Healthcare innovation

Hong Kong BrandVoice: City Of Innovation

Hong Kong BrandVoice: City Of Innovation

Hong Kong is on course to become an international innovation & technology hub.

Hong Kong Science Park

When Chinese President Xi Jinping remarked that he envisages Hong Kong as the country’s international Innovation & Technology (I&T) hub during his June visit to Hong Kong Science Park managed by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), it provided the ultimate endorsement of the city’s impressive progress in this sector.

Having spent more than HK$150 billion (US$19.1 billion) over the past five years to develop the I&T sector, the Hong Kong government has succeeded in putting the city firmly on course to becoming a world-leading I&T hub.

“With staunch support from President Xi, the Central and HKSAR Governments, HKSTP strives to fully realize Hong Kong’s I&T potential of becoming a global I&T hub. We will build on our value creation services to attract talent and support tech ventures in the I&T ecosystem,” Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of HKSTP says, the first of which is a world-class I&T ecosystem to drive commercialization and impactful innovation.

Dr Sunny Chai, Chairman of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation

HKSTP, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, has nurtured over 1,100 startups and tech ventures from 22 countries and regions, three of which have become “unicorns”. They are AI vision pioneer SenseTime, intelligent manufacturing and digitalization company SmartMore, and delivery app Lalamove.

“InnoHK is an example of bringing together leading researchers from around the world to conduct world-class and impactful collaborative research with local universities and research institutions,” says Chai, adding that two research clusters have been set up in Hong Kong Science Park to focus on healthcare and AI or robotics technologies. Chai also points out that InnoHK has attracted 28 R&D centers, involving more than 30 international institutions from 11 different economies, and pooling around 2,000 researchers from all over the world.

The second value-creation factor, says Chai, is the fostering of tech talent and an innovation culture. This year has witnessed a record high of 278 graduates from HKSTP’s Ideation and Incubation programs, which nurture high potential startups on their path to turning innovative ideas into world-changing solutions. InnoCell, a co-creation and living space, opened in the Hong Kong Science Park in 2021, creates an inspiring community of like-minded talents with communals and smart living technologies, further reinforcing HKSTP’s “Work, Live, Play, Learn” innovation culture.

To cultivate the next generation of tech leaders, HKSTP has launched various youth-focused initiatives. The Hong Kong InnoAcademy Society was set up to pool young talents from around the world and facilitate cross-sectoral collaborations, with continuous learning and development of innovation and leadership skills. One of the signature programs is Technology Leaders of Tomorrow. In addition, HKSTP’s Executive Shadowing Programme has been extended to engage secondary students to encourage them to explore their interests and career paths among the I&T sector.

Working in tandem with the government’s initiative to promote re-industrialization and advanced manufacturing, HKSTP has integrated I&T into industrial development and repositioned its three industrial estates in Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tseung Kwan O as “INNOPARKs” to support I&T-led manufacturing.

Chai highlights the unique opportunity that, created by the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), is another value-creation factor. “By leveraging its renowned position as a top-notch I&T research centre and an international finance hub, Hong Kong can serve as a two-way platform to ‘attract-in and expand out’—to help multinational I&T companies enter the GBA market and mainland I&T companies expand overseas,” he says.

Part of this strategy is the opening of the Hong Kong Science Park Shenzhen Branch to assist startups and technology companies in grasping business opportunities in the GBA. The plan also includes the setting up of a GBA-focused InnoAcademy and InnoExpress, which provide resources, training and an exchange platform for I&T talent across the region.

Fast Facts

  • HKSTP has built Hong Kong’s largest R&D community with 17,000 people, of which 11,000 are R&D professionals.
  • In the past five years, there have been more than 220 investment cases within HKSTP, raising HK$80 billion (US$10.1 million).
  • 880 start-ups have graduated from HKSTP’s Ideation and Incubation Programmes, in which 80% are still in business and three have filed an IPO application.
  • HKSTP’s Acceleration Programme has supported 70 companies to fast track their global expansion and raised more than US$300 million in total.

To discover more about how Hong Kong is blazing a trail in different sectors, read interviews with 25 prominent figures: