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Mr Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government (back row, centre); Ms Annie Choi, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (back row, third left); Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC (back row, third right); Professor Eric Yim, Deputy Chairman of VTC (back row, second left); Mr Mohamed D. Butt, Executive Director of HKPC (back row, second right); Mrs Carrie Yau, Executive Director of VTC (back row, first left); and Mr Benny Drescher, Head of Invention Center of Hong Kong (back row, first right); Dr Lawrence Cheung, Director (Technology Development) of HKPC (front row, centre); Dr Eric Liu, Deputy Executive Director of VTC (front row, left); and Mr Toni Drescher, Head of Technology Management of Fraunhofer IPT (front row, right)/ Credit: HKPC

Mr Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the HKSAR Government (back row, centre); Ms Annie Choi, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (back row, third left); Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC (back row, third right); Professor Eric Yim, Deputy Chairman of VTC (back row, second left); Mr Mohamed D. Butt, Executive Director of HKPC (back row, second right); Mrs Carrie Yau, Executive Director of VTC (back row, first left); and Mr Benny Drescher, Head of Invention Center of Hong Kong (back row, first right); Dr Lawrence Cheung, Director (Technology Development) of HKPC (front row, centre); Dr Eric Liu, Deputy Executive Director of VTC (front row, left); and Mr Toni Drescher, Head of Technology Management of Fraunhofer IPT (front row, right)/ Credit: HKPC

Professional Diploma Programme in Industry 4.0 launched in Hong Kong

The HKPC Academy of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (Fraunhofer IPT) from Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 22 March to launch Hong Kong’s first Professional Diploma Programme in Industry 4.0. The aim is to strengthen Hong Kong industry awareness of “Industry 4.0” and enhance the relevant skills of practitioners in the industry.

Accredited as a Qualifications Framework Level 4 course, the new professional diploma programme comprises four modules, namely implementation of Industry 4.0, cyber physical systems, smart automation, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Programme enrolment will start in June and classes will begin in July. Students are eligible to apply for the Government’s Engineering Training Subsidy Scheme that would provide a maximum 60% refund on tuition fees for successful applicants.

The “Smart Industry One Consortium” was also launched today to help Hong Kong companies keep abreast of the latest development in Industry 4.0.

Initiated by HKPC, the Consortium is a new cross industry platform to facilitate better and faster information exchange on smart industry, assisting enterprises to become smart and innovative.

Manufacturers, suppliers and academics can join the Consortium to enjoy a host of benefits such as Fraunhofer IPT-certified Industry 4.0 consultant services, free admission to specified Industry 4.0 activities and case sharing seminars, discounts on Industry 4.0 training courses and study missions, and one-day on-site Industry 4.0 assessment (corporate members only) etc.

HKPC and Fraunhofer Institute also plan to jointly set up an Invention Centre at the HKPC Building later this year, to support Hong Kong enterprises in developing smart products and services.

Mr Willy Lin, Chairman of HKPC, said, “For Hong Kong companies wishing to jump on the Industry 4.0 bandwagon, they must first have the necessary personnel and knowledge. With this new professional diploma programme, Hong Kong workers will be able to acquire the practical knowledge and skills in the relevant areas of Industry 4.0 so that they can subsequently take them back to their companies for smooth and effective adoption.”

“The concept of Industry 4.0 which advocates smart manufacturing and smart city development is in the global spotlight. To help Hong Kong industry transform into smart enterprises, with the input from HKPC and Fraunhofer IPT, we are confident that the new programme in Industry 4.0 will enable us to nurture more home-grown professionals and improve the capability of industry practitioners with the latest knowledge and technology,” commented Professor Eric Yim, Deputy Chairman of VTC.

Speaking at the MOU signing ceremony, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, welcomed the VTC becoming the implementation partner of the new Re-industrialisation and Technology Training Programme, or the RTTP. The RTTP is a new programme under the HK$500 million Technology Talent Scheme announced in the Policy Address last October.

The RTTP will subsidise local companies on a 2 to 1 matching basis to train their professional and personnel in advanced technologies, especially those related to Industry 4.0. The other programme - the Postdoctoral Hub - will subsidise eligible companies to recruit up to two postdoctoral talents for R&D work. The Government aims to launch both programmes by the end of the third quarter of 2018.     

In the 2018-19 Budget announced last month, the Hong Kong SAR Government revealed plans to spend over HK$50 billion to support innovation alongside tax cuts and relief measures. This includes HK$10 billion to support the establishment of 2 research clusters on healthcare technologies and on AI and robotics technologies. As an incentive, for the first time the Government will provide financial support for non-profit-making scientific research institutions that will establish their presence in these clusters.

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