Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Hong Kong will step up efforts to promote innovation and technology.
Delivering her second Policy Address at the Legislative Council today, Mrs Lam said further to the $50 billion earmarked in this year’s Budget, an additional $28 billion will be allocated for university research, re-industrialisation, application of technology in public services and fostering an enabling environment for I&T.
She said the most heartening and impactful event in the city’s I&T development in the past year has been the personal steer of President Xi Jinping, who recognises the city is an important force in implementing the country’s innovation-driven development strategy.
The Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Finance launched a new initiative in May, allowing universities and research institutions in Hong Kong to bid for science and technology funding of the Central Government.
Mrs Lam said the signing of the Arrangement on Enhancing Innovation & Technology Co-operation between the Mainland & Hong Kong in September also provides an overarching framework for I&T collaboration.
The Chief Executive also proposed to allocate $2 billion for launching the Re-industrialisation Funding Scheme to encourage industries to engage in high-end production by tapping into I&T and the application of smart technologies and production processes.
To fully unleash the city’s strengths in scientific research and promote technology transfer as well as the realisation of research and development findings, funding for three relevant schemes under the I&T Fund will be doubled, she said.
She added another $500 million will be allocated to the Innovation & Technology Bureau’s TechConnect to promote further technology adoption by government departments to provide better services for the community.
To tap into the latest I&T to further revamp e-Government services, Mrs Lam said artificial intelligence and chatbot functions will be introduced to the GovHK portal in 2019.
A Smart Government Innovation Lab will also be set up to invite the technology sector to put forward proposals on I&T applications and product suggestions for public services.
Mrs Lam added a four-pronged strategy will be adopted to cope with the rising law enforcement challenges brought by technological development.
The strategy will enhance capabilities of law enforcement agencies.