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- HKSTP Welcomes Budget to Enrich Hong Kong’s I&T Ecosystem Continued Allocation of Resources to Further the City’s I&T Development
(Hong Kong, 23 February 2022) – Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) welcomes the 2022-2023 Budget (the Budget) announced by the Financial Secretary today, which furthers the Government’s commitment to promote innovation and technology (I&T) development in Hong Kong and foster a diversified economy amid epidemic. The Corporation will fully align resources and support the government’s initiatives, as well as collaborating with partners across government, industry, academic and research sectors. Endeavouring to enhance the vibrant I&T ecosystem in the city and the Greater Bay Area (GBA), HKSTP strives to make I&T the new economic engine for Hong Kong.
Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP, said, “The Budget’s allocation of resources is a vote of confidence to the I&T industry. We are pleased to see the establishment of the Strategic Tech Fund and will proactively identify prospective technology enterprises and investment opportunities. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a rapid growth in the total number and amount of fundings attracted by park companies, indicating a growing appetite to invest in local I&T startups. At the same time, we will capitalise on the opportunities presented by the National 14th Five-Year Plan, supporting tech ventures to go global and attract foreign investment, as well as enriching the talent pool and I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong and the GBA.”
Promoting I&T Investment to Nurture Tech Ventures
We are pleased to see the Government’s injection of HK$5 billion into the newly established Strategic Tech Fund as part of the Hong Kong Growth Portfolio under the Future Fund, which further supports expanding enterprises with considerable development potential. The HKSTP Venture Fund (also known as HKSTP Corporate Venture Fund) totals over HK$600 million in assets under management, where every HK$1 invested by HKSTP attracts an external investment of HK$13 to support local startups at different stages of funding. To date, the Venture Fund has invested in 23 tech ventures while the total number and amount of fundings attracted by park companies has mushroomed in recent years. Moving forward, HKSTP will work in tandem with the government initiatives to identify technology enterprises of strategic value to Hong Kong.
Supporting Life and Health Scientific R&D to Drive Industry Growth
Biomedical technology and talent play an essential role in society, especially amid the COVID-19 epidemic. As the largest R&D base in Hong Kong, the number of biomedical technology companies in Science Park has increased from 50 to over 150 in the past few years. Placing a strategic focus on biomedical technology, the Corporation fully supports the Government’s allocation of HK$10 billion to provide long-term and comprehensive support to the development and commercialisation of life and health technology in the city.
The Government-led InnoHK Research Clusters has successfully attracted 28 R&D project centres, bringing together local universities and over 30 top-notch international universities and research institutes, to set up their base in Science Park. The “InnoLife Healthtech Hub” outlined in the Budget will be established in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) with 16 of the life and health-related laboratories under the InnoHK initiative as a base.
In addition, the Institute for Translational Research (ITR), established by HKSTP last year, can also complement Hong Kong’s biomedical technology development in expanding the city’s talent pool and supporting the translation of R&D into market-ready offerings. Together, these initiatives will further enhance Hong Kong’s overall biotechnology capabilities.
Driving Re-industrialisation and Supporting Cross-industry Digital Transformation
HKSTP strives to strengthen data-driven R&D capabilities, including the launch of the STP Platform, the first all-in-one validation platform in Hong Kong. The Corporation welcomes the establishment of the Digital Economy Development Committee to promote digital-driven, high-quality economic development across different industries. HKSTP will works in align with the Government’s initiative to drive re-industrialisation, integrating I&T into industrial development. HKSTP has repositioned three industrial estates into INNOPARKs earlier, which reflects the strengthening of the I&T ecosystem from R&D to Innofacturing (R to I). This strengthened ecosystem will help traditional industries transform, support the growth of advanced manufacturing industries, as well as helping enterprises turn ideas into commercially viable outcomes.
The Tseung Kwan O INNOPARK’s Data Technology Centre (DT Hub), together with the Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMC) which is due to open this year, as well as the Yuen Long INNOPARK’s Microelectronics Centre (MEC) which is due to be completed in 2024, will help Hong Kong’s industries digitalize and become a I&T-driven economy.
Continuing to Enrich the Talent Pool and I&T ecosystem
HKSTP believes that I&T development must persist, even amidst the challenges brought by the pandemic. In recent years, HKSTP has successfully nurtured around 850 tech ventures and is currently home to over 1,000 I&T enterprises and 11,000 R&D professionals. The number of unicorn startups in Hong Kong are growing. The recently listed company SenseTime and unicorn enterprises Lalamove and SmartMore, are also based in the Science Park.
Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem is growing rapidly. The Budget made reference to the Northern Metropolis initiative, which will provide additional land to support the growth of the city’s I&T sector. This year, we will launch the Shenzhen Branch of Hong Kong Science Park to support GBA tech ventures to go global and attract foreign investment. HKSTP truly believes talent is critical to I&T development. We actively nurture local and overseas I&T talent through a variety of programmes, providing internship opportunities, training and job opportunities. These programmes include HKSTP GBA InnoAcademy and GBA InnoExpress, which support enterprises and talent across Hong Kong and Shenzhen comprehensively and further promote synergies between the two cities.
As one of Hong Kong’s I&T flagships, HKSTP will continue to make good use of the resources to further develop the city’s I&T industry, enrich the I&T ecosystem and capitalise upon the opportunities presented by the Government policies and the National 14th Five-Year Plan. In doing so, we strive to propel I&T success, benefit the wider communities and accelerate the progress of our city’s economy.
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