The official opening today (April 20) of five Research and Development (R&D) Centres marked an important milestone in the Government's efforts to further promote the development of innovation and technology.
The programme is financed by the Innovation and Technology Fund, which has reserved more than $2 billion for the running of the five R&D Centres. Hosted by local universities and technology support organisations, the R&D Centres provide a one-stop service for applied research, technology transfer and commercialisation and help facilitate industries to move up the value chain.
The centres will undertake industry-oriented research in technologies demanded increasingly in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region, with focus on automotive parts and accessory systems; information and communications technologies; logistics and supply-chain management enabling technologies; nanotechnology and advanced materials, and textiles and clothing.
Joined by more than 600 industry and technology leaders from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas, Acting Chief Executive, Mr Rafael Hui; the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Joseph WP Wong; and the chairmen of the five R&D Centres, officiated at the launch of the new centres today.
"In the 21st century, innovation is vital to the economic development of the knowledge-based economy. To maintain Hong Kong's competitive edge, we must continue to strive for improved productivity and competitiveness. By establishing the R&D Centres, the HKSAR Government aims to facilitate collaboration between the Government, industry, the academia and research organisations for developing applied R&D, and commercialising technology research outputs," Mr Hui said.
The R&D Centres will provide support and solutions that are tailored for the specific requirements of the industry. Each R&D Centre operates independently. To ensure that R&D activities are relevant to the respective industries, a board of directors and a technology committee have been appointed in each Centre, offering relevant industry and market expertise.
The Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Joseph WP Wong, said that the Chairmen of the Board of Directors of the R&D Centres were business leaders in their respective fields. "Members of the boards comprise representatives from the Innovation and Technology Commission, universities and research institutes as well as industry leaders from different technology areas. They are responsible for defining the overall development plan and direction for the centres," he said.
"The Technology Committees comprise representatives from academia and industry, who will focus on assessing and monitoring the progress of research programmes. This management structure demonstrates the close co-operation between the Government and the industries in running the R&D Centres and helps ensure that Centres' projects are supported by the industry," Mr Wong said.
Organisations ranging from large manufacturers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to overseas technology enterprises can participate in the R&D Centres' programmes in different ways. The Innovation and Technology Commission has recently signed Memoranda of Understanding with a number of world-renowned universities, including the Tsinghua University, Universities of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles as well as University College London.
The agreements allow the universities to participate in the R&D Centres' programmes as a technology partner. Individual R&D centres have also entered into agreement with technology enterprises on research collaboration, such as the agreements between the R&D Centre for Information and Communications Technologies and Telcordia, Wavecom and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.
Two concurrent seminars entitled "Developing Technology into Commercial Success" were held after the launch. The five chairmen and chief executive officers of the R&D Centres introduced the centres' programmes to hundreds of participants from the industry and explained how their services could bring success to various industries and businesses. For information about the presentations and the five centres' programmes, please visit http://www.rdc.gov.hk.
Ends/Thursday, April 20, 2006
Issued at HKT 18:38