HKSTP launches smart living initiative 'InnoCell' for IT talent

May 21, 2019 11:49
An illustration photo of InnoCell. HKSTP is adopting the modular integrated construction model for the building, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Photo: HKSTP

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) on Monday began construction on InnoCell, a smart living facility aimed at nurturing a co-creation community of internet and technology talent.

Slated to open by the end of 2020, InnoCell will provide around 500 residential units, with flexible design and communal facilities, to promote cross-fertilization among talent.

At the commencement ceremony, Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor pointed out that the government had allocated HK$100 billion to launch innovation and technology-related projects in the city, including a HK$10 billion capital injection for establishment of research and development facilities and IT support to HKSTP.

She said the smart living initiative will offer affordable rents to help attract talents and promote an innovative community and collaborations.

Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu, chairman of HKSTP, said the initiative aims to establish an innovative ecosystem and hopes to attract talents in local community, as well as from mainland China and elsewhere overseas.

Coupled with InnoCell, the HKSTP launched an Accommodation Support Scheme last year, providing transitional accommodation subsidy to overseas and mainland employees of HKSTP’s tenant companies, who work and reside in Hong Kong. The maximum amount of the subsidy per eligible employee is HK$10,000 a month, for a maximum period of 12 months and a minimum period of 6 months.

The new building coming up adjacent to the Hong Kong Science Park will be built using the modular integrated construction (MiC) technology, incorporating the concept of “factory assembly followed by on-site installation”.

MiC refers to a construction method to enable off-site manufacturing in a prefabrication factory, and then transportation to site for installation. Adopted in multiple countries including the US and the UK, this approach has proven effective to significantly reduce onsite construction processes and building productivity.

Also, the HKSTP announced Tuesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to support long-term collaborative relationship on driving the development and adoption of construction robotics and automation, based on a shared vision for the betterment of the Hong Kong construction industry.

The agreement involves incubating companies that can develop solutions for the field, promoting construction technologies, and providing personnel certification on the use of construction robotics and automated systems.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 21

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal