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PolyU’s Policy Paper for Unlocking Innovation 

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The Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology (PReCIT) and the Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation (RCMI) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have collaborated on a policy paper that outlines recommendations to policymakers for capitalising on the opportunities arising from the dynamic consumer market and talent pool in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) with the aim of fostering the development and innovation in the traditional Chinese Medicine (CM) industry.

One of the primary focal points of the paper involves addressing the fragmented and limited funding mechanisms that have acted as impediments to the full realisation of the CM industry’s potential. The authors advise the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government to cultivate a supportive and robust environment for the CM ecosystem.

This can be achieved by broadening the funding scope of the Chinese Medicine Development Fund and promoting collaboration between academia and industry, emphasising interdisciplinary approaches within CM research. The establishment of a research platform fund specifically tailored for industry-centric R&D projects is also recommended, as it would facilitate the more effective and widespread application of complementary and integrative CM-related healthcare solutions.

Furthermore, the authors advocate for the creation of a central research platform that comprises an Evidence-based Chinese Medicine Research Centre, in partnership with the Schools of Chinese Medicine in three local universities and CM hospitals nationwide. Additionally, an International Dietary Supplement and Botanical Drug Research Centre is encouraged to validate the efficacy and safety of CM, promoting both mental and physical wellness.

The paper underscores the importance of facilitating the export of the high-quality Lingnan CM brand to international markets. To achieve this, it recommends expediting the approval and mutual certification mechanisms of Chinese proprietary medicine among GBA cities, incentivising cross-boundary collaborations for research and development, streamlining evaluation processes, and aligning CM standards with international norms by progressively integrating them into the global regulatory framework.

Recognising the evolving needs across various sectors and the advancements in technology, the authors encourage the HKSAR Government to establish a three-way trading and cross-border cooperative blockchain platform designed for electronic contracting, circulation, and traceability procedures in CM projects. Additionally, the paper suggests placing a greater emphasis on branding and promoting CM-based Health Maintenance Products and functional food to meet the growing demand from an aging population.

In response to anticipated clinical staff shortages and evolving therapeutic demands, the paper urges the HKSAR Government to provide support for the adoption of cutting-edge technology. This includes the incorporation of sensors, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence in CM diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring.

Furthermore, the authors emphasise the pivotal role of talent in driving innovation. They recommend that the Government extend financial support to collaborative training programs organised by tertiary institutions in the GBA and CM hospitals in Hong Kong and Mainland China. This investment would nurture skilled CM talents poised to leverage the emerging opportunities within the GBA’s development.

The paper also highlights PolyU’s commitment to advancing CM research and application through interdisciplinary research efforts. It underscores the potential for Hong Kong to serve as a bridgehead for CM in the international arena, capitalising on the synergy between industry and academia. PolyU, with its strengths in interdisciplinary research, remains dedicated to contributing to the evolution of CM treatment and practices.

The Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology (PReCIT) and the Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation (RCMI) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have collaboratively authored a comprehensive policy paper. This paper provides recommendations to policymakers aimed at stimulating innovation and development within the Chinese Medicine (CM) industry, particularly within the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

By addressing funding challenges, promoting internationalisation, encouraging commercialisation and innovation, and leveraging technology, these recommendations pave the way for a promising future for CM in Hong Kong and beyond. PolyU remains committed to its role in fostering CM research and application through interdisciplinary collaboration and research excellence.

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