Although the advanced technology research and development capabilities of Hong Kong universities is internationally renowned and generously government-funded, there have been few cases of innovation and technology that has been successfully commercialised.繼續閱讀
The Hong Kong government has invested more than HK$100 billion to support innovative technology development and boost the start-up ecosystem in the last five years. However, the Covid-19 epidemic has disrupted the capital chain. A local survey found that nearly 40 per cent of the start-ups interviewed had laid off employees.
The COVID-19 epidemic cast a deep shadow over the global economy, and the situation startups are faced with is tragic. Startup Genome, a consulting firm, interviewed more than 1,000 startups across 50 countries around the world from March to April, it was found that more than 70 percent of the startups interviewed were forced to lay off employees due to the epidemic.
The new secretary for innovation and technology, Alfred Sit Wing-hang, has proposed a “bridge of innovation and technology" that comprises three elements: collaboration, communication and an innovation talent pool. The last element no doubt represents the most critical and challenging task (“New faces Carrie Lam has enlisted to help Hong Kong tackle Covid-19 impact", April 22). 繼續閱讀
The first global COVID-19 dashboard by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) of the United States has received enthusiastic response around the world. The dashboard attracts an average of 1.2 billion views per day. It is an exemplar of the benefits of open data – and how quickly it can be deployed to good effect when the will is there. Hong Kong cannot use the COVID-19 crisis or other pettier considerations stand in its way to securing the obvious benefits of open data. 繼續閱讀
We don’t know when the Covid-19 pandemic will end, but many experts are asking us to be prepared for a long lasting war. David Ho, the world’s famous AIDS researcher who is currently developing a treatment for Covid-19, confessed that the virus would be troubling us for longer than envisaged, just like the widespread of smallpox in the past which took 20 years for humans to completely wipe it out.
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus. According to the figures from the mainland China, the mortality rate at the age of 50 or above reaches 1.3% while the death rate at the age of 80 or above reaches 14.8%, more than 10 times. That may explain the reason why Italy has the highest mortality rate under the current pandemic that 23% of its citizens are over 65 years old. 繼續閱讀
The Covid-19 mortality rate in Italy is over 12 per cent, the world’s highest, partly due to its rapidly ageing population, with 23 per cent of citizens aged 65 or older. Yet Japan, the world’s No. 1 ageing country, has a Covid-19 mortality rate of only over 2 per cent. The reason may be that the countries allocate treatment resources differently. 繼續閱讀
Food of the future
We have enjoyed the convenience brought by the globalisation of food and grain. Almost all of Hong Kong’s foods are imported. More than half of its rice is from Thailand, while Vietnam supplies 25 percent. As for pork, since the outbreak of African Swine Fever last year, Hong Kong has imported more frozen meat from Brazil, Thailand, Spain, the Netherlands, the United States, and France, instead of live pigs from the mainland. 繼續閱讀