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Policy Address and Initiatives – ICT Related Policy Highlights
2014-01-15

Paragrahs in Policy Address

Setting up of an Innovation and Technology Bureau

37.     I have decided to re-initiate the setting up of an Innovation and Technology Bureau and work with various sectors to formulate the objectives and policies for the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.  I earnestly hope that it will receive support from this Council.

Innovation and Technology Industries

34.     Innovation and technology are not only economic drivers, they can also upgrade our quality of life and enhance the efficiency of our community.  Promoting innovation and technological development can provide wider employment opportunities for our young people.  The Government attaches great importance to fostering the innovation and technology industries.  We have given software and hardware support to enterprises and start-ups, and provided financial assistance for universities, research institutions and the industries to commercialise research and development results.  We will continue to create an environment conducive to the development of innovation and technology, encourage investment in this area and enhance co-operation among the Government, industry, academia and research sectors.

Review of the ITF operation

35.     It has been almost 15 years since the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) was set up.  Through the ITF, the Government finances research and development of applied science, and enhances the technological level of industries.  However, the development of science and technology in Hong Kong needs to further advance.  The sectors concerned believe that the ITF should be more progressive and proactive in supporting enterprises with research and development as well as commercialisation.  The Innovation and Technology Commission started a comprehensive review of the ITF operation in mid-2013.  At the same time, the Government and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation are reviewing the effectiveness and long-term development direction of the Science Park and industrial estates.

36.     The Working Group on Manufacturing Industries, Innovative Technology, and Cultural and Creative Industries under the EDC is actively studying different topics regarding the future development of creative industries as well as innovation and technology industries in Hong Kong.  These topics include incubating start-up companies, assisting them in expanding markets, building brands, nurturing talent, and providing infrastructural support.  The Working Group will make concrete recommendations after studies and discussions.

Intellectual Property

33.     Knowledge that has commercial value can be protected by law to become property.  It can be traded freely, and such trading creates economic activities.  In 2012, the Mainland recorded the highest number of filings in major types of intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks and industrial designs in the world, surpassing that of the United States.  A working group led by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development is studying ways to promote Hong Kong as a premier intellectual property (IP) trading hub in the region.  It has formulated strategies to further explore supporting policies and measures in four areas, namely: (i) enhancing the IP protection regime; (ii) supporting IP creation and exploitation; (iii) fostering IP intermediary services and enhancing manpower capacity; and, (iv) pursuing efforts in promotion, education and external collaboration.

Enhancing Self-learning Ability through Information Technology

95.     The Government will launch the Fourth Strategy on Information Technology in Education this year.  Major initiatives include the phased provision of wireless network services and other supporting facilities for all public sector schools from the 2014/15 school year.

Increasing the Funding for Higher Education

96.     In recent years, the number of students attaining the minimum general entrance requirements exceeded the number of publicly-funded, first-year-first-degree places available.  The Government will provide students with more opportunities for higher education in the following five ways:

  1. From the 2015/16 academic year and in the triennium that follows, the intake of senior-year undergraduate places in University Grants Committee-funded institutions will progressively increase by a total of 1 000 places so that 5 000 meritorious sub-degree graduates will be able to articulate to subsidised degree programmes each year by the 2018/19 academic year;

  2. We will study the feasibility of a new scheme to subsidise up to 1 000 students per cohort to pursue self-financing undergraduate programmes in selected disciplines to meet Hong Kong’s manpower needs.  The scheme, if implemented, will benefit three cohorts of students, and will then be reviewed for its effectiveness;

  3. A Mainland University Study Subsidy Scheme will be introduced so that students in need pursuing studies under the scheme for the Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions may receive a means-tested grant of up to $15,000 per year during their studies.  The scheme is not subject to any quota.  It will benefit three cohorts of students, and will then be reviewed for its effectiveness;

  4. A new scholarship scheme will be implemented to support up to 100 outstanding local students each cohort to pursue studies in renowned universities outside Hong Kong, with a view to nurturing a diversified pool of top talent to spur Hong Kong’s development.  Apart from a scholarship of up to $250,000, students in need will also receive a means-tested bursary of up to $200,000 each year.  The scheme will benefit three cohorts of students, and will then be reviewed for its effectiveness; and

  5. In line with our youth policy of fostering a culture of multi-faceted excellence, a $100 million scholarship fund will be set up.  Universities and tertiary institutions will be encouraged to admit on a full cost-recovery basis about 20 local students a year who excel in sport, arts and community service starting from the 2015/16 academic year.

