HKUST Welcomes 2023-2024 Budget

HKUST welcomes the measures rolled out today by the Financial Secretary Mr. Paul CHAN in his Budget today on boosting Hong Kong's innovation and technology (I&T) capabilities including setting aside HK$6 billion to subsidize universities and research institutes in setting up life and health technology research institutes, establishing Microelectronics Research and Development Institute, promoting the development of FinTech and Green Tech, and earmarking over HK$700 million for start-up nurturing and support.

HKUST is committed to fulfilling its missions of advancing knowledge through teaching and research and translating our research outcomes with the view to contributing to the economic and social development of Hong Kong and the nation. HKUST is delighted to see that the measures announced in the Budget are set to further boost the innovation & technology ecosystem in the city and the Greater Bay Area. The University looks forward to closely collaborating with different stakeholders in the I&T sector on frontier technologies and nurturing of start-up to bring win-win benefits to multiple parties.

HKUST Council Chairman the Hon. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing said, "Supporting Hong Kong to develop into an international I&T hub is one of the initiatives indicated in the country's 14th five-year plan and the HKSAR Government has implemented various measures accordingly and proactively in response to this national development strategy. The HKUST will continue to fulfill the mission set forth 30 years ago when it was first founded - to help Hong Kong nurture the right talents so as to support the city's economic transformation - and to supplement different I&T policies put forward by the Government. In the new era of HKUST 2.0 created by the Clear Water Bay and Guangzhou campuses under the 'Unified HKUST, Complementary Campuses' framework, HKUST is dedicated to proactively contributing to the country's, Greater Bay Area's and Hong Kong's I&T development."

HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP said, "HKUST appreciates the series of forward-looking measures rolled out in the Budget today, especially those that promote the commercialization of life and health technology research outcomes and basic research on frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence, microelectronics and quantum technology, which will benefit Hong Kong's development into an international I&T center. Those research areas are where Hong Kong and HKUST lie their unique strengths - with Hong Kong being the world's second largest fundraising hub for biotechnology companies in recent years and the policy support rendered by the Hong Kong Government, the city has a great opportunity to play a leadership role in these areas of innovation."

The Budget allocates additional resources to facilitate a series of I&T and infrastructure projects including San Tin Technopole, Hong Kong-Shenzhen I&T Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop, Microelectronics Research and Development Institute (MRDI), and conducting a feasibility study on setting up the second Advanced Manufacturing Center. These do not only provide essential hardware facilities to Hong Kong's scientific research and I&T activities, but also attract and pool together local, mainland and overseas talents in scientific research, thereby enhancing the I&T ecosystem. With leading research capabilities in the semiconductor sector, HKUST set up "AI Chip Center for Emerging Smart Systems (ACCESS)" under the Hong Kong Government's "InnoHK Initiative" a few years ago. ACCESS hopes to collaborate with the Government-planned MRDI to face the fierce global competition for talents in semiconductor, advancing the R&D chain for AI Chip research and development, and enlarging the talent pool for relevant industries.

Green finance and financial technology are two key research and talent development areas of HKUST. With the support of the Research Grants Council, HKUST School of Business and Management is currently carrying out two large-scale green finance and fintech research projects, including publishing Hong Kong's First Fintech Development Study last year, suggesting the establishment of "Hong Kong Fintech Ecosystem Committee" and launching Hong Kong's first and only undergraduate program in Green Finance. HKUST is pleased to see the new measures announced in the Budget on green finance and virtual assets. The University will put in greater effort to raise the awareness of the tertiary education sector and the public on these two emerging business fields by initiating research and organizing fintech education activities such as HKUST Fintechstic, and collaborate with the Government's "International Green Tech Week" and other large-scale activities to accelerate the development of Hong Kong into an International GreenTech and GreenFi Center.

HKUST is delighted to see that the Government has earmarked more than HK$700 million in its Budget for HKSTP and Cyberport to nurture and support technology start-ups. As the first Hong Kong university to invest in supporting entrepreneurs, HKUST has incubated over 1,600 active start-up companies - including 9 unicorns and 8 initial public offerings (IPO) companies, and creating an economic impact of over HK$400 billion since its establishment 30 years ago. While HKUST is in talks with Cyberport in the hope of incubating more start-ups in smart living technologies, the University's extensive experience in start-up incubation is set to provide the companies with professional support and consultation. Meanwhile, HKUST also enhances and optimizes University policies, such as raising HKUST patent creators' share of net commercialization revenue, and organizes more entrepreneurship activities to connect with the industry in an effort to enhance public's understanding of HKUST start-ups.

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