Hong Kong Science Park opens branch in Shenzhen as neighbouring cities move forward with collaboration on tech hub

The Hong Kong Science Park opened a new branch in the Futian district of southern Shenzhen on Thursday, marking the latest effort by the neighbouring cities to work together on building a global tech hub.

The Shenzhen park, covering 31,000 square meters, currently has 16 companies on board and is aiming at attracting over 150 tech firms to set up their offices, according to the Hong Kong Science Park.

“With the new branch, we hope to bring our experience and practices in funding services, training and more from the past two decades to Shenzhen and help our tech start-ups expand into bigger markets in the Greater Bay Area and the whole Chinese mainland,” said Peter Mok, head of the Greater Bay Area division of the Hong Kong Science Park.

“We will also help introduce local beneficial policies in Shenzhen, such as government funding to our start-ups,” Mok told reporters at the event.

Hong Kong Science Park to get reclaimed land for innovation, technology drive

Existing tech companies in the Shenzhen park are mainly focused on biotech, microelectronics and new materials, and the park is expected to attract more firms from the fintech, robotics and artificial intelligence fields.

The new branch in Shenzhen is one of the first Hong Kong projects in the Hetao zone, which will take the lead in serving tech companies with ambitions to expand in the Greater Bay Area and attract global talent, Hong Kong chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu said in a video speech at the opening ceremony.

The Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone is an area covering the boundary of the two cities separated by a river, with the Hong Kong side spread across 87 hectares (214 acres), and the Shenzhen one occupying 302 hectares.

Hong Kong’s government is speeding up construction of the Hong Kong park, which will see three buildings completed next year, according to Lee.

“The Hong Kong and Shenzhen parks will work together to achieve win-win in the cross-border transfer of the key elements of technology and innovation as well as sharing of resources,” Lee said in the pre-recorded speech.

The Hetao zone, first proposed by Beijing in 2017, has been tasked with creating leading research clusters involving Hong Kong and Shenzhen by 2035, according to the development plan announced by the State Council last week. The plan also aims to set up a collaboration mechanism between the two cities by 2025 to attract world-class talent in research.

The governments are aiming to build the Hetao zone into “the most attractive place for global researchers” by 2035, said Zhu Jiang, Vice District Mayor of Shenzhen’s Futian.

“To achieve the goal, we will release policies that benefit various aspects for research and innovation, including more convenient flows of people, funds and data,” Zhu told reporters at the event.

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