HKUST welcomes the Government’s announcement of a series of measures to boost Hong Kong’s innovation and technology (I&T) capabilities, as rolled out by Financial Secretary Mr. Paul CHAN in his Budget today (February 22).
Of particular relevance to the University are the HK$6 billion subsidies for universities and research institutes to set up life and health technology research institutes, the plan to establish the Microelectronics Research and Development Institute, initiatives to promote fintech and green tech development, and the allocation of over HK$700 million for nurturing and supporting start-ups.
HKUST is committed to advancing knowledge through teaching and research, and translating research outcomes into applications that will contribute to the economic and social development of Hong Kong and the nation. We are delighted to see the measures announced in the Budget to further boost the I&T ecosystem in the city and the Greater Bay Area. The University looks forward to closely collaborating with stakeholders in I&T development on frontier technologies and the nurturing of start-ups, with a view to benefiting different sectors of society.
HKUST Council Chairman the Hon. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing said, “Supporting Hong Kong’s development into an international I&T hub is one of the initiatives under the Country’s 14th five-year plan. The HKSAR Government has proactively responded to this national development strategy by implementing various measures. HKUST will carry on the mission set forth by its founders three decades ago – to help Hong Kong nurture the right talents for the city’s economic transformation. To achieve this, we will collaborate with the Government on its various I&T policies. As our University has entered a new stage of HKUST 2.0, with synergies created by the Clear Water Bay and Guangzhou campuses under the ‘Unified HKUST, Complementary Campuses’ framework, we are well-positioned to contribute to I&T development not only in Hong Kong, but also in Greater Bay Area.
HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP said, “HKUST appreciates the series of forward-looking measures rolled out in the Budget today, especially those that promote the commercialization of life and health technology research outcomes and basic research on frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics and quantum technology. These research areas are where the unique strengths of Hong Kong and HKUST lie. The plans will enhance Hong Kong’s development into an international I&T center. With Hong Kong being the world's second largest fundraising hub for biotechnology companies and policy support from the Government, the city has enormous potential to play a leadership role in these areas of innovation.”
The Budget has allocated additional resources on I&T and infrastructure projects including the San Tin Technopole, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop, the Microelectronics Research and Development Institute (MRDI), and a feasibility study on setting up the second Advanced Manufacturing Center. These will not only provide essential hardware for Hong Kong’s scientific research and I&T activities, but also create an I&T ecosystem that attracts local, mainland and overseas talents in scientific research to work together. As a leader in semiconductor research, HKUST set up “AI Chip Center for Emerging Smart Systems (ACCESS)” under the Hong Kong Government's “InnoHK Initiative” in 2020. Amid fierce global competition for talents in the semiconductor sector, ACCESS hopes to collaborate with the Government-planned MRDI to advance the research and development chain of AI chips, and to expand the talent pool of relevant industries.
Green finance and fintech are two key research and talent development areas of HKUST. With the support of the Research Grants Council, HKUST School of Business and Management is currently carrying out two large-scale research projects in green finance and fintech. The School has published Hong Kong's First Fintech Development Study last year, in which it proposed the establishment of a "Hong Kong Fintech Ecosystem Committee”. It has also launched Hong Kong’s first and only undergraduate program in Green Finance. Now with new measures announced in the Budget to bolster green finance and virtual assets development, the University will continue to boost the public and the tertiary education sector’s knowledge in these two emerging business fields through research and fintech educational activities such as HKUST Fintechstic. We will also support the Government's "International Green Tech Week" and help accelerate the development of Hong Kong into an International GreenTech and GreenFi Center.
HKUST is also delighted to see that the Government has earmarked more than HK$700 million in its Budget for the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) and Cyberport to nurture and support technology start-ups. As the first Hong Kong university to invest in supporting entrepreneurs, HKUST has incubated over 1,600 active start-up companies – including 9 unicorns and 8 initial public offerings (IPO) companies, creating an economic impact of over HK$400 billion over the past three decades. HKUST is now in talks with Cyberport to incubate more start-ups in smart living technologies, with the University’s extensive experience in start-up incubation, we hope to provide the companies with professional support and consultation. Meanwhile, HKUST is optimizing its policies, such as raising its patent creators’ shares of net revenue from the commercialization of research outcomes. The University will also organize more entrepreneurship activities to enhance its connection with the industry, as well as boosting the public’s understanding of the successful and active start-ups of HKUST.
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