Speech at Panel on Commerce and Industry

City Innovation and Technology Grand Challenge

Format of the competition

Noting that the City I&T Grand Challenge was preliminarily proposed to be divided into two groups, i.e. Open Group and Student Group, Mr CHAN Chun-ying considered that the theme of the Open Group competition should centre on identifying technology solutions which were practical for addressing the specific needs of various issues that were closely related to daily lives. He expected that the participants of the Open Group competition should be companies equipped with practical experience in application of new technologies or should be technology companies or start-ups specializing in research and development and product/service development and implementation.

Mr CHAN Chun-ying considered that the Student Group competition, on the other hand, should aim to inspire the younger generation’s creativity. Since it was likely that teachers would play a vital role in guiding students in the participation of the competition, Mr CHAN suggested the Administration to organize workshops with leading I&T companies or technology enterprises to share their experiences with teachers of relevant local registered schools, which might help them learn how to guide students in preparing their proposals.

Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (“CIT”) advised that the focus of the City I&T Grand Challenge was to identify potential technology solutions to tackle vexing problems in the community. In order to invite as many submissions as possible, the Administration proposed that the City I&T Grand Challenge be open for participation from all walks of life in the community with the Open Group covering not only technology companies and start-ups, but also interested individuals or teams, including those from universities. CIT added that shortlisted participants who had passed the preliminary assessment would be arranged to attend different workshops so as to facilitate them to refine their proposals and to turn innovative concepts into more detailed implementation plans before the final round of the competition. Winning solutions would be tried out in the public sector.

Expenditure of the competition

Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that the Administration proposed to allocate HK$500 million to meet the expenditure of the City I&T Grand Challenge in the coming five years. He sought details of a breakdown of expenditure by item and enquired whether the proposed funding would be spent evenly during the five-year period.

CIT responded that the majority of the funding resources would be used to support the realization, refinement and trial of the selected solutions. It was envisaged that the other expenditure items (e.g. awards, promotion and organization of workshops, etc.) would unlikely be very costly. CIT added that it would be difficult to give the exact breakdown as the expenditure would vary with the different themes and selected solutions of the competition. The amount of funding support for realization of the selected entries could not be fixed at this stage as it would depend on the solutions’ specific content, technology field, estimated cost of development and the availability of other sources of funding/sponsorship.