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Technology Voucher Programme opens for application
     The Innovation and Technology Commission today (November 21) launched a $500 million Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) on a pilot basis under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF).
     The Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, said, "Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for over 98 per cent of the total number of enterprises in Hong Kong. The TVP provides incentives to promote the effective use of technological services and solutions by SMEs to enhance their operational efficiency, and fosters business opportunities for local service providers of technological solutions. We hope that the TVP will encourage the private sector to invest in innovation and technology, so as to improve productivity and long-term competitiveness."
     Under the TVP, SMEs registered under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap. 310) and with at least one year of substantive business operation in Hong Kong may submit applications. The Government will provide cumulative funding up to $200,000 on a 2:1 matching basis for each eligible SME. The SME must contribute no less than one third of the project cost. Upon project completion, the Government will disburse the approved funding to the applicant.
     Taking into account the different business and technological needs of SMEs, the Government suggests that SMEs should identify suitable technology consultants or providers according to their needs after examining their business operations, so as to achieve the objective of improving productivity, or upgrading or transforming their business processes. While the Government will not draw up a list of designated technology consultants or providers, SMEs need to comply with the procurement procedures set out under the TVP such as the quotation procedures.
     Eligible applications will be vetted by a TVP Committee chaired by Professor Eric Yim and comprising members from the business sector, the technology sector, the professional services sector and relevant government departments.
     In the 2016-17 Budget, the Financial Secretary announced the allocation of $500 million to launch the TVP under the ITF. The TVP will be implemented on a pilot basis for three years.
     The TVP is now open for application. For more information, please visit the dedicated website at tvp.itf.gov.hk. For enquiries, please contact the TVP Secretariat at Tel: 3523 1170 or by email: tvp-enquiry@itc.gov.hk.
Ends/Monday, November 21, 2016
Issued at HKT 13:09
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