Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS)

Enterprise Support Scheme


Launched in 2015, ESS aims to provide funding support for local companies to conduct in-house research and development (R&D) work with a view to encouraging the private sector to invest in R&D.


A company will be eligible to apply if it –

  1. is incorporated in Hong Kong;
  2. has a current business registration certificate;
  3. is not a government subvented organisation12; and
  4. is not a subsidiary of any government subvented organisation12.

Key Features


ESS invites applications for funding all year round. Please read the following documents before application.

Important Notes:

The latest versions of the documents below have now been released:

  1. Guide to Filling in the Application Form ("Application Guide");
  2. Checklist of Requisite Documents;
  3. Funding and Administrative Guidelines for Successful Applicants ("Admin Guide");
  4. ITF Form (to be released on 1 March 2023).

With effect from 1 March 2023, applicants are advised to use the new ITF Form (ITF Form 7.4) and make reference to the new Application Guide when filling in the application form. Applications completed in the older version of ITF Form (ITF Form 7.3) will not be accepted on or after 1 April 2023.

The new Admin Guide shall be deemed to form part of the project fund agreement signed on or after 1 April 2023.

For project fund agreements signed on or after 1 April 2023, the documents below apply:

For project fund agreements signed on or before 31 March 2023, the documents below apply:

The Applicant must duly complete and sign the Application Form. The Application Form should be submitted together with all necessary information and supporting documents. Applications must be submitted to the ESS Secretariat –

  1. through the Innovation and Technology Commission Funding Administrative System ("ITCFAS"); and
  2. in one duly signed and stamped original hard copy.


Upon submission of all the required information and documents by the enterprise, project application will be considered by an assessment panel comprising independent experts in the innovation and technology sector based on the following components:

Frequently Asked Questions

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The ESS Secretariat will send an acknowledgment to the Applicant upon receipt of the application. The application will be screened to ensure that the Applicant meets the eligibility requirements and the Application Form is duly completed and the requisite supporting documents are submitted, etc.

The checked Application Form and appended documentation will be submitted to the ESS Assessment Panel for consideration. The Panel will consider and make recommendation to the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (CIT) on whether the application should be supported. In the event that the application is recommended for funding support, the Panel will require the Applicant to address its comments on the application (e.g. scope, budget and milestones, etc.).

The finalised Application Form together with other necessary documents as requested by the Secretariat should be submitted within three months from the date of notification, to seek CIT's approval for funding.

Where an application is approved, the Applicant shall enter into a fund agreement with the Government and is required to comply with the terms and conditions therein, including report of project progress and expenditure, submission of reports and audited accounts, etc.

The Applicant should submit a copy of the following as attachment(s) with the application – (a) Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Companies Registry; (b) a valid Business Registration Certificate; (c) latest Annual Return (or the Incorporation Form for newly established company); (d) Notice of Change of Company Secretary and Director (Appointment/Cessation) (if any); (e) Notice or Certificate of Change of Company Name (if any); and (f) organisation chart of the Applicant's company (and its company group, if any) as proof of its company's conformity with the eligibility criteria of the ESS.

To effectively present the merits of the proposed project, the Applicant shall submit the information and other supporting documents as requested in the ESS Guide to Filling in the Application Form and the notes provided in the Application Form.

The Applicant and its application will be considered by an assessment panel comprising independent experts in the innovation and technology sector and will be assessed in accordance with the following criteria and weightings –

  1. Innovation and Technology Component (25%);
  2. Technical and Management Capability (20%);
  3. Financial Considerations (15%);
  4. Commercial Viability of Project Deliverables (30%); and
  5. Relevance in Overall Interest of the Community or with Government Policies (10%).

To obtain approval and funding, an application needs to pass each of the vetting criteria.

An Applicant could normally be notified of the vetting result in around 2 months upon submission of all the required information and documents. In the event that the Project is recommended for funding support by the Assessment Panel, the applicant is required to, within three months, revise the proposal to address the relevant comments and submit supplementary information along with the supporting documents before signing the fund agreement.