment in IT products and services. WITSA also hosts the World Congress on Information Technology, the only industry sponsored global IT event every two years. This year, the presentation ceremony of WITSA Global ICT Excellence Awards was held at RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam on 26 May, 2010 (Hong Kong time: 27 May, 2010).

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