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The best time for innovation and technology

In an interview with Xinhua News Agency, the President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Professor Tony F Chan, said that now is the best time for Hong Kong to promote development through innovation and technology.  He also opined that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government attaches unprecedented importance to innovation and technology development. In addition to the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau last year, Professor Chan noted the two $2 billion funds that I proposed in this year's Policy Address, which will be used to subsidise scientific research by local tertiary institutions and support local innovation and technology businesses.

It is always my belief that that innovation and technology means something more than a new industry - it can make our life safer, more convenient and comfortable.  Hong Kong's innovation and technology development hinges on the way we translate university research results into market products. I concur with Professor Chan's view that our tertiary institutions can play a bigger role in the commercialization of research results.

Last year, I visited Israel with Professor Chan and representatives from the industry, academia and the research sector. Much to my delight, the visit enhanced our knowledge on technology transfer.

I am pleased to see that a supportive atmosphere for innovation and technology is being built up in Hong Kong, to which I must thank Professor Chan and many others for their efforts. As Professor Chan said, four or five years ago, one could hardly find a private innovation and technology company or workshop in Hong Kong. Now, we have at least 40 or so.

We have, of course, only taken a small step forward in innovation and technology development. Much remains to be done in the future. The HKSAR Government and I will continue to press ahead pragmatically and proactively, so that our innovation and technology industry can flourish and the Hong Kong people can benefit from it.

April 1, 2016