Science Park doubles down on incubatees

Top News | Phoenix Un 16 Aug 2018

Hong Kong Science and Technology Park chief Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu laid out an ambitious plan to double the number of startup incubatees from the current 268 to 500 by 2022-23.

Chai - appointed chairman for two years from July 1, succeeding Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, who served four years - said an incubatee would need four elements to succeed: technology, talent, capital and market.

A pioneer in the artificial intelligence push, Chai believes the park must have a good innovation and technology ecosystem to help incubatees.

Of the HK$10 billion in this year's budget allocated to the park, 30 percent is for constructing and upgrading infrastructure, while the other 70 percent is for supporting tenant companies.

Chai said the current 3.55-million-square-foot area will be expanded to 4.3 million sq ft, with funding for many facilities to be updated.

He expects the first phase of the two innovation platforms development to result in 10 laboratories. On the development of the Greater Bay Area, he said the nine Guangdong cities within it have their own features.

"For example Shenzhen focuses more on research and development, and Zhongshan puts more on Chinese medicine," Chai said.

"Mainland technology clusters are not that different from Hong Kong's science platforms, including smart city, fintech and biotech, and items included in Shenzhen's scheme. There are only two things present in Shenzhen but not in Hong Kong - marine technology and military industry. There will be much space for cooperation."

He said his administration philosophy is to avoid micromanagement as much as possible.

"There is nothing to worry about if everything is under direction, and I'd prefer doing more to direct strategy and corporate management," Chai said.

He said he places much trust on his colleagues. "With such high level colleagues in the science park I'm even more relieved."

But he also said he has become very busy since taking over as chairman, with more of his hair turning white in the past six weeks.

And he seldom has time to visit his mother - which he used to do each day.

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