Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) organized the 2013 Industry and University Consultation Forum (IUCF) Hong Kong on October 8.
ASTRI was founded by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in 2000. It is the biggest of the five R&D centres set up by the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of the HKSAR government to promote commercialisation and technology transfer. ASTRI aims to improve the research capability for Hong Kong’s technological development as well as to stimulate the growth of technology-based industries. It offers technology transfer, R&D professionals and intellectual property (IP) to partnering companies.
Dr Cheung Nim-kwan, CEO of ASTRI, mentioned that collaboration on scientific research should lead Hong Kong towards being a knowledge-based economy. Another speaker, Prof Timothy Tong, President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. emphasized the importance of collaboration and exchange of ideas. A shift took place during the last two to three decades in which manufacturing moved more and more to South China and Southeast Asia. Prof Tong pointed out that manufacturing remains important for Hong Kong as well because it should provide high-end product service technology available to both Hong Kong and Mainland China. Academic expertise contributes to applied technologies and thus to the total community.
ASTRI’s successful collaborations and partnerships rely on the business model in which funding is provided from both government and industries. Depending on its share the industry owns (non-)exclusive licenses or foreground IP rights. This business model is open to international companies as well, making ASTRI an interesting partner for Dutch companies looking to do R&D in China. NOST is currently working on a mapping of R&D opportunities in Hong Kong, so stay tuned for more news.
Chinese telecom giant ZTE is again the company that is globally applying for the most patent cooperation treaty (PCT) patents, according to the statistics of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
Another well-known Chinese multinational is ranking 4th in WIPO’s list, namely Huawei.
The first Dutch company in the PCT ranking is Philips. Philips with its 9th place is contributing about 30% of the total PCT patent applications by the Netherlands. It is also good to see that the Netherlands has been able to increase its total patent filings with 14%.
As of August 1, all eligible small and micro-sized enterprises in the country will be exempted from value added tax (VAT) and business tax (BT). The policy is only temporary for now, but the State Council has announced that a similar long-term policy is currently being worked on.
The business community has welcomed the suspension of value-added tax and turnover tax for small businesses with monthly sales of less than 20,000 yuan (EUR 2,400), but some companies are also stating that the limit is rather low.
The State Council has estimated that the new policy will benefit more than 6 million small and micro-sized enterprises with regards to employment and revenues.
During the meeting, the government also agreed to further simplify China’s customs clearance procedures (such as by temporarily exempting statutory inspection fees for exported goods).
The presentation that Bas Lansdorp gave about Mars One and its mission, was the icing on the cake at DIST 2013. “Establish of a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023.” A bold statement for sure, but Bas used his talk to convince the audience that it is in fact feasible. He finished with a video of the launch of their astronaut application program. Of course you want to see this with your own eyes!
ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space was founded in 2006 as a spin-off from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. One of its co-founders Abe Bonnema was going to speak at DIST 2013. But because our event coincided with their satellite launch that had piggybacked on a Chinese Long March 2D rocket earlier that day in Jiuquan in the northwest of China, we instead called Abe on his mobile phone while he was still somewhere near the launch site.
Kirvan Pierson didn’t limit his presentation to TomTom, but presented the audience with an inspiring view on the future of cars and mobility during our DIST 2013 event. A future in which cars will drive themselves, communicate with each other and where companies like Google and Apple will become more involved in the car industry.
“The cloud is something that you perceive as the place where you store your pictures, your music, your videos, your e-mail. It’s all stored in a cloud. But what is it?” If you want to find out what answer Hugo Leijtens gives to his own question, and find out what this young and successful Dutch entrepreneur does in China with his company Nexocial, then you are encouraged to watch his talk at DIST 2013.
Sander van Deventer is partner at Forbion and on the board of uniQure. He was our second speaker at DIST 2013. He explained how new break-through therapies can combat several rare but severe diseases. Have a look at his talk in the video below to get inspired by Dutch innovation in life sciences.
Invest Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government’s investment agency has launched the StartmeupHK Venture Programme 2013 and is inviting worldwide entrepreneurial applicants to submit proposals to partake in this programme.
12 Successful finalist entrepreneurs will be invited to attend a four-day programme in Hong Kong from 4-7 December.
The target group are young companies which have generated some revenue and are considering to expand into global markets by setting up in Hong Kong. The Venture Programme welcomes proposals from around the world, all sectors, both product and service providers, profit and non-profit.
Deadline for application is on or before 26 August 2013. More information at www.startmeup.hk
This week the China IPR SME Helpdesk organised two workshops, in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, on using trade secrets to protect intellectual property (IP). Trade secrets can be a viable alternative to the use of patents, with their own specific set of benefits. You do however need to know how to keep a trade secret…a secret. Ms. Beata Suwala, IP expert at the helpdesk, introduced everyone to the pro’s and cons of trade secrets vs. patents. Once a decision has been made, there are several necessary measures that should be taken to enforce trade secrets, ranging from physical and digital protection to Non-Disclosure-Agreements (NDAs) in employee contracts. The presentation can be downloaded here.
The China IPR SME Helpdesk was established with the specific purpose of supporting EU small and medium sized enterprises in protecting their IPR in or relating to China. The helpdesk provides tailored advice -free of charge- on intellectual property and related issues, as well as training. Check their website for more information and a variety of e-learning modules.