Hong Kong’s start-up scene combines innovation and entrepreneurship with universities and labs, coupled with the industrial might of the Greater Bay Area.
Within Health@InnoHK, the Hong Kong Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases is currently working in collaboration with University College of London and Stanford University.
Nancy Ip, is the director of Hong Kong Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases explains what this collaborative effort works.
“The Hong Kong Science Park has provided much-needed infrastructure for innovation in technology development. And these biotech start-ups can create a lot of synergies by interacting with each other in the science park.
A project in which we are collaborating is the development of a blood biomarker test for Alzheimer’s disease. So this is a very exciting project for us because it really illustrates the power of collaboration between the three institutions. With the aging of the world’s population, neurodegenerative diseases, given that they are age-related diseases, the prevalence has increased considerably.
AIR@InnoHK, works with people like Helen Meng at Center for Perceptual and Interactive Intelligence, which is part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They are working with MIT and others to develop wearable electronics, as Helen Meng explains.
“They can use it for rehabilitation, or we can also use it in sports, in sports training for athletes where the sensors built into the garment can be used to measure the movements of the athlete in training. “
One of the companies that is part of this ecosystem is the French company Invivogenicwhich manufactures tools for advanced biological research.
Xiaobing Li, is the company’s commercial manager in Hong Kong and he describes an example called Reporter cell line.
“The cells are actually in the devices and are used for vaccine development. And after vaccination, the authors use our reporter cell lines to test the immune response after the vaccine. To do this, we need to use the flow cytometer. The devices can cost up to half a million dollars, but here at Science Park they provide the flow cytometer.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, or HKSTP for short, is now 20 years old and has more than 1,000 companies. Albert Wong is the CEO and outlines the plan for the future of the organization.
“We need to grow exponentially by leveraging our core strengths, including basic research and access to markets. All my life, I worked in multinationals and especially Western companies, and I spent several years in a very large company. The common thread is, first, that resources are limited and you need to make the most of them.
So how exactly does HKSTP overcome these challenges? again Albert Wong.
“Electronics labs, biomedical labs, data, robotics, AI, even we go to virtual labs for people to come in. They don’t need to buy all that expensive equipment, and they can start doing their technology, research and development right away. ”
The Greater Bay Area around Hong Kong potentially offers a huge market for produce, as Albert Wong explains.
“80 million inhabitants in a travel zone of one or two hours. It’s a huge market opportunity. But also, Hong Kong can play a role in introducing technology from China, Hong Kong to the Southeast Asian region.