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Opening address by SITI at Healthcare Innovation and Technology Summit 2022 (English only) (with photo)
     Following is the opening address by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the Healthcare Innovation and Technology Summit 2022 today (October 14):
Professor Chan (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Francis Chan), Mr Wong (Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Mr Albert Wong), distinguished speakers and guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good morning. It is my honour to join you all at this Healthcare Innovation and Technology Summit 2022. I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all the speakers and participants joining us today in person or virtually.
     Today's summit is an event in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK (CU Medicine) and the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP). I would like to thank CU Medicine and the HKSTP for organising such a high quality summit, which brings together local and international healthcare experts and young talents for knowledge transfer and exchange, as well as provides a platform to showcase remarkable R&D (research and development) outcomes in Hong Kong.
     Innovation and technology (I&T) development has all along been the work focus of the Government. With the unwavering support from our motherland and the Government's solid commitment, our I&T ecosystem is flourishing and increasingly vibrant. Among many disciplines, life and health technology is one of the major areas where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages. Hong Kong possesses strong research capabilities and originality, with subversive and forward-looking research results as well as the ability to break through "from zero to one ". We have five top 100 universities and two top 40 medical schools in the world, reputable clinical centres which are recognised by the National Medical Products Administration, and their data which meet the relevant clinical trial standards are also widely recognised by the relevant regulatory bodies in the United States and the European Union.
     Talent is one of the key factors essential to the development of life and health technology. Hong Kong is blessed with many world-class talents in the life and health disciplines who frequently won local and overseas science awards in their respective professional areas. For example, Professor Dennis Lo has just won the 2022 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, which is a global recognition of his revolutionary research and exceptional achievement in diagnostic technologies that have benefitted millions of women and their families around the world. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Lo again on his remarkable achievements. We are thirsty for more leading lights like Professor Lo to drive the development of the industry.
     To capitalise on our advantages as just highlighted, we need to devise top-level planning in further promoting Hong Kong's I&T development. In fact, this term of Government has laid down clear directions for the future I&T development in Hong Kong and among others we have to perfect the I&T ecosystem and co-ordinate the development of the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. On the upstream side, we need to step up our efforts to support Hong Kong's original innovation, so as to further strengthen the advantages of local universities in basic scientific research and consolidate our competitiveness in the upstream. In the midstream, we need to encourage universities to proactively promote the transformation and commercialisation of research results. As for the downstream side, we need to set out clear industry facilitation policies to support the development of I&T industries, nurture local technology companies and attract overseas enterprises to set up bases in Hong Kong. At the same time, we need to assist traditional industries to transform to higher value-added production by making use of I&T, so as to accelerate the progress of re-industrialisation and drive new economic growth. The Chief Executive is going to deliver his maiden Policy Address next week. A series of highlights, in particular on measures to perfect the I&T ecosystem as well as attract talents, will be introduced, which is worth looking forward to.
     Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong is welcoming its golden time to develop I&T. With the staunch support from the Central Government, Hong Kong will develop I&T at full steam and actively participate in the development of the GBA (Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area) into an international I&T hub. This will certainly open up vast opportunities and bright prospects for tech companies, start-ups and talents, including those in life and health disciplines. I look forward to joining hands with you all here to fully seize the opportunities ahead and to build a better and more innovative Hong Kong.
     Before I close, I would like to share with you a recent piece of great news which some of you may have also noticed. The country has recently launched the recruitment of the fourth batch of astronauts and opened the recruitment of payload specialists in Hong Kong for the first time. This shows the country's recognition on Hong Kong's research capabilities and I&T development, and we feel immensely honoured. Payload specialists are professional scientific researchers who are mainly responsible for conducting aerospace experiments or research, managing daily operations of space stations with other astronauts, etc. Targeted candidates can come from a wide spectrum of specialties including biology, medicine, chemistry and biomedical engineering which are highly related to healthcare technologies. May I appeal for your help to spread this message to your colleagues and friends, and encourage those who fulfil the basic requirements to come forward, seizing this invaluable opportunity to realise their dream and serve the country.
     Last but not least, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to CUHK and the HKSTP for their continuous support and contribution in fostering healthcare and innovation development. I wish the Summit every success and all participants a fruitful experience. Thank you.
Ends/Friday, October 14, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:10
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The Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, delivers opening address at the Healthcare Innovation and Technology Summit 2022 today (October 14).