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SIE Fund appoints intermediary to design, develop and operate gerontechnology platform
     The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) Task Force announced today (January 4) the appointment of a collaborative coalition of 10 organisations led by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service as an intermediary to design, develop and operate an inclusive one-stop Gerontechnology Platform to promote the development of the gerontechnology ecosystem in Hong Kong. The other nine organisations are Global Centre for Modern Ageing Limited; Haven of Hope Christian Service; Hong Kong Productivity Council; Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation; Jockey Club Rehabilitation Engineering Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre Limited; Marsh (Hong Kong) Limited; Our Hong Kong Foundation Limited; and School of Nursing, The University of Hong Kong. The three-year project has commenced on January 1, 2021.

     The Chief Executive announced in the 2020 Policy Address Supplement to "Design, develop and operate an inclusive 'Gerontechnology Platform' under the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund to link up different stakeholders on the supply and demand sides and enhance synergy by way of engagement, cross-sector partnership and collaboration." The Gerontechnology Platform will comprise four basic functionalities, namely (1) a knowledge hub; (2) network and capacity building; (3) consultancy, localisation and testing support; and (4) impact assessment, with a view to enhancing the quality of life, independence and self-reliance of the elderly as well as providing support to their families, caregivers, healthcare staff and institutions. 

     The SIE Fund had funded in 2017 the first landscape study on gerontechnology in Hong Kong. The study report summarised major difficulties faced by the gerontechnology sector including insufficient collaboration among stakeholders, difficulty in localising overseas successful products, lack of a testing ground for product development, etc. Stakeholders from different sectors were of the view that the Fund should consider establishing a gerontechnology platform that would link up different stakeholders to foster the development of the gerontechnology ecosystem in Hong Kong.

     Upon further consultation with stakeholders, the SIE Fund decided to engage an intermediary to design, develop and operate an inclusive Gerontechnology Platform. In 2019, the Fund initiated an open invitation exercise to invite interested parties to submit proposals to act as the intermediary. Assessments of the proposals received had been completed and based on the assessment result, the Fund appointed the aforementioned intermediary.

     The SIE Fund looks forward to working closely with the intermediary on the Gerontechnology Platform with the aim of connecting and gathering the efforts of stakeholders from different sectors to build a vigorous gerontechnology ecosystem in Hong Kong that will help address the problem of an ageing population in a more holistic manner. The Fund will oversee and support the intermediary to implement the project. The Fund will also closely monitor the project's progress, ensuring that the four basic functionalities will be rolled out on schedule during the three-year funding period to benefit stakeholders of different sectors and people from all walks of life, particularly to enhance the well-being of the elderly under the "new normal".  

     The SIE Fund was inaugurated in 2013 as a catalyst for social innovation in Hong Kong. The Fund collaborates with different sectors including businesses, non-governmental organisations, academics and philanthropies, etc, to create social impacts through innovative solutions that address poverty and social exclusion, while seeking to foster the well-being and cohesion of society. In addition to nurturing social ventures through intermediaries' programmes, the Fund actively identifies service gaps across the whole of Hong Kong where there is a need for greater co-ordination and collaboration to achieve a bigger impact, and funds infrastructure or institutions to help plug these gaps. The establishment of the Gerontechnology Platform is the second flagship project commissioned by the Fund, riding on the success of the first project launched in 2016 to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall food support service in Hong Kong.
Ends/Monday, January 4, 2021
Issued at HKT 15:00
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