[News from Institutions] VTC Information Technology Discipline and NVIDIA to jointly nurture talents for metaverse innovations
Moving forward to the new era of metaverse, the Information Technology (IT) Discipline of the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and NVIDIA, a leading multinational tech enterprise specialised in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer graphics, signed a partnership agreement to promote metaverse technology in support of building a versatile talent pool and consequently accelerating the pace of digital transformation and creating a digital future for Hong Kong. Under the agreement, the VTC will adopt the advanced software and development platform of NVIDIA for students to learn the metaverse development workflow while NVIDIA will also share the trainer training programme with VTC and provide technical support. Additionally, some VTC lecturers will join The NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute (DLI) Certified Instructor Program (CIP) to deliver workshops on metaverse-related technologies including AI, Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D graphics processing for in-service practitioners, secondary and primary school teachers and the public.
To drive closer industry collaborations on metaverse applications, a new Metaverse Innovation Centre will be established next year at the Sha Tin Campus of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), a VTC member institution. Through introducing tech-enhanced teaching and learning facilities incorporating Mixed Reality (MR), VR, AI and robotics technologies, as well as providing an innovative metaverse-integrated platform for students and industry, the Centre aims to nurture talents in metaverse innovations to meet the huge manpower demand for innovation and technology (I&T) professionals across different industries.
VTC Executive Director, Donald TONG, said at the Partnership Agreement Signing Ceremony that, “To address the evolving talent needs, we continue to enrich our VPET offerings and incorporate more digital, interdisciplinary and industry collaboration elements into our curriculum, thereby equipping our students with new knowledge and skills to embrace the ever-changing world.” He further remarked that NVIDIA was a pioneer in computer graphics and simulation technology and applications. Drawing on the strengths of NVIDIA, the VTC would be empowered to beef up its digital teaching and learning with metaverse-related technologies and enrich students’ learning experiences to give them a distinctive edge when they embark on their chosen careers.
Dr Simon SEE, Global Head of NVIDIA AI Technology Centre remarked that the Metaverse required different types of emerging technologies to build another universe, like VR, Augmented Reality, MR, AI and more. As the premier and largest VPET provider in Hong Kong, the VTC would be able to provide training to the workforce of Hong Kong in the era of metaverse. Dr SEE believed that during the joint collaboration between NVIDIA and VTC, more AI, robotics and metaverse application projects would be developed for Hong Kong and even worldwide.
Devoted to nurturing a new generation of I&T talents for the digital future, the IT Discipline of VTC has been evolving with the rapidly changing digital industry. Core elements of metaverse have long been incorporated into the curriculum of various programmes, such as the Higher Diploma in Multimedia, VR and Interactive Technology, the Higher Diploma in AI and Mobile Applications Development, and the Higher Diploma in Games and Animation programmes. The IT Discipline has also been proactively promoting industry collaborative projects, using the latest computer graphics and VR technologies, including mass transportation driving simulation systems and cultural heritage conservation applications, in order to bring industry partners, teachers and students together to work out innovative solutions for real-world problems. Meanwhile, teachers and students of the Discipline actively participate in different I&T competitions and won numerous awards. Examples include 1st Runner-up, 2nd Runner-up and HKT Best Innovation Award at the Young Professionals Exhibition & Competition 2022 with the projects ‘PresentAR’ and ‘Hear Inclusive’.
The metaverse can be applied in a variety of areas. LO Wing-ho, IVE graduate of Higher Diploma in Multimedia, VR and Interactive Technology programme, ingeniously used metaverse technology to preserve unique local cultures. With VR techniques acquired from the higher diploma programme, Wing-ho and his classmates developed an immersive experience software to recreate the scenes of the Wishing Trees at Lam Tsuen, Tai Po and the ‘Petty Person Beating’ ritual under the Ngo Keng Kiu in Causeway Bay. After putting on the VR goggles, users can not only learn the background stories and historical significance of the traditional events, but also try throwing their wishes written on red papers to the trees and watch the process of petty person beating as if they are right at the scene. According to Wing-ho, the team spent a lot of time on research and debugging, in hope of preserving distinctive traditions and culture of Hong Kong by making good use of innovative technologies.
Established in 1982, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the largest vocational and professional education and training provider in Hong Kong. The mission of VTC is to provide a valued choice to school leavers and working people to acquire the values, knowledge and skills for lifelong learning and enhanced employability, and also to provide support to industries for their manpower development. VTC has 13 member institutions, namely the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) , the Institute of Professional Education And Knowledge (PEAK) , the School for Higher and Professional Education (SHAPE), the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) , the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) , the Hotel and Tourism Institute (HTI) , the Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI) , the International Culinary Institute (ICI) , the Maritime Services Training Institute (MSTI) , Youth College , Pro-Act by VTC , the Integrated Vocational Development Centre (IVDC) and the Shine Skills Centre.
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