Innovation and integration, keywords for start-ups in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the fastest way to bring new technologies to market, start-ups have the opportunity to collaborate with universities and laboratories while benefiting from the industrial strength of the Hong Kong region. big bay

In Hong Kong’s “Science and Technology Park”, research clusters called InnoHK are developing international cooperation. Health@InnoHK focuses on health and AIR@InnoHK on artificial intelligence and robotics.

Research clusters

Among the participants in the first is the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “Science Park” helped him in joint work with University College London (UCL – University College London -) and Stanford University.

“One of the projects we are collaborating on is the development of a blood biomarker test to detect Alzheimer’s disease. Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Nancy Ip, explains. “With the aging of the world population” he notes “The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases, given that they are age-related diseases, has increased significantly.”

“This is a very interesting project for us, because it shows the strength of the cooperation between our three institutions. He emphasizes before elaborating: “The Hong Kong Science Park provided the infrastructure needed for innovation in technology development. Biotech startups can create many synergies by interacting with each other in the park. He congratulates himself.

As for AIR@InnoHK, it includes, for example, the Center for Perceptual and Interactive Intelligence, which depends on the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His teams are working with MIT and other institutions on textile-integrated electronic devices.

We can use them for rehabilitation. Helen Meng, director of the center, describes “But also in the field of sports, when training athletes. Sensors integrated into clothing can be used to measure their movements.” He specifies.

“Take advantage of limited resources”

One of the startups that is part of this ecosystem is the French company InvivoGen. It develops tools for advanced biological research. The company’s commercial director, Xiaobing Li, introduces us to its product, the Reporter Cell Line. “These are the cells that are in the devices that are used in the development of vaccines. He points. For example, after vaccination, [chercheurs] Use our reporter cell lines to measure the immune response after vaccine injection.”

This type of work requires high-tech equipment. We need to use a flow cytometer. says Xiaobing Li. “These are devices that can cost up to 500,000 euros, but the Science Park makes them affordable for us. she said.

The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), which manages this “science park”, is twenty years old and includes a thousand companies. But it is not going to stop there according to its CEO Albert Wong.

“We need to grow exponentially by leveraging our core strengths, including fundamental research and access to markets.” He believes before adding: “I have worked all my life in multinational, especially western companies, and spent several years in a very large company; I work in mergers and acquisitions and business management. The common theme is that resources are limited and you have to make the most of them. he notes.

Potential for a large bay area

And here’s how HKSTP plans to do it:We have electronics and biomedical laboratories, use data, robotics and artificial intelligence and provide virtual laboratories. Describes Albert Wong.

“Our customers don’t have to buy this expensive equipment, they can start developing the technology right away.” he notes.

Due to its geographical location, the “Science Park” is also a springboard to capture the promising markets of the Greater Bay Area around Hong Kong.

“80 million people live within a one-to-two-hour drive: this is a huge opportunity.” HKSTP CEO recalls. “But Hong Kong can also play a role in spreading locally developed technology to Southeast Asia.” He believes.

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