The Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology (PReCIT) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) on 27 September 2022 hosted a second forum in the Innovation and Technology Forum Series with the topic “Funding Landscape from Research to Commercialization”. About 250 I&T leaders, practitioners, influencers and stakeholders gathered to contribute ideas on how to foster research funding and commercialization for Hong Kong’s I&T development ahead of the Policy Address.
Prof. Wing-tak WONG, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, said “Research is a critical component of the I&T ecosystem. Innovation through research alone, however, cannot help Hong Kong reach its ambitions of being an international I&T hub. Instead, research must be accompanied by funding, knowledge transfer and commercialization. Academia-industry partnership is key to achieving the success we collectively desire.”
At the forum, Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President of PolyU; Mr Peter YAN, CEO of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport); Dr Denis YIP, CEO of Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI); Mr Raymond WONG, Head of Investment of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP); and Dr Charleston SIN, Executive Director of the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node, exchanged insights and ideas about promoting technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and funding. They also addressed the opportunities and challenges of Hong Kong’s I&T development, approaches to foster social innovation, and intellectual property (IP) reform at a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Eric CHUI, Co-Director of PReCIT and Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences of PolyU.
Dr Miranda Lou highlighted the unique role of universities in bridging the research-to-market gap through proof-of-concept and technology validation schemes at early stages, nurturing innovation and technology talents through curricular and immersive programmes, supporting start-ups to use universities’ intellectual properties and connecting them with market and resource networks. To date, PolyU has supported more than 450 start-ups for technological and social innovations in different domains. The University will continue to work closely with the government, industry and investors to accelerate the commercialisation of PolyU's research and innovations for greater societal impact.
Mr Peter Yan said that venture capital (VC) investment in Hong Kong had increased over the past years, manifesting the precedence investors accorded to I&T development. Given ongoing geopolitical and socio-economic changes, the tech venture market is creating a new landscape. Cyberport continues to actively assist entrepreneurs and start-ups in capitalising on emerging technologies’ development, the Greater Bay Area and regional markets to expand fundraising opportunities, thus accelerating the translation and commercialisation of technology innovations.
Dr Denis Yip introduced the ASTRI University Transfer Scheme, sharing how efforts are made to connect the key stakeholders in the technology ecosystem, namely university and research institutes, to reach the ultimate goal of commercialization. Starting from “0 to 1” is taking the first step to create impactful technology innovations; from “1 to 10” will be the crucial process of technology commercialization where ASTRI’s deep technologies will play a pivotal bridging role.
Mr Raymond Wong explained that HKSTP is expanding the funding and investment landscape, with over 220 investment cases within Science Park in the past five years raising HK$80 billion. The HKSTP Venture Fund now has over HK$600 million in assets under management, where every HK$1 invested by HKSTP draws external investment of HK$16 to support tech ventures at different stages of funding.
Dr Charleston Sin explained the importance of a sustainable business plan for research funding and commercialization.
Two start-ups nurtured by PolyU shared their success stories at the Forum. Prof. Pei LI, Co-founder of Grand Rise Technology Limited and Professor of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at PolyU, a Forbes Asia 100 to Watch 2022 start-up specializing in biomaterials-based coating, stated that market-driven research was the key to securing funding and commercialization, and that innovation should meet application.
Mr Jackson LEUNG, Founder and Director of Vision Science and Technology Co. Limited, an award-winning advanced optometric products R&D company, highlighted that securing the right business team familiar with market needs and peer competition is the key to success. He said IP was very important to start-ups and he hoped the government would give more support to these companies with their IP applications.
Tuesday’s forum was co-organised by PolyU’s Department of Applied Social Sciences, the Knowledge Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office, and the Research and Innovation Office. It was supported by Cyberport, ASTRI, HKSTP and the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node.
Founded in 2022, PReCIT is a university-level interdisciplinary policy research centre. Led by Prof. Christopher CHAO, Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU and Director of PReCIT, and Prof. Eric Chui, Co-Director of PReCIT and Head of Department of Applied Social Sciences of PolyU, PReCIT’s primary areas of research include carbon-neutral cities, Greater Bay Area I&T development and the Belt and Road Initiative development in Southeast Asia. The next forum entitled, “Integrating I&T into GBA and the National System” cum PReCIT launching ceremony will be held on 24 November.
For more information about PReCIT’s events, please visit www.polyu.edu.hk/precit/.
Online coverage of the event (Chinese only):
- Sing Tao Daily - https://polyu.me/3RhC6xM
- Headline Daily - https://polyu.me/3SGrr0n
- Bastille Post - https://polyu.me/3BOzdP1
Video recording of the event: Click Here
Photo album of the event: Click Here
Speakers' Presentation Files (in PDF format):
- Dr Miranda LOU - Link
- Mr Peter YAN - Link
- Dr Denis YIP - Link
- Mr Raymond WONG - Link
- Dr Charleston SIN - Link
Ms Patty YEUNG
Policy Research Centre for Innovation and Technology
- 2766 5661
Mr Matt HO
Communications and Public Affairs
- 3400 2131