Research Talent Hub for Technology Companies Conducting R&D Activities in Hong Kong (RTH-TC)
Launched in July 2020, the RTH-TC aims to provide funding support for technology companies conducting or planning to conduct research and development (R&D) activities in Hong Kong to engage research talents to conduct R&D work. The RTH-TC merged the previous Researcher Programme and Postdoctoral Hub for technology companies conducting R&D activities in Hong Kong.
- conducting or planning to conduct R&D activities in Hong Kong;
- has substantive business operations in Hong Kong at the time of application;
- registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap.310) or incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Cap.622); and
- not a government subvented organisation or a subsidiary of any government subvented organisation18.
- must be legally permitted to work in Hong Kong during the RTH-TC engagement period;
- must possess a bachelor／master／doctoral degree awarded by either a local university or a well-recognised non-local institution6, or jointly awarded by a local university together with a non-local university. The degree obtained should be in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics ("STEM") related discipline.
For the purpose of the RTH-TC, an R&D activity means
- an activity in the fields of natural or applied science to extend knowledge;
- an original and planned investigation carried on with the prospect of gaining new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding; or
- the application of research findings or other knowledge to a plan or design for producing or introducing new or substantially improved materials, devices, products, processes, systems or services before they are commercially produced or used.
In general, an R&D activity takes place when a project seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology. Any activity which does not directly contribute to achieving this advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty is not an R&D activity.
- An applicant company can engage up to 4 research talents at any one time.
- The maximum engagement period for each research talent under the Research Talent Hub is 36 months in general.
- The maximum monthly salary allowance is HK$20,000 for research talents with a bachelor degree, HK$23,000 for those with a master degree, and HK$35,000 for those with a doctoral degree.
- An additional monthly living allowance of HK$10,000 will be provided to research talents participating in the RTH-TC with doctoral degrees.
The RTH-TC invites applications for funding all year round. Applications should be submitted through the Innovation and Technology Commission Funding Administrative System. Please read the "RTH-TC Application Guide" before submitting an application.
Frequently Asked Questions
The applicant company should ensure that the talent selection process is open, fair and without prejudice to any candidates. To avoid conflict of interest, in selecting a research talent, the applicant company must not engage a research talent who is the proprietor, partner, shareholder or management of the applicant company or their relatives. The applicant company or any person/staff authorised by the applicant company to handle or in any way to be involved in the selection process should declare that they have no actual or potential conflict of interest; or otherwise should not participate in the selection process.
Yes. Any non-local research talents who are eligible under the RTH, including those admitted under TechTAS, can benefit from the RTH. The concerned talent must possess a bachelor／master／doctoral degree awarded by either a local university or a well-recognised non-local institution, or jointly awarded by a local university together with a non-local university. The degree obtained should be in a STEM-related discipline.
No. The research talent being engaged should conduct the R&D work of the applicant company on a full-time basis. The applicant company should comply with the relevant legislative requirements concerning the employment of the talent.
No. The monthly allowance should be paid in full towards the actual lump sum monthly remuneration for the research talent. No other allowances, overhead or fringe benefits, etc. should be payable from the RTH.
The RTH-TC does not have a prescribed definition on "technology company" by itself. The eligibility lies in whether the company's activities and work assigned to the research talent meet the definition of "R&D Activities" as stated in the Application Guide.
The applicant company has to ensure that an open recruitment has been done for the research talent position under application to ensure fairness. A copy of the concerned recruitment advertisement is required to be submitted with the application as a supporting document. For the recruitment, the RTH-TC does not restrict existing employees from applying for the post concerned.
In general, related companies with separate Business Registration numbers and conducting different R&D activities could separately apply under the RTH-TC.
The applicant company can either employ the research talent before application or after approval of the application. In any event, an open and fair recruitment has to be done before submission of a RTH-TC application to the ITC. Funding support for engaging the talent will only commence after the application is approved and the Government will not be responsible for any expenses incurred if the application is not successful.
Incubatees and I&T tenants of the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) and the Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited (Cyberport) should apply under the RTH-SPC.
- Tel: (852) 3655 5678
- Fax: (852) 2199 7004
- Email: email@example.com