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16.05.2012 「推動創新科技的發展」質詢 Promoting development of innovation and technology (中文/ENG) Print
LegCo Affairs - Question
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立法會七題:推動創新科技的發展
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  以下為署理財經事務及庫務局局長梁鳳儀(在商務及經濟發展局局長缺席期間)今日(五月十六日)在立法會會議上就譚偉豪議員的提問的書面回覆:

問題:

  有業界人士指出,現時政府的採購政策沒有支援本地的創新科技產品,引致企業缺乏本地應用該等產品的經驗作為參考,不但令技術外流,更導致新一代的科技人才流失。為改變香港現有的營商環境,政府可否告知本會:

(一)有否就提供誘因鼓勵政府部門及工商界優先採用本地的科研成果進行研究;若有,詳情為何;若否,原因為何;

(二)當局有否積極措施加強本地市場及使用者對本土創新科技的信心,以及會否考慮設立類似「香港創造」的認證計劃,以改善本土創新科技在本港被忽視的情況;若有該等措施,詳情為何;及

(三)除了撥款支持營運在創新及科技基金下成立的研發中心外,現時當局有何具體措施協助企業的研發成果商品化,以推動本地創新科技的發展?

答覆:


主席:

  特區政府一向非常重視創新科技發展,在二○○九年更把它訂定為六項優勢產業之一。

  發展創新科技需要長遠投資,在過去10年間香港的研發開支一直按每年平均約7%的比率增長。當中,公營機構(包括政府機構及高等教育機構)的研發開支按平均每年4.7%增長,由二○○一年的50億港元,增加至二○一○年75億港元,佔總研發開支的57%。

  就問題的三個部分,我的回覆如下:

(一)作為國際商業中心,特區政府必須奉行公開公平的採購政策,符合世貿組織清晰規定的招標程序。我們對所有投標者一視同仁,不會因產品的原產地而有所優待。

  然而,我們了解科研界殷切期望特區政府能從多方面推動創新科技,特別是在公營機構率先試用本地的科研成果,使它們能得到實際應用,為社會帶來裨益。因此,過去兩年間,我們諮詢不同持份者(包括立法會)的意見,積極尋找靈活變通的方法,希望能達到培育本地創新科技的目的。

  基於上述公平公開的原則,現時政府的採購制度,既看重價格亦看重產品的質素,包括其過往的使用記錄。新產品由於未能大量生產以降低單位成本等各種原因,價格通常較高;在使用記錄方面,亦通常未有優秀的往績。故此,嶄新的本地科研產品要在公開招標中脫穎而出是非常困難的。所以,要促進公營機構採用本地研發的產品,我們不應改變採購制度的要求,而是應透過創新及科技基金尋找方案,協助新產品達致要求的水平。

  在二○一一年年初前,創新及科技基金的資助範圍只涵蓋至研發工作完成並提交報告為止,並不會包括其後的跟進工作。但要令使用者有信心採用研發成果,只憑一份報告是相當困難的。他們大都希望有現成的原型或樣板供進行詳細研究,或和現有的產品作比較,才能對新產品建立更大信心。更理想是能進一步見到產品在現實環境中的應用情況,以準確評估產品的優劣(例如:速度、反應時間、出現故障的頻率等)。

  為此,我們於二○一一年年初擴大基金的範圍,除研發工作外,亦資助製作工具/原型/樣板,以及在公營機構內推行試用計劃的開支。公營機構包括政府部門、公共機構及商會等。資助上限定為研發項目原來開支的30%。但在特殊情況下(例如研發的產品對公眾有很大的裨益),創新科技署署長可酌情處理增加資助。

  以上的新安排對多方面都有好處:

  (1)對公營機構,如政府部門而言,他們可免費試用新科技以改善部門運作,亦可分享科研專家的知識和經驗;

  (2)對技術開發者,如大學教授而言,可讓他們見證其研發成果得以在現實環境中應用;

  (3)對參與研發項目的公司而言,他們可在設計產品的過程中收集使用者的意見,從而改良科研成果,令產品更能切合市場需要;亦可透過公營機構試用計劃為公司的產品取得參考評價,作將來市場推廣之用;以及

  (4)對市民大眾而言,公營機構採用創新科技後服務質素和效率都得以提升,他們亦能從中受惠。

  自新安排在二○一一年推出後,已開展了很多項目,其中一些例子包括:

