Why Hong Kong’s Government-Led Innovation Drive Is Failing

Entrepreneur Jeff Wang planned to start his company in Hong Kong in 2015, after obtaining a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from a prominent university in the U.K. The data expert wanted to use an analysis method called Topological Data Analysis, his Ph.D research topic, to help enterprises better analysis their data by visualizing it.

To his surprise, Wang's HK$1 million (US$130,000) fundraising proposal was rejected by the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC), because in his opinion few at the local government agency were able to appreciate the potential of the emerging technology concept.

"The judges on the review panel are all professors and government officers. They are dedicated to their respective work but they perhaps lack commercial instincts," Wang said, preferring to use a pseudonym to protect his privacy. “I think ...

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