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Hong Kong company wins Grand Prix at International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

A Hong Kong company has just won the Grand Prix at this year's International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva for its invention of biological toxicology testing technology, which stood out among over 1,000 inventions from 48 countries and regions. Established in 1973, the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is one of the oldest and largest exhibitions of its kind in the world. The award of such a prestigious prize to a Hong Kong company is proof that our local technology professionals have the capability to gain international recognition and rank among the best of their peers in the world.

The biological toxicology testing technology has been developed by Vitargent (International) Biotechnology Limited of Hong Kong. The models adopted can simulate the metabolism of drugs in humans in order to predict the toxic effects of sample substances on zebrafish and humans. The fish used are genetically engineered. The fluorescence of the fish embryos or the way they are pathologically modified enables the rapid identification of more than 1,000 toxins in 48 to 72 hours.

As mentioned by the Organising Committee of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, this technology can be used in the testing of food, medicine, cosmetics, plastic products, drinking water and any other substances with which the human body may come into contact.

All along, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation has been providing guidance to young technology companies like Vitargent, assisting start-ups in finding talents, funding, clients and markets. By commercialising the scientific research findings of a local university and winning this major international award, the founders of Vitargent have demonstrated that great results can be achieved through co-operation among the Government, industry, academia and research sectors.

The current-term Government has twice proposed the establishment of an Innovation and Technology Bureau to co-ordinate resources for more effective promotion of innovation and technology development in the community. It would inject new energy to the industry and create more opportunities for our young people. Unfortunately, because of repeated filibustering by the pan-democrats in the Legislative Council, three years have passed and the Bureau has yet to be established. This hinders the development of our innovation and technology professionals.

April 19, 2015