ASTRI is partnering with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Molecular Hub, to launch a Blockchain-focused accelerator programme for start-ups. The programme was launched today, 13 July 2018, in a ceremony held at Hong Kong Science Park.
ASTRI, a key partner in the programme, will build and enhance technological know-how and capabilities of the participating start-ups, providing them with Blockchain-related training. The start-ups will also be able to leverage ASTRI’s R&D infrastructure by accessing the facilities of the Smart City Innovation Centre operated by ASTRI.
Dr David Chung Wai-keung, JP, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR Government, was one of the officiating guests at the programme’s launch. Highlighting the SAR Government’s determination to position Hong Kong as a global innovation hub, Dr Chung said, “Since its establishment in 2015, the Government’s Innovation and Technology Bureau made a significant investment to I&T development to the tune of HK$ 78 billion. The Government’s support to I&T development covers many different areas of technologies and applications with particular emphasis on Financial Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, as well as Healthcare technologies.”
Other dignitaries present at the event included: the Honourable Dr Elizabeth Quat, BBS, JP – Member of the HKSAR Legislative Council, as well as senior leaders from HKSTP, ASTRI, Molecular Hub, leading investment and venture capital firms, prominent FinTech firms and other technology companies.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr MeiKei Ieong – ASTRI’s Chief Technology Officer said, “ASTRI is the largest government-funded applied R&D institute in Hong Kong, focusing on Information and Communications Technology. We have a strong track record of commercialising innovative technological solutions in Smart City, FinTech, AI + Robotics and Health Technologies. Through this partnership, we look forward to working with HKSTP and Molecular Hub to provide support to start-ups, aiming to accelerate the development of I&T in Hong Kong and beyond. ”
Mr George Tee, Chief Technology Officer of HKSTP, said, “Blockchain technology has enormous potential for use and can be applied into various industries and in many various ways – from compliance, to finance and operations. HKSTP encourages innovation, hence we have seen our Park companies successfully applying this technology to logistics, insurance, ID authentication and property valuation. The timing couldn’t be any better for us to launch this programme, to capture the huge market opportunity out there. This move will certainly put Hong Kong as an attractive venue for innovators to turn their ideas into commercial success.”
Mr Jacky Chan, CEO of Molecular Hub said, “With Molecular Hub collaborating with HKSTP and ASTRI in this programme, the three of us can definitely give extra value and an extra edge for start-ups to validate their ideas. We hope this will be the start of many great things to happen out of Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, especially with respect to the development of FinTech.”
The programme focuses exclusively on Blockchain technology development and also other applications such as Smart City solutions. The programme plans to start its worldwide recruitment in August, with the official launch expected take place in November 2018. The other partner in the programme, Molecular Hub will help the start-ups to explore and untap Blockchain-related opportunities along the Belt-and-Road markets including China.