Technology Voucher Programme receives encouraging response
A spokesman for the ITC today (December 16) noted that there remained some questions about the TVP in the industry. Common queries relate to quotations, requirements on technology consultants and service providers, requirements on procuring off-the-shelf technological solutions, and more.
Under the TVP, SMEs may choose suppliers according to their own needs. The ITC believes that SMEs will have already considered factors such as the quality of the suppliers and project benefits during the process. To ensure the proper use of public funds, the procurement contract should generally be awarded to the one selected by the SME and submitting the lowest conforming quotation. However, subject to agreement of the TVP Committee, the TVP also allows SMEs to provide justifications for accepting a quotation that is not the lowest.
As fair competition is the core value of Hong Kong, the TVP neither restricts technology service providers to a designated list, nor imposes restrictions on factors such as locations or experience. The TVP only requires that the technology consultant must be a local university or research institution, or a company registered under the Business Registration Ordinance. The TVP allows SMEs to select the most suitable suppliers, including local or international technology firms, according to their own needs.
While cloud-based services are among the services covered under the TVP, expenditure on off-the-shelf technological solutions should in general constitute 50 per cent or less of the total cost of the project. In fact, there are similar restrictions in technology voucher programmes of other countries (such as the United Kingdom and Australia).
Under the TVP, up to three projects from an SME may be approved. If the project adopts some subscription-based and relatively lower-priced services, the SME may submit another project application to utilise the remaining funding balance upon project completion.
"Formulated with reference to the experience of a number of countries, the TVP is an initiative of the Government to spearhead innovation and technology. We will review the effectiveness of the TVP from time to time in view of its implementation," the spokesman added.
Ends/Friday, December 16, 2016
Issued at HKT 14:35
Issued at HKT 14:35