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Thursday, February 25, 2016, 16:35

Tech voucher: Stress on software

By Wang Yuke / chinadailyasia.com

Tech voucher: Stress on software
Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicolas Yang (left) speaks during a press conference on Feb 25, stressing software solutions were more sustainable and scalable than hardware purchases. (Photo by Parker Zheng / China Daily )
HONG KONG - A SME pilot technology voucher is better spent on efficiency enhancing software rather than hardware purchases, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicolas Yang said Thursday in fleshing out subsidies for the innovation sector.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, in his Wednesday budget speech, introduced the voucher program which will be administered under the Innovation and Technology Fund.

A maximum subsidy of HK$200,000 for eligible SMEs will provide funding to select from can choose from hundreds of solution providers including universities, scientific research centers, Science Park companies and Cyberport firms.

The scheme aims to encourage SMEs to capitalize on technological solutions to improve their productivity and upgrade business modes.

Tech voucher: Stress on software
A general view of the Hong Kong Science Park. (Photo / Hong Kong Government)

Yang said, "it is not about how much money a SME can be provided or what to buy with the money, but more about how much added value their purchase of technological services or solutions could bring to their companies."

Yang stressed software solutions were more sustainable and scalable than hardware purchases.

The scheme’s introduction has been hailed by legislators, experts in technology, financial sectors and startup owners for providing long overdue relief for startups. But some entrepreneurs are wary the scheme may entail too much red tape to be helpful.

Permanent Secretary for Innovation and Technology Cheuk Wing-hing said an application policy will take three to six months to finalize, adding the adminstation will ensure vetting procedures remain as streamlined as possible.

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