PRESS RELEASE: AP Photonics (A New Subsidiary Of API) Licenses Ground-Breaking Camera Phone Technology From ASTRI
[Hong Kong, 30 September 2010] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) held a special ceremony today (30 September) to formally license its home-grown anti-shaking compact camera module technologies to AP Photonics Limited (APP), a newly established Hong Kong-based company tapping into the global camera phone market.
APP was founded as a subsidiary of Automated Precision, Inc. (API) and a vehicle for its new consumer electronics business and related R&D activities targeting the Global market. With its strong commitment in commercializing the ASTRI technologies, APP has set up its headquarters in the Hong Kong Science Park in proximity to the research institute, allowing further collaboration in R&D.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Cheung Nim-kwan, ASTRI’s Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Kam Lau, Founder and Chairman of APP, and witnessed by Miss Janet W.C. Wong, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology and Dr. Patrick Wang Shui-chung, Chairman of the Board of ASTRI.
Dr. Cheung was delighted to see that another part of ASTRI’s technology was moving from R&D to industry. He said, “The signing of this licensing agreement is recognition of Hong Kong’s competitiveness in technology-related industries. I am confident that the commercialization of ASTRI’s intellectual properties by APP will not only attract further investments in related industry sectors, but also significantly enhance Hong Kong as a spawning ground for technology.”
The agreement involves eight patents developed by ASTRI’s specialists in the last three years. They allow anti-shaking and auto-focusing functions to be combined into one compact module, which will enhance phone cameras to produce clear images under poor lighting and shaky conditions. With its innovatively-designed actuator at a size of 8.5mm x 8.5mm x 4.8mm, the module is known to be the first and the most compact of its kind.
AdDr.essing the audience at the Ceremony, Dr. Lau said, “ASTRI has proven its credentials as an industry leader with a strong R&D team.” By signing the agreement, Dr. Lau saw an enormous market opportunity for his new business. “To me, ASTRI’s compact anti-shaking technology is a ‘hidden gem’ for this market. The high demand for digital cameras translates into a projected global market size of 1.2 billion camera phones in 2013. As the conventional anti-shaking components used in digital still cameras are too large to be applied to phone cameras, ASTRI’s innovative, high-quality module becomes very attractive to top tier mobile phone producers,” he said.
Dr. Lau, an alumnus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic (the forerunner of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University), has spent more than 30 years in the US and is now an established US entrepreneur. He obtained his bachelor and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and had served as a Research Engineer in National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) in the US.
Hong Kong will benefit from the operation of APP not only from possible tax revenue, but also from its experience in technology commercialization. APP is expected to encourage entrepreneurial endeavours in the local high-tech industry. Furthermore, APP plans to employ 40 to 50 staff in the Hong Kong office within the next 5 years, offering technological development and training to talents in Hong Kong.
Automated Precision is the world leader of advanced metrology solutions for industrial and research applications. Founded by Dr. Kam Lau in 1987, API has pioneered progressively higher standards of accuracy for coordinate measuring and machine tool operations. API products are installed and used by all of the world’s leading aerospace, automotive, machine tool, and CMM manufacturers, including the US Department of Defense, Ford, GM, Mercedes Benz, Pratt-Whitney, Caterpillar, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. API’s experienced engineering team is unmatched in its ability to deliver advanced metrology products which meet the needs of rapidly evolving industrial technologies.
The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) was founded by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2000 to enhance technological advances for Hong Kong through applied research.
In 2006, ASTRI was designated the Hong Kong Research and Development Centre for Information and Communications Technologies by the Innovation and Technology Commission to perform leading-edge R&D for technology transfer to industry, develop technological human resources and act as a focal point bringing together industry and university R&D assets.
During the past years, ASTRI has been conducting a spectrum of world-class and customer-focused R&D, and has built teams of excellent researchers, produced a volume of intellectual properties and created real economic impact by transferring technologies to its clients in Hong Kong, the Mainland and the region.
For more information about ASTRI, please visit www.astri.org.
(First posted on Friday, October 1, 2010 at 02:06 EDT)