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Sixth meeting of Mainland/Hong Kong Science and Technology Co-operation Committee

The sixth meeting of the Mainland/Hong Kong Science and Technology Co-operation Committee was held in Chengdu today (August 30).

The meeting was co-chaired by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, and the Vice-Minister of Science and Technology of the Central People's Government, Dr Cao Jianlin. Mr So also took the opportunity of this trip to visit a research institute and a laboratory in Chengdu to promote collaboration and to learn more about the latest developments of science and technology in Sichuan and the western region of the Mainland.

Development of Mainland and Hong Kong science and technology co-operation has been very fruitful, with particularly good progress shown in encouraging collaboration of research talents and institutions on the two sides, setting up Partner State Key Laboratories (PSKLs) in Hong Kong, and further enhancing collaboration between Hong Kong and Guangdong.

Regarding the initiative to progressively involve Hong Kong research institutes and enterprises in the national innovation system, the Innovation and Technology Commission has sought agreement from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to start work on recommending Hong Kong experts to participate in the National Science and Technology Programmes Expert Database. The first round is a pilot scheme inviting six universities that are also Mainland/Hong Kong Science and Technology Co-operation Committee members to recommend Hong Kong experts to the Expert Database. The Commission will forward qualified applications to MOST for final approval.

On the setting up of PSKLs in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government approved the plan of providing each of the 12 PSKLs with financial assistance of up to a total of HK$10 million for a five-year period through the Innovation and Technology Fund with the aim of further enhancing their research capabilities. In addition, MOST agreed for the PSKL of Emerging Infectious Diseases to set up a Shenzhen branch in the University of Hong Kong's Shenzhen Hospital to promote medical exchanges and reinforce research and development (R&D) collaboration on the two sides.

Mr So said, "It is in the spirit of the National 12th Five-Year Plan for Hong Kong to further enhance its collaboration with the Mainland, which also provides a new opportunity for Hong Kong's science and technology development. In its recently announced National 12th Five-Year Plan on Science and Technology Development, MOST also reaffirmed its support for Hong Kong and Macau research talents and institutions to participate in national science and technology programmes, as well as jointly set up laboratories and research and development centres. This is a golden opportunity for enhancing science and technology collaboration."

Mr So added, "On regional co-operation, the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta and the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation set a new scene for collaboration between Hong Kong and Guangdong. On the other hand, Hong Kong-Shenzhen co-operation serves as a case example to demonstrate our joint efforts in promoting regional innovation under the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong axis."

The HKSAR Government will work with Guangdong and Shenzhen counterparts to continue the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation so as to further enhance science and technology collaboration between Hong Kong and Guangdong. The two sides will also continue to actively promote innovation and technology products and applications developed under the Guangdong-Hong Kong Technology Co-operation Funding Scheme (TCFS) with an aim to encourage commercialisation of technological achievements.

The 2011 TCFS was launched in August. Furthermore, the Shenzhen-based BYD Company Limited announced in July the setting up of an R&D centre in Hong Kong Science Park, and its collaboration with Hong Kong's R&D centres to jointly develop electric vehicles (EVs) is a particularly encouraging sign for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle. Both sides will continue to encourage more Mainland high-tech enterprises to set up a base in Hong Kong, so as to fully capitalise on Hong Kong's research talents from around the globe, as well as our expertise in commercialisation and market knowledge, with a view to facilitating the "going out" of Mainland science and technology achievements.

The Committee also agreed to follow up on the initiatives of setting up the National High-tech Industrialisation Base and Chinese National Engineering Research Centre in Hong Kong, promoting matching and collaboration between science and technology parks on the two sides, and enhancing co-operation and exchanges between the productivity councils.

Mr So also pointed out that this was the first time the meeting had been held in a place outside Beijing and Hong Kong. He believed that the visit to Chengdu would help Hong Kong members understand more about science and technology development in Sichuan and the Western region of the Mainland, and promote technological collaboration between the two places.

Mainland members attending the meeting came from MOST, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of State Council, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, the Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province and the Science, Industry, Trade and Information Technology Committee of Shenzhen Municipality.

The Hong Kong side comprised representatives from the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the Innovation and Technology Commission, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, the University Grants Committee, the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, the Hong Kong Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems R&D Centre, the Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies, the Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011