Hong Kong is on the cusp of becoming a centre for innovation and technology in the region, thanks to its status as an international trade and financial hub, legal system, and protection of intellectual property rights. Emerging technologies – from artificial intelligence and biomedical science to the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G – are also transforming the economy.
To promote and enhance innovation capabilities of Hong Kong businesses, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School has developed Hong Kong’s first Corporate Innovation Index (CII) as a reference measurement that indicates the current innovation achievements of local enterprises.
The CII project is led by Professor Cheung Waiman, Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) and Co-Executive Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of Business (APIB) of CUHK Business School, and funded by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of the HKSAR Government under the General Support Programme (GSP), with the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) as a strategic partner, and more than 10 corporate sponsors.
CII 2022 Survey Findings
The CII project was launched in April 2021, led by a steering committee of executives and industry leaders in the fields of innovation and technology. Over 18 months, the CUHK project team conducted extensive research on Innovation Indexes worldwide to establish an understanding of the essences, success and critical factors for measuring innovation. After several rounds of reviews and discussion, the team designed a conceptual Innovation Framework consisting of three Constructs – Resources, Enabler and Value – from which 12 Measurement Factors were developed.
More than 200 companies took part in the CII 2022 survey, which examined their innovation performance during 2021. The firms come from a wide range of industries, including retail, trading and logistics, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, business and professional services, financial services and fintech, property, construction and proptech, information, technology and communication, healthcare and biotech.
Among the respondents, 108 were large corporations, of which 40 were listed companies and five unicorns, while 124 SMEs (firms with fewer than 50 employees) also took part.
Of the 124 SMEs, 25 were Star Award recipients, seven were awarded 3 stars, six received 2 stars and 12 got 1 star. The 3-starred SMEs are (in alphabetical order) Asia Top Loyalty, beNovelty, BioMed Technology, Carbon World, ProVista Technology, RaSpect Intelligence, and ShipAny Limited.
Using the ultimate formula, the CII scores were calculated for all participating corporations. The average CII score of the 20 top-ranked corporations was 63.17, known as the CII 2022.
Hong Kong’s top-ranked corporations and SMEs were announced at the Corporate Innovation Index (CII) Awards Presentation Ceremony and Forum 2022 on 23 November 2022 at CUHK.
The top 20 CII Constituent Companies and 25 Star Award SMEs in 2022 were honoured at the ceremony. WeLab Bank, HSBC and Hang Seng Bank were named the top three innovative corporations for achieving the highest scores in the CII 2022 survey.
The guests of honour, Commissioner for Innovation and Technology Rebecca Pun Ting-ting and Legislative Council Member (Technology and Innovation Constituency) the Hon Duncan Chiu, presented awards, together with CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rocky S. Tuan, and CUHK Business School’s Dean, Professor Zhou Lin.
“Innovation and technology (I&T) provides key impetus for Hong Kong’s high quality economic development. We will further enhance the I&T ecosystem and reindustrialisation,” said Pun. “Particularly, we will introduce a new funding scheme, Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme (RAISe+ Scheme) in the coming year to provide funding on a matching basis for research teams in universities which have good potential to become I&T start-ups, so as to encourage more collaboration among industry, academic and research sectors to drive the ‘1 to N’ transformation of outstanding R&D results and the tech industry development.”
“Innovation, sustainability and social responsibility are at the heart of CUHK’s vision and mission,” said Tuan. “We seek to become an agent of positive change in knowledge, attitudes, and practices in relation to innovative and sustainable development of Hong Kong and elsewhere, and we believe that there is plenty of room and opportunities for the University to collaborate with the industry and the Government.”
The Way Forward
The long-term objective of the CII is to raise awareness of the impact of innovation by recognizing corporations with high innovation capabilities and performance and then allow corporations and SMEs to benchmark their performance with their respective industry peers.
With the belief that widespread awareness and benchmarking will foster a positive innovative mind-set among Hong Kong companies, the team will continue to seek support from the industries as well as the Innovation and Technology Commission to refine the Innovation Framework and perform assessments over the next two years.
CII 2022 Constituent Companies
Top 10 Corporations
1 WeLab Bank
2 The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
3 Hang Seng Bank
4 Amazon Web Services Hong Kong Limited
5 YOOV Internet Technology (HK) Limited
6 Prenetics Global Limited
7 Tricor Hong Kong
8 Esquel Group
10 Midland Holdings
Companies ranked 11th-20th (in alphabetical order)
• China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited
• FUJIFILM Business Innovation Hong Kong Limited
• Gammon Construction Limited
• Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited
• Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Limited
• MTR Corporation
• New World Development Company Limited
• SenseTime Group Limited
• The Hongkong Electric Co., Ltd
The full report for the Corporate Innovation Index 2022 is available online at CUHK Business School's website