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Opening Speech by Mr. Victor Lam, JP, Government Chief Information Officer, at the “Closing Ceremony of Young Professionals Exhibition & Competition (YPEC) 2019”

William (Ir. William Wan, Chairman of IET Hong Kong), WK (Ir. Dr. Hon. Lo Wai-kwok, Legislative Council Member), Charles (Hon. Charles Mok, Legislative Council Member), honoured judges, distinguished guests, young engineers, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the Younger Members Section (YMS) of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Hong Kong for organising the Young Professionals Exhibition & Competition (YPEC) 2019. This annual event makes a great platform for young talent to showcase their innovative ideas and engineering projects, and brush up their social and presentation skills.

A short while ago, I have toured around the exhibition booths. I am impressed with the commitment, enthusiasm and creativity of all the participants. You are so much devoted to building a better world with your innovative solutions.

Later today, the winners will be announced and we are all very excited about the outcome of the competition. No matter who the winners will be, the most important thing is the memorable and rewarding experience that you have gained through wholehearted participation.

The Government is committed to boosting the development of innovation and technology (I&T) in Hong Kong. Nurturing young technology talent is the key to the future success of Hong Kong in the global technological race. This competition echoes the Government’s policy in developing the next generation of digital talent and prepares them for the technology-driven economy.

Over the years, the Government has been promoting popular science education and strengthening STEM education in primary and secondary schools. This year, we will further allocate $500 million to implement a new initiative, the “IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools” programme. Under this new programme, each participating school can apply for a maximum funding of $1 million for procuring and upgrading IT equipment and professional services such as cloud and big data analytic services, and organising IT-related extra-curricular activities for their students. The programme aims to enhance the interest of young people in cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence, with a view to helping them build a good IT foundation early during their secondary school years.

We have also set up the Researcher Programme and the Postdoctoral Hub Programme that sponsor local graduates and postdoctoral talent respectively to pursue a career in I&T. The Government has enhanced both programmes by increasing the monthly allowance and extending the maximum engagement period from two to three years.

To recognise our technology talent and further develop the I&T ecosystem, two I&T related competitions are now in the pipeline. The Government will organise the “City I&T Grand Challenge” to encourage the community to propose technology solutions to tackle issues closely related to our daily lives. The competition is open to all, including students at the secondary and tertiary levels.

My office is also working on the next Hong Kong ICT Awards to be held in April 2020. The Awards recognise and promote outstanding local ICT inventions and applications. There are different categories in various areas including one exclusively for students. I look forward to your active participation in these two competitions to showcase your innovative ideas and solutions.

With the strong commitment of the Government in developing Hong Kong’s I&T ecosystem, plenty of resources are available to support all of you along the education and career pathways. With your talents and the right skills, pursuing a career in I&T will be rewarding in the digital age.

For the winning team in the Secondary School Section, this is certainly an enviable and golden opportunity to gain working experience from a two-day internship programme in an international engineering company. For the champion teams in the Sub-degree, Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Open Sections, I wish you a good show in the coming “Present Around the World” Hong Kong Round and every success in the Asia-Pacific Regional Final.

Last but not least, I wish to thank the Younger Members Section of the IET Hong Kong for inviting me to this very meaningful event today. I wish you all every success in your upcoming endeavours. Thank you very much.

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