Inspired by Xi’s visit, Hong Kong science-tech companies eye closer GBA cooperation

Hong Kong Science Park File Photo: VCG

Hong Kong Science Park companies said they were inspired by President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Hong Kong and looked forward to closer technology cooperation with cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Guangdong. -Hong Kong-Macau as Hong Kong develops into a leading center of innovation and technology.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government should give full play to the role of technological innovation in supporting and leading economic development, Xi said during his inspection visit to Hong Kong Science Park. Hong Kong on Thursday, the Xinhua news agency reported.

In discussions with academicians, researchers and young representatives of innovation enterprises, Xi called on Hong Kong to better cooperate with mainland cities located in the GBA, strengthen collaborative development of enterprises, universities and research institutes and strive to make the Bay Area a global hub of science and technology innovation.

Solid foundation

Hong Kong Science Park was established by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) in 2002. The establishment of the park aimed to stimulate the growth of Hong Kong’s high value-added industries and create industrial clusters in the main technological poles. , such as electronics, computing and telecommunications, precision engineering and biotechnology.

The science park is the largest research and development (R&D) and business incubation base in Hong Kong, and is currently home to more than 1,100 companies and 17,000 innovators.

Kinson Chan, CEO of eSIX Limited, a software provider for 5G industrial applications, told the Global Times on Friday that Hong Kong’s contribution to the innovation economy over the past three to four years has been equivalent to the past two decades and, in this context, President Xi’s visit to the science park on Thursday is “very encouraging and uplifting.”

Chan, whose company’s products now serve major mainland ports, said Hong Kong has a global platform and living environment that makes it easy to attract world-class talent. He said scientists and engineers from Pakistan and India now work side by side in his company.

“Bridging the gap with cutting-edge Western technology requires the smartest brains around the world, and Hong Kong, where East meets West, could be the global hub for this work,” Chan said.

Hong Kong ranked 10th among 132 economies in terms of global innovation inflows in 2021, according to the 2021 Global Innovation Index (GII) released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Hong Kong Science Park Companies by Technology Chart: GT

Hong Kong Science Park Companies by Technology Chart: GT

GBA Integration

“Technology and innovation are the brilliant direction President Xi has set for Hong Kong to facilitate Hong Kong’s future economic transformation and integration into the GBA,” said Shang Hailong, General Manager of SenseTime Hong Kong, leading artificial intelligence (AI) software. company located in the science park.

“As a player in the technology industry in Hong Kong, we must seriously understand Xi’s important speech and strive to transform Hong Kong’s advantage in the development of smart manufacturing in the GBA and firmly uphold the technological independence in our own hands,” Shang told the Global Times. Friday.

Many mainland tech giants such as Huawei and Tencent have already set up subsidiaries, research centers or joint labs with Hong Kong universities to speed up R&D of new products.

As outlined in the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the central government is helping Hong Kong consolidate its four traditional roles in international finance, shipping, trade, and international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region, while encouraging the city to explore four new roles such as serving as an international center of innovation and technology among other directions involving the service sector.

In addition, Hong Kong will develop a new technology hub in its northern region to deepen cooperation with neighboring Shenzhen in Guangdong Province and integrate Hong Kong into the country’s overall development, according to the HKSAR’s 2021 annual policy speech.

The total number of jobs in the Northern Metropolis as HKSAR government names future technology center will increase significantly from 116,000 to approximately 650,000, including 150,000 jobs related to the innovation and technology industry.

“In this regard, SenseTime has caught up with a good opportunity,” Shang said.

Vitaly Pentegov, CEO of UrbanChain Group, a company based in the science park, also looks forward to deeper integration of Hong Kong’s innovation sector into the national development plan, and he believes the new plans would bring the integration of GBA cities to a new level.

“The GBA and the northern metropolis development strategy involved easier travel, cross-border transactions and recognition of technology exchange procedures,” Pentegov told the Global Times on Friday.

His company provides software and hardware solutions to AI-based parking, property and mobility solutions.

“My company is interested in the GBA market, and we are waiting for the quarantine restrictions to be relaxed, so that we can plan our customers and prospects to visit Shenzhen immediately,” Pentegov said.

Innovation photo: VCG

Innovation photo: VCG

Strengths

According to the GII 2021 report released by WIPO, Hong Kong SAR performed best in creation, market sophistication and infrastructure, ranking among the top 10 in the world.

Hong Kong has significant talent resource advantages. By combining talent resources with high-end industries, incunabula R&D projects could be deployed in Hong Kong first, and then leveraging the integrated development of GBA, AI technology could be industrialized and commercialized , and simultaneously penetrate continental and international markets. , Shang said.

Hong Kong’s Office of Innovation and Technology said in a statement sent to the Global Times last week that the city has strong R&D and innovation capabilities, with forward-looking R&D talent as well than the ability to go “from zero to one”.

“We are more confident than ever that we could fully cooperate in the development of the GBA by taking advantage of the complementary advantages of the various cities in the GBA, and develop the GBA into an international information technology center,” said the Office. of Hong Kong innovation and technology. , noting that it will leverage “Hong Kong’s strengths” to meet the country’s needs.

Additionally, observers have noted that Hong Kong excels in basic R&D and has a high level of internationalization, but fails to translate research results into commercial success. On the other hand, Guangdong Province is home to a complete industrial chain, so if the collaboration of the two regions is synergized, it could generate a multiplier effect.

“Some of Hong Kong’s traditional functions have diminished, but the city is uniquely placed to take on greater responsibility in upgrading China’s technology in an increasingly complicated external environment. This is a task that Shenzhen does not can perhaps not assume, but for which Hong Kong could act as an ‘amplifier,'” an executive of a leading Shenzhen-based technology company told the Global Times on Sunday, who spoke under the guise of anonymity.

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