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PolyU and HKSTP to Nurture Next-Gen I&T Talent and Innovators

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently signed a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a joint GBA-focused entrepreneurship programme, which aims to nurture young R&D talent into Hong Kong’s next generation of leading tech entrepreneurs and innovators.

Under this partnership, PolyU and HKSTP will work closely to facilitate entrepreneurship education in the university and offer full-strength support to students and graduates to accelerate their growth at the start-up ideation and incubation stages.

The joint pre-incubation programme will integrate HKSTP’s ideation and pre-incubation framework with PolyU’s expertise in entrepreneurship education and knowledge transfer. This partnership will adopt HKSTP’s unique franchise model approach to apply its pre-incubation methodology to enable multiple partner programmes designed specifically to develop successful entrepreneurs.

The HKSTP-PolyU programme is the first of such partnerships and combines co-nurturing of innovative ideas and with entrepreneurial training, coaching and mentorship to maximise the conversion of research into viable commercial success.

PolyU also launched the GBA Maker Express programme – a combination of the PolyU Maker Fund scheme with the HKSTP iDM-Square hardware acceleration platform to help Hong Kong hardware innovators turn their creative ideas into market-ready products. This will spur Hong Kong’s reindustrialisation mission and accelerate local hardware start-ups in their product development from ideas to production while leveraging the manufacturing capabilities of Shenzhen and other GBA cities.

HKSTP will also collaborate closely with PolyU to deepen and grow the support for PhD graduates in PolyU’s GBA Startup PostDoc programme to pursue entrepreneurship while continuing translational research. This will also facilitate research commercialisation through startups that are sponsored or supported by corporates.

Albert Wong, CEO at HKSTP said: “HKSTP’s partnership with PolyU is a signal of our commitment to turning Hong Kong’s world-class academic and R&D talent into future generations of pioneering entrepreneurs and innovators to fuel a new era of economic growth. With our proven ideation framework for startups, we will work closely with our partners to provide the critical guidance to unlock greatness from our young talent and accelerate the process of realising research potential into real business game-changers.”

The President of PolyU stated that PolyU is strongly committed to supporting entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer in order to maximise the impact of our research on Hong Kong, the Nation and the world. From next year, the University will embed the elements of “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” into all undergraduate programmes. They also have established various schemes, including funding, to support academic- and student-led start-ups that aim to commercialise PolyU’s technologies for the benefit of society.

By integrating PolyU’s entrepreneurship initiatives with HKSTP’s vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem, the collaboration of the two parties will greatly empower young talent in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area to translate their research ideas into pioneering real-world solutions that deliver positive societal impact.

HKSTP is embarking on a broad sweeping strategy of deep partnerships with sector leaders to specifically target early-stage entrepreneurs and leverage the strengths of a combined network of industry and academic partners.

PolyU has been supporting Innovation & Technology (I&T) talents in the GBA through various funding schemes such as PolyU Micro Fund Schemes since 2011 and the PolyU Maker Fund Programme launched in 2021, which is tailor-made for Hong Kong’s young makers and hardware developers to realise their ideas through the support of the Youth Development Fund (YDF).

PolyU has also established a number of other programmes including the Lean Launchpad Programme, the Experiential Learning for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship programme and lab-to-market validation programme for nurturing I&T talents during incubation.

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