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HK Enhances Tech Talent Scheme

Technology Talent Admission Scheme TechTAS

The Innovation & Technology Commission launched enhancement measures to the Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS). The enhancements are aimed at allowing more eligible companies to apply.

When it was inaugurated, TechTAS covered tenants and incubatees of the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation and Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited which conducted research and development (R&D) activities in seven technology areas.

The areas comprised artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technologies, material science and robotics.

With the new enhancements, TechTAS covers six more technology areas including 5G communications, digital entertainment, green technology, integrated circuit design, the Internet of Things and microelectronics.

Such coverage is now extended to all companies conducting R&D activities in Hong Kong’s 13 technology areas.

The scheme’s improvements aim to contribute to Hong Kong’s innovation and technology development by expediting admission of technology talent from around the world to undertake R&D work in the city.

Launched in June 2018, TechTAS provided fast-track arrangements for admitting overseas and Mainland technology talent.

Successful companies will now be given quotas for bringing in such people to handle R&D work.

TechTAS provides a fast-track arrangement for eligible companies to admit overseas and Mainland technology talent to undertake research and development (“R&D”) work for them, the government website states.

Companies that are engaged in R&D in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, data analytics, financial technologies, material science, robotics, 5G communications, digital entertainment, green technology, integrated circuit design, Internet-of-Things or microelectronics are eligible to make applications.

  • Eligible companies would first have to apply for a quota.
  • A company allotted with a quota can accordingly sponsor eligible persons to apply for an employment visa/entry permit within the quota validity period.
  • It also has to fulfil the requirement to employ new local employees.

According to a press release, the HKSAR government is working to boost the city’s start-up ecosystem.

The region’s Chief Secretary spoke at the Jumpstarter event on 24 January 2020 and noted that the government believes that pooling technology talent is very important indeed.

For this purpose, the government has allocated $10 billion to support the establishment of two research clusters on healthcare technologies and on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies, to attract the world’s top scientific research institutions and technology enterprises to Hong Kong.

Through these funds, talent will be able to conduct more midstream and downstream R&D projects in collaboration with local universities and scientific research institutions. Such clusters will pool and nurture more technology talent in Hong Kong.

In addition, the government’s promotion agency, Invest Hong Kong, has launched the StartmeupHK programme in 2013 to attract innovative and scalable entrepreneurs to Hong Kong and promote Hong Kong as a premier start-up destination.

It also provides a one-stop service platform to support start-ups and help build our ecosystem to transform Hong Kong into an attractive destination for entrepreneurs from around the world.

It was noted, however, that government efforts alone are not enough. The support of the industries and practitioners is needed to help cultivate a fertile ground for start-ups in Hong Kong to jump-start and stand amongst the world’s best.

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