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Hong Kong will invest more tech talent in 2019

The Hong Kong 2019-2020 Budget was announced on 27 February 2019 at the legislature. The regions Financial Secretary. The HKSAR Government is determined to ensure that the standards of living increase and that the region’s population is safeguarded from the looming prospect of economic hardship.

Under one of its objectives, the Government hopes to train more tech talent so as to enable the region to grow as a digital and innovation hub.

Pooling Innovation and Technology Talent

The current job market is seeing keen global competition for technology talent. Thus, the Government introduced the Technology Talent Admission Scheme in June 2018 to expedite the admission of such talent to undertake R&D activities in Hong Kong.

Participating enterprises are required to employ local employees and interns concurrently. So far, over 200 places have been approved under the scheme. The implementation details of the scheme will be reviewed in the first half of 2019.

In addition, the Researcher Programme has so far sponsored over 3,700 local graduates to join the I&T industry. The Postdoctoral Hub Programme launched last year has also sponsored over 350 postdoctoral talents to pursue a career in R&D.

To attract more local graduates to the industry, the Government will increase, with immediate effect, the monthly allowance from $16,000 to $18,000 for researchers with a Bachelor’s degree, and from $19,000 to $21,000 for researchers with a Master’s degree.

The funding period of both the Researcher Programme and the Postdoctoral Hub Programme has been extended from two years to three years with immediate effect. This means R&D institutes or enterprises can hire relevant R&D talents for three years which give them ample time for demonstrating their professional strengths in R&D projects.

To pave the way for nurturing local technology talents, we will also encourage the promotion of popular science education in schools.  The Financial Secretary will deploy $500 million to implement the IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools Programme in the coming three school years.

Each secondary school benefiting will be granted $1 million to procure the necessary information technology (IT) equipment and professional services, and organise more relevant extra-curricular activities to deepen students’ knowledge of cutting-edge IT, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing and big data, with a view to helping young people build a good IT foundation early during their secondary school years.

In addition to financial support, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) will set up a one-stop professional support centre to provide assistance.

Supporting Technology Enterprises

Technology enterprises and start-ups, in particular, are an integral component of the I&T ecosystem, with an important role in facilitating commercialisation and application of R&D results as well as developing innovative ideas.

In 2014, the Government launched the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities, which has so far supported 188 start-ups established by university teams to venture beyond their campus.

The maximum annual funding for each university will be increased from the existing $4 million to $8 million starting from 2019-20 to better nurture university start-ups.

IN 2018, $7 billion was reserved for the HKSTPC to enhance support for its tenants and incubatees, with part of the funding dedicated to expanding Incubation Programme. The programme has had over 120 applications so far.

In addition, the Corporate Venture Fund (CVF), launched by the HKSTPC in 2015, co-invests on a matching basis with angel investors or venture capital funds in tenants and incubatees of the Science Park.

The CVF has already committed the entire fund of $50 million to invest in nine projects and acted as a catalyst in attracting more than $670 million from co-investors.  Building on the success, the HKSTPC will expand the CVF to $200 million to support the growth of its tenants and incubatees.

In last year’s Budget, $200 million was injected into Cyberport to enhance the support for its tenants and start-ups. Cyberport used this to increase the financial subsidy under its incubation programme to $500,000 and introduced the Overseas/Mainland Market Development Support Scheme to offer an additional subsidy of $200,000.

Moreover, Cyberport launched the Easy Landing Scheme to attract multinational corporations to set up offices and R&D units in Cyberport through rental concessions.

To encourage private investments in local I&T start-ups, the Government set up the $2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund to co-invest in local I&T start-ups together with venture capital funds.  We selected a total of six Co-investment Partners in mid-2018, and have been receiving co-investment proposals.

Other Supporting Measures

The Government is striving to remove unnecessary constraints for I&T development and create more opportunities for the procurement of I&T products and services.  A pro-innovation Government procurement policy will be produced in April 2019 to enable innovative proposals to stand a better chance of winning government contracts.

The Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office has started reviewing existing laws which are outdated and impede I&T development.

The Way Forward

Thus, Hong Kong is in an excellent position to promote I&T development, and are presented with unprecedented opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area development, which offers more cooperation opportunities for local I&T enterprises as well as capabilities in commercialising R&D results and advanced manufacturing.

The Government can promote technological collaboration, interaction among industries and productisation of scientific and technological achievements, thereby facilitating the development of the Greater Bay Area into an international I&T hub.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.