Speech by CE at Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Presentation Ceremony 2023 (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Presentation Ceremony 2023 today (June 13):
Mr Andy Ho (Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups), Ms Luanne Lim (Chief Executive, Hong Kong of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)), Mr Bernard Chan (Chairman of the Awardee Selection Committee of the Innovation and Technology Scholarship), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, parents, teachers and friends,
     Good evening. I am delighted to join you today in congratulating the 25 recipients of the Innovation and Technology Scholarship this year.
     Since its launch in 2011, the Innovation and Technology Scholarship has supported a total of 325 local undergraduates in pursuing their dreams. 
     Many scholarship alumni have gone on to attain significant achievements in their expertise fields, be it in medicine, science, engineering or other areas, and continue to inspire the younger generation. It is indeed heartening to see the growing enthusiasm for I&T (innovation and technology) among young people in the community.
     Under the auspices of the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong is bestowed with the dual advantage of having the strong support of national strategies, while maintaining unparalleled connectivity with the world. With the support of the National 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong is determined to develop into an international I&T centre to contribute to the high-quality development of the country.
     Hong Kong's capability in R&D (research and development) is well recognised both nationally and internationally. We are the only city in Asia with five universities in the world's top 100. We possess 16 State Key Laboratories, six Hong Kong Branches of Chinese National Engineering Research Centres, 22 Joint Laboratories with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with an abundance of world-renowned scholars and experts.
     Knowledge and innovation drives the future of our economy. To enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness, the Hong Kong SAR Government has adopted a multipronged approach to expand our I&T talent pool. In less than a year since I took office as the Chief Executive, the Government has introduced a variety of initiatives to attract I&T professionals from all over the world.
     Just as importantly, we are dedicated to nurturing home-grown I&T talents – talents like all of the outstanding students seated here with us today.
     We have enhanced our efforts in promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education, with a view to laying a solid I&T foundation for students. Through enriched curriculum and diversified learning activities, we hope to create a conducive STEAM learning environment where more students with talent in I&T can be identified and cultivated from an early age.
     For higher education, the Government strives to increase the ratio of university students in STEAM courses, as well as the number of research postgraduate places in universities funded by the University Grants Committee. 
     Our STEM Internship Scheme and the Research Talent Hub Scheme will continue to support and encourage university students and graduates to pursue careers in the I&T field.
     The potential of I&T development is limitless. Young people should seize the golden opportunities ahead, and contribute to the country and Hong Kong with their talents.
     On that note, I would like to offer my congratulations to the scholarship recipients today. What follows will be a life-changing experience for all of you.
     I wish you enjoy and cherish every valuable learning opportunity. I am sure your parents and teachers are proud to see your achievements, and will join me in wishing you all great success in your aspirations.
     Remember. Keep working hard. Stay focused and confident. Keep trying if you fail. Keep your dream alive. Then one day, your dream will come true.
     Before closing, I would like to thank the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups for organising this meaningful scholarship scheme over the years, as well as the HSBC and the Innovation and Technology Commission for their immense contribution.
     I wish you all an enjoyable evening and the best of luck in your future endeavours. Thank you very much.

Ends/Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:31