Embracing the Next Era of Economic Growth through I&T, Re-industrialisation and GBA Opportunities
06 Oct 2021
(Hong Kong, 6 October 2021) – Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) welcomes the wide-ranging innovation and technology (I&T) initiatives outlined in the Chief Executive's 2021 Policy Address.
The new measures will continue to drive I&T development and re-industrialisation in Hong Kong to capture the abundant opportunities arising from the 14th Five-Year Plan. These will enhance the flow of talent, capital, technology and research across the GBA. The increase of land supply for I&T will help further support its fast-growing ecosystem, as well as contributing to the development of the GBA as an international I&T hub.
Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP, said: “It’s encouraging to see the Policy Address increase support for the holistic development of Hong Kong’s I&T sector. HKSTP believes that there are significant opportunities for I&T development to benefit business and society, such as re-industrialisation which will accelerate digital transformation.
“With our 20 years of developing Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem, we will continue to make best use of government resources to further support its growth. To grasp the timely opportunities of the GBA, we will grow Hong Kong’s infrastructure, talent, capital, technology and research capabilities. This will build an even more comprehensive cross-border innovation and technology network to support GBA tech ventures to go global and attract foreign investment.”
Expanding Science Park’s Capacity to Support Surging I&T Growth
HKSTP recognises the increasing momentum in the I&T ecosystem and the need to provide more space for R&D and co-creation. Over the past five years, the number of technology ventures and startups in Science Park has grown more than 40% from 700 to 900. Additionally, it has reported a record high of 148 startups graduating from this year’s incubation programmes.
As outlined in the Policy Address, the plan to expand Science Park’s capacity includes different initiatives to provide additional land for I&T development and enable the further expansion of the Park. Phase 2 of the Science Park Expansion Programme is progressing well as planned.
The proposed construction of a new Science Park/Pak Shek Kok Station on the East Rail Line will help address the anticipated growth in Science Park’s working population and improve transportation efficiency and convenience.
New Northern Metropolis a Boost to I&T
I&T is the driving force for Hong Kong’s next era of economic growth, and Science Park is a major R&D hub in the city. HKSTP welcomes the government’s Northern Metropolis Development Strategy to establish a San Tin Technopole, which combines the land development of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) in the Lok Ma Chau Loop (the Loop).
Together with the Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Zone (Shenzhen I&T Zone), this strategy will further promote I&T collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. HKSTP will capture the opportunities presented by the 14th Five-Year Plan and support the government’s drive to form a framework of “Twin Cities, Three Circles”, which reinforces the foundations for Hong Kong to become an international I&T hub. HKSTP has also established “GBA InnoExpress” to nurture talent, provide business development and investment matching support to I&T enterprises. This will help companies go global, as well as attracting foreign investment by encouraging more corporations and investors to support the city’s I&T development.
HKSTP will also set up “GBA InnoAcademy” in the Shenzhen Branch of Hong Kong Science Park, providing resources, training, and exchange platform for I&T talent across the GBA. To deepen the collaboration between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, HKSTP will work with Hong Kong universities to establish incubator networks in their GBA campuses to nurture talent and assist startups.
Paving the Way for I&T Driven Re-industrialisation
With three Industrial Estates in Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long, HKSTP has established eight re-industrialisation guiding principles to develop I&T driven re-industrialisation. These include: output as to economic value-add contribution; investment in capital expenditure for equipment together with fit-out or building construction; high-skilled employment creation; advanced technology content or novel application in products or services; advanced process applied in the manufacturing of products or delivery of services; R&D activities and capabilities; local consumption for stable supply chain; sustainability in terms of business, environment or resources.
The Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMC) in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, and the Microelectronics Centre (MEC) in the Yuen Long Industrial Estate, will be completed mid-next year and in 2023 respectively. HKSTP is pleased with the positive industry response to the two developments.
The MARS Centre in the Tai Po Industrial Estate, is undergoing refurbishment and will officially launch at the end of the year. HKSTP also welcomes the government’s invitation to explore a second AMC, which would increase Hong Kong’s capability and capacity for high value-added, and technology-intensive manufacturing processes and production lines.
Harnessing Data to Drive R&D
Hong Kong is a hub for outstanding biomedical technology and talent. HKSTP welcomes the government’s proposal to establish an InnoLife Healthtech Hub in HSITP, which aligns with the focus on biomedical technology, robotics, engineering and micro-electronics.
The government’s InnoHK research clusters have attracted world-class universities and research institutions to collaborate with local universities in setting up 28 research laboratories, many of which have commenced operations in Science Park. These include Health@InnoHK and AIR@InnoHK, which focus on healthcare technologies and artificial intelligence and robotics (AIR) respectively. Collectively, these clusters have built a strong foundation for R&D cooperation on multiple fronts.
Data is critical to successful scientific research and development in areas such as biomedical technology and fintech, which are core HKSTP strategic focuses. HKSTP welcomes the call to explore collaboration with the Hospital Authority (HA) on the use of its clinical data for life and health-related R&D. HKSTP supports the government’s intention to establish a one-stop sandbox network with the Mainland to accelerate testing of cross-border fintech applications by financial institutions and technology companies from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
HKSTP has also established a vision for a city-wide virtual lab to provide extensive technology testing and validation capabilities for sector-specific environments. Through a combination of physical and virtual technologies, solutions can be quickly validated in real-life scenarios enabling faster and wider technology adoption within Hong Kong’s major economic sectors.
Boosting the I&T Funding Environment
Hong Kong’s investor network has displayed a growing appetite to invest in I&T startups. The HKSTP Venture Fund (also known as HKSTP Corporate Venture Fund) has now expanded its coverage to ventures beyond Series A stage. The fund now totals over HK$600 million where every HK$1 invested by HKSTP attracts an external investment of HK$13 to support startups at different stages of funding. To date, the Venture Fund has invested in 21 technology ventures while tenants and incubatees have raised funds totalling HK$33 billion in the past three years.
Supporting Art Tech and Sports Tech
HKSTP fully supports the development of Art Tech and Sports Tech, with a number of Park companies designing and developing innovative products and solutions. These endeavours will drive a new level of convergence between technology, arts and sports to spark new opportunities for other industries.
With Hong Kong’s advantage as an international gateway, combined with world-class scientific research and advanced manufacturing capabilities, HKSTP will continue to collaborate extensively with government, industry, academic and research sectors. This will foster increased corporate collaboration, commercialisation and talent development, ultimately driving the GBA’s competitiveness and creating broader opportunities for the young generation.