Following is a question by the Hon Charles Peter Mok and a written reply by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, in the Legislative Council today (February 3):
Some members of the information technology industry have relayed to me that the authorities should devise quantitative indicators so as to assess the effectiveness of the various initiatives for promoting the development of the innovation and technology industry, and for use as the bases for conducting reviews on such initiatives as well as on related policies and resource allocation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) given that the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) offers three incubation programmes for its start-up tenants, namely the (i) Incu-App Programme, (ii) Incu-Bio Programme and (iii) Incu-Tech Programme, whether the authorities know, in respect of each of these programmes, the information on the items listed in Table 1 in each of the past three years (set out in tables of the same format as Table 1); if such information is not available, the reasons for that;
(2) regarding the Cyberport Incubation Programme, whether it knows the information on the items listed in Table 2 in each of the past three years (set out in Table 2); if such information is not available, the reasons for that;
(3) regarding the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund (CCMF) programme, whether it knows the information on the items listed in Table 3 in each of the past three years (set out in Table 3); if such information is not available, the reasons for that;
(4) given that to “revisit the work priorities and interactions of the various innovation and technology institutions” is one of the nine directions and work priorities of the Innovation and Technology Bureau, and that the authorities agree that formulating key performance indicators is an important task, of the progress (including discussions with stakeholders) and timetable of such work, as well as the expected dates for conducting extensive consultation with the industry and the public; and
(5) whether the authorities will request various stakeholders, including the relevant bureaux and government departments, as well as various institutions such as research and development centres, universities, HKSTP, the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, the Hong Kong Productivity Council, etc., to compile and publish more diversified statistics so as to increase their transparency, with a view to facilitating the monitoring by the public of the benefits generated by the public resources invested in innovation and technology and the effectiveness of the relevant policies; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Providing support to start-ups is of particular importance to the development of innovation and technology (I&T). Currently, through the incubation programmes of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Cyberport, we provide comprehensive support to start-ups, including concessionary rents, working space, common facilities, sponsorship, support for marketing and business development, etc. In additional, start-ups will only thrive with capital injection at different stages of development. At present, the Innovation and Technology Fund, the Corporate Venture Fund of HKSTP, the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund and different subsidy schemes by universities provide capital that is needed by technology start-ups for development.
The recently announced Policy Address proposed to set up a $2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund for co-investing with private venture capital funds on a matching basis on technology start-ups. In addition, Cyberport will allocate $200 million to launch a Cyberport Macro Fund for investing in its information and communications technology start-ups. Through the Science Park and Cyberport, we will also continue to give full support to start-ups at different stages of development.
Our reply to the five parts of the question is as follows:
(1) to (3) Relevant statistics of the three incubation programmes under HKSTP, the incubation programme and the Creative Micro Fund under Cyberport in the past three years are set out in Table 1, Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.
(4) and (5) The Innovation and Technology Bureau was established on November 20 last year, and had immediately announced nine work priorities. We are actively pursuing each area of work, including the new initiatives relating to I&T development put forth in the Policy Address, and studying the formulation of effective key performance indicators. We will maintain contact with I&T institutions and other stakeholders regarding our work, and make reference to the views by different sectors.
At present, all stakeholders, including the relevant government bureaux and departments, research and development centres, HKSTP, the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, etc., publish their financial statements, progress reports, and other different information and data through different channels, including the Government Budget, annual reports, websites and press releases, etc. Each institution will also report its work progress and outcomes regularly to the relevant Panel of the Legislative Council. The current mechanism functions effectively with flexibility and transparency, enabling the community to understand the operations of each institution.