The Seminar named “The Ecology of Entrepreneurship and the Environment” was co-organized by Institute of Entrepreneurship (IfE), PolyU and MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node, and supported by HKSTP. The seminar aimed to share MIT’s environmental programs in education, research and public engagement; as well as, to discuss what makes “Entrepreneurial Ecosystems” successful and explore innovation and entrepreneurship in relation to environmental issues.
I met Mr. Peter Fung (Former Chairman, HKSQ).
Dr. David Broadstock (Assistant Professor, School of Accounting and Finance, PolyU) was moderator and he gave a short local context before the seminar. He said C-suite are a driving force for this topic. Then he searched news (265 articles) for “Hong Kong” + “Ecology” + “Entrepreneur” + “Environment” and found that most words frequency are credit processing, financial service, etc. Environment result is comparative small.
He concluded the local ecosystem was tilted towards financial innovations such as Fintech, Accountech, Green Finance and ESG investment.
Then Mr. Christopher Noble (Director of Corporate Engagement Environmental Solutions Initiative MIT) gave a talk to us.
Firstly, he explained why he become an entrepreneur and then to be environmentalist.
Then he told a story about Venice became the world center for glass-making technology in the Renaissance because all the glass-maker were concentrated on the small island of Murano. Mr. Noble said there were four success factors including i) Dense and small, ii) Intellectual, Financial & Cultural Centre; Invention Protection and iv) Culture of Disruptive Innovation. Finally, Galileo Galilei needed better lenses for his telescope and went to Venice in July 1609 that an entrepreneurial ecosystem led a revolution in human concept of the universe!
Mr. Christopher Noble used Venice story to imply MIT’s Innovation ecosystem. He said MIT students led different groups and clubs by themselves and MIT provided resources for entrepreneurs through attract companies working in that city. And then he briefed successful product including Academic freedom and excellence, culture of disruptive innovation and multitude of unplanned connections, etc. He said to assist people to fulfill their personal dream that made ecosystem work.
After that he mentioned MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) and its mission was to advance science, engineering, policy and social science, design, the humanities, and the arts toward a people-centric and planet-positive future. Three main activities included Research, Education and Engagement.
Finally, Mr. Noble introduced different ESR Research domains and projects to us. They included but not limited to “Next-Generation Climate Models”, “Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases”, “Air Pollution in China”, “Repurposing Industrial Waste”, “Deep Sea Mining”, etc.
One entrepreneur asked how to enhance his business on micro- algae for food or bio-plastic. Mr. Noble said that it needed to consider government policy in positive or negative side. He suggested to make partner with big company.How to cooperative between “Profit World” and “Non-Profit World”; and between “Academic” and “Government” were discussed. He concluded to create system to encourage those activities and attract
Chairman of Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) shared his view on Environmental Project and he said most cases approved for NGO. If profit making company applied but needed to keep IP without sharing, it could not be approved.
Reference:IfE, PolyU - https://www.polyu.edu.hk/ife/corp/en/index.php
MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node - https://hkinnovationnode.mit.edu/