The InnoCentre, Hong Kong's first facility which aims at cultivating a cluster of high-value added design activities among design professionals and user industries, was opened in November 2006.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the InnoCentre, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Mr. Donald Tsang noted that all the key elements of a creative economy already exist in Hong Kong. These include the rule of law, protection of intellectual property, free flow of capital and information, the right environment to nurture and attract creative talent, an infrastructure that encourages investment in cultural industries and a community that appreciates the importance of creativity.
Mr. Tsang reiterated that the Government is strongly committed to supporting the creative industries.
He said, "we promote applied R&D through funding schemes, infrastructure support, collaboration with Mainland and overseas research institutes. We also endeavor to grow an innovation culture in the community. Most recently, we launched five new R&D centers, in which the Government will invest over US$256.41 million (HK$2 billion). And we will roll out Science Park Phase 2 starting 2007."
"We staunchly support the Hong Kong Design Centre, which we believe to be our industry champion of design excellence. In 2004 we launched the US$32.05 million (HK$250 million) DesignSmart Initiative to promote business adoption of design, and capacity-building in the design profession. Notably, US$5.77 million (HK$45 million) of DesignSmart funding was earmarked for the development of this InnoCentre," he added.
To make the InnoCentre a magnet for design activities, the Government has earmarked an additional US$12.82 million (HK$100 million) to support the Hong Kong Design Centre over the coming five years. This will help the center to hold exhibitions, conferences, workshops, networking functions and professional education and training courses.
"We want to promote the adoption of design in the mainstream business process, upgrade the capability of our design profession, and enhance the interface between designers, industry and business users, academics and the like," said Mr. Tsang.
He also noted that there is plenty of potential for Hong Kong designers to evolve to the next level of business by capitalizing on the rapid development of Mainland China.
"As Mainland enterprises grow, they are becoming more aware of the importance of branding and design, rather than simply manufacturing. Many seek to add value to their products and to build indigenous brands. Domestic demand for quality goods keeps on increasing. Indeed, the huge and rapidly growing Mainland market opens up exciting new opportunities for Hong Kong designers - as well as new challenges," said Mr. Tsang.