  (1)香港物流及供應鏈管理應用技術研發中心為香港海關開發了一套基於電子鎖的追蹤平台,以監控車輛活動及確保貨物的安全,並已在多個管制站進行測試;

  (2)香港理工大學及香港應用科技研究院(應科院)最近研發各種智能家居系統及設備,並與香港房屋協會合作,於油麻地建立示範中心,提供資訊以提升長者的生活質素;

  (3)路政署亦正試用應科院的發光二極管照明設施;以及

  (4)納米及先進材料研發院在將軍澳醫院天台安裝了10千瓦的硅薄膜太陽能電池組件,作為輔助電源。

(二)及(三)多位議員在不同會議上均表示研發成果商品化對科技發展十分重要,這點我非常認同。所以我們在推動創新科技發展時,亦視商品化為我們的重點工作。除了上文提及擴大創新及科技基金的資助範圍至製作工具/原型/樣板和在公營機構內推行試用計劃的安排外,其他措施包括:

  (1)鼓勵研發中心建立專責團隊進行科研成果商品化的工作;

  (2)創新科技署舉辦各項交流活動,匯聚「官、產、學、研」各界別代表共同磋商不同科技範疇的研發及商品化需求,以物色及擬定共同研發的項目;

  (3)為支持中小型科研企業進行研發,當局設有小型企業研究資助計劃,以等額資助形式,鼓勵中小企進行科研及推動成果商品化。為強化計劃成效,我們已由今年四月起將每個項目的資助上限,由400萬元提高至600萬元,並擴闊資助範圍至工業設計、原型測試和認證、臨床前試驗等,以促進商品化工作;以及

  (4)香港科學園亦為新晉科技公司提供全面的培育計劃,包括培訓、營商、法律、籌集資金等顧問服務,以協助科技創業。



2012年5月16日(星期三)
香港時間13時11分

資料來源: http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201205/16/P201205160263.htm

 

LCQ7: Promoting development of innovation and technology

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     Following is a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Ms Julia Leung, (in the absence of the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development) to a question by the Hon Samson Tam in the Legislative Council today (May 16):


Question:


     Some members of the industry have pointed out that the existing procurement policy of the Government does not provide support for local innovative technology products, resulting in local enterprises lacking the experience in using such products which may serve as references, which has not only caused an outflow of technology but has also led to a drain of technology talents of the new generation. In order to change the present business environment in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:


(a) whether it has conducted any study on the provision of incentives to encourage government departments and the commerce and industry sectors to accord priority to using the results of local scientific researches; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;


(b) whether the authorities have any proactive measure in place to boost the confidence of the domestic market and users in local innovative technology, and whether they will consider setting up a certification scheme similar to that of "Created by Hong Kong", so as to improve the situation of local innovative technology being neglected in Hong Kong; if such measures are in place, of the details; and


(c) apart from providing funds to support the operation of the Research and Development Centres set up under the Innovative and Technology Fund, what specific measures the authorities have put in place at present to assist in the commercialisation of research and development results of enterprises so as to promote the development of local innovative technology?


Reply:


President,


     The SAR Government has been attaching great importance to the development of innovation and technology, and it was designated in 2009 as one of the six industries where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages.


     It is a long-term investment to develop innovation and technology. Over the past decade, Hong Kong's research and development (R&D) expenditure has been increasing at an average annual growth rate of about 7%. The R&D expenditure by the public sector (including Government and higher education sectors) has increased at an average annual growth rate of 4.7%, from HK$5 billion in 2001 to HK$7.5 billion in 2010, accounting for 57% of the gross R&D expenditure.


     My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:


(a) As an international business centre, the SAR Government ought to follow an open and fair procurement policy which complies with the tender procedures as clearly set out by the World Trade Organisation. We treat all tenderers equally and will not accord any favourable treatment to products on the basis of their country of origin.


     Nonetheless, we understand that there is a keen expectation from the research sector for the SAR Government to promote innovation and technology on various fronts, in particular on the trial use of local R&D outcome in the public sector. Such trials would bring social benefits by facilitating real world application of the research deliverables. We have been pro-actively seeking flexible measures over the past two years through consultation with various stakeholders (including the Legislative Council), with the objective of nurturing indigenous innovation and technology.


