HKSTP startups to double to 500 in five years, says new chief

August 16, 2018 16:58
HKSTP chairman Sunny Chai said the park aims to increase the number of startups it is incubating from 268 to 500 in five years. Photo: HKEJ/Internet

The new chief of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) has set aggressive goals to invigorate the city in the global race for innovation and technology.

At a media luncheon on Wednesday, HKSTP chairman Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu revealed that the corporation aims to increase the number of startups it is incubating to 500 in five years, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The park currently houses 268 startups. With the expansion, the number people working at HKSTP will rise to 20,000 from 13,000, Chai said.

According to Chai, a nephew of tycoon Li Ka-shing and former group managing director of Fook Tin Group Holdings, the government has pledged to allocate HK$10 billion for the corporation.

The amount will be used to improve the park's facilities and provide the startups it is incubating with more support, Chai said, adding that about 100 tenants can expect to benefit from the initiative of helping them secure funds from private investment companies.

Based on the government’s 2018-19 budget plan, two platforms will be built in the park, one focusing on healthcare technologies and the other on artificial intelligence and robotics, he said.

Ten laboratories will be set up in the first phase, Chan said, adding that related works have begun with better-than-expected progress.

In addition to assisting startups in technology, talent, marketing and funding, the HKSTP will introduce a team that specializes in product design, marketing and brand building to provide them with more services that can help them go global.

The chairman is also seeking closer cooperation between the HKSTP and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop.

Chai said he does not “micromanage” operations at the park, but he will always be available to help when he is needed.

He said one of his priorities is personnel stability and he has drawn up plans to hold meetings with all stakeholders involved in the park, including his HKSTP colleagues, to explore how to better develop the park.

It has been rumored that Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung could not see eye to eye with former HKSTP chair Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, and this has led to the latter's departure.

Asked about his relationship with Yang, Chai said: "Quite good."

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