19 March 2018
Technology Industry in Hong Kong
- Technology companies in Hong Kong specialise in the applications of innovative concepts and emerging technologies on various sectors including manufacturing, finance, e-commerce, smart-city infrastructure and environmental protection.
- Building a global technology and innovation hub is one of the key co-operation areas in the concept of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area. Hong Kong is well-positioned to help technology companies in Guangdong to enhance their development ability.
- Hong Kong and Shenzhen has agreed to develop the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in order to foster co-operation with regard to innovation and technological research.
Technology Companies in Hong Kong
Technology companies in Hong Kong specialise in the applications of innovative concepts and emerging technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, blockchain, etc. Such applications are widely applied on sectors including manufacturing, finance, e-commerce, smart-city infrastructure and environmental protection. Technology entrepreneurship, as a global phenomenon, is also common in Hong Kong.
With major universities among the top 100 world rankings, Hong Kong is strong in basic research. In recent years, university spin-offs focused on cutting edge, hard-core technologies, involving knowledge of physics, biology, chemistry, new materials and life science, are emerging rapidly to fill the gap between invention and commercialisation. This is acting as a bridge between the mid-stream research carried out in universities and industrial development in private companies. These science-based businesses, still in their infancy, are opening possibilities of a bright future by offering new solutions relating to saving lives, healing and preventing diseases, and advancing living standards.
Hong Kong companies are also active in undertaking technology transfers through such avenues as technology licensing, contract services and industry collaborations with their local and foreign counterparts.
Government Support to Innovation and Technology
The Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), administered by the ITC, aims to assist local companies to upgrade their technological level and introduce innovative ideas to their businesses. In November 2016, a 500-million Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) was launched on a pilot basis under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) to subsidise local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in using technological services and solutions to improve productivity, or upgrade or transform their business processes.
The Research and Development (R&D) Cash Rebate Scheme aims to reinforce the research culture among business enterprises and encourage them to establish stronger partnership with designated local public research institutions. Under the scheme, a company will receive a cash rebate equivalent to 40% of its expenditure in R&D projects.
The Hong Kong Science Park is home to more than 600 technology companies and approximately 13,000 technology talents. The park houses five distinct clusters: (1) biomedical technology; (2) electronics; (3) green technology; (4) information and communications technology (ICT); and (5) material and precision engineering. Its current development focus is on three over-arching cross-disciplinary platforms – smart cities, healthy ageing and robotics.
Cyberport, a wholly-owned Hong Kong government facility, is a creative digital workspace with more than 800 community members. With an avowed mission to establish itself as a leading global innovation and technology hub, Cyberport is committed to boosting the local economy by nurturing digital industry start-ups and entrepreneurs, driving collaboration in terms of resources and the creation of business opportunities, while accelerating digital adoption through strategic initiatives and partnerships.
The Hong Kong Productivity Council is a multi-disciplinary organisation established by statute in 1967 to enhance the productivity and international competitiveness of Hong Kong enterprises through the provision of market led applied R&D in smart products, smart manufacturing, automation, new materials, surface treatment, smart mobility, green transportation and environmental technology. HKPC also provides consultancy, technology transfer, training and other support services in the areas of product innovation, intellectual property management, intelligent automation, testing and certification, environmental management, information technology applications as well as business process management.
In 2006, under the government’s Hong Kong R&D Centre Programme, five centres were established to drive and co-ordinate applied R&D in selected focus areas, as well as to promote the commercialisation of these R&D results and any subsequent technology transfer. They are:
- The Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems R&D Centre (under the Hong Kong Productivity Council)
- Hong Kong Research and Development Centre for Information and Communications Technologies (under the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute)
- The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (hosted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
- The Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies (hosted by the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Technological Co-operation with the Chinese Mainland
In January 2017, Hong Kong and Shenzhen signed a “Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Developing the Lok Ma Chau Loop by Hong Kong and Shenzhen”. Under the terms of this, the two cities will jointly develop the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park within the 87-hectare loop. It is anticipated that the park will attract many of the leading businesses, research institutions and higher education establishments from both Hong Kong and Shenzhen, as well as those of other mainland regions and from abroad. In the long-term, it is seen as emerging as one of the key bases for co-operation in innovation and technology research.
In July 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC), the governments of Guangdong, Macao and Hong Kong signed the “Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area”. Building a global technology and innovation hub is one of the key co-operation areas under the concept of the Bay Area. Technology companies in Guangdong can capitalise on Hong Kong’s advantages, such as free flow of information and capital, extensive international market networks, and sound corporate management, to enhance their development ability.