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Speech by SCIT at HK Young Design Talent Awards 2006 launching ceremony (English only)

    Following is a speech by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Mr Joseph W P Wong, at the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards 2006 launching ceremony today (May 30):

Dear donors, distinguished Guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am very pleased to be here today to attend the launching ceremony of the Hong Kong Design Talent Awards 2006.

     Nowadays, a good design is an essential ingredient in manufacturing or in services.  The notion that good designs are optional add-ons has long passed.  Good designs mean additional   functions, convenience and comfort to customers, and they yield substantive returns in price and market share.

      The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has been promoting the wider use of design our industries in order to move up the value chain, enhance the professional competence of local designers, and promote Hong Kong as a hub of design services.

     In 2004, the Government launched the DesignSmart Initiative with an allocation of $250 million.  Under the initiative, we have embarked on four funding schemes to promote design-business collaboration, design research, professional continuous education and general support.  We are also on course to establish an Inno Centre as a one-stop-shop for the design community.

     As part of the DesignSmart Initiative to nurture young and upcoming talents, we launched the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Awards last year with Government contributing $1 million and the industry and education sectors contributing $750,000.  The purpose of the awards is to confer official recognition on the achievements of outstanding young Hong Kong designers.  The awards provide the winners with financial support so that they can receive further design education and training opportunities at renowned organisations overseas.

     Five prizes were awarded last year, with the awardees coming from a wide range of disciplines, from fashion and accessory to architecture, industrial design and graphic design.  These Awardees and their designs immediately captured the attention of the local and international media and design professionals.

     For this year's awards, I am very happy to see that outside contributions has increased from $750,000 to $1.3 million, and we are now able to offer eight awards instead of five last year.  I take this opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Vocational Training Council, Gold Peak Industries (Holding) Limited, Bright Future Foundation, and the Hong Kong Young Industrialists Council for their generous support which, together with the government's $1 million, raises the total amount of all prizes to $2.3 million this year.  

     I would also like to thank our distinguished judges for agreeing to contribute their time and efforts to select the winners from amongst the many quality entrants.

     Lastly, I wish all the young designers who have submitted their applications good luck, and whether you win or not, every success in your professional careers.

     Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Issued at HKT 15:47