Hong Kong showcases innovations at International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (with photos)

     The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Berlin (HKETO Berlin), together with the Hong Kong Federation of Invention and Innovation, hosted a reception on the occasion of Hong Kong's participation at the 47th edition of the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in Switzerland on April 12 (Geneva time).
     The International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is the biggest event in the world to be exclusively devoted to inventions, and this year the event witnessed a strong presence from Hong Kong again. A delegation of more than 100 participants exhibited more than 100 projects, and they were awarded a total of 57 gold medals, 51 silver medals, nine bronze medals and nine special awards. Hong Kong was once again awarded the top Grand Prize at the Exhibition.
     Given the excellent performance of the Hong Kong entries, the Director of HKETO Berlin, Mr Bill Li, took the opportunity to emphasise the city's strength as an innovation and technology hub in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, and also highlighted the most recent government policies to further transform Hong Kong into a knowledge-based economy.
     Mr Li said that thinking of Hong Kong in this respect means thinking in broader dimensions, and pointed out that Hong Kong is a key part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. With its population of 70 million and a collective GDP worth some US$1.6 trillion, the Greater Bay Area is an ever more integrated region in which Hong Kong is the most open and international city, known for its status as an international financial, transportation and trade centre and aviation hub as well as its renowned professional services. Enjoying the advantages of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong plays an important role in the Greater Bay Area development as a hub that provides the infrastructure and talent for innovation. "That includes ample opportunities in particular for young professionals and talents as there are various support schemes for our young entrepreneurs, initiatives for start-up companies, world-class research facilities, creation of quality employment opportunities and more," Mr Li said.
     Citing the Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, in October 2018, Mr Li reiterated that the Government has decided to inject US$2.5 billion into the Research Endowment Fund set up by the Research Grants Council (RGC) under the University Grants Committee to strengthen the research capabilities of Hong Kong's universities, and to set up Matching Grant Scheme of US$382 million to increase research funding. The RGC is a non-statutory advisory council advising the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on the needs of higher education institutions.
     Hong Kong's efforts in promoting innovation and technology are already bearing fruit. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) set foot in Hong Kong in 2015 when launching its Innovation Node, a collaborative space that aims to connect the MIT community with unique resources. The Swedish Karolinska Institutet has also reached out to Hong Kong, with its Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine functioning as a technology hub exploring novel technologies, including genome editing, reprogramming, single cell transcriptomics, biomedical engineering and 3D tissue imaging technologies. "There will be other top-notch European research institutions to follow these two examples and collaborate with our local universities," Mr Li said.
     With the success stories of world-renowned institutions choosing Hong Kong to push their innovations and the Hong Kong projects presented at the International Exhibition of Inventions in mind, Mr Li said that there is a bigger goal behind all the Government's investments and initiatives. "It is to improve people's daily lives and benefit the general public, not least of all for the elderly and the underprivileged," he said, adding that further benefits are found in the healthcare sector to improve medical treatment, in better protecting the environment and in simply being more efficient. Given all that, Mr Li said the beauty of having a strong Hong Kong presence at the exhibition is not only the success measured in medals and prizes but also the opportunity to see how these innovations enter real life and serve the people.
About HKETO Berlin
     HKETO Berlin is the official Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government representative in commercial relations and other economic and trade matters in Switzerland as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.

Ends/Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Issued at HKT 22:22