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6 Dec 2023

Speech by SITI at InnoHK Summit 2023

Speech by SITI at InnoHK Summit 2023

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the InnoHK Summit 2023 today (December 6):

Professor Tsui (Chairman of the InnoHK Steering Committee, Professor Tsui Lap-chee), Mr Albert Wong (Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation), 吳程副部長 (Deputy Director-General of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Ms Wu Cheng), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, 

     Good morning. Welcome to Hong Kong. It is my great pleasure to join you all today at the InnoHK Summit 2023.

     The Chief Executive just highlighted the importance of international collaboration. Now I wish to say a few more words about why Hong Kong is the best place for doing that.

     Promoting the development of innovation and technology, I&T in short, is very high on our Government's policy agenda. InnoHK is our flagship I&T initiative to foster global research collaboration. We have established two InnoHK research clusters, one on healthcare, another one on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. InnoHK so far has brought together over 30 world-renowned universities and institutions from 11 economies to set up so far a total of 29 research centres. You will hear from them today about the latest achievements resulting from their collaborative research. 

     The Policy Address two months ago announced the establishment of a new InnoHK research centre focusing on Generative AI. That is our 29th InnoHK research centre. Furthermore, we will start to make preparations next year for the establishment of a third InnoHK research cluster focusing on advanced manufacturing, materials, energy and sustainable development. We welcome scientists from around the globe to work with our local universities and set up research centres under this broad theme.

     Hong Kong has always been an open and cosmopolitan city with a diverse community. It remains the only place in the world where global connectivity and the China advantage come together in one city. With the staunch support from the motherland's National 14th Five-Year Plan, and the opportunities brought by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong is well positioned for I&T development.

     Imagine that you wish to create a positive impact through innovations based on your scientific findings. You will need to assemble a team of talented researchers to carry out further R&D (research and development). Hong Kong is the perfect place for that. We have the highest concentration of top-quality universities globally, with five of them ranking in the world's top 100. We also provide a variety of funding opportunities for different disciplines.

     When you are ready to translate your R&D outcomes into applications with real-world impact, you will be supported by various government schemes. For instance, the US$1.28 billion-Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme will fund, on a matching basis, hundreds of research teams from local universities with good potential to become successful start-ups. The recently announced another US$1.28 billion for New Industrialisation Acceleration Scheme will also fund the downstream application of new industrialisation by enterprises in the fields of life and health technologies, AI, data science, advanced manufacturing and new energy technologies.

     Once your start-up is up and running, you will find that Hong Kong is a business-friendly environment to raise capital with a wide range of I&T-focused funding from both public and private sources. We have a mature legal system supported by a robust IP (intellectual property) protection regime. In Hong Kong, you will have unrivalled access to the markets in Mainland China and Asia. At the same time, you will stay closely connected with the international market and capital. This makes our city an ideal destination for start-ups and enterprises to grow and succeed. Hong Kong is now home to more than 4 000 start-ups, and has given birth to nearly 20 unicorns so far.  

     No matter what stage you are at on your journey of innovation, Hong Kong is here to support you every step along the way - from conducting collaborative research to making real-world impact. We welcome scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to join us in developing a world-class I&T centre in the heart of Asia.

     Taking this opportunity, I would also like to thank the eminent speakers for sharing their knowledge and insight with us. May I wish you all a fruitful experience at the InnoHK Summit 2023.

     Before I close, December 10 is the polling day of the District Council Ordinary Election in Hong Kong. May I invite all eligible voters to cast your vote on the coming Sunday for a better community in Hong Kong. Thank you very much.

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