Hong Kong’s 2019 Budget Allocates Big Budget to Startups

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Thanks Paul Chan! For the first time since we started StartupsHK, the Hong Kong government is really coming up with the cash to support our ecosystem.

Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivered his third Budget Speech yesterday with a raft of new monetary sweeteners aimed at promoting the city’s innovation and technology development. We refuse to call it “I.T.” – lets just call it “tech!”

$5.5 billion for the development of Cyberport 5 to accommodate more technology companies and startups. The expansion project is expected to provide about 66,000 sqm of floor area, and include facilities such as offices, co-working space, conference venues and data service platforms.

The budget raises the maximum annual funding under the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities from the existing HK$4 million to HK$8 million—for each university—starting from 2019-20 to better nurture university start-ups.

The Corporate Venture Fund (CVF), which co-invests on a matching basis with angel investors or venture capital funds in tenants and incubatees of the Science Park, will be expanded to HK$200 million.

Allocating not less than HK$800 million in the coming five years to support more research and development work, and the realization of R&D results by universities, key laboratories and engineering research centers.

Last year, Chan has already earmarked HK$10 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) schemes, particularly for the establishment of two innovative clusters in the Science Park, namely “[email protected]” focusing on healthcare technologies and “[email protected]” focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies.

Chan is adding more cache into the HK$20 billion injected into the Research Endowment Fund of the Research Grants Council under the University Grants Committee (UGC), which was announced in the last Policy Address.

The budget also proposes increasing the monthly allowance for researchers to a maximum of HK$21,000 under the Researcher Programme and extends from two to three years the funding period under the Researcher Programme and the Postdoctoral Hub Programme.

HKSTPC is constructing an InnoCell, which will offer about 500 residential units with flexible design to tenants, incubatees or visiting researchers in the Science Park. This project is expected to be completed by 2021.

Inject HK$2 billion into the ITF for launching a Re‑industrialization Funding Scheme to subsidize manufacturers on a matching basis to help them set up smart production lines in Hong Kong

Earmarked HK$500 million to implement the IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools Programme in the coming three school years.

Earmarked HK$150 million to support the development and initial operation of an online arbitration and mediation platform by non-governmental organizations to enhance Hong Kong’s role as an international hub for legal services.

Allocation of HK$120 million to extend the public EV charging networks at government car parks.

Setting up an Academy of Finance in mid-2019 to groom financial talent.

Promoting the use of the Faster Payment System for payment of government fees and charges!!! Haha, snuck that in at the end, Paul!

(Source: ComputerworldHK)

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