The Next Big Thing

Microsoft, HKSTP invest US$1 million to turn Hong Kong into internet of things hub

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 May, 2015, 8:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 May, 2015, 8:30am

A major new fund will help promote the development of internet of things (IOT) related technologies in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and Microsoft Hong Kong have pooled "more than one million US dollars" to help transform the city into a hub for IOT technologies, including the creation of dedicated units at the Science Park.

"[This] is a testament to Hong Kong's unlimited potential as an internet of things hub," HKSTP chief executive Allen Ma said this week.

Ma said that there are currently 90 companies already working on internet of things related technologies at the Science Park. "Their work includes a wide range of endeavours ranging from data security and IOT enabled [enterprise resource planning] systems."

The internet of things refers to the practice of connecting everyday objects to cloud services and the wider web. Early products include activity and fitness trackers, scales that track your weight over time, air conditioning units that learn your preferences, and smart light bulbs that can be programmed via your smartphone. 

Writing in the Post this month, Invest Hong Kong director Simon Galpin said the city is "already geared to take advantage of the business opportunities arising from this technology trend".

"The economic and social benefits that come with the development of the IOT industry in Hong Kong are numerous," said Gary Sun, general manager of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Technology Company.

Under the agreement, Microsoft Hong Kong and HKSTP will jointly contribute resources and technical expertise.

Start-ups, students, and existing companies can apply for assistance and advice from the newly created IOT Innovation Platform at the Science Park. They will also "be able to accelerate their development of IOT solutions through cloud services and tools" under the new programme.