Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme (MHKJFS)


Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme

Objective

Launched in April 2019, MHKJFS aims to support and encourage research and development (R&D) collaboration among universities, research institutes and technology enterprises in Hong Kong and the Mainland.

Eligibility

The lