Bay area development reaps benefits

November 18, 2021

Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit

I am deeply impressed by this year's theme, Emerging Technologies Shaping our Future in the Greater Bay Area. It perfectly echoes the grand vision set out in the National 14th Five-Year Plan for developing our country to the top among all innovative countries with solid technology and implementing a batch of forward-looking and strategic national technological programmes focusing on frontier fields, including life and science as well as artificial intelligence among others. These are all Hong Kong's strengths. The plan also supports the development of Hong Kong into an international innovation and technology (I&T) hub and for the first time includes the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Loop as one of the four major co-operation platforms in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.


The bay area is undoubtedly our best platform to integrate into the country's development. With a total population of more than 86 million and a combined gross domestic product of around US$1.7 trillion, the bay area gives vast opportunity for those who take part in this great development journey to grow and prosper. Hong Kong, being part of the bay area and its most internationalised city, is poised to give full play to Hong Kong's advantages in developing the bay area into an international I&T hub. Let me take this opportunity to share with you some of our latest initiatives.


We are now developing the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation & Technology Park in full swing with a view to creating Hong Kong's largest-ever I&T platform. In the longer run, we will consolidate the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park and the areas around Lok Ma Chau/San Tin to form the 240-hectare San Tin Technopole. This, together with the Shenzhen I&T Zone, will form the Shenzhen-Hong Kong I&T Co-operation Zone. I am sure the complementary strengths of the twin cities will help drive the I&T development of the bay area to scale new heights.


We are keen to contribute to the I&T development in the bay area by capitalising on our strengths. One of our strengths lies in our strong basic research capability and extensive international network. To capitalise on our strengths and to develop Hong Kong into a leading hub for global research collaboration, we have established two world-class research clusters in the Hong Kong Science Park, namely Health@InnoHK focusing on healthcare technologies, and AIR@InnoHK focusing on AI and robotics technologies. A total of 28 laboratories set up by local institutions in collaboration with world-renowned ones are commencing operation progressively. In addition, with the 14th Five-Year Plan placing huge emphasis on life and health disciplines, we are going to set up an InnoLife Healthtech Hub in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park to focus on related research work.


With the key research and development infrastructure ready, it is vital for us to have the right talent to drive their operations. On this, we have rolled out various programmes at different levels of education to equip our future generation with I&T knowledge so as to enlarge our I&T talent pool. We are also proactively encouraging them to pursue a career in I&T in the bay area. For instance, the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme launched earlier this year assisted our young people in Hong Kong to leverage the opportunities for career advancement in the bay area. Moreover, the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation will set up the GBA InnoAcademy at the Shenzhen branch of Hong Kong Science Park to serve as a resource centre, training hub and exchange platform for talent. It will also establish the GBA InnoExpress to nurture startups and support I&T enterprises to attract foreign investments and go global. I sincerely hope that our young people could capitalise on the all-round support and set their sights on our motherland to develop their careers.


Today, with all the distinguished speakers and industry leaders gathering together, I wish you could all cherish the opportunities ahead and fully participate in developing the bay area into a vibrant and dynamic I&T hub.


Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit gave these remarks at the Hong Kong International Computer Conference 2021 on November 18.

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