Youth I.D.E.A.S. 04
Education and Innovation
Encouraging Young People to Participate in Innovation and Technology Development
29 October, 2015
Innovation and technology are driving forces that foster economic development and are crucial factors in enhancing Hong Kong’s competitiveness. In recent decades, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has put much effort into promoting the development of innovation and technology in different areas, including by investing in related infrastructure, providing financial support and nurturing talent. However, the performance of innovation and technology in Hong Kong is still weak in comparison to other cities or countries.
According to analysis by the Census and Statistics Department of the HKSAR Government, in 2013 the value added by the innovation and technology industry was HK$147 billion, which contributed 0.7% to Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP). As for employment in Hong Kong, the industry employed only 32,000 people in 2013 (0.9% of total employment). Although the Government of the HKSAR has been putting much effort into the development of innovation and technology, the industry still needs further improvement.
Currently, around 6,000 university students graduate from science faculties or engineering and technology faculties every year. Of these graduates, however, those who participate in the innovation and technology industry are unexpectedly few. What should be done to attract young people to participate in this industry and stem the outflow of talent? What are the crucial factors hindering the development of innovation and technology? What are young people’s concerns about participating in this industry? How do the nurturing of talent, the attitudes in society and policymaking affect young people’s incentives to pursue careers in this industry? The above questions are worth an in-depth analysis.
This research study used an online survey of universities, focus-group interviews and interviews with industry experts and academic specialists in order to explore the participants’ perspectives on, and expectations of, young people’s participation in the innovation and technology industry. This study targeted current undergraduate students from science faculties and engineering and technology faculties as well as participants from the innovation and technology industry. The aim was to understand young people’s concerns about choosing to work in this industry, thereby facilitating the formulation of recommendations to encourage them to pursue careers in the industries involved.
 Census and Statistics Department of the HKSAR Government, ‘The Four Key Industries and Other Selected Industries in the Hong Kong Economy’, Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, April 2015, pp. FA9-FA10