Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit
Startups play a pivotal role in the innovation and technology (I&T) development, offering innovative ideas and injecting momentum into the I&T ecosystem. The Government has been allocating more and more resources to support the expansion of our startup base and put in place various funding schemes to support the growth of startups.
In 2014, we launched the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities to support university teams in starting technology businesses and commercialising their research and development results. Starting from 2019-20, we doubled the maximum annual funding support under the scheme from $4 million to $8 million per university and increased the annual funding cap of each startup to $1.5 million. We also set up a $2 billion Innovation & Technology Venture Fund to drive and attract more venture capital funds to co-invest in our local I&T startups. Hong Kong’s startups can also try out their new products and technologies under the Public Sector Trial Scheme. Moreover, our two I&T flagships, Science Park and Cyberport, have also been offering support to the growth and scaling up of our startups.
Apart from the Government, participation from the academia and business community is equally important to cultivate our startup base. With the concerted efforts of all the relevant stakeholders, we have seen phenomenal growth in our startup landscape in recent years. In 2020, there were over 3,300 startups in Hong Kong, triple the number in 2014. We welcome City University’s (CityU) efforts in advancing the HK Tech 300 programme to support more startups. We also appreciate the China Resources Enterprise for collaborating with CityU to set up a co-investment platform under the programme. With our vast hinterland in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area offering promising opportunities, our startups are positioned well to grow further both in quantity and quality.
Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit gave this speech at the City University and China Resources Enterprise Memorandum of Understanding Signing & HK Tech 300 Seed Fund Award Presentation Ceremony on July 29.