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Hong Kong Chief Executive’s Policy Address highlights – Part 2

Pic Credit : Image Credits: HKSAR Government, Press Release

Recently, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, delivered her 2018 Policy Address. The press release issued by the HKSAR Government reflects on the progress of the region and details the next steps that Hong Kong will take regarding technology, digital transformation and other pertinent topics.

Part One of this series can be found here.

The next section of the Policy Address directed attention towards the fact that under the I&T Venture Fund, the I&T Commission entered into an agreement with six investment companies in July and August 2018 to invest, on a matching basis, in local technology start-ups.  The Government has also provided funding of HK$54.9 billion (US$7 billion) and HK$1.56 billion (US$200 million) to the Hong Kong Science Park and Cyberport respectively for enhancing their support for tenants.

Moreover, the infrastructure works of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park at the Lok Ma Chau Loop commenced this year in June, with the objective of providing the first batch of land parcels for superstructure development not later than 2021.

It was noted that the Science Park expansion project will be completed one year ahead of schedule in 2019.

A residential building for talent as well as the Data Technology Hub and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate will be completed progressively starting from 2020 as scheduled.

An advertising, marketing and PR service company is now reviewing existing legislation and regulations, so as to remove outdated provisions that impede the development of I&T. The firm is currently consulting the relevant sectors and sorting out the scope for the review.

The Chief Executive stated that opening up government data can provide the ingredients needed for technology research.

Last month the HKSAR government firmed up the. The policy requires all government departments to formulate and publish their annual open data plans by the end of this year.

In addition to this, the Hospital Authority (HA) is actively making preparations for a Big Data Analytics Platform, which will allow academic researchers to access HA’s clinical data.  The HA will also provide training for them to facilitate collaborative research projects.

Next, the Chief Executive highlighted that the government will introduce a pro-innovation government procurement policy in April 2019.

By raising the technical weighting in tender assessment, tenders with innovative suggestions will stand a better chance of winning government contracts.

The government will also enhance exchange with the sector and dissemination of procurement information to facilitate the participation of I&T start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in government procurement.

In the last point in the section covering Innovation and Technology, the Chief Executive stated that popular science education is important in promoting I&T development. The Education Bureau (EDB) has been promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in primary and secondary schools and will continue to enhance the support for schools in providing students with more learning, exchange and competition opportunities, with a view to unleashing their potentials in science and technology.

She noted that in 2017, the EDB issued a supplementary curriculum document on “Computational Thinking – Coding Education” for use by schools, and started organising intensive training programmes on STEM education for the leadership tier and mid-level administrators of schools.

The STEM Education Centre at Lok Fu, Kowloon Tong, has commenced operation and another organisation plans to set up the first school in Hong Kong with STEM as its main direction of curriculum planning, with the aim of nurturing local students interested in I&T.

The leader then expressed her appreciation for the various organisations that have worked to organise I&T expos, seminars and competitions for students to enhance their interest in science and technology and put what they have learnt into practice.

To promote the use of I&T in addressing livelihood issues and create a fervid I&T atmosphere, the government will allocate HK$3.92 billion ($500 million) for organising an annual “City I&T Grand Challenge” in the next five years.

Invitations will be extended to various sectors to put forward I&T solutions to tackle issues closely related daily life.

In addition to prize money, solutions selected will have the opportunity to be tried out in suitable public organisations for application and refinement.

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