Mr. Alen KS Ma (CEO, HKSTP) gave a welcome speech. He said funding was very important to fill the gap in the innovation and technology ecosystem. Then he mentioned our incubatees got awards in international events.
Then Mr. Johann CY Wong, JP (Deputy Commissioner for Innovation and Technology , ITC) gave a welcome speech and he said the new ESS funding scheme had extended the coverage to support all companies in Hong Kong (not only SME).
(Left: Mr. Alan Ho (Senior Manager (Technopreneurial Funding), ITC), Mr. Johann CY Wong and Ms. Pamela NM Lam (Assistant Commissioner, ITC))
The first part of briefing named “Overview of the Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS)” and presented by Ms. Pamela Lam. She mentioned the objectives of ESS as follows:
- To encourage more private sector investment in research and development; and
- To enhance funding support for technology companies in Hong Kong
i) Increase the chance of successful commercialization
ii) Create more technology-related job opportunities of a diversified nature
iii) Encourage technology commercialization
iv) Local industry upgrading
The ESS operations were presented by Mr. Alan Ho. The flow chart showed from application received to notify applicants of panel result in the first part of operation (Vetting). There were two tracks approach. One is mainstream ESS application and the other is designated SME track (>100 employees and >$2.8M; Not for MNCs). If clarification of application is needed, Secretariat may do so by email, telephone and interview. Withdraw of application if the Secretariat has not received the final submission 6 months after its initial submission.
Mr. Alan Ho then mentioned the assessment criteria (See diagram below). Only Financial Considerations (15%) is a new item. Others are same as previous funding named Small Entrepreneur Research Assistance Programme (SERAP). Assessment panel comprise experts from the academia, industry, private equity and capital market, etc. During panel interview, applicants have 5 min for presentation and 30 min for Q&A.
Second part of operation is Project Execution. The flow chart was showed as follows. When carry out R&D, project monitoring was needed included progress report (every 6 months), interview/site visit and fund disbursement. If project change requested, it must be approved by ITC commissioner.
Many startups asked questions and some recorded below:
- Do internship included in ESS? Ans: Yes
- Time Frame of ESS? Ans: 3 panels run every year
- If 2.8M for SME, 4 to 6 month could be arranged for panel meeting.
- Any limited number of project to be applied in same company? Ans: It would consider the company ability to execute.
- Technology roadmap would be considered such as “What is challenge?” and “Where is the Market?”
ITC - http://www.itc.gov.hk/
Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS) - http://www.itf.gov.hk/l-eng/ESS.asp