Hong Kong striving for technology innovation

The Secretary for Innovation and Technology outlines technology innovation in the country.

To promote the development of innovation and technology, Hong Kong must strengthen its talent pool and gather outstanding scientific and technological talents.

It has been cultivating, retaining, and attracting talents to expand the local innovation and technology talent pool in a three-pronged approach.
The “Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Program” recommended in this year’s “Policy Address” started accepting applications from companies in January 2020.

The plan specifically sets up about 700 places in the innovation and technology sector to subsidize companies that have operations in Hong Kong and cities in the Greater Bay Area, hire local university graduates, and participate in innovation and technology work and receive training in Hong Kong and cities in the Greater Bay Area.

Let them know more about the latest innovation and technology development in the two places and seize the opportunity to develop the innovation and technology business in the Greater Bay Area.

Since the plan was launched, the industry has responded very well. In just two weeks, more than 100 companies have applied to participate in the plan, including more than 340 innovation and technology positions.

In addition, the Hong Kong launched the “Innovation and Technology Internship Program” last summer to subsidise local universities to arrange short-term internships for undergraduates and graduate students studying their STEM courses.

The academic community and the industry have responded very, very enthusiastically to the plan. So far, it has attracted more than 1,500 university students and more than 800 institutions to participate. The vast majority of students have a deeper understanding of the innovation and technology industry after completing the internship and will also consider investing in innovation and technology in the future. In addition, most of the employers participating in the program are satisfied with the work performance of the intern students, and even think that the performance of the students has exceeded expectations and intend to continue participating in the program in the future.

Participating universities stated that the plan will help provide more internships related to innovation and technology, allowing students to apply STEM knowledge in the workplace and to understand the culture and working environment of the innovation and technology industry early.

Hong Kong believes work of nurturing innovation talents should start as soon as possible. Therefore, through the “Secondary IT Innovation Lab” project, we have strengthened the cultivation of student’s interest in information technology at the secondary level, and enhanced their digital skills, computational thinking, and innovation capabilities, and promote the innovation and technology culture and further consolidate the long-term supply of local IT and even the overall innovation and technology talents.

Under the plan, the Hong Kong Government will provide a total of 500 publicly funded secondary schools in Hong Kong with a maximum of one million yuan in financial support for the establishment of “IT Innovation Experiments” in the academic years of 2020/21 to 2222/233.

“Room” allows schools to purchase information technology equipment and professional services that meet their teaching needs, such as cloud services and AI equipment, as well as organize information technology-related extracurricular activities.

In addition to continuously strengthening the training of local talents, Hong Kong must continue to increase its attractiveness to global innovation and technology talents. This year’s “Policy Address” proposes to launch the “Outstanding Creative Scientists Program” to subsidize local universities to hire well-known overseas scholars and their teams to come to Hong Kong to carry out innovation and science education and research.

The quota will be 100 and the budget will involve about 2 billion Hong Kong dollars. We believe that the plan will help local universities to further their innovation, science, teaching and research activities.

The Hong Kong Government will brief the Panel on Commerce and Industry with colleagues from the Education Bureau next week on the details of the project.

At the same time, in order to intensify efforts to attract scientific and technological talents from overseas and the Mainland, the Government has implemented the “Technology Talent Admission Scheme” to implement rapid processing arrangements for institutions engaged in 13 science and technology fields to import overseas and Mainland scientific and technological talents for research and development in Hong Kong.

Since the scheme was launched in June 2018, 517 places have been approved; 215 visas or entry permits have been issued. Among the 517 approved quota applications, more than 200 related jobs belonged to the category of artificial intelligence, and about 100 jobs related to financial technology and data analysis.

Promote the development of smart cities

In the debates over the past three days, Members have put forward many opinions on promoting the development of smart cities. Our goal of promoting innovation and technology and smart city development is to promote the diversified development of Hong Kong’s economy and to inject new impetus into the economy.

What is more important is to improve the quality of life of the people, benefit the people, and achieve convenience for the people. The Government has announced the “Hong Kong Smart City Blueprint 2.0” last month and proposed more than 130 measures, including the smart travel measures mentioned by the Secretary for Transport and Housing in his speech just now, so that the public can feel more the convenience brought by smart cities and innovation and technology to their daily lives. Citizens can check the implementation progress of each smart measure through a dedicated smart city website.

The website also provides a smart city real-time city data dashboard to make it easier for citizens to obtain the latest city information.

At the same time, we just launched the “Smart Convenience” one-stop personalized digital service platform at the end of last month.

“Smart Convenience” is one of the important digital infrastructures to promote the development of Hong Kong’s smart city, allowing citizens to connect to different online services with a single digital identity. The public can also use the “Smart Convenience” platform to make legally effective digital signatures and process statutory documents and procedures in accordance with the Electronic Transactions Ordinance.

At present, citizens can access more than 20 common government online services through the “Smart Convenience” platform, such as renewal applications for vehicle licenses and full driving licenses, “e-taxation”, outbound travel reminder registration, etc., as well as public utilities such as two electricity and one coal Online services.

It is estimated that by the middle of this year, citizens can use about 110 different government online services through the platform.

In addition, the government continues to strive to improve public services, and will continue to use technology and streamline business processes to make government services more convenient, effective, and transparent.

The Government will promote more electronic license services. The goal is that by the middle of next year, all license applications can be submitted electronically. Except for legal or operational restrictions, all licenses can be issued electronically to reduce the number of applicants. The time and cost required, and related services can be used anytime and anywhere.

The government will also continue to reform more than 900 government services to further improve the level of public services, benefit the public and facilitate business.



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