97.     Full implementation of the above measures will offer more opportunities and wider choices for senior secondary graduates to pursue higher education.  It is expected that an additional 2 120 subsidised places will be provided to local students to pursue degree education in and outside Hong Kong.  Students who choose to further their studies in the Mainland will also receive financial assistance.

Social Innovation

62.     I proposed in my Manifesto and set up the $500 million Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund after I took office.  The fund encourages individuals and organisations who care about social development, including young people who wish to start their own business, to help tackle poverty and associated social problems by innovative ideas and modes of operation.  The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force under the CoP will engage the first group of intermediaries in a few months’ time.  The fund will be open for applications through intermediaries starting from mid-2014.

Creative Industries

32.     Hong Kong’s creative industries have great potential.  In recent years, they have grown at a faster rate than the overall economy.  The Government will strive to enhance their overall competitiveness, especially by nurturing talent, tapping new markets, supporting new enterprises and promoting sustainable development.  We injected another $300 million into the CreateSmart Initiative last year to sustain our support for the development of creative industries.  In addition, we are reviewing the Film Development Fund to better support the local film industry.

Revitalising Industrial Buildings

134.     We will continue to implement the policy of revitalising industrial buildings to meet Hong Kong’s changing economic and social needs.  To this end, we have further introduced a range of enhanced measures.  The PlanD is conducting a new round of Area Assessments of Industrial Land in the territory, which focuses on the industrial and commercial sectors’ demand for land and space, and will rezone for residential use the industrial land near residential areas where industrial activities have greatly reduced.

Sites for Industrial and Commercial Developments

Kowloon East

130.     The Energizing Kowloon East initiative will facilitate the development of Kowloon East into a new Central Business District (CBD) to support Hong Kong’s long-term economic development.  We will capitalise on the transformation of Kowloon East and identify sites to support the development of arts, culture and creative industries, with a view to turning Kowloon East into a distinctive business area.  For example, we will convert the sites underneath the Kwun Tong Bypass for arts and cultural events and use by creative industries.

131.     We are pursuing the relocation of the existing government facilities in the two action areas of Kowloon East.  In the course of planning, apart from building offices, the Government will explore opportunities to provide space for the arts and cultural community and creative industries.

Development of the Construction Industry

149.     The Government is conducting a comprehensive review of public works policies.  The review aims to promote the healthy development of the industry and raise its productivity, which includes improving design and construction methodologies, utilising more advanced technology, enhancing the list system for public works contractors, promoting innovation and creativity, and putting in more efforts to tackle the problem of manpower shortage to meet the needs of various major infrastructure projects.

 

New Initiatives

Innovation and Technology Industries (NEW)

▪Establish a framework for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professional recognition in Hong Kong, with reference to international practices and frameworks of other economies, so as to raise the professional profile of local ICT professionals. (CEDB)

▪Strengthen our support for commercialisation of research and development (R&D) outcome and private sector R&D. (CEDB)

Social Welfare Planning and Administration (NEW)

▪Undertake a consultancy study on the feasibility of setting up a centralised platform to provide a one-stop, user-friendly administrative service to receive, process and approve applications for public benefits. (EU)

Education (NEW)

▪Increase the annual intake of senior-year undergraduate places in the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions by 1 000, from 4 000 to 5 000. (EDB)100

▪Explore how to practically introduce a new subsidy scheme to subsidise up to 1 000 students per cohort to pursue self-financing undergraduate programmes in selected disciplines to meet Hong Kong’s manpower needs. The scheme, if implemented, will benefit three cohorts of students, and will then be subject to a review on its effectiveness. (EDB in collaboration with relevant bureaux)

▪Introduce a scholarship scheme to support up to 100 outstanding students per cohort to study in renowned universities outside Hong Kong to help nurture a diversified pool of top talents to propel Hong Kong’s development. Apart from receiving a scholarship of up to $250,000, needy students will also receive means-tested bursary of up to $200,000. The scheme will benefit three cohorts of students, and will then be subject to a review on its effectiveness. (EDB)

▪Introduce the Mainland University Study Subsidy Scheme so that needy students pursuing studies under the Scheme for the Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions may receive a means-tested grant of up to $15,000 per year during their study period. The scheme is not subject to any quota. The scheme will benefit three cohorts of students, and will then be subject to a review on its effectiveness. (EDB)

▪Provide all public sector schools with Wi-Fi coverage to enhance learning through the use of mobile computing devices, in preparation for the launch of the fourth IT in education strategy after consultation with stakeholders. (EDB)

Maintaining Law and Order (NEW)

▪Upgrade the Technology Crime Division of the Police to form a new Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau in 2014, in order to strengthen the protection of information systems of critical infrastructure and enhance the Police’s capability in preventing and combating technology crimes. (SB)

