Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Henry Tang, at the Hong Kong Computer Society Gala Dinner cum IT Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony today (February 18): (English only)
Daniel (Lai), Agnes (Mak), Sunny (Lee), Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to take part in this Gala Dinner cum IT Excellence Awards Presentation Ceremony organised by the Hong Kong Computer Society. Not only is this another excellent occasion for the local IT industry to get together, it is also a special event for us to pay tribute to the winners of the prestigious IT Excellence Awards.
Since its establishment in 1970, the Hong Kong Computer Society has spared no efforts to upgrade the standard of IT professionals in Hong Kong and to promote the wider adoption of IT in the business sector and the community at large. The IT Excellence Awards scheme, launched in 1998, has been a major and highly respected initiative, giving recognition to our IT talents for their outstanding achievements.
This year, competition is as keen as before. There are some 40 entries competing for the four categories of awards: apart from the well-known IT Application Awards and the IT Products Awards, the Hong Kong Computer Society has introduced two new categories to specifically commend SMEs with outstanding achievements.
The SAR Government has also sponsored a Cyberport Award in the form of a one-year rent-free office accommodation for a winning SME to set up in the Cyberport. The winner will be able to take advantage of our state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and benefit from the synergy unleashed by the cluster of like-minded companies.
In fact, we see great potential in the Cyberport in contributing to the IT, innovation and technology development in Hong Kong. Two major initiatives to enhance the leadership role of the Cyberport include the setting up of a support centre for SMEs engaged in the development of contents, applications and services for wireless and mobile communications, and a Digital Media Centre to provide hardware, software and technical support for the industry, particularly SMEs, to spearhead the development of the digital media industry, including electronic games, animation, advertising etc. We aim to set up these facilities some time this year.
These initiatives will, like the IT Excellence Awards, help stimulate innovation and promote the use of new enabling technologies in our businesses and community. It is not surprising that our IT applications and innovations have reached international standards, as demonstrated by the international acclaim earned by winners of the IT Excellence Awards. Of the eight companies nominated to compete with over 80 other entries for the Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technologies Awards 2002, four won the grand awards. This put Hong Kong at the top of the league of 11 participating economies.
To further promote Hong Kong's IT excellence, we will set up a Hong Kong IT Innovations Pavilion in CeBIT, the world's largest IT trade fair, to be held in Germany in March, to showcase the winning entries of the IT Excellence Awards.
I am also pleased that the Hong Kong Computer Society has won its bid to host the Asia Pacific Information and Communications Technologies Awards in Hong Kong in 2004. The Innovation and Technology Fund has approved in principle funding for this prominent event, which is expected to attract over 1 000 delegates from 15 economies in the Asia Pacific region. This event will provide an invaluable opportunity for us to showcase the high quality and strong capabilities of our IT industry.
Finally, I would like to thank the Hong Kong Computer Society for its dedication and commitment over the years in organising the IT Excellence Awards.
I would also like to congratulate the winners of the Awards for your innovation, creativity and hard work. Not only have you tasted the fruits of your success, your brilliant ideas and fine innovations and applications have helped to stimulate and foster the development of IT industry in Hong Kong. Thank you.
End/Tuesday, February 18, 2003