     Following the principles of fairness and openness outlined above, the prevailing Government procurement system puts emphasis on both the price and quality of products, including their usage track record. New products tend to cost more due to various reasons, for example when mass production may not yet be feasible to reduce unit cost. In relation to the usage track record, they do not usually fair well. For these reasons it is difficult for new local R&D products to win in an open tender. In order to promote the use of local R&D products in the public sector, we should explore means to help new products to meet the level of requirements through the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), instead of varying the procurement system.


     Before early 2011, the ITF would only provide financial support for the completion of the R&D work cumulating in the submission of a report; and any follow-up would not be funded. However, it is very difficult to convince users to adopt such R&D outcomes with confidence simply based on a report. Most of them would like to study the prototypes or samples in more detail, or to compare them with existing products before they feel more confident about the new offers. It would be even more desirable to observe the products in a real world application to enable an accurate assessment of their merits (e.g. speed, reaction time, failure rates etc.).


     To this end, we have extended the scope of ITF funding in early 2011 to cover, in addition to R&D work, the production of tools/prototypes/samples and the conduct of trial schemes in the public sector. The public sector includes government departments, public bodies and trade associations, etc. The funding ceiling for these additional work is capped at 30% of the original R&D project cost. Moreover, the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology may exercise discretion for additional spending under exceptional circumstances (e.g. the product developed would bring great benefits to the community).


     The above new arrangements are beneficial to various parties:


     (1) For the public sector such as government departments, they can conduct trial use of new technologies at no cost to improve their operations. They also have the benefit of sharing the knowledge and experience of the research experts;


     (2)For technology developers such as university professors, they can witness real world applications of their R&D outcomes;


     (3)For companies that have funded the R&D projects, they can collect user feedback in the process of product design and fine-tune research outcomes so that their products can better meet market needs. They can also obtain references for their products from the public sector through the trial, and that the references will be useful for future marketing efforts; and


     (4)For the general public, they can also benefit from the enhanced service quality and efficiency of the public sector following the adoption of innovative technologies.


     Since the launch of the new arrangements in 2011, a large number of projects have been conducted. Some examples include:


     (1)The Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies has developed an E-lock-enabled tracking platform for the Customs and Excise Department to monitor the movement of the vehicles and ensure cargo security. Trial runs have been conducted at various control points;


     (2)The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) have recently conducted R&D on various intelligent home systems and equipment and set up a demonstration centre in Yau Ma Tei with the Hong Kong Housing Society, providing information to enhance the quality of life for the elderly;


     (3)The Highways Department has been conducting trial use of ASTRI's LED lighting facilities; and


     (4)The Nano and Advanced Materials Institute has installed a 10kW thin-film silicon solar cell unit on the rooftop of the Tseung Kwan O Hospital as a supplementary source of power.


(b) and (c) I strongly share the view expressed by a number of Members at different meetings that commercialisation of R&D results is vital to technology development. This is also regarded as a priority area in our efforts in promoting innovation and technology development. Apart from the above-mentioned arrangements on extending the scope of ITF funding to cover the production of tools/prototypes/samples and the conduct of trial schemes in the public sector, other initiatives include:


     (1) Encouraging the R&D Centres to set up dedicated teams on the commercialisation of research outcomes;


     (2) The Innovation and Technology Commission organising various networking events to bring together representatives from the Government, industry, academic and research sectors to discuss their need in relations to R&D and commercialisation activities under different technology areas, so as to identify and devise R&D projects for collaboration;


     (3) In order to support the R&D activities of technology-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the Administration has launched the Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme (SERAP) to provide SMEs with funding in the form of a matching grant to encourage them to undertake R&D and promote commercialisation of deliverables. To enhance the effectiveness of SERAP, we have since April increased the funding ceiling for each project from $4 million to $6 million and expanded the funding scope to facilitate commercialisation, including industrial designs, testing and certification of prototypes, pre-clinical trials, etc.; and


     (4) The Hong Kong Science Park also provides technology start-ups with a comprehensive incubation programme comprising consultancy services in training, business, legal and fund-raising, etc. to facilitate technopreneurship development.

Ends/Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Issued at HKT 13:15

Source: http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201205/16/P201205160267.htm 


 
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