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Hong Kong rapidly becoming I&T hub

Hong Kong offers the far-reaching opportunity for scientists, researchers, technology experts and others looking to shape the future, the region’s Chief Executive recently noted.

The HKSAR government is committed to helping Hong Kong rise as an international innovation and technology hub and health technology is central to this vision.

The government has been investing significantly in its world-class universities and research institutions. This includes budgeting US$1.3 billion to develop two research clusters at Hong Kong Science Park, one targeting healthcare technology, the other focused on artificial intelligence and robotics.

In addition, the Government is committed to launching a large-scale genome sequencing project in Hong Kong in order to enhance the clinical application of genome medicine.

The government is also welcoming internationally renowned scientists as well as research institutions and technology enterprises to join us here in Hong Kong, to help us create a future centred on innovation, technology and inclusivity.

For nearly 70 years now, The Nature Conservancy has been working to realise a world in which people and nature can thrive together in harmony. Employing a science-centred, collaborative approach, the Conservancy is both global and local in its mission and the projects it pursues.

For example, The Nature Conservancy Hong Kong is working to understand and restore shellfish reefs in Hong Kong’s Deep Bay. It is doing so with wide-ranging support from the corporate sector, as well as academic and environmental institutions here. No less important, it connects with the region’s schools and Hong Kong youth, helping build awareness, pride and responsibility in Hong Kong’s environmental bounty.

The CE lauded this co-operative effort noting that Hong Kong, after all, is blessed with astonishing biodiversity. Some 40% of its land is protected country parks and special areas dedicated to nature conservation. Add to that the five marine parks and one marine reserve we have created and maintain.

More than world-class financial services, trading and logistics capital, Hong Kong is actually a precious natural resource and one that the Government is determined to safeguard.

In May 2019, OpenGov Asia reported that Hong Kong is now the world’s second-largest funding hub for biotech and is working to soon become the world’s number one.

Its strengths in the rule of law, judicial independence, rights and freedoms as well as the favourable business environment and international connectivity make it conducive to the development of the biotech industry in Hong Kong. However, the CE acknowledged that more specific measures need to be enacted.

Biotechnology is one area of I&T in which Hong Kong enjoys notable strengths. The region is home to world-class universities that offer strong research capabilities in biotech. In addition, they have vast experience and networks for creating partnerships with prominent universities, research institutions and technology-based companies from all over the world.

The recent establishment of two research clusters, one on healthcare, the other on artificial intelligence and robotics, is one of several major initiatives announced last year to further enhance Hong Kong’s research capabilities.

The idea is to converge top-notch universities and researchers from all over the world here in Hong Kong to conduct world-class and impactful collaborative researches with local institutions.

The response has been encouraging. Around 50 proposals have been received, with more than half of them on healthcare technologies. They involve really top-notch institutions from around the world. The first research institutions are expected to set up their laboratories before the end of this year.

With the Government’s strong commitment, and with the staunch support of HKEX and governmental agencies, leaders are confident that the best is yet to come for biotech and overall I&T development in Hong Kong.

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