After hugely successful forums globally and in Australia, Hitachi brought its signature event, the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum (HSIF) to Sydney for a second time, on Wednesday 21 November 2018.

HSIF is a series of events held by Hitachi to introduce its activities through presentations, panel discussions, and exhibits, and to share perspectives and visions as part of Hitachi’s efforts to promote collaborative creation. Social Innovation is about using innovative technologies and business solutions to address the key trends and challenges facing society. This year’s full-day event brought together global and local industry leaders, researchers, and government officials, seeki1ng to find answers to current and future challenges in Australia.

Hosted by Keiji Kojima, Executive Vice President and Executive Officer of Hitachi, Ltd. and Atsushi Konishi, Managing Director, Hitachi Australia Pty. Ltd., the forum included a range of remarkable speakers and guests of honour including The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, Keizo Takewaka, Consul-General of Japan, Sydney, Larry Marshall, Chief Executive, CSIRO and Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of The Greater Sydney Commission.

Both The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP and Dr Larry Marshall acknowledged Hitachi’s recent announcements of signing Memorandum of Agreement’s with both the NSW Government and CSIRO, during their speeches, illustrating a commitment to social innovation through collaborate creation.

Following the opening plenary, guests were invited to attend a choice of six tailored speaker sessions, with each addressing how Hitachi and its stakeholders aim to bring positive change to individuals in Australian society through Social Innovation in various sectors and industries. Parallel to the speaker sessions guests had the opportunity to experience the innovation showcase with technologies and solutions from a wide range of industries and business units across Hitachi. This year’s showcase consisted of four zones: IoT & Analytics, Transportation, Urban Development, and Life, Economy & Sustainability. Technologies on display included data driven solutions, biometrics, smart agriculture (including advanced drone services), rail management systems, rolling stock, Hitachi’s autonomous haulage system, fleet management systems, education solutions, particle beam therapy and much more.

At the end of this year’s event, the top four teams from the Hitachi Social Innovation Hackathon 2018 pitched their final ideas around Social Innovation in Agriculture, Mining and Smart Cities in front of a judging panel. The winning team, ‘Samaritan’, were announced as the winners and awarded total prize money of $10,000 by Dr Norihiro Suzuki, Vice President and Executive Office, CTO and General Manager of Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. The winning idea was to increase safety in cities, by implementing facial recognition technology applied through social media. Hitachi will continue to work with the team moving forwards to help them realise their potential and provide ongoing mentorship.