Hong Kong Extends Innovation & Technology Funding Scope
Hong Kong’s Innovation & Technology (I&T) Commission will be extending the funding scope for the Researcher Programme and Postdoctoral Hub.
Effective from 9 March 2020, the funding scope will be extended to include technology companies which are conducting or planning to conduct research & development (R&D) activities in Hong Kong. This also applies for funding to engage researchers to conduct R&D work.
This comes as welcome news as the two programmes previously only provided funding support to companies or organisations under the Innovation & Technology Fund and the Innovation & Technology Venture fund, as well as incubates and tenants of the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation and Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited.
These efforts will help boost recruitment of researchers and postdoctoral talents to conduct R&D work in Hong Kong while maintaining local innovation and progress. Local technology companies can expect to create more local R&D jobs while benefiting from the increase in pool of I&T talent in Hong Kong.
Research Programme (previously Internship Programme)
The Researcher Programme was implemented to encourage university graduates to pursue a career in innovation and technology (I&T) while providing them support in order to nurture more I&T talents.
The Postdoctoral Hub and the Reindustrialisation and Technology Training Programme was launched under the Technology Talent Scheme in August 2018 to widen the talent pool for the local technology and innovation industry. It was implemented on a pilot basis for an initial period of five years and had a funding of HK$500 million set aside from the Innovation and Technology Fund.
The conditions under the enhanced schemes for both the Research Programme and the Postdoctoral Hub are as follows:
- An eligible applicant company can engage up to 2 postdoctoral talents at any one time
- The maximum period of engagement is 36 months for each postdoctoral talent
- The total engagement period for each applicant company should be no more than 72 months
- Under the Postdoctoral Hub, each postdoctoral talent is allowed a maximum monthly allowance of HK$32,000
- Postdoctoral talents must possess a doctoral degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”) related subjects from either recognized institutions or universities, be it a local or foreign
- Under the Research Programme, the maximum monthly allowance is HK$18,000 for graduates with a Bachelor’s degree and HK$21,000 for graduates with a Master’s degree from a local university.
The enhancements take effect on 9 March and applications are open all year-round. Applicants must apply through the Innovation and Technology Commission Funding Administrative System online.
It can be expected that further investment support will be introduced by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to help boost the economy.