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Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 00:08

HK student projects win awards for entrepreneurship

By Willa Wu

HONG KONG - Twenty-four Hong Kong university student projects won awards in a national entrepreneurship contest - which attracted 110,000 entries from more than 2,200 higher education institutions nationwide.

The China College Students' Entrepreneurship Competition in 2016, held in Chengdu from Nov 15 to 20, is a biennial event famed as the entrepreneurship Olympiad for Chinese college students.

42 Hong Kong university student projects won awards in a national entrepreneur- ship contest

A total of 24 projects from 11 universities and colleges in Hong Kong were selected to participate in the contest by Hong Kong New Generation Cultural Association, a charitable organization. All 24 projects won awards - two gold, 21 silver and one bronze.

Thomas So Chi-ki, executive director of the association, said the awards show the progress Hong Kong has made in nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Elite Recycling Enterprise project of a team from Lingnan University won the gold prize in the business proposals category. It focuses on glass recycling in Hong Kong to turn waste into environmentally friendly materials that can be used in infrastructure construction.

Fok Cheuk-kwong, one of the four members behind the project, said it would help to recycle 1,000 tons of glass in the city annually, which is a significant capacity.

A spokesman for the Environment Protection Department told China Daily on Tuesday that 74,000 tons of glass were disposed of in 2014; only 8,400 tons were recycled and reused.

R-Guardian, a project of a team from Chinese University of Hong Kong, won a silver prize for projects operating for no more than three years. The enterprise, based in Hong Kong Science Park, invents chips that can be inserted in personal belongings, like purses, wallets and umbrellas. Customers can locate their lost belonging. They have a better chance to retrieve them by using the smartphone app that connects with the chips.

The project attracted an investment worth of 10 million yuan ($1.45 million) from a Sichuan company during the competition.

Eric Kuo Wai-keung, a co-founder of R-Guardian, said many startups in Hong Kong developed quickly in recent years due to policy support, notably from the Innovation and Technology Commission.

The students’ awards came amid the government’s efforts to boost innovation and improve the business environment for startups. Earlier this year, the Hong Kong government grants HK$2.87 billion for Hong Kong Science Park’s HK$4.4 billion expansion program which will see two new scientific research buildings completed in 2020.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who officiated at the program’s ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday, said the government will continue to work closely with Science Park, which assists the city in re-industrialization. Science Park has attracted 620 science and technology companies from home and overseas, offering more than 11,000 job opportunities.

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, who attended the same event, said the Innovation and Technology Commission had launched a HK$50 million funding program. This is to support small and medium-sized enterprises in innovation and technology.

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