HKSTP unveils biotech, AI programs to drive innovation

February 27, 2018 18:36
HKSTP chief executive Albert Wong reveals plans to  become a major driver and coordinator of innovation and technology in the city. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is focusing on biotechnology and artificial intelligence as part of its goal to become a major driver and coordinator of innovation and technology in the city.

Speaking at a Lunar New Year luncheon with media last week, chief executive Albert Wong said the science park will strengthen ties with overseas academic and research bodies and attract investment in the biotech field under its four-year Incu-Bio scheme.

It will upgrade its facilities, including laboratories and research-related application amenities, to boost research capabilities and provide a one-stop service for biotechnology firms.

The goal is to turn Hong Kong into a top-notch biotech quality-testing center in the region, Wong said.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another strategic focus. In addition to developing applications for the finance sector, the park will promote projects combining AI with robotics to develop so-called AIR solutions to address specific issues in different industries, such as food safety in catering and food processing as well as diminishing and aging manpower in the construction sector.

HKSTP is now Hong Kong’s largest base for research and development activities, Wong said.

Last year the park successfully nurtured its first unicorn, face recognition technology developer SenseTime. It currently houses 652 local technology companies and overseas startups from 22 countries and regions. These include 259 tech firms under various incubation schemes.

Aside from being a leading incubator of startups, HKSTP also coordinates ecosystems for innovation and technology among Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas firms.

The park is expanding its data studio to attract multinational firms to work with local startups.

Another plan is to further promote a “smart region” inside the park to test smart city technologies and collect relevant data for analysis.

Meanwhile, HKSTP's Data Technology Hub and Advanced Manufacturing Centre are expected to be completed at the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in 2020 and 2021/2022 respectively.

The two centers will help in stepping up the park's efforts in data management, multimedia production and high value-added smart manufacturing, Wong said.

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HKSTP CEO Albert Wong (seventh from left) and the park's management team hold boards representing various focus areas of innovation and technology. Photo: HKSTP

EJ Insight writer