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PolyU and Industry Partner to Integrate Scientific Research and Innovative Industries

Image Credits: PolyU, Press Release

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has formed a strategic partnership with a venture capital investment company to promote the integration of the university’s scientific research with innovative industries. The collaboration’s main objective is to support PolyU research teams and start-ups with high potential, while also advancing the practical application of scientific research and the commercialisation of technology. The partnership is expected to contribute to the innovation and technology (I&T) development of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was witnessed by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry; the President of PolyU; and the Founding Partner of a global private equity firm. The Executive Vice President of PolyU and a partner at the global private equity firm signed the MoU.

During the same event, the Innovation & Investment Connect Panel Session was conducted. It gathered industry leaders and I&T stakeholders to participate in a stimulating panel discussion titled “How to facilitate research commercialisation from policymaker and investor perspectives.”

The panellists deliberated on the opportunities and challenges associated with the commercialisation of scientific research. Furthermore, two parallel thematic sessions were organised, where PolyU scholars and representatives from six investees at the venture capital investment company engaged in roundtable discussions on biomedical and sustainable innovation. The discussions highlighted the opportunities in the biomedical innovation ecosystem in Hong Kong, as well as the development trends in clean energy technologies and related industries.

According to the Hong Kong Innovation Activities Statistics 2021, Innovation plays a crucial role in promoting economic growth and development. It encompasses not only research and development (R&D) but also product and business process innovation, which are vital in enhancing competitiveness and business performance.

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) has been gathering various statistical indicators to measure the progress of innovation activities in Hong Kong. Among these indicators, the most significant ones are related to R&D activities.

Hong Kong’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) in 2021, which includes total spending on in-house R&D activities performed locally in the business, higher education, and government sectors (including public technology support organisations), amounted to HK$27,827 million. This represents a 5% increase compared to 2020. During the same period, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 7%. The GERD to GDP ratio slightly decreased from 0.99% in 2020 to 0.97% in 2021.

In recent years, the total spending on in-house R&D activities in the higher education sector has been consistently increasing. In 2021, the total expenditure on such activities in the higher education sector amounted to HK$14,735 million, representing a 4% increase compared to 2020.

On the other hand, the total expenditure on in-house R&D activities in the government sector, which mainly includes public technology support organisations, was HK$1,392 million in 2021, showing a 1% increase when compared with 2020.

The majority of in-house R&D activities in the business sector were focused on information technology and engineering technology. Specifically, computer software technology, information system and technology, and electrical and electronics engineering technology areas accounted for 21%, 17%, and 16% of the total expenditure on in-house R&D activities in the business sector, respectively.

Rather than being a significant performer of R&D activities, the government primarily serves a facilitative role in driving the economy’s technology and innovation advancement. This is achieved through the provision of funding support and technological infrastructure.

In 2021, the government sector, which primarily includes public technology support organisations, spent a total of HK$1,392 million on R&D activities. This amount represents a 1% increase compared to 2020. Additionally, the ratio of this expenditure to GDP remained the same at 0.05% in 2021.


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