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Speech by S for IT at Hong Kong Shared Good Values Annual Summit

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the Hong Kong Shared Good Values (HKSGV) Annual Summit today (November 15):

Joseph (Co-Chairperson of HKSGV and President of Wofoo Social Enterprises Limited, Dr Joseph Lee), distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you at the Hong Kong Shared Good Values Annual Summit today. I would like to thank Dr Joseph Lee and supporters of the HKSGV Movement. Your efforts in promoting shared good values have reached out widely and deeply into our business community. Your work in the past year has discovered new ways of partnership between business and social sectors in promoting socio-economic growth. Indeed, these achievements have helped to build a better Hong Kong.

I am particularly encouraged by the good response from our undergraduate students to the HKSGV Case Competition conducted earlier this year, with over 70 entries. This definitely helped nurturing our future generations of socially responsible entrepreneurs.

The Hong Kong Shared Good Values Movement promotes sustainable social-economic growth through innovative means. The Innovation and Technology Bureau shares the same goal. Our bureau is also tasked to use innovation and technology to improve people's daily lives and address social challenges. Please let me outline some of these initiatives.

In May this year, we established a $500 million Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living. We encourage the innovative application of technologies in projects that bring more convenience, comfort and safety to daily living, or address the needs of specific community groups. NGOs, public bodies and industry associations can make use of this fund to adopt local innovation, be it in the area of education, environment, health or transport. Actually, it is a win-win partnership, with more business opportunities for local innovation products as well as service providers. NGOs are supported by local innovators and the funding in their cause to "do good". We expect a culture of driving local innovation to meet real life societal needs would start from here.

The Innovation and Technology Fund has also been supporting applied R&D projects to improve people's daily lives. Three of our R&D Centres, in collaboration with Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, developed an apparel-based tracking system for elderly people with brain degenerative problems. This helps reduce the risk of elderly care in our community centres, while allowing more mobility and freedom for the elderly patients.

Apart from promoting R&D and the adoption of gerontechnology, the Government will open up more government data, including medical data, to facilitate research and for the benefit of our society. The Hospital Authority has undertaken to establish a Big Data Analytics Platform to facilitate biotechnology research and promote innovation in healthcare services.

To stimulate social innovation, the Government established the $500 million Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) in 2013. Since then, it has supported over 80 innovative ventures as well as 12 capacity-building and research projects with a total of $67 million funding. The SIE Fund also connects different sectors of our community, including businesses, NGOs, academia and philanthropies to create innovative solutions to poverty and also social exclusion.

Of the projects supported by the SIE Fund, about 50 per cent leveraged on the use of technology. These projects benefited a wide spectrum of people, including people with disabilities, grassroots families and ethnic minorities. Some good examples are the development of the first online food support collaborative platform in Hong Kong, prototyping of an augmented reality playbook on emotion management for students with special education needs, and the development of a wearable robotic device for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease.

In addition, the SIE Fund embarked on its Shared Value initiative in 2015 and hosted the inaugural Shared Value Forum. The second Shared Value Forum held this September attracted over 230 leaders from the local and international business, government and civil sectors to discuss how businesses could harness the power of Shared Value for sustainable growth. We are delighted to have the Hong Kong Shared Good Values Movement and Wofoo Social Enterprises joining hands with us on a great cause.

Today's summit will surely inspire new ideas and partnerships between the business sector and the social sector. I shall look forward to seeing many more "do-well" and "do-good" initiatives and efforts in Hong Kong in the future.

Thank you very much.


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