The Government is actively promoting the development of innovation and technology

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The Government is actively promoting the development of innovation and technology, which was designated one of the six industries in which Hong Kong has a competitive advantage, to provide new impetus for future economic development, the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, said today (November 5). Addressing the opening of InnoCarnival 09, Mr Tsang said: “In the past few years, Hong Kong has attracted many overseas technology enterprises to set up research centres here. While DuPont from the USA set up its DuPont Apollo Global Thin Film Photovoltaic Business Headquarters and Research and Development Centre in the Science Park in March, Xinyi Glass, a glass panel manufacturer, will also establish its laboratory there for research in solar energy glass panel walls.” Mr Tsang noted that as research and development (R&D) activities are increasing in Hong Kong, the Government attaches great importance to the nurturing of R&D talent for the innovation and technology industry.

He pointed out that Hong Kong possessed first-rate teaching staff and supporting facilities, while the Innovation and Technology Fund under the Innovation and Technology Commission provided funding to universities in carrying out R&D work conducive to the development of the industry. Mr Tsang said, “To nurture talent, we have to start with the young by letting them get to know more about science. “The Innovation and Technology Commission has organised the Innovation Festival for the fifth consecutive year, with a view to encouraging the community to grasp the chance to enhance the quality of life through technologies, and hence create a better future.

In line with the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the four-day InnoCarnival, as the highlight of Innovation Festival 09, displays a range of space engineering-related articles and creations. After the opening ceremony, Mr Tsang visited some innovative exhibits, a 29-metre rocket and the Shenzhou spacecraft and returning modules at the site. The InnoCarnival comprises four key activities: exhibition, workshops, seminars and competitions.

Various organisations have set up pavilions or booths at the Science Park, showcasing innovative inventions including the winning entries of the Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition, research deliverables of tertiary institutions, as well as the “i-Home” invented by Chan Yik-hei, to enable the public to experience made-in-Hong-Kong technological achievements and creative trends. During the four days of activities, Hong Kong Science Park will turn into a world of robots where visitors will be able to see the winning robots made by local students, enjoy robot competitions and participate in workshops in which they can learn to assemble their own obedient robots. The Hong Kong Tech Challenges 2009 will be held to challenge students’ creativity, technology knowledge, organisational skills and communication skills.

In addition, the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Student Club and the Shenzhen Science and Technology Association will arrange for students of the two places to visit the RFID Centre, solar panel testing laboratories as well as other R&D centres. With the theme “Tech Up for a Brighter Future”, all activities in the Innovation Festival 09 are free of charge and open to all. For details of the programmes, members of the public can refer to www.itc.gov.hk, or contact the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the festival partner, at 2561 6149 or email (innofest@hkfyg.org.hk).

Other guests who attended the opening ceremony today were Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau; Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, Miss Janet Wong; Assistant Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, Mr Nicholas Chan; Chairman of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Mr Nicholas Brooke; and Executive Director of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Dr Rosanna Wong.

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