ASTRI Supports I&T Funding in Financial Secretary’s Budget to Jointly Enhance the I&T Ecosystem

[Hong Kong, 22 February 2023] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) welcomes an array of initiatives proposed by the Financial Secretary in his 2023-24 budget speech, aiming to enhance the innovation and technology (I&T) ecosystem. ASTRI will continue to render its full support to government policy and development, raising Hong Kong’s Research and Development (R&D) competitiveness through the implementation of R&D outcomes, and cooperation among universities, corporates and research institutions, providing uninterrupted momentum to the I&T ecosystem in Hong Kong.

Ir Sunny Lee Wai-kwong, JP, Chairman of ASTRI, said, “Despite the impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn over the past year, the government continues to support and place importance on future I&T development. These measures include developing a smart city and a digital economy; setting up the Green Tech Fund and a Green Technology and Finance Development Committee for promoting Hong Kong into an international green technology and finance centre; earmarking $3 billion to basic research in frontier technology fields for better realising our basic technology research capabilities in making breakthroughs out of the blue, leveraging Hong Kong’s unique advantage as a platform for international scientific research collaboration and attracting leading I&T talents, research teams and enterprises from the mainland and overseas to Hong Kong, enhancing cross-sectoral research cooperation; as well as facilitating the development of Intelligence industries. ASTRI will enlarge and deepen the cooperation between government-industry-academia-research, contributing to Hong Kong and the state by implementing more outstanding R&D outcomes.”

Dr Denis Yip, CEO of ASTRI, said, “We are most encouraged by the government’s support to the I&T industry. ASTRI is committed to promoting technology transfer with various sectors of society, raising the competitiveness of R&D in Hong Kong. We are glad that the government will set aside $6 billion to provide subsidies for universities and research institutes to set up thematic research centres, fostering cross‑university, cross-institutional and multi‑disciplinary cooperation. At the same time, the enhanced policy of local R&D talent cultivation and technology talent admission scheme will provide a high-quality supply of I&T talent. The future I&T talent pool will be expanded as the government will continue to subsidize the “IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools Programme” and other programs to raise students’ interest in I&T. As the normal travel between mainland and Hong Kong resumes, we expect to conduct more R&D projects in GBA after setting up our headquarter in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park, providing a platform for talents from both places to exchange ideas. We aim to foster more R&D professionals to have a deeper understanding of the needs of GBA and better integrate with the state’s future development.”

With the continuous development and popularization of technology, and the unprecedented global demand for microelectronics, the establishment of a “Microelectronics Research and Development Institute” will leverage Hong Kong’s R&D capability to further integrate into the state’s development. ASTRI expects the establishment of the “Microelectronics Research and Development Institute” will expand R&D in various fields and improve the industry standard, in order to respond to future challenges and opportunities. The formation of the talent pool and ecosystem of microelectronics and semiconductor technology will strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international I&T centre, also as a “super-connector” in R&D and knowledge transfer, leading Hong Kong’s industrial development with a global perspective.