IT experts in Hong Kong generally welcomed the government's "re-initiation" of the Innovation and Technology Bureau (formerly "Technology and Communication Bureau"), in response to the second policy address delivered by Chief Executive CY Leung Wednesday.
Leung said at the Legco that he will work with various sectors to formulate the objectives and policies of ITB for the development of innovation and technology in Hong Kong. "I earnestly hope that [the ITB ] will receive support from this Council," he said.
To further develop innovation and technology, Leung said the government will continue to provide software and hardware support to enterprises and start-ups, and provided financial assistance for universities, research institutions and the industries to commercialize research and development results.
"We will continue to create an environment conducive to the development of innovation and technology, encourage investment in this area and enhance co-operation among the Government, industry, academia and research sectors," he said.
Regarding funding, the government has in mid-2013 started "a comprehensive review" of the operation of Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), in response to industry concerns that "the ITF should be more progressive and proactive in supporting enterprises with research and development as well as commercialization," according to Leung.
Concerning tech clusters, the Government and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation will continue to "review the effectiveness and long-term development direction of the Science Park and industrial estates."
The government is also studying "different topics" regarding the future development of creative industries, and innovation and technology industries in Hong Kong.
These topics include "incubating start-up companies, assisting them in expanding markets, building brands, nurturing talent, and providing infrastructural support," Leung said. He added that the "Working Group on Manufacturing Industries, Innovative Technology, and Cultural and Creative Industries" of the Economic Development Commission will make concrete recommendations after studies and discussions.
To facilitate e-learning, the Government will in this year launch the Fourth Strategy on Information Technology in Education. "Major initiatives include the phased provision of wireless network services and other supporting facilities for all public sector schools from the 2014/15 school year," Leung said.