New policies expected to let city stand taller on global stage
The central government will give Hong Kong scientists and researchers a more active role in decision-making on the country's technological development, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The science and technology community in Hong Kong is an important part of the country's innovation system, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology Huang Wei said.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor addresses the Forum on Mainland-Hong Kong Cooperation in Innovation and Technology at the Central Government Offices in Tamar on Tuesday. Roy Liu / China Daily
"Accelerating the development of Hong Kong's science and technology is a practical need for ensuring the city's prosperity and stability.
"It is also a practical need for promoting the construction of an innovative country and a global technology power," Huang told the Forum on Mainland-Hong Kong Cooperation in Innovation and Technology on Tuesday.
The country will attract more Hong Kong scientists and researchers to participate in the nation's science and technology-related management work. This includes industry planning, policy consultation, project and award reviews, Huang said.
They will play a more active role in the decision-making process of innovation development, he added.
His remarks came after President Xi Jinping called for enhanced collaboration in science and technology between Hong Kong and the mainland.
The president pledged support to build the special administrative region into an international center for innovative science and technology.
The central government will improve planning of cross-boundary sci-tech collaboration by formulating a joint action plan in order to guide this, Huang said.
It will also promote integrated development of science and technology in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, he added.
"The development of the Bay Area is a strategic move for the country's economic development in the new era. This provides new opportunities and platforms for sci-tech collaboration between Hong Kong and the mainland," Huang noted.
The country will support construction of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop and promote innovation in the region, he said.
Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, chairperson of Hong Kong Science Park, the city's largest innovation center, said Xi's instruction is "encouraging".
It shows the president fully acknowledges Hong Kong researchers' capability in technological research. The new favorable policies for Hong Kong will bring more opportunities for the city's young researchers, she said.
Under the new policies, Hong Kong scientists and researchers can bid for funding to undertake national sci-tech projects.
The funds can be remitted directly to and used in Hong Kong; researchers will no longer have to spend the money on the mainland.
Hong Kong's market is relatively small and funds allocated by the local government are limited, Law noted. Allowing a national fund to be used in the city means young researchers in Hong Kong can have more resources to conduct research there. That will help create a number of "leaders" in technological research.
The leaders will then help cultivate more talents, producing a positive chain reaction in the industry, she said.
With a cross-boundary flow of capital achieved, Law hoped the next step could be the flow of data, as development in a number of high-tech fields including artificial intelligence and bio-tech requires big data.
Rocky Tuan Sung-chi, president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, believes the new favorable policies will enable Hong Kong to stand taller on the global stage.
"Science and technology are something global. When we have capital, human resources and products, our attraction internationally will increase. Then, more investment and international collaboration will come to us," he said.