BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need

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Continuing its support for communities in the fight against COVID-19, BIC teams in Africa recently donated more than 100,000 pens to supply organizations helping citizens affected by violence and to help children learning from home during the pandemic.

In North Africa, BIC donated 28,000 writing and colouring items to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The IOM, which serves millions displaced by violence in the region, promotes positive coping mechanisms and resilience by allowing men, women and children to express their emotions through artistic workshops.

The donated stationery items—primarily coloured pencils, pens and whiteboard markers—can be used in both educational settings and activities that can help reduce anxiety and stress.

BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need
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Meanwhile, BIC East Africa has given more than 100,000 pens to Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports. As the government looks to support families during the lockdown, the donated items will help them provide school supplies and study materials for students continuing their education at home due to COVID-19.

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These donations are only the latest in BIC’s continuing efforts to help communities and families worldwide. Since March 2020, BIC has donated more than $1.5 million USD in stationery and shaver products to aid frontline healthcare workers and NGOs fighting the pandemic, in addition to manufacturing thousands of units of personal protective equipment (PPE).

BIC also donated up to $50,000 in the United States to the Kids In Need Foundation while spreading cheer and positivity with its BIC 4-Color Garden campaign, and BIC France is currently coordinating donations with the Soprano Foundation as part of its “Write, Erase and Reinvent Your Dreams with BIC® Gel-ocity® Illusion® and Soprano” contest.

BIC, a world leader in Stationery, Lighters, and Shavers, is manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers to address the shortage of this essential equipment in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Face shields are being made at several BIC production sites around the world and then donated to local hospitals or governments.

The Company is also partnering with other businesses and academic institutions to produce a full-face mask with air filtration to be donated to hospitals and is donating more than €1.3 Million (more than $1.5 Million) at a retail value of pens, colouring products, other writing instruments, and razors to support local communities, hospitals, children and the homeless.

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“As a global company with thousands of team members in communities around the world, we strongly believe that we have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to make a meaningful contribution to our communities during this global health crisis,” said Gonzalve Bich, BIC CEO. “Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by COVID-19. We send our heartfelt gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, factory workers, and first responders putting themselves on the frontlines to protect our communities and economies.”

BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need
BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need

BIC began producing face shields at its lighter facility in Redon, France, at the end of March. The team there is producing 3,000 per day using raw materials the company already has in its possession, including packaging plastic, rubber and more. The first batch was donated to the local hospital and police force.

Production of these and other face shields have expanded to facilities in Brazil, Greece and Tunisia for local hospitals and government agencies.

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Production has begun on an adaptor to transform the Decathlon EasyBreath full-face snorkelling mask into COVID-19 personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in hospital reanimation units. The mask completely protects the eyes, nose and mouth and filters the air, if there is a lack of conventional masks and goggles.

This project, which leverages a solution developed by Professor Manu Prakash from Stanford University, results from a partnership with researchers, engineers, doctors, industrialists. Today 50 masks and adaptors were delivered to the Brest hospital and 10 to the Redon hospital in France for use in reanimation units.

BIC teams in France are also using 3D printing to produce frames for safety glasses, as requested by a local hospital.

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BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need - Brand SpurBIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need - Brand Spur

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BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need - Brand SpurBIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need - Brand Spur

Latest News

Hong Kong Productivity Council Theme of the Year 2021: “Make Smart Smarter”

  • Smarter Era of Intelligent Manufacturing Launch Ceremony
  • Witnesses New Milestone for Reindustrialisation in Hong Kong


HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 26 February 2021 - The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) launches a series of activities in 2021 themed "Make Smart Smarter". The campaign with "Smarter Era of Intelligent Manufacturing Launch Ceremony" was kicked off today, revolving around the theme of "reindustrialisation".


BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need - Brand Spur

The "Smarter Era of Intelligent Manufacturing Launch Ceremony" was officiated together by Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR Government (fourth from left); Mr Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong (third from right); Ms Rebecca Pun, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR Government (second from right); Dr Daniel Yip, Chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (third from left); Mr Roberto Leone, Managing Director of NiRoTech Limited (first from right); Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC (fourth from right); Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC (second from left) and Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC (first from left).


Co-organised by the Federation of the Hong Kong Industries (FHKI), this spotlight event exhibited and introduced an excellent example of reindustrialisation whose research and development were undertaken by HKPC. Gaining support from the Innovation and Technology Bureau and funding support from the R&D Cash Rebate Scheme of the Innovation Technology Commission of the HKSAR Government, production has been successfully commenced in NiRoTech Limited (NiRoTech), a local intelligent security product manufacturer.

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This smart production line, named the "OWL" intelligent production line, gives into full play the characteristics of an owl's wisdom, piercing eyes, flexible body, soft neck (360o vision) and agile movement. These perfectly echo the key features of this intelligent production line which has high flexibility, excellent agility to cater for different production needs, stringent and precise production capacity, as well as non-stop operation. Five key "S.M.A.R.T" elements: Speed, Multi-function, Accuracy, Reliability and Traceability, can be seen in this production line offering edges of intelligence and efficiency enhancement.


