Shenzhen and Hong Kong collaborate to build a world-class research hub

SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In a recent move, the Chinese government unveiled the Development Plan for Shenzhen Park of Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone. This release ushers in fresh opportunities for urban collaboration in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. A wave of scientific and technological innovation is sweeping across both Shenzhen and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone is situated in the northern part of the HKSAR and the central-southern part of Shenzhen, spanning an area of 3.89 square kilometers. Its two sections are separated by the Shenzhen River, with the 0.87-square-kilometer Hong Kong Park on the southern bank and the 3.02-square-kilometer Shenzhen Park on the northern bank. These two parks are seamlessly connected through the Futian Port and Huanggang Port — the two land gateways that facilitate a direct linkage between Shenzhen and the HKSAR.

“The City University of Hong Kong is only a thirty- to forty-minute journey away from here,” said Prof. Chen Fu-Rong, director of the City University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Research Institute, who is researching electron microscopes at the Shenzhen Park. He underscored the critical significance of “eureka moments” in scientific innovation. “Whenever I come up with an idea in Hong Kong, I can promptly experiment with it in the laboratory here. This is incredibly important,” he added.

Scientific and technological innovation stands as the “common denominator” that underpins the ShenzhenHong Kong cooperation. With an array of policies in play, the Shenzhen Park hones in on life sciences, information sciences, and materials sciences as focal points for industrial development. Through vigorous spatial reconfiguration, multiple policy support, and many other facilitative initiatives, the park successfully draws in resources to cultivate sci-tech innovation, thereby creating an ever more robust innovative atmosphere.

Dr. Wong Ying-ho, deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong Coalition and a member of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR, expressed, “In the ever-competitive landscape of innovative technology, the HKSAR boasts prestigious universities that are appealing to global talents. Simultaneously, Shenzhen embodies a thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Collaboration between these two powerhouses is poised to yield optimal outcomes.”

Given differences in legal, systemic, and regulatory frameworks, Shenzhen and the HKSAR have faced various impediments in realizing the cross-border flow of sci-tech innovation factors, open resource sharing, and cooperative advancements in the technology sector. The promulgation of the Plan injects new momentum into the Shenzhen Park, enabling it to surmount collaboration challenges and address the “growing pains” along its development.

According to the development objectives in the Plan, by 2035, a comprehensive pattern of collaborative innovation between the Shenzhen Park and Hong Kong Park will have taken shape, forming a world-class research hub with globally leading innovation capacities and a free and orderly cross-border flow of innovation factors.