Boosting Holistic Collaboration in Innovative Technology between Guangdong and Hong Kong
Author: Amy Liu Mei Heung, Managing Editor, at Our Hong Kong Foundation
Riding on Hong Kong’s competitive edge in scientific research, harnessing the vast potentials of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and joining hands with Shenzhen in driving scientific research, Hong Kong will benefit from massive opportunities in the future.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam mentioned in the Policy Address that Hong Kong has heralded in the golden age of innovative technology. With the keynote of “developing Hong Kong into an international hub of innovative technology”, she advocated that Hong Kong’s innovative technology can advance in conjunction with the Greater Bay Area.
She propounded policies on land, transport, education and human resources that are conducive to the collaboration between Guangdong and Hong Kong in the area of technology innovation.
Land: Hong Kong to rent park area in Shenzhen
In land use, the Policy Address points out that the Chinese Government has agreed to Shenzhen and Hong Kong setting up a collaborative zone for innovative technology, with two park areas, one in Shenzhen and the other in the Lok Ma Chau Loop in Hong Kong.
The governments of Shenzhen and Hong Kong have agreed to embrace new concepts, break barriers, and share resources in driving forward the development of innovative technology. Both sides are working to enable Hong Kong Science and Technology Park to lease and manage part of the Shenzhen park area prior to the completion of the first batch of buildings in the Hong Kong park area.
This will provide massive opportunities for Hong Kong’s young people in terms of employment and entrepreneurship.
Transport: no quota limit for Hong Kong’s private cars
Hong Kong people have been complaining about the limitations in driving to the Mainland through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, opened since October, 2018 .
The Policy Address points out that with the commissioning of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, the Government will do its best to eliminate quota limitations for Hong Kong vehicles heading to the mainland on the Bridge, allowing qualified private cars from Hong Kong to travel to Guangdong with no quota limitations.
Education: Supporting the Advance of Tertiary Education in the Greater Bay Area
Our Hong Kong Foundation has always advocated the “Industry-Education-Research” development model. The Policy Address points out that the Government supports various universities in Hong Kong to offer education programmes in the Greater Bay Area. Hong Kong’s universities can benefit from the abundance of land on the mainland, supporting facilities for industries in the Greater Bay Area, as well as the robust supply chain providing convenience in merchandising and manufacturing.
Hong Kong’s youth can acquire a deeper first-hand understanding of the mainland market and the opportunities for launching technology transfer products. Hence, the entry of Hong Kong’s brilliant scientific talents into the Great Bay Area will boost the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s research, industries and university education.
In the face of the pandemic and the global economic downturn, the unemployment rate among Hong Kong’s young people may stay in the double digit for quite a while. Hence the Government encourages young people to find employment in the Greater Bay Area. The Policy Address proposes the launch of the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme, to subsidise enterprises that have operations on the mainland, particularly the Greater Bay Area, in employing Hong Kong’s university graduates to work for up to 18 months. There is a quota of 2,000 places, with the Government subsidising not less than $10,000 for each place monthly. For general positions, the monthly salary will be at least $18,000, and positions related to innovative technology (with the incumbents working in Hong Kong at least half of the time) will offer at least $26,000.
Setting up the Office for Science and Development
All in all, for Hong Kong to nurture an ecology of scientific research, the government should provide appropriate policy support. Our Hong Kong Foundation proposes that Hong Kong set up a high-level Office for Science and Development to provide expert opinion for the Chief Executive, and to ensure that the government departments will support new technologies, especially in devising overall strategies in the public funding of research and development.