Hong Kong Science Park clarifies on 'academic meddling' claim

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 December, 2017, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 December, 2017, 10:07pm

We refer to two articles on December 4 relating to Hong Kong Science Park (“Lam soothes storm over ‘academic meddling’” and “Fears Science Park is losing its vision under new boss”).

We are duty-bound to respond and set the record straight.

Hong Kong Science Park provides a platform for translational research. HKSTP’s mission is to create a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem that facilitates knowledge transfer and commercialisation, nurtures entrepreneurs and fosters collaboration among academia, researchers and industries.

As a connector and facilitator, it is our standard practice to visit partner companies to understand their R&D progress based on their admission applications.

Where companies fall short of initial commitments, HKSTP offers advice and support where necessary. We see the success of partner companies as the prime indicator of our success.

As for anchor institutions such as the Karolinska Institutet (KI), we aim to build clusters of companies around them to amplify their impact and magnify Hong Kong’s position as an innovation hub in the Greater Bay Area.

This explains the purpose of our chairwoman Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun’s visit to KI in Stockholm and, before then, a fact-finding visit to the Ming Wai Lau Centre, which is positioned as a translational research centre at Science Park.

It was regrettable that the visit was misinterpreted as academic interference. KI’s vice-chancellor, in response to the Post’s queries, said there was no indication of any restrictions on academic freedom at its Hong Kong unit.

HKSTP strives to achieve a healthy mix of companies across key technology sectors. We encourage interaction among partner firms to foster interdisciplinary collaboration.

Multiple programmes and value-added services help companies explore new markets, find potential customers, pilot new products and recruit talent.

Occupancy at Science Park had increased to 82.1 per cent by end-October, with continued increase in total area occupied. Headline rent was determined with reference to market rates in 2015 and has not changed since.

In a fast-paced innovation and technology ecosystem, a degree of staff turnover is expected. This brings opportunities for the injection of new talent and fresh ideas.

The attrition rate at HKSTP since January has been below Hong Kong’s market average, benchmarking against HR consultancy studies. We will continue to proactively acquire the best talent to join our workforce and fuel growth.

HKSTP welcomes suggestions for improvement in every aspect of our work.

Jojo Cheung, chief marketing officer, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation