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再工業化與特首選舉

2017/3/18 — 6:02

電子媒體特首論壇:曾俊華、林鄭月娥、胡國興(直播片段截圖)

電子媒體特首論壇:曾俊華、林鄭月娥、胡國興(直播片段截圖)

創新及科技局和創新科技署在2017 年 3 月 21 日向立法會工商事務委員會提交討論文件,討論「再工業化」政策及工業邨與香港科學園的最新發展。它是3 月 12 日晚由7間電子傳媒合辦的「2017行政長官選舉辯論」的辯論重點之一。

三名候選人只提出增加科研開支,明顯地不了解創科,尤其是如何協助中小企升級轉型利用先進科技的問題。因為,依據以色列經驗,傳統工業能夠受惠於創新,不能單看產品上的投入,還要看管理層能否重視先進科技在客戶為主和主場導向的應用。

『雖然一般來說,創新和研發活動的投資水平並不低,但這些活動無效,因為它們不是沒客戶或市場為導向。更為甚者,其大部分努力都是以產品為導向的,在過程開發中只有微小的創新。』(注1)

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另外,創新及科技局和創新科技署將高端科技與如何協助中小企升級轉型混為一談,它提出的未來的總樓面面積約為 108 588 平方米的先進製造業中心(注2)的:

(一)醫療、健康及醫院裝置及儀器;

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(二)生物醫學工程裝置、植入體及儀器;

(三)智能電子及光學儀器;

(四)智能傳感器及半導體先進組裝;和

(五)配合智慧城市的機械人電子及智能電力裝置

等,完全不是香港的中小企或傳統工業範疇。在以色列,主管部門 ──首席科學主任辦公室(注3),特別為其傳統工業另闢途徑。

Israel 2028: Vision and Strategy For Economy and Society in a Global World

『•繼續擴大努力,提高製造商對創新重要性的認識,以及為此目的提供的支持。 但首席科學主任辦公室對傳統產業(注五)應該提供適合的方案,參考為高科技部門,如“Magnet" 和“Tnufa”建立的方案,設立特別版。』(注四)

以色列的傳統工業現代化所面臨的問題,差不多與香港的一樣,調查發現,其主要問題不是資源不足,而是,管理階層對前景不明朗,不願投入資源和習慣性地使用外地勞工,不願購買先進輔助工具。(注六)

『造成一些服務部門和傳統部門滯後的一個負面因素是,傳統工業使用沒有勞工保障的、低工資、低技能的外國工人。 它在諸如建築,農業,旅遊業和其他傳統部門的行業中,降低了採用提高效率技術的動機。』

以色列的手法並非如香港的閉門造車,它在2007年向其中小企做了一個全面的調查,從而找出當中的一系列的問題。(注七)

『2007年初,以色列在該項目的框架內進行了一次特別調查,以了解創新在傳統工業和服務中遇上的障礙和挑戰(中低技術和低技術 )。 它向一百二十家公司對發送調查問卷。 以下顯示的幾點值得注意:』

由此看來,創新及科技局和創新科技署需要進一步澄清其「再工業化」的涵義,及首先進行一次全面的調查,以便協助特區發展其未來工業。

以色列例子

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS)

根據2016年創新指數報告(The Global Innovation Index 2016),以色列在6個範疇有特出表現:

1. 其研究人員數目居全球首位,香港為27位;

2. 用在科研/DGP 全球第二,香港為46位;

3. 創投基金成交全球第一,香港為27位;

4. 研發支出總量GERD Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D, 居全球首位,香港為41位;

5. 高學歷女性僱員全球第三,香港為49位;

6. 私人企業中的研究人才全球第一,香港為30位。

還需注意,以色列在大學與工業科研合作排名全球第7位,香港為27位。

以色列首席科學家AVI HASSON介紹以色列的2015年創新年度報告

Hasson:“我們在未來幾年的挑戰將是保持在全球技術的最前沿,並在市場和經濟的各方面推行創新措施。報告確定了四項重要措施:

*開發工業創造新的資金來源;

*將更多的高科技公司轉化為大企業;

*在傳統行業和公共部門實施和開發技術;

*更聰明和更有效的政府參與。

報告的其他亮點:

*發布高科技指數 - 第一個以色列高科技指數考察了該行業的現狀,並對以色列高科技市場提供了積極的看法,反映了初創公司的令人振奮的增長,以及近幾年從危機中恢復的市場。然而,該指數講述了兩個獨立但相關的 “產業”故事:在過去幾年中發展起來的初創產業,以及在同一時期一直在醞釀的更成熟的科技產業。

*成熟行業缺乏預期的增長,表現在以下事實:在以色列沒有足夠的主要高科技公司湧現。

*“初創企業”蓬勃發展,2014年資本融資34億美元, 70億美元退場( exit ) 。

*以色列高科技正在越來越依賴外國資金 - 只有20%的資金來自以色列的風險資本基金。

*整個行業普遍缺乏人才,特別是工程師和技術人員。

*在過去幾年中,出現了其他融資模式:企業風險資本基金,微型基金,眾籌以及金融機構投資。

我們應特別注意兩點,以色列的創新科技並非一帆風順。它同樣地受到削減開支的困擾。

『雖然首席科學主任辦公室在今年預計將花費15.4億以色列元(1以色列元約為2港元),比2011年略有增長,但總體趨勢一直在穩步下降。 在過去十年中,它已經下降了40%,從2011年的22億以色列元跌至目前的14億以色列元。』(注十)

從資料看,香港的現有生態不適合於發展高科技工業(可能金融高科技除外)。香港也正準備利用風險資本基金 (Venture Capital) 發展初創企業,但其作法似乎與以色列的頗不同,以色列(其實大多數先進國家如是) 是以國家主導,直接投資,發展優先項目的(注八)。在如何有效地利用風險資本基金方面,政府需要進一步解釋。

另外,香港政府習慣文過飾非,一味講將來如何如何,其實,它在2014年與以色列簽訂了創新科技合作備忘錄 (注九), 創新及科技局和創新科技署在向立法會細說未來的玫瑰園計劃之前,需要交代一吓這方面的發展!


附錄

注一

• While generally speaking, the levels of investment in innovation and R&D activity are reasonable, these activities are not effective. Investment and innovation efforts have not affected the measures of companies' success, because the developments have not been client- or market-directed. Furthermore, most of the efforts in innovation have been product-oriented, with only minor innovation in process development.

注二

「再工業化」不是要將土地和勞動密集的製造業重新帶回香港,而是聚焦以物聯網、人工智能、新材料及智能生產工序等為基礎的製造業。

「再工業化」也不一定是發展全新的產業,可以是在現有產業上加上創科元素,以提高品質和效率,令產品更多元化,將產業帶到一個新層次。

推動「再工業化」、協助中小企升級轉型等

數據技術中心由一幢位於三層高平臺上的 12 層大樓及一個地庫組成,總樓面面積約 27 015 平方米。

先進製造業中心則包括兩幢分別為 13 層和 9 層高的工業大廈及一幢四層高的停車場,總樓面面積約為 108 588 平方米。這項目將會聚焦五大範疇,包括:(一)醫療、健康及醫院裝置及儀器;(二)生物醫學工程裝置、植入體及儀器;(三)智能電子及光學儀器;(四)智能傳感器及半導體先進組裝;和(五)配合智慧城市的機械人電子及智能電力裝置。

推動產業升級轉型

19. 正如前文所述,「再工業化」其中最重要的一環,是協助現有製造業引入智能及清潔生產,提高效率以及減低對勞動力的倚賴及對環境的影響。

此外,政府亦已委托生產力局成立一所「知創空間」。「知創空間」將提供工作空間及技術支援,協助使用者可以將他們的創新意念構建成為工業設計,並通過原型製作,轉化成產品。「知創空間」會開放予公眾人士,而主要目標使用者包括初創企業家、中學或大學學生及畢業生,預計本年內可以開始運作。

注三

The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of Israel’s Ministry of Economy is the support arm of the Israeli government, charged with fostering the development of industrial R&D within the State of Israel. The mission of the OCS has been defined through the country's "Law for the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development—1984" (The R&D Law) and its operations are facilitated through Israel's R&D Fund, as well as a variety of international programs, agreements and collaborations. Its mission is to assist the advancement of Israel's knowledge-based science and technology industries in order to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship while stimulating economic growth.

Background

The Office of the Chief Scientist was established in 1974. The main aim of the department[3] is to increase economic empowerment within the civilian sector of the Israeli economy. Main activities include the funding of research and policy-making within its sphere of influence. The development and prominence of the OCS[4] was further strengthened by the development of the Venture Capital industry within Israel in the 1990s.

注四

• Continue expanding efforts for increasing awareness among manufacturers regarding the importance of innovation, and the support available for this purpose. Traditional industries should be offered adapted versions of the Chief Scientist's programs that were originally created for high-tech sectors, such as "Magnet" and "Tnufa".

注五

Support for Traditional Industries In its early years,

Israel’s industrial sector was exclusively composed of traditional industries; such as textiles, plastics, rubber, metals, glass, ceramic materials, wood leather, paper and food. Even today, traditional industries are a significant portion of the economy in terms of sales and employment. The two aspects of traditional industries, namely a low level of R&D and being relatively labor intensive are the harbingers of doom for their future in developed countries and their eventual total transfer to third world economies. It is for this reason that the OCS, in 2005, created a program to encourage and support the traditional industries to enhance their R&D activities in order to develop new products and processes that will help them survive in a high tech culture. Today, the program is more relevant than ever since many companies, as well as new ventures in the traditional area are in need of technological upgrading to keep them competitive in the world market. This program is dedicated to Traditional Industries,

Project Centers of Multinational Co-operations

• Accumulated investment funding given to an Israeli partner in national preference zones or from traditional industry

注六

Israel 2028: Vision and Strategy For Economy and Society in a Global World

Dilemmas and Problems

1.     One of the negative factors contributing the lag of some of the services sectors and traditional sectors is the availability of unskilled foreign workers in the labor force, who receive low wages and no workers' rights. Their availability reduces the incentive to adopt efficiency-improving technologies in industries such as construction, agriculture, tourism, and other traditional sectors.

2.     In traditional industries and some (non-financial) services sectors, the level of academic and technological manpower is relatively low. Human capital is the key to increased productivity, growth and competitiveness.

3.     Traditional and services sectors have a small share in export. Studies indicate that the larger an economic sector's share in export, the greater its expected productivity and innovation.

4.     Managers of industrial industries are less interested in innovation, due to their concern that the advantages will not cover the costs, in addition to the shortage of professional manpower.

5.     Innovation is perceived as important, but adopting advanced technologies is perceived as unprofitable. According the results of the special survey conducted by the study's authors, company managers believe that innovation is a key factor in improving their competitive standing and the quality of their products. Nonetheless, they do not assign importance to using advanced technologies.

6.     Existing innovation is not managed correctly, and therefore is not effective, because it is not client-directed or market-directed.

7.     Investments in capital that embody new technologies are lower than what is acceptable in similar sectors in developed countries.

注七

2. Innovation and R&D in Traditional Sectors

In early 2007, a special survey was conducted in the framework of this project in order to better understand the scope of innovation, as well as the obstacles and challenges to its implementation among traditional industry and services companies (medium-low tech and low-tech). One hundred twenty companies responded anonymously to the survey that was sent to them. Following are number of noteworthy points that were revealed:

• Traditional industry companies did well over the past three years in the following areas: competitive standing, familiarity with relevant markets, and growth.

• About 25% of companies in traditional sectors are not innovative and do not invest in R&D. It is interesting to note that lack of funding was not the significant obstacle to promoting innovation in these companies, but rather uncertainty regarding future profitability has prevented companies from investing in innovation.

• While generally speaking, the levels of investment in innovation and R&D activity are reasonable, these activities are not effective. Investment and innovation efforts have not affected the measures of companies' success, because the developments have not been client- or market-directed. Furthermore, most of the efforts in innovation have been product-oriented, with only minor innovation in process development.

• Information on relevant innovation comes primarily from marketing and private sources, while public and academic institutions provide less useful information.

• Companies in traditional sectors tend to prefer internal R&D rather than off-the-shelf technologies or R&D done outside of the organization. According to the survey, internal R&D is more appropriate for products developed for these companies' target markets.

• Innovation in management and marketing, directed to client or market, make a significant contribution to the success of companies and facilitates companies' improved performance.

• It was found that an innovative organizational culture greatly contributes to the investment in innovation and its success. Companies that encourage their employees to propose new ideas for change and improvement, tend to invest more in R&D and innovation, develop more innovative products and processes, and adopt more advanced management and marketing approaches.

• The Boston Consulting Group's matrix enables assessing traditional companies' business units on two axes: the maturity of the industry in which firms operate and firms' competitive standing within the industry. According to this analysis, the formula of traditional companies' units is satisfactory: there are a sufficient number of new and mature companies as well as financially-stable companies. The largest group of companies (43%) falls under the category of "cash cows", but 42% of companies require investment of additional resources in innovative technologies and marketing. The two uppermost cells of the matrix - the question mark and the star - represent companies at the stage of penetration and growth that require investments in marketing, particularly in marketing, distribution, sales and campaigns. Conditions of high competitiveness also require investments in technology (continuous improvements in product and accompanying services).

注八

Key programs run by the Chief Scientist's Office:

R&D Fund – The Chief Scientist's key facilitation program to help budding and mature companies develop processes of converting theoretic knowledge into a functional product.

Magnet Tracks – Supporting generic R&D that is still far from practical implementation in the market and forming bonds between the academia and the industry that will ultimately produce products based on advanced knowledge and technology.

The Tnufa program – Promoting technological entrepreneurship at the pre-research and development stage. Providing support in the wide range of activities required of entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps towards developing a new technological initiative before industrial production becomes feasible.

The Incubator Program – Encouraging technological innovation by creating a system that will provide entrepreneurs with a comfortable and convenient incubator in which they can conduct the research, development and organization that is necessary for transforming a technology-based idea into a commercial product.

International programs – these programs were established in order to help Israeli companies form strategic links with companies abroad in order to develop their competitive capabilities and their ability to penetrate international markets.

Israel 2028: Vision and Strategy For Economy and Society in a Global World

Dilemmas and Problems

One of the negative factors contributing the lag of some of the services sectors and traditional sectors is the availability of unskilled foreign workers in the labor force, who receive low wages and no workers' rights. Their availability reduces the incentive to adopt efficiency-improving technologies in industries such as construction, agriculture, tourism, and other traditional sectors.

In traditional industries and some (non-financial) services sectors, the level of academic and technological manpower is relatively low. Human capital is the key to increased productivity, growth and competitiveness.

Traditional and services sectors have a small share in export. Studies indicate that the larger an economic sector's share in export, the greater its expected productivity and innovation.

Managers of industrial industries are less interested in innovation, due to their concern that the advantages will not cover the costs, in addition to the shortage of professional manpower.

Innovation is perceived as important, but adopting advanced technologies is perceived as unprofitable. According the results of the special survey conducted by the study's authors, company managers believe that innovation is a key factor in improving their competitive standing and the quality of their products. Nonetheless, they do not assign importance to using advanced technologies.

Existing innovation is not managed correctly, and therefore is not effective, because it is not client-directed or market-directed.
Investments in capital that embody new technologies are lower than what is acceptable in similar sectors in developed countries.

Recommendations for Traditional Industries

• Expand post-secondary education in technology, in order to create human capital that is appropriate for assimilation and use of advanced technologies in industry and services, and broaden possibilities for continuing education in innovative approaches to organization, business management and international marketing.

• Initiate a new grants program for companies in traditional industries that adopt new technologies able to bring about significant change in company performance. Companies should be offered grants to cover costs of training manpower for implementing new technologies, industrial R&D and professional knowledge (similar to the Singaporean grant program for new technology initiatives).

• Initiate a specific program in the Office of the Chief Scientist that offers industrial teams or students, as well as academic mentors, for projects undertaken by traditional industry companies. Many university and college projects can be planned and directed toward traditional industry. This will offer the added value of exposing students to traditional industry, while exposing traditional industry to advanced management methods and new technologies.

注九

Hong Kong - Israel Industrial R&D Cooperation Program

In February 17th 2014, the Government of Israel and the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC signed an R&D Agreement aiming to promote and intensify the bilateral industrial R&D cooperation between Hong Kong SAR and Israel, and facilitate projects, partnerships and collaborations between entities from HK SAR and Israel .

The agreement serves as a basis for the HK-IL R&D Cooperation Program, jointly implemented by MATIMOP on behalf of the OCS in Israel and the Innovation & Technology Commission (ITC) on behalf of the Government of HK SAR, which provides Israeli and Hong Kong companies access to government funding for collaborative R&D projects aimed at the development of products or processes leading to commercialization in the global market.

- See more 

Hong Kong SAR and Israel Jointly Launch

a New R&D Cooperation Program

注十

Chief Scientist Warns Budget Cuts Are Endangering Israeli High Tech

Dec 20, 2012 8:11 PM

Avi Hasson, the chief scientist of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, has failed to win any significant budget increase for his office in the two years since he took over the job. But, he warns, the situation cannot continue because the high-tech sector is more in need of government assistance now than any time in the last decade.

While this year the OCS is expected to spend some NIS 1.54 billion, a slight increase over 2011, the overall trend has been steadily downward. Over the last decade, it has fallen by 40%, from NIS 2.2 billion to NIS 1.45 billion in 2011. As a result, Hasson has found himself, like his predecessors, at the center of criticism from two opposite ends of the spectrum: the companies and industries needing support on one side, and the Finance Ministry on the other.

"The OCS's budget is such that even the emergency storerooms are empty. This is no longer an issue of cutting the fat or of more efficiency, the demand for assistance [from the OCS] is five times what the budget is," Hasson told TheMarker this week. The office has wide-ranging responsibilities, from providing research and development subsidies to start-ups and bigger companies, to overseeing technology incubators. It provides funding for "old-industry" companies to upgrade their products and their manufacturing processes and serves as the main conduit for government aid to industry.

Even though Israel still spends a higher percentage of GDP on such aid than any other country, the gap is closing - and the government share in R&D assistance is below the OECD average. In fact, about half of Israel's civilian R&D spending is by foreign companies with local facilities.

"On the one hand, that's good and we are happy that most investment is by the business sector and that multinational companies see us as a good place to conduct R&D. The less positive side is that most of them operate only R&D centers here, which means that the output, employment and productivity potential is a lot smaller," Hasson said, adding that not only is there no money left in his budget, the "red lights are flashing." His budget is constantly being cut because it is so flexible, making it much easier to reduce when the treasury implements rounds of across-the-board budget cuts, he said.

"We need to harden the budget in order to broadcast confidence to the market and protect it," Hasson said, proposing that its s[pending be fixed several years in advance.

The kind of situation where the OCS can be the most effective, he explained, is when there is so-called market failure. One such case where the OCS is acting is to help make up for the increasingly difficulty for start-ups of sourcing venture capital and other private investment.

"We are seeing this very clearly in steadily rising demand for OCS funding because people have no choice," Hasson said. "Our principal problems today are in the earliest stages of a company, so over the last year we have been increasing efforts in this area."

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