Following is a speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at the "2004 L'OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science" Award Presentation Ceremony at the China Club this (March 23) afternoon (English only):
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to join you today for the "2004 L'OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science" Award Presentation Ceremony.
First, I would like to congratulate Professor Nancy Ip for her achievement as the first Hong Kong scientist being presented such a prestigious award. Professor Ip is a well-known scientist in the field of neuroscience. Her research bears great importance to the scientific world and also to our living. Not only as a distinguished person from our academia, Professor Ip also demonstrates her leadership in spearheading Hong Kong's innovation and technology development. As the Director of the Biotechnology Research Institute of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Professor Ip has helped build up a critical mass of expertise and establish state-of-the-art research facilities for drug discovery and development.
Professor Ip's achievement is a very good example of the research capability of Hong Kong scientists. We have also been able to draw eminent and world-class scientists and researchers from all over the world to come to Hong Kong, including Professor Paul Chu, whom you all know.
The Government is fully aware that human resource is our most precious asset. Over the years, we have been investing a huge amount of resources in education and manpower training, and science and technology development. We have created a $5 billion Innovation and Technology Fund in 1999, which has up to now supported more than 400 projects at a total funding of $1.2 billion. We have established the Applied Science and Technology Research Institute and also the Science Park and Cyberport to support R&D activities. We are pleased to note that our investments are beginning to bear fruit.
Government's support aside, our community owes much to the dedication and hard work of Hong Kong's scientific talent which has contributed significantly to building up our R&D capability. We are proud to have outstanding scholars like Professor Ip in our community. My warmest congratulations to you once again. You are a fine example and a role model for our younger generation.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the organizers of the Award. The "2004 L'OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science" is a result of a unique public-private partnership. I believe that with the concerted efforts of public and private sectors, we would be able to realise more scientific and technological achievements in future for the betterment of our people. Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, March 23, 2004