E-Government (NEW)

 

▪Upgrade the Technology Crime Division of the Police to form a new Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau in 2014, in order to strengthen the protection of information systems of critical infrastructure and enhance the Police’s capability in preventing and combating technology crimes. (SB)

On-going Initiatives

Innovation and Technology Industries

(a) Promoting R&D

▪Promoting applied R&D and technology transfer to the industry, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, through the R&D Centres and financial support from the Innovation and Technology Fund and R&D Cash Rebate Scheme. (CEDB)

▪Capitalising on the opportunities presented by the National 12th Five-Year Plan and working with stakeholders to enhance collaboration with the Mainland on science and technology and promote realisation of R&D results. (CEDB)

▪Working closely with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation on the development of Science Park Phase 3 and the revitalisation of industrial estates. (CEDB)

▪Organising a wide range of promotional activities in 2014, including the InnoTech Month, to enhance the community’s awareness of innovation and technology. (CEDB)

(b) Promoting ICT

▪Facilitating the development of the local ICT industry by –

•encouraging collaboration and exchanges with the Mainland to explore business opportunities;

•organising ICT awards to recognise and promote Hong Kong’s ICT achievements; and

•collaborating with the industry and academia to nurture ICT talents. (CEDB)

▪Working with our technology partners and the ICT industry to organise the International IT Fest in 2014 to showcase Hong Kong’s developments and accomplishments as a regional ICT hub. (CEDB)

▪Implementing measures to encourage the use of industrial buildings and industrial lots for developing data centres and providing one-stop support to assist interested enterprises to set up data centres in Hong Kong. (CEDB)

▪Implementing initiatives and programmes to encourage small and medium enterprises to take advantage of ICT to increase efficiency and productivity; and develop business opportunities. (CEDB)

▪Driving wider development and use of cloud computing service in Hong Kong through promoting the adoption of information security management system standards and good practices on the provision and use of cloud services. (CEDB)

▪Promoting information security to the public on the proper use of ICT facilities and ways to protect their ICT resources and information assets. (CEDB)

▪Making available more Public Sector Information in digital formats on the “Data.One” portal to facilitate their use as a vehicle to encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. (CEDB)

▪Promoting city-wide Wi-Fi for citizens and visitors. (CEDB)

Broadcasting and Mobile Telecommunication

▪Monitoring the implementation of digital terrestrial television and continuing publicity efforts to further boost up the take-up rate. (CEDB)

▪Monitoring the implementation of digital audio broadcasting service and organising publicity campaign to promote the service. (CEDB)

▪Handling the television/sound broadcasting licensing and regulatory matters. (CEDB)

▪Implementing the reassignment of the frequency spectrum currently used for the provision of 3G mobile services upon expiry of the existing assignment in October 2016. (CEDB)

▪Monitoring the effectiveness of a two-year pilot industry Customer Complaint Settlement Scheme to help resolve, through mediation, billing disputes in deadlock between telecommunications service providers and their customers. (CEDB)

▪Overseeing the development plans for Radio Television Hong Kong as a public service broadcaster. (CEDB)

Intellectual Property

▪Working with stakeholders on the overall strategies and support measures to develop and promote Hong Kong as a premier intellectual property trading hub in the region. (CEDB)

▪Working to develop and implement an “Original Grant” Patent System that would be commensurate with our efforts to develop Hong Kong into a regional innovation and technology hub. (CEDB)

▪Engaging stakeholders to explore how our copyright regime should evolve to take care of parody as appropriate and to strengthen copyright protection in the digital environment. (CEDB)

Education

▪Supporting UGC’s initiatives to enhance teaching and learning. Notable initiatives include sponsoring theme-based projects in areas covering blended learning, new pedagogies, curriculum development and development of massive open online courses (MOOCs). (EDB)

(f) Promoting Digital Inclusion

▪Implementing various digital inclusion programmes to help underprivileged groups (including the elderly, persons with special needs and students from low-income families) use ICT to enhance their opportunities and integrate with society. (CEDB)

E-Government

▪Delivering more e-Government services on the Government Cloud Platform. (CEDB)

▪Upholding the Government’s information security policies and practices by conducting compliance check for bureaux and departments, updating security best practices with reference to international standards and developing a strong informationsecurity culture in the Government. (CEDB)

▪Enhancing e-Government services by enriching the GovHK portal, offering more personalised services through MyGovHK and making available more mobile e-services to provide information and services to the public on-the-go. (CEDB)

Office Of Hon. Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (IT)