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HKSTP partners private sector to develop smart city spaces

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and a leading privately-owned Hong Kong property developer of residential, shopping malls, hotels, office, industrial and car-park announced the launch of two dedicated programmes to support start-ups in the smart city space and drive Hong Kong’s cutting-edge innovation. This partnership comprises two innovative initiatives designed to nurture property and retail start-ups, as well as reduce the gap between innovation and market deployment.

The Executive Director and CEO of the company stated, “Technology is a core driver in our business and for the property industry. We are committed to not only harness it to benefit our business but also contributing to Hong Kong’s thriving innovation and technology ecosystem. We look forward to collaborating with HKSTP to create a virtuous cycle of collaboration, innovation and commercialisation in the property sector.”

Meanwhile, the CEO of HKSTP noted that with Hong Kong being an evolving urban environment, it is important we nurture innovations that support its sustainable growth. This partnership is significant as it removes one of the biggest barriers start-ups face, which is the gap between innovation and commercialisation.

This programme reduces the time to market through HKSTP’s proven start-up accelerator framework, together with the company’s sector-specific expertise and properties for pilot testing.

The first initiative under this partnership is the “CCG Accel – Powered by HKSTP” programme, which will be a pioneering pilot-first accelerator programme aiming to propel high potential start-ups through a pilot-to-mass adoption process. The programme features a series of three themed accelerator cohorts run by both the Group and HKSTP.

Each cohort will have a different theme and provide extensive training, mentorship and support for up to 10 shortlisted start-ups. In addition to financial contribution, the Group will offer its experience to help these start-ups shape their solutions and trial their solutions at designated properties before general adoption.

Start-ups will also benefit from promotion through HKSTP’s network and its value-added services. The first cohort will begin by Q3 2021. Further details of the cohorts including the themes will be announced in due course.

The second initiative is the “Inno Place @CCG” programme which pioneers a “Living Lab” concept that breaks away from traditional innovation labs where the testing of solutions is restricted to fixed physical lab space.

The programme will see the opening up of the company’s network of properties as “Innovation Places” where selected innovations are trialled, starting with NINA MALL in Tsuen Wan. This real-world environment will allow start-ups to pilot and refine their solutions, while users can immediately benefit from them.

Successful innovations from the two programmes may be further adopted or invested in by the Group. Meanwhile, HKSTP will provide its expertise and knowledge in innovation and technology commercialisation.

This includes providing support in technology solution sourcing, validation, hosting small scale proof-of-concept pilots, as well as identifying co-investment opportunities with HKSTP and its investment partners.  This builds upon the existing technology by innovators from the Science Park that have already been adopted by the company in its properties.

These include the innovator of a self-sanitising door handle; a high-capacity battery system offering a cleaner and quieter alternative to diesel generators commonly used on construction sites; and a developer of secure building access solutions.

The company and HKSTP also share a vision to foster the growth of Smart City, bringing technology innovated, designed and made in Hong Kong, closer to the community at designated the company’s properties. This includes a showroom to feature the smart city concept, as well as a place to host technology talks, hackathons, and product launches.

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