“Art and technology are both created by humans, and both are driven by human passion to move the world forward,” explained Veronica Tan, Centre Manager, as she led a group of YEC members on a tour of the Experience Centre at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) on 6 August.
The Experience Centre, which opened in May, showcases a mix of digital art and information about the park’s work to drive innovation in Hong Kong.Its current display includes multimedia artworks by six artists that use technology and data to reinterpret traditional art forms. For example, Yang Yongliang’s “Journey to the Dark” is a video of an urban night scene that echoes the style of Song Dynasty landscape paintings.
The Science Park is not just about start-ups, and supports businesses at every stage of the innovation journey, including reindustrialization. It also acts as a private investment company, with a HK$600 million investment fund.
There are currently more than 1,000 tech companies at the park, which employ over 10,000 R&D-focused workers, among other employees. These include around 150 biomedical companies, and start-ups focused on smart city technology. One of the smart city displays in the Experience Centre is a real-time dashboard showing all of the transport options in the vicinity – so you don’t have to stand outside in the rain and heat waiting for buses or taxis. Other types of technology being tested at the Science Park include self-driving cars, and there are even ice-cream robots serving visitors and staff.
“The park acts as a living lab for the companies to test their solutions,” Tan said. “Once their innovation works in the park, they can push it out to the rest of the city and to the world.”
HKSTP has fostered many successful businesses from among its start-ups, and recently celebrated its third unicorn, with AI company SmartMore joining previous success stories Lalamove and SenseTime.
Beside the Shatin site, HKSTP also runs three industrial areas, in Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tseung Kwan O. On these sites, it provides technology and support as part of Hong Kong’s drive to upskill workers and upgrade the city’s industrial sector.
“To be a part of these industrial estates, businesses have to offer high-skilled employment and vocational training to local workers, as well as sell products to the local market,” Tan explained.