Healthtech hub Hong Kong in the spotlight at Asia Health Innovation Summit

Hong Kong Island skyline

Hong Kong’s digital health strengths were underscored earlier in the month by participants of the Asia Health Innovation Summit 2023, an annual event held in the city by global venture accelerator Brinc as part of the StartmeupHK Festival curated by InvestHK.

Representatives from Hong Kong Institute of Biotechnology Limited, the non-profit Our Hong Kong Foundation, IQVIA, and Cellomics International Limited, highlighted the territory’s regulatory frameworks, supportive government policies, big data and contributions to the Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative.

The Honorable Duncan Chiu, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Member for the Technology & Innovation Constituency, and Andy Wong, the Head of Innovation & Technology at Invest Hong Kong, underlined the opportune moment for entrepreneurs to establish tech companies in Hong Kong.

They emphasised that the current favourable climate is a result of new policies and initiatives aimed at supporting startups and fostering innovation.

We are working on all fronts to enable healthech startups in Hong Kong to flourish.

Hon. Duncan Chiu

In his opening remarks, Hon. Duncan Chiu said that healthtech is the primary interest of entrepreneurs coming to Hong Kong, adding that they value the city’s advantage as a startup hub.

He highlighted efforts made by Hong Kong to support healthtech startups, from land allocated for technology use, such as the Northern Metropolis in the northern New Territories, to policy.

“We are working on a cross-border data policy that addresses data privacy and security for data originating from the Mainland [China],” he said. “Healthtech companies conducting clinical research have identified data as their top need. The government will very soon make an announcement on this.”

Wong outlined the territory’s strengths. “Hong Kong has a high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare service,” he said. “Hong Kong also has world-class infrastructure, including public-private hospitals, clinical trial centres, ATP GMP facilities, and the Hong Kong Genome Institute.”

Our long-term ambition is to make Hong Kong a health and medical innovation hub.

Andy Wong, Invest Hong Kong

He also drew attention to a collaboration with Shenzhen, north of the border. “Our flagship Science Park in Tai Po offers a wide range of facilities and incubation programs housing over 340 life and health sciences companies. In the meantime, the government is developing the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park which will form part of the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone.”

In a panel discussion covering Hong Kong ecosystem opportunities, Carmen Li of IQVIA Hong Kong indicated the impact of Hong Kong government policies: “The government has put real effort towards innovations such as telemedicine and ehealth records. Six million Hong Kong citizens have registered with eHealth.”

Dr. Jane Lee, President – Our Hong Kong Foundation, underlined Hong Kong’s academic and research strengths: “We have two universities among the top 50 worldwide,” she said, adding that the commercialisation of Hong Kong’s research must be a leading priority.

Asia Health Innovation Summit 2023, featured a full day of engaging panel sessions involving 38 speakers from Hong Kong and beyond, in addition to networking sessions and announcements by key partners.

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