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Speech by SITI at Panel Discussion: How Innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Reshapes Global Healthcare of Asia Summit on Global Health (English only) (with photo)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, at the Panel Discussion: How Innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Reshapes Global Healthcare of the Asia Summit on Global Health today (November 10):
Margaret (Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Ms Margaret Fong), Eric (Chief Public Mission Officer of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, Mr Eric Chan), Professor Wong (Vice President (Education), Patrick S.C. Poon Endowed Professor in Applied Chemistry and Chair Professor of Chemical Technology, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Wong Kwok-yin), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good afternoon. It is my honour to join you all at the second Asia Summit on Global Health. Further to the remarkable success of the inaugural summit last year, I am sure that the two-day summit this year will be another excellent chance for us to explore in depth how to foster collaboration on global healthcare and public health.
     The theme of this session is "How innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) reshapes global healthcare". I would like to share with you the indispensable role of Hong Kong in promoting the development of healthcare in the GBA. In fact, life and health technology is one of the major areas that Hong Kong enjoys significant advantages in innovation and technology (I&T) development. With the emphasis of the National 14th Five-Year Plan on frontier fields such as life and health disciplines, we strive to seize the opportunity brought by the national development to better leverage Hong Kong's strengths in life and health sciences. 
     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. Hong Kong also has a vibrant biotech ecosystem which is conducive to the growth of life and health tech-related start-ups. Currently, we are Asia's largest and the world's second largest fundraising hub for biotech companies. Besides, our world-renowned scholars and experts in life and health sciences research have frequently won local and overseas prestigious science awards in their respective professional areas, including epidemic control, neurological diseases and non-invasive prenatal diagnostic techniques, etc. Their research results were also widely adopted in many countries. The excellent research capabilities and outstanding talents we have are the keys to Hong Kong's success story.
     To capitalise on our advantages, this term of Government has laid down clear directions for the future I&T development in Hong Kong. Among all, it is important for us to perfect the local I&T ecosystem and better co-ordinate the development of the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. While we are determined to solidify our leading research capabilities, we need to incentivise the universities to proactively push ahead the midstream technology transfer and to commercialise their outstanding R&D (research and development) outcomes. To realise this goal, as announced by the Chief Executive in his first Policy Address last month, we will roll out a new funding scheme, namely the Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme, RAISe+ Scheme in short, in the coming year to provide funding on a matching basis for research teams in universities which have good potential to become I&T start-ups, so as to encourage more collaboration among industry, academic and research sectors to drive the "one to N" transformation of outstanding R&D results and the tech industry development. Besides, in collaboration with the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises to be set up later this year and making use of the $30 billion Co-Investment Fund and $5 billion Strategic Tech Fund as well as the land and space provided for I&T uses starting from 2024 in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park (HSITP) in the Lok Ma Chau Loop and elsewhere, we strive to attract high-quality enterprises and talents to Hong Kong, primarily focusing on industries of strategic value and advantages to Hong Kong, such as life and health technology. 
     In the past few years, we have rolled out a series of initiatives to help enhance Hong Kong's research capability and international network, for instance launching the initiative InnoHK research clusters, comprising Health@InnoHK and so on, which seeks to develop Hong Kong as the hub for global research collaboration through the convergence of top-notch researchers from all over the world to conduct world-class and impactful research with local universities and institutions.
     Earlier on this year, we have earmarked $10 billion to further promote the development of life and health technology in Hong Kong in various areas including hardware, talent, clinical trials and data applications, etc, with a view to strengthening the capacity and capability of related organisations, universities and research institutions. One of the ideas in mind is to support the establishment of the InnoLife Healthtech Hub in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop to foster global science and research collaboration in this frontier area. It will cover biomedicine, chemistry, physics, engineering and artificial intelligence, etc, for application in fields of prevention, diagnosis, pathology tracking, medicine, surgical micro-robots, advanced treatment and rehabilitation, etc. The InnoLife Healthtech Hub will help drive further collaboration with other Mainland cities in the GBA given HSITP's premier location and key role of being one of Hong Kong's strategic I&T development bases. It will also become another prominent platform in attracting and gathering start-ups or large enterprises in life and health disciplines who have identified Hong Kong's strengths in this area and the enormous market potential of the GBA.
     Besides, under the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy, the Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop and the areas around Lok Ma Chau and San Tin will be consolidated to form the San Tin Technopole. The San Tin Technopole, together with the Shenzhen I&T Zone, will form the Shenzhen-Hong Kong I&T Co-operation Zone. By combining the strengths of both Hong Kong and Shenzhen, the development of an international I&T hub in the GBA will definitely be propelled.
     We are grateful for the extensive support rendered by the Central Government in fuelling Hong Kong's I&T development. We have been closely communicating with the Ministry of Science and Technology all along to explore support measures to facilitate the cross-boundary flow of key innovation elements. Green light has been given by the Central Government in areas such as the relaxation of the limitation on exporting Mainland human genetic resources or biosamples to Hong Kong, and allowing local research institutes to apply for certain Mainland R&D funding, etc, which are essential to the further development of Hong Kong's I&T sector. We will continue to co-operate with other Mainland cities in the GBA underpinned by the principles of complementarity and mutual benefits, thereby creating impetus to the development of life and health technology in the GBA.
     Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong is embracing the development of a world-class health technology hub in the GBA by contributing infrastructure, talents, capital and R&D capability. With the unique strategic location of being backed by our motherland and closely connected with the world, we welcome global healthcare companies and start-ups to make good use of Hong Kong as the springboard to venture into the gigantic and prosperous GBA market. Hong Kong will continue to play a major role in the development of the GBA into an international I&T hub by leveraging Hong Kong's strengths to serve the needs of the country. I firmly believe that with the contribution of Hong Kong, innovation in the GBA is going to play an influential role in reshaping the future of global healthcare.
     In closing, may I wish this Summit every success and all of you an enlightening and fruitful experience. Thank you.
Ends/Thursday, November 10, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:08
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The Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Professor Sun Dong, speaks at the panel discussion session of the Asia Summit on Global Health today (November 10).