Council Chairman Mr (Lester) Huang, Professor Way Kuo, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr (Sunny) Chai, Dr (George) Lam, Mr Chen (Ying), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my honour to join you all today to witness a milestone event in CityU’s HK Tech 300 programme.
2. Talent is crucially important to Hong Kong’s sustainable development as an international city and an innovation and technology hub. We are blessed with a strong pool of world-class universities such as CityU, as the cradle for nurturing and attracting talent to propel our economy. We always encourage our universities to pursue excellence in not only teaching and research but also knowledge transfer. We believe that knowledge creation and transfer will bring about positive impact and benefits to the community, businesses and humankind. This in turn would also help enrich universities’ teaching and research mission, thereby enhancing our international competitiveness. I am pleased that knowledge transfer has taken roots and increasingly been embedded in universities’ strategies. CityU’s HK Tech 300 programme is an exemplar, as it embodies all the three core functions of a world-class university.
3. As a flagship programme aiming to create 300 start-ups in three years, HK Tech 300 has a noble goal to nurture aspiring entrepreneurs within the CityU community by providing a whole suite of support. The eight-week “IGNITE Training Programme”, which combines education modules, practical case studies as well as guidance by seasoned mentors, is a unique programme to inspire and guide participants in starting their entrepreneurial journey from scratch. The translation of CityU research results and intellectual properties into practical applications will surely bring about positive impact to CityU and Hong Kong as a whole.
4. Indeed, entrepreneurial skills encompass the essence of 21st century skills namely, creativity, leadership, communication skills, team work, readiness to take calculated risks, collaborative mindset, the ability to see and seize new opportunities, tenacity, perseverance, just to name a few. Encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset among students, businesses and the general community is critical to promoting an innovation culture in Hong Kong.
5. HK Tech 300 also captures all the essential ingredients of a healthy ecosystem for start-ups. A key feature of the programme is mentorship and partnership. I must thank the 300 inaugural mentors. Your role models and success stories will be the source of inspiration, guidance and support that provide the nutrients for budding entrepreneurs to grow and blossom. As talent tends to cluster around successful start-ups, the programme will also create a virtuous circle to attract and groom more talent, and further boosting the ecosystem for CityU and Hong Kong.
6. Needless to say, the success of start-ups owe a lot to not only human capital but also financial capital. The programme provides a ladder of funding, in the seeding, incubating and launching stage to turn ideas into successful ventures. Today’s event also marks the partnership between CityU and China Resources (CR) Enterprise in this meaningful programme, in which CR Enterprise will join hands with CityU in establishing a $100-million innovation and technology investment platform targeting the start-ups that focus on areas with great growth potentials, such as new energy and sustainable development. I applaud CR Enterprise and CityU for setting an example in the partnership between the academia and the private sector for a meaningful cause.
7. Once again, I thank the mentors and business community for their generosity in sharing their valuable time and resources, and contributing to the launch of this programme.
8. The Government fosters stronger partnership between the academia and the industries in sustaining Hong Kong’s development as a knowledge-based society. On our part, we have launched a wide array of initiatives to boost our universities’ research capabilities. We have injected $20 billion into the Research Endowment Fund, currently having a total endowment of $46 billion, to provide more stable research funding and help attract and retain talented researchers. We have launched a $3 billion Research Matching Grant Scheme to enable universities to tap alternative funding sources and encourage the business sector to participate in research and development activities. We have also implemented three Fellowship Schemes which encourage doctoral graduates to pursue careers in research and provide support for promising researchers. Also, the Education Bureau has jointly launched with the Innovation and Technology Bureau the Global STEM Professorship Scheme to support universities in attracting world-renowned innovation & technology scholars and their teams to Hong Kong for teaching and research. I trust that these measures will go a long way towards sharpening Hong Kong’s competitive edge and maintaining our leading status in technological innovation and research within the region.
9. Last but not the least, my special thanks must also go to CityU. Under the capable leadership of the Council Chair and the President, CityU has made great strides in advancing the frontier of knowledge through the integration of teaching and research, as well as the promotion of discovery and innovation. We commend the university’s dedicated efforts in formulating innovative problem-driven research, broad-based and transdisciplinary education programmes that help nurture students in grasping new opportunities and coping with dynamic challenges in the ever evolving society. Its unwavering efforts in fostering closer partnership with the industries has set a good example for others.
10. Lastly, I wish the programme a resounding success. Working together, let us translate ideas and research outputs into application and commercialisation so as to benefit our younger generations and more generations to come. I look forward to seeing many more budding entrepreneurs and unicorns in Hong Kong. Thank you.