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Speech by FS at opening ceremony of Hong Kong Science Park Phase 3 (English only) (with photos/video)

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the opening ceremony of Hong Kong Science Park Phase 3 this afternoon (September 25):

Fanny (Law), Nick (Brooke), Allen (Ma), ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests,

    Good afternoon.  

    It is indeed a great pleasure of mine to join you all this afternoon on this splendid occasion: the grand opening of Hong Kong Science Park, Phase 3.

    Steve Jobs once said in response for a question on the power of technology, he said, "Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have faith in people, that they're basically good and smart and, if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them."

    From the very beginning, I am delighted to say that the Science Park development has been blessed with smart people doing wonderful things.

    Just this year, five technology companies based in the Science Park won gold medals at the 42nd International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, including four incubatees and a Science Park partner company, with innovations ranging from biotech and healthcare to wearable sensors and smart city applications. These, and other companies, along with the Government and technology professionals, are helping to create a world-class science and technology hub right here in Hong Kong.

    Today, we bear witness to the opening of Phase 3, a large showcase of sustainable construction in Hong Kong with facilities designed to be carbon neutral throughout their lifetime. Three R&D buildings and a multi-purpose hall were completed earlier this year. And the whole Phase 3 development will be fully operational in two years' time. My heartfelt congratulations to everyone who has contributed to this tremendous project, and for the quality as well as excellence they are bringing to this institution, and also to Hong Kong.

    I am pleased to welcome the first batch of Phase 3 tenants to Hong Kong Science Park. I am confident that the new offices, the labs and the R&D facilities will help them turn their high-tech dreams into business reality.

    Hong Kong Science Park is now home to more than 480 technology companies. They together employ over 10,000 staff. With the completion of Phase 3 in 2016, R&D space in the park will increase by some 50 per cent, to 330,000 square metres. That will provide enough room for another 150 technology companies, and an additional 4,000 high quality jobs for Hong Kong.

    But even as we celebrate this well-earned success, we need to maintain the momentum in boosting our capabilities and enhancing our competitiveness even further. We must seek to inspire innovation on an even greater scale, if we are serious about remaining a player in the new global century.

    Since the expansion of tertiary education in the early 1990s our universities, with funding support from the Government, through the Research Grant Council and the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), have gradually built up world-class research capabilities in more areas, generating top-notch research results. In the current stage of development, we are now placing even greater emphasis on commercialising upstream R&D results.  

    In my budget this year, I proposed to set up an Enterprise Support Scheme under the ITF to further encourage private sector investment in R&D companies. The funding scope of the ITF has also been expanded to include development work and system integration, industrial design, compliance testing as well as clinical trials. We also set up a new Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities to providing funding support to encourage students and professors to start technology businesses and turn R&D results into marketable products and services.

    However, without industrialists, without the private sector, without you all, all the government support in the world won't be enough. To transform Hong Kong into an innovation hub, one that captures the attention of the world, we need to work together.

    Science Park is central to this vision. Beyond providing state-of-the-art infrastructure, it must also strengthen and expand its networking role linking higher education and research with the industrial and business communities of Hong Kong and the world.

    My thanks to the Science Park Board members and the management team for your smart work.

    Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, September 25, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:18


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