Updated at 5.24pm: A funding scheme established to help develop innovative technology in Hong Kong and Guangdong has attracted 338 applications this year, the government said on Monday. The Hong Kong/Guangdong Technology Co-operation Funding Scheme was jointly launched in 2004 by the Hong Kong and Guangdong governments. It aimed to improve collaboration between research and development (R&D) institutions and industry, as well as improving the economy of the Pearl River Delta region. By the close of the application period in September, the 2006 scheme had attracted 62 applications from Hong Kong and 276 from Guangdong, a spokesman for the government's Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) said on Monday. The scheme would cover six areas: information and communications technology; precision manufacturing technologies and products; new materials and nanotechnology; biomedicine and health; new energy and resources conservation; and modern agriculture. The scheme is monitored by the Hong Kong/Guangdong Expert Group on Co-operation in Innovation. 'In the past two years, the governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong have supported about 200 R&D projects with a total funding of HK$660 million,' he said. 'In view of the favourable response, the expert group agreed that the scheme should be launched in 2006 and the two sides have earmarked about HK$800 million to support R&D projects,' the spokesman said.