Phase two of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park is nearing completion The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) will push for a more aggressive marketing strategy to win new tenants, build future key industries and gain the public's confidence. Led by new chief executive Carlos Genardini, the corporation also plans to foster more local hi-tech business development through a flexible and pragmatic use of government assets under its stewardship. 'More industries will be at the centre of what we build,' Mr Genardini told the South China Morning Post. 'We want to be a good role model [in the Pearl River Delta] on how to develop infrastructure at a reasonable cost to nurture industries and how to attract people who want to be here.' The Science Park, which expects to continue marketing itself overseas, will put renewed emphasis on attracting more Hong Kong and mainland firms. Mr Genardini said the focus on integrated circuit design would also continue, but the corporation would refocus on biotechnology, precision engineering, wireless communications for logistics and nanotechnology. 'Our laboratories are designed to support multiple industries,' he said. The Science Park facilities in Tai Po are divided into four industry clusters: electronics, biotechnology, precision engineering, and information technology and telecommunications. 'I think it is important for more people to see what we do,' Mr Genardini said. The campaign to win the hearts and minds of businesses and the general public is expected to accelerate as the Science Park nears completion of its phase two development at the 22.4-hectare site in Tai Po. HKSTP senior executives are optimistic the new phase, to be completed in 2008, would significantly improve people's perception of the science park. Besides office buildings, phase two will include a large auditorium equipped with world-class conference and meeting facilities, and new leisure elements including landscaped open spaces, lakeside al fresco amenity areas, speciality restaurants, shops and a beautiful promenade along the Tolo Harbour. This ambience was designed to inspire innovation and creativity, according to the company. 'We are building facilities that will be around for the next 50 to 60 years, or longer. That is why I am sensitive to the long-term view and on planning for the evolution of industries,' Mr Genardini said. The corporation was created from a three-way merger of the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation, Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation, and the Provisional Hong Kong Science Park Company Limited. The corporation includes the Science Park in Tai Po, the Inno Centre in Kowloon Tong, the Tai Po Industrial Estate, Yuen Long Industrial Estate and Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate. HKSTP chairman Victor Lo Chung Wing said the corporation was also determined to erase any misunderstanding the public might have about the Science Park, the three phases of which cost about $4 billion each to develop. 'We have been trying to supply a missing segment of the market,' Mr Lo said, noting that the facility represented necessary infrastructure. 'This is infrastructure development, not a commercial project.' Noting the Taiwan science park model, he said the semiconductor and other hi-tech industries created by infrastructure investments needed about 25 years to develop. 'If Hong Kong just followed the commercial point of view, then hospitals and schools would be moved to Shenzhen and the land sold to real estate developers,' Mr Lo said. Still, the Science Park plans to wean itself away from government funding. The corporation intends to finance most, if not all, of its phase three infrastructure development work at Tai Po. As phase three is not due to start for two to three years, the corporation has more time to boost its reserves. 'Just how much less we will need of government funds will depend on how strong our balance sheet is by then,' Mr Lo said. He said the corporation was reviewing rentals at all the centres and estates under its management. The prospects of a self-reliant HKSTP, a statutory body formed in 2001, has become more realistic after the corporation narrowed its deficit to $10.9 million for the year to March 31 from a high of $45 million two years ago. Pau Shiu-hung, the corporation's vice-president for projects, said that planning for phase three must begin to ensure that the city would be able to cope with future demand for research and development facilities from local and overseas companies. 'Through the Science Park, Hong Kong is effecting change as we establish a home for hi-tech industries here in Hong Kong that rivals all regional competitors,' Mr Genardini said. 'We have a lot of work to do.'