(Hong Kong, 12 October 2023) – Professor Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, visited Tai Po InnoPark to explore the latest developments in Hong Kong's “new industrialisation” initiatives. His tour included visiting the manufacturing facilities of three prominent local brands: Nissin Foods, CATALO Natural Health Group (CATALO), and Vita Green Pharmaceutical Factory (Vita Green).
Professor Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, said, “Today, I had the pleasure to visit several distinguished enterprises, including Nissin Foods, CATALO, and Vita Green. These businesses, established in Hong Kong for years, have given me valuable insights into the recent progress of our “new industrialisation” efforts. Each has leveraged the HKSAR Government’s “Re-industrialisation Funding Scheme (RFS)” to create smart production lines, improving their production models, efficiency, and capacity. Nissin Foods, for instance, has successfully set up a smart production line that combines robotic technology, Auto-Teach Inspection Tool, and full automation; CATALO's Smart Manufacturing Facility has successfully reduced production cycles by 50%; while Vita Green's automated manufacturing line has seen its production capacity increase by nearly tenfold in some cases. The total workforce across the three InnoParks, engaged in food, medicine, and Chinese medicine manufacturing, exceeds 11,000 individuals, and such enterprises contributed HKD 5.5 billion to Hong Kong's GDP in 2022, underlining their substantial influence on Hong Kong's economic development. The Government will continue to vigorously promote ‘new industrialisation’, providing multifaceted support and strengthening policy support. We hope that in the coming years, the production value can double to over ten billion dollars, assisting these enterprises in expanding and enhancing their operations, thereby elevating the stature of 'Made in Hong Kong' products on the global stage.”
“New industrialisation” is a crucial driving force for Hong Kong's future economic development. Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is proactively integrating innovative technology into the city's manufacturing sector, fostering a climate of innovative manufacturing throughout the region. Two years ago, three industrial estates located in Tseung Kwan O, Yuen Long, and Tai Po were repositioned into InnoParks, attracting enterprises with high value-added offerings, high-tech content, and advanced processes. This initiative was undertaken to position Hong Kong at the forefront of global technological trends and developments, fostering sustainable business growth, injecting fresh momentum into the economy through “new industrialisation”, and achieving diversified economic development.
Photo 1 to 2: Professor Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry (Photo 1, right), visits the Nissin Foods production facility located at Tai Po InnoPark. Accompanied by Kiyotaka Ando, Chairman, and CEO of Nissin Foods (Photo 1, left), Mr Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP (Photo 2, fourth from left), and Ir Dr HL Yiu, Chief Corporate Development Officer of HKSTP (Photo 2, second from left), he explored how food enterprises integrate advanced technology through innovative manufacturing. Nissin Foods' new smart production line utilises robotics, Auto-Teach Inspection Tool and automation to boost production capacity, enhance product quality, and reduce production costs, thereby elevating the enterprise's competitiveness.
Photo 3 to 4: Professor Sun (Photo 3, right) visits CATALO, accompanied by Mr Calvin Chan, Chairman and CEO of CATALO Natural Health Group (Photo 3, left). CATALO's natural health food Smart Manufacturing Facility, located at the Medical Accessory Resilience Supplies (MARS) Centre within the Tai Po InnoPark. Covering an area of 18,000 sq. ft., the centre boasts Asia's first fully smart production line. Here, the entire industrial chain - from product formula development to supply chain management and smart warehousing - is overseen using artificial intelligence technologies. This minimises resource consumption and environmental pollution and significantly increases operational and production efficiency. By integrating advanced technologies, this production centre encapsulates the “new industrialisation” and sustainable development vision.
Photo 5: Professor Sun (centre), Mr Calvin Chan, Chairman and CEO of the CATALO Group (right), and Mr Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP (left), jointly toured Hong Kong’s first intelligent warehouse, which utilises a ‘storage on top, picking at the bottom’ arrangement. Rising to a height of 14 metres from floor to ceiling, the warehouse substantially optimises the available storage space. With the aid of smart robots, mechanical arms, and an inventory management system powered by intelligent algorithms, it ensures highly efficient warehouse operations and significantly enhances the efficiency of stock keeping and order fulfilment.
By situating its operations within the MARS Centre and establishing close collaborations with enterprises within the innovation and technology (I&T) ecosystem, CATALO fosters synergistic effects. The company also aims to bolster R&D cooperation with local universities and start-ups at Science Park, leveraging artificial intelligence and innovative technologies to transform CATALO into a leading biotechnology enterprise.
Photo 6 to 8: Accompanied by Dr Helen Chan, CEO of Vita Green Health Products Company Limited, Professor Sun toured the new automated production line at the Vita Green’s pharmaceutical factory at Tai Po InnoPark. The fully automated smart production line, equipped with online operation and automatic monitoring capabilities, can achieve a tenfold increase in productivity for certain outputs compared to manual production lines. Smart manufacturing also significantly reduces packaging paper and plastic, contributing to environmental sustainability. Vita Green will continue to drive innovative manufacturing by incorporating artificial intelligence into production lines. The automation of complex processes allows for handling high volumes of production orders in a short timeframe, reducing human errors while enhancing productivity and ensuring quality.
Since its inception, Vita Green has grown from its Hong Kong base to reach across Asia and extend further to Europe and America. As Vita Green continues its expansion into North America, it remains committed to advancing “new industrialisation”, leveraging technology to refine its manufacturing processes and R&D initiatives, and promoting “Made in Hong Kong” products on the global stage.
Tai Po InnoPark, boasting ample space well-suited to large-scale manufacturing facilities, is also home to other manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, health products, and related precision equipment. For Vita Green, this opens the door to potential research collaborations and strategic partnerships.
Photo 9: Spanning 75 hectares, Tai Po InnoPark is home to local and international brands and houses enterprises primarily in food manufacturing, media services and lifestyle goods.
Photo 10: The MARS Centre at Tai Po InnoPark is specifically designed for products that demand precision, hygiene and quality at all levels of the production cycle. The Centre provides the necessary facilities, including factory units, three-phase power supply, heavy-loading floors, compressed air supply, and a 24-hour AC chilled water supply. This infrastructure allows tenants to bypass the complex process of setting up manufacturing premises, enabling them to concentrate on R&D, production line design, and optimising quality control processes from the research stage to manufacturing.