Hong Kong’s government has intensified its efforts to promote the development of innovative technology as a key focus.
In line with the national “14th Five-Year Plan,” Hong Kong is clearly positioned as an international innovation and technology center, tasked with promoting industrial upgrading, transformation, and diversified development through innovation and technology.
This strategic approach not only paves the way for Hong Kong’s high-quality development but also contributes to China’s accelerated realization of high-level technological self-reliance and China-style modernization.
Undoubtedly, the development of innovation and technology holds a pivotal role in Hong Kong’s future progress.
Since the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau, now known as the Innovation and Technology Commission, in 2015, substantial investment of nearly HK$200 billion has been made to support innovation and technology development.
In the Chief Executive’s Policy Address last October, proactive measures were proposed to attract enterprises and talents.
Furthermore, the “Hong Kong Blueprint for Innovation and Technology Development,” released at the end of the previous year, outlines the development direction and path for innovation and technology.
Emphasizing the importance of aligning with the national development strategy, the recent Budget statement highlighted three key directions for Hong Kong’s high-quality development, leveraging its unique advantages and the favorable conditions of “One Country, Two Systems” to forge new pathways for economic growth.
Over the past year, since the new government assumed office, notable progress has been achieved in the innovation and technology landscape.
Hong Kong’s overall innovation and technology ecosystem has witnessed enhanced vibrancy, with significant achievements in fostering startups, attracting and nurturing talent, and facilitating the commercialization of research outcomes.
For instance, Hong Kong Science Park, a flagship project for innovation and technology, has seen a remarkable 30% increase in the number of companies, with a total of 320 entities establishing their operations.
Notably, 20% of these companies originate from mainland China or overseas. Among the newly admitted companies, a “unicorn” enterprise dedicated to developing next-generation data processing units (DPUs) stands out.
Additionally, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporations’ incubation program has successfully graduated over 430 startups. These technology companies in the Science Park have secured approximately HKD 780 million in funding over the past year.
Another significant innovation and technology flagship, Cyberport, is experiencing rapid growth within its ecosystem.
Presently, Cyberport hosts over 1,900 community companies, with cumulative funding for startups surpassing HKD 35.7 billion.
The establishment boasts more than 480 intellectual property projects, and among the six “unicorns” present, a smart logistics startup successfully listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last year, while another travel platform is preparing for listing.
Notably, a Cyberport community company became the second virtual asset trading platform licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong in the previous year.
Moreover, HKD 50 million has been allocated in this year’s budget to expedite Web 3.0 development based on blockchain technology at Cyberport. Over the past year, more than 150 related companies have set up their operations in Cyberport, and it is expected that this trend will foster further research and development as well as innovative applications in this domain.
In terms of advancing application research and industrialization, fruitful collaboration between the government’s five research and development centers and industry stakeholders has yielded positive outcomes. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, over 210 research and development projects were conducted, marking an increase of over 10% compared to the previous year. Notably, there was a 16% surge in approved patent applications, totaling 135. For example, the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel received a prestigious Gold Award at an international invention exhibition in April this year for its fabric delivery technology invention. Additionally, the Hong Kong Productivity Council has assisted over 150 companies in adopting intelligent manufacturing technologies for production, leading to significant improvements in efficiency. By leveraging appropriate policies and technological support, these examples illustrate the innovative spirit embedded within Hong Kong’s industries and its capability to achieve Industry 4.0.
Moving forward, the government is committed to further bolstering support for innovation and technology research and advanced industrialization. The recently approved HKD 10 billion “Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living,” proposed in the Policy Address, will be gradually injected into the program to expedite the transformation and commercialization of research achievements from lab to market.
Moreover, recognizing the significance of the service industry, which significantly contributes to Hong Kong’s economy, efforts are underway to accelerate its digital transformation. The Committee on the Digital Economy, chaired by the Chief Executive, was established last year to conduct comprehensive research on cross-border data flows, digital infrastructure, digital transformation, and talent development. Allocating HKD 500 million to Cyberport in this year’s budget, the government aims to implement the “Digital Transformation Support Pilot Scheme” and assist small and medium-sized enterprises in adopting existing digital solutions through personalized support.
As Hong Kong marches forward, its commitment to innovation and technology remains unwavering, fueled by robust government support and a steadfast dedication to propelling the city towards a prosperous and technologically advanced future.