Hong Kong’s Secretary for Innovation and Technology Xue Yongheng on the new measures in the field of innovation and technology in Hong Kong budget 2021.
Innovation and technology is an important driving force for future economic development. The current government has invested more than 100 billion yuan to support the development of innovation and technology, which fully demonstrates our determination to develop innovation and technology. In the “Chief Executive’s 2017 Policy Address”, the Chief Executive has set eight major directions for promoting the development of innovation and technology.
The New Year’s Budget will continue to consolidate and strengthen related measures, especially in the areas of cultivating and gathering talents, providing innovation and technology infrastructure, promoting research and development, supporting technology start-ups, and promoting re-industrialization. It takes time for all measures to be effective, but we are very pleased to see that the overall innovation and technology ecological environment in Hong Kong has improved significantly in recent years.
In terms of cultivating and gathering talents, we will launch the Wonderful IT Learn More Program to extend the experience of the IT lab program in secondary schools to aided primary schools to strengthen students’ interest in and understanding of IT, and to integrate into the knowledge-based economy and digital society. Be prepared for development.
In June last year, it launched a pilot internship program for innovation and technology to subsidize local universities to study STEM, namely science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Undergraduate and graduate students of the courses arrange short-term internships to encourage students to experience innovation and technology during their studies. Relevant full-time jobs, early to cultivate their interest in devoting themselves to innovation and technology after graduation, so as to expand the local innovation and technology talent pool. The academic community and the industry have responded enthusiastically to the plan and highly appraised the plan. Therefore, we will make the plan regular in 2012/22.
The Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Program launched earlier this year encouraged companies to hire university graduates to engage in innovation and technology-related jobs in Hong Kong and cities in the Greater Bay Area. The response was very positive. I am very happy to report to you that as of noon today, the company has provided 786 innovation and technology vacancies for our young people, exceeding our target of 700. On the other hand, we will launch the Outstanding Creative Scientists Program in the first half of this year to support universities in attracting internationally renowned innovators and teams to Hong Kong to participate in teaching and research work.
In terms of the provision of innovation and technology infrastructure, the construction of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Loop is proceeding at full speed. It is expected that the first batch of facilities will be completed in phases between 2024 and 2027.
In the short to medium term, we have previously announced the expansion of the second phase of the Science Park and the construction of the fifth phase of the Cyberport, mainly for R&D or innovation and technology companies to operate and cultivate start-ups. The preparations for the expansion plan are progressing smoothly.
In terms of promoting R&D, the total local R&D expenditure has gradually increased in recent years, but it still continues to push hard. For two consecutive years, we will inject 4.75 billion yuan into the Innovation and Technology Fund each year to support the work of 17 funding programs and more than 50 R&D laboratories in the next three years.
We are very pleased to see that the overall innovation and technology ecosystem in Hong Kong is gradually flourishing. For example, the number of start-ups has increased from about 1,100 in 2014 to more than 3,300 in 2020; the amount of venture capital funds invested in Hong Kong has increased from 12.4 in 2014 100 million yuan, increased to 9.9 billion yuan in 2019, an increase of 7 times.
With the severe epidemic and the instability of the external economy, the innovation and technology industry has encountered many difficulties in financing. To continue to support the development of technology start-ups, the Science Park Corporation and Cyberport will inject RMB 350 million and RMB 200 million into their technology enterprise investment fund and Cyberport Investment Venture Fund, respectively, and will expand the coverage to B Round or later financing, and co-invest with other private investors in potential technology start-ups.
As for the promotion of re-industrialization, the advanced manufacturing center and microelectronics center being developed by the Science and Technology Park Company will be completed next year and the next year respectively to provide support for smart production and high-end manufacturing. Many companies have expressed interest in entering these two areas. Centers.
The Reindustrialization Subsidy Scheme launched in July last year provided matching funds to manufacturers to set up new smart production lines in Hong Kong. As of the end of January this year, a total of about 190 enquiries and 12 applications have been received.