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Speech by S for IT at award presentation ceremony for I&T Scholarship Award Scheme 2018

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the award presentation ceremony of the Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme 2018 today (April 23):

Bernard (Chairman of the Awardee Selection Committee of the Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme, Mr Bernard Chan), Raymond (Group General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Mr Raymond Cheng), Andy (Executive Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Mr Andy Ho), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening. I am so grateful to join this ceremony as it grants me another opportunity to witness brilliant undergraduates receiving the Innovation and Technology Scholarship Awards.

Since this Scholarship Award Scheme was launched in 2011, a total of 200 undergraduates, including the 25 awardees today, have been recognised. Many of the past awardees are embarking on their careers in innovation and technology, and they are inspiring more young people to pursue a career in innovation and technology. By participating in some world-acclaimed overseas or Mainland universities, and pairing with reputable academic or professional mentors, the Scheme helps expand the network of awardees and widens their horizons.

Innovation and technology is undoubtedly an important economic driver in the new era. It can improve people's livelihood and diversify Hong Kong's economy. More importantly, innovation and technology development will provide more high-quality jobs for our young people. In the 2017 Policy Address, the Chief Executive set forth an eight-pronged approach and mapped out a clear direction for innovation and technology development in Hong Kong. In this year’s Budget, the Financial Secretary allocated more than $50 billion to further speed up the development of innovation and technology. These show the Government's commitment and determination in the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has great scientific research capabilities and fertile ground to attract internationally renowned R&D institutions and technology enterprises to carry out visionary innovation and technology projects. With our strong fundamentals, Hong Kong will play an important role in establishing an international innovation and technology hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area.

To capitalise on the opportunities ahead, we have been building an ecosystem to enhance the necessary hardware, software and human capital to promote innovation and technology development in Hong Kong. Particularly, on the talent front, we will launch a $500 million Technology Talent Scheme, comprising a Postdoctoral Hub Programme to provide funding for enterprises to recruit postdoctoral talent for conducting R&D. We will also subsidise enterprises to provide training to their staff on high-end technologies such as Industry 4.0.

I would like to thank the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups for organising this Scholarship Scheme for the eighth consecutive year. I also thank the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited for its ongoing and generous contribution. My thanks also go to the unfailing support from the Chairmen and the Committee members, as well as all the participating mentors and supporters from the innovation and technology community. Without your mentorship, guidance and support, the Scheme would not have been so successful.

For the awardees, let me encourage you to continue to pursue your dream. I wish you all a bright and meaningful future ahead.

Thank you very much.

23.4.2018


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