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Speech by S for IT at MoU signing ceremony of Professional Diploma in Industry 4.0 cum launching of Smart Industry One Consortium

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas W Yang, at the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding of Professional Diploma in Industry 4.0 cum launching of Smart Industry One Consortium today (March 22):

Willy (Chairman of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), Mr Willy Lin), Carrie (Executive Director of the Vocational Training Council (VTC), Dr Carrie Yau), Mohamed (Executive Director of the HKPC, Mr Mohamed Din Butt), Mr Toni Drescher (Department Head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Germany), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

It is my great pleasure to join the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Vocational Training Council, the HKPC and Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology to launch the Professional Diploma programme in Industry 4.0. The MoU is a key milestone of Hong Kong's collaboration with leading international research institutions to nurture industry professionals to support Hong Kong's re-industrialisation to migrate towards Industry 4.0.

I would also like to welcome the VTC for becoming our implementation partner of the new Re-industrialisation and Technology Training Programme, or the RTTP, which is a new programme under the $500 million Technology Talent Scheme announced in the Policy Address last October to nurture our local talent. The RTTP will subsidise local companies on a 2 to 1 matching basis to train their professional and personnel in advanced technologies, especially those related to Industry 4.0. The other programme - the Postdoctoral Hub - will subsidise eligible companies to recruit up to two postdoctoral talents for R&D work. We aim to launch both programmes by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

In the 2018-19 Budget announced by the Financial Secretary last month, the best news for me and my colleagues was the setting aside of an additional $50 billion, on top of $10 billion already earmarked in the last financial year. This money will be used to support I&T development in Hong Kong. With the extra resources we are planning to launch a number of exciting initiatives.

Among these initiatives, we will establish two research clusters in Hong Kong Science Park, one focusing on healthcare technologies and the other on artificial intelligence and robotics technologies. We aim to attract the world's top scientific research institutions and technology enterprises to collaborate with our local universities and research institutions. As an incentive, the Government, for the first time, will provide financial support for non-profit-making scientific research institutions that will establish their presence in these clusters. With the strong research capability built up by our local universities as well as industrial networks built up by the HKPC, I am confident that these clusters will contribute to building Hong Kong's strength in R&D in these two technology areas, and providing more job opportunities for our young researchers and technology talents.

As great things often come in pairs, we are also celebrating today the launch of the HKPC's Smart Industry One Consortium. With the close collaboration among the HKPC and its industry partners, as well as local and overseas research institutions, the Consortium will complement the Government's efforts and facilitate more efficient information exchange among industry participants.

The HKPC has always been the Government's strategic partner in driving re-industrialisation and supporting our industry's challenging journey towards high value-added production. I am also pleased to learn that the HKPC and Fraunhofer Institute will jointly set up an Invention Centre at the HKPC Building later this year, to support our enterprises in developing smart products and services. I invite our industry to take full advantage of these new initiatives of the HKPC.

Indeed, I very much look forward to more and more collaborations among local industry, training providers and our international partners to nurture the next generation of innovation and technology talents for Hong Kong. Thank you very much.


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