Policy Statement & Submission


Realising the Vision Submission to the Chief Executive's Commission on Innovation and Technology


1. There should be a concrete industrial policy with long term government commitment. The emphasis should be on guidance in strategic direction, incentives for stimulating technology innovation, and infrastructure support. (Paras 3-6 of the main paper)
Building up manpower for technology development

2. Execution of the government industry policy depends upon the available workforce local to Hong Kong. Towards improving the quality of this workforce, we support the comprehensive review carried out by the Education Commission. We believe that true reform in education and the establishment of a technology oriented industry policy are tightly coupled issues. (Paras 8-10)

3. Government should take the lead by giving technical and technological workers proper recognition, as well as increasing the technological strength with the civil service establishment. (11-12)

4. Besides technologists, there should also be an emphasis on retraining for existing employed and unemployed professionals. Education and training are also necessary for technicians at sub-tertiary level. (13)

5. Professionals with expertise in high technology industries are in demand and should, if necessary, be recruited from abroad. (14)

Attracting talents to Hong Kong
6. Immigration restrictions should be relaxed to enable mainland professionals to work in Hong Kong. (16-18)

7. Postgraduate research students from the mainland and overseas should also be given the opportunity to work and contribute to the local economy. (19)

8. A more open labor market that enables needed labor to be imported will better serve Hong Kong's economy. Existing wage regulations for import labor should also be reviewed. (20-22)

9. Improvements in the education system and quality of life will be needed to attract overseas professionals to come and work here. (23-24)
Fostering a culture of innovation and technology

10. The Innovation and Technology Fund should be industry-driven with emphasis on projects with measurable outcome that are capable of being commercialized by local companies. (26)

11.There should be 100% depreciation allowance and other incentives to encourage research and development. (27)

12. We support the establishment of technology transfer units in tertiary institutions, provided that the primary benefactors are local industries. (28)

13. Commercial experts should be hired to administer funding such as the Applied Research Fund and the Innovation and Technology Fund. (29)

14. The ITF fund should stimulate start-up opportunities, particularly in low barrier-to-entry areas such as software, multimedia, etc. (31)

15. Application of innovation and technology should be extended also to stimulate innovation in traditional, low-tech industries. The fund should also support the application of information technologies (such as the Internet) to conventional industries. (32)

16. The value of the innovation should be assessed not just on the basis of the innovation itself, but on the industry cluster that it affects. (33-34)

Conducive business environment
17. The strength of Hong Kong should be highlighted to attract multinational corporations to transfer their technology here. (35)

18. There should be more widespread adoption of information technology and e-commerce by government itself. (36)

19. Comprehensive, advanced but inexpensive databases and information systems should be developed, e.g. on worldwide patents and R&D projects, an online, industry-specific database of "academic experts". (37)

20. The government should actively promote the Second Board and encourage more private sector venture capital funds. (38-39)

21. Business establishment and operating costs should continually be controlled. Government could help by pressing ahead with the civil service reform as well as controlling government fees and charges. (40)

22. Government should speed up privatization and commercialization. There should be more outsourcing of technology services to the local private sector. (41-42)

23. Public education about intellectual property protection should be stepped up. There should also be a mechanism to provide advice and support for companies to protect their intellectual property. (43)

Institutional arrangements
24. The support structure for innovation and technology should be reviewed to provide more effective use of resources. (44)

25. The commission should continue past June to monitor the allocation of funding. The members should be more dedicated specifically towards the implementation of the commission's plan. For example, in the US, NSF and ARPA reviewers take full-time appointments for a period of time. (45-46)

26. The government should allocate additional long term funding to support Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI). Programs similar to ASTRI, such as Taiwan's ITRI, have significantly larger budgets and long term commitments. The HK$5 billion fund should be applied to programs in order to have a more immediate and effective impact to the local economy, such as technology application and start-up companies. (47)


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