In order to effectively respond to Hong Kong manufacturers' demands on production space, the "OWL" production line adopts a U-shape compact layout design and incorporates the beauty of the "Industry 4.0" (i4.0) lean manufacturing "vision", significantly reducing the factory area to meet the unique land constraints of Hong Kong. NiRoTech's smart factory only occupies 10,000 square feet, saving 50% of the land. It is also equipped with 12 robots and large amount of customised intelligent automation systems and digital technologies. Compared with traditional manual production, the overall production capacity increases by 1.5 times.


Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, and Dr Daniel Yip, Chairman of FHKI, were joined by Mr Clemente Contestabile, Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong; Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Ms Rebecca Pun, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology; Mr Roberto Leone, Managing Director of NiRoTech; as well as Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC and Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC, for the launch of the ceremony.


In his welcoming address, Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, said, "HKPC is committed to offering staunch support for Hong Kong SMEs in technology R&D and technical aspects, with the aim of creating value for the industrial development of enterprises with state-of-the-art technologies. The 'OWL' intelligent production line is an excellent example of applying innovative technologies that also fits perfectly with HKPC's theme of this year 'Make Smart Smarter'. As owl represents wisdom, by being smarter and using innovative technologies such as IoT, AI, big data, intelligent robots and smart production processes to unleash production opportunities of i4.0, it will certainly scale up productivity and contribute to successful reindustrialisation in Hong Kong, thus achieving the goal of 'Make Smart Smarter'".


He continued, "It is really encouraging to see this 'reindustrialisation' example witnessing the concerted efforts of the Government, industries, business chambers and HKPC to promote reindustrialisation in Hong Kong! HKPC sincerely urges various sectors to work together to accelerate reindustrialisation for the swift recovery of Hong Kong economy and to ensure the "Made-in-Hong Kong" brand to continue to shine bright in the international arena -- Make Smart Smarter".


Dr David Chung, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, said, "the Government has been actively promoting 'reindustrialisation' in recent years by providing support in infrastructure, finance, technology and talents in order to create new area of growth and great job opportunities which would help alleviate Hong Kong's competitiveness. I wish to see more enterprises 'Make Smart Smarter', and make good use of these opportunities provided by I&T, as well as the support from the Government, to work and contribute together in turning Hong Kong into an international I&T hub".


Dr Daniel Yip, Chairman of FHKI said, "This collaboration of HKPC and NiRoTech serves as a valuable reference for industrialists on how to integrate i4.0 into production lines to enhance efficiency, elevating their confidence to set up high value-added manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong. With comprehensive policy support and HKPC's professional consultative service, FHKI believes that more Hong Kong manufacturers will join the force of 'reindustrialisation' by pursuing technological advancement and setting up smart manufacturing plants locally, taking the Hong Kong industries into a new era".


The "OWL" intelligent production line integrates the smart adoption of advanced robots with machine vision, smart electrical and mechanical devices, laser processing and sensor technologies. Also, by incorporating AI, IoT, human machine interface, real-time data collection and data analytic technologies, it ensures the full automation and digitalisation of production, assembly and monitoring to achieve big data analytics. Apart from three technologies whose patents are soon to be applied, the project also assists NiRoTech's business planning in exploring the emerging markets and grasping new opportunities.


Mr Roberto Leone, Managing Director of NiRoTech, said, "Mechatronic Manufacturing in Hong Kong: our strategy was clear from the start when we sought HKPC's assistance for help to realise intelligent production. For some, this goal was still immature and very difficult to achieve, especially with Hong Kong being chosen as our operation hub. Today we can proudly say we have achieved it with the system in Hong Kong operating satisfactorily as schedule. Despite there are challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting all in 2020, the result is now vividly in front of us, and we can touch it. Yet this is only the first step of a long journey".


For more details about "Make Smart Smarter", please visit the dedicated website: https://smarter.hkpc.org/en/index.html


About Hong Kong Productivity Council

The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) is a multi-disciplinary organisation established by statute in 1967, to promote productivity excellence through integrated advanced technologies and innovative service offerings to support Hong Kong enterprises. HKPC is the champion and expert in facilitating Hong Kong's reindustrialisation empowered by i4.0 and e4.0 -- focusing on R&D, IoT, big data analytics, AI and Robotic technology development, digital manufacturing, etc., to help enterprises and industries upgrade their business performance, lower operating costs, increase productivity and enhance competitiveness.


The Council is a trusted partner with comprehensive innovative solutions for Hong Kong industries and enterprises, enabling them to achieve resources and productivity utilisation, effectiveness and cost reduction, and enhanced competitiveness in both local and international marketplace. It offers SMEs and startups immediate and timely assistance in coping with the ever-changing business environment, accompanying them on their innovation and transformation journey.


In addition, HKPC partners and collaborates with local industries and enterprises to develop applied technology solutions for value creation. It also benefits a variety of sectors through product innovation and technology transfer, with commercialisation of multiple market-driven patents and technologies, bringing enormous opportunities abound for licensing and technology transfer, both locally and internationally.

For more information, please visit HKPC's website: www.hkpc.org.


BIC Donates More Than 100,000 Pens in Africa to Help Children and Adults in Need - Brand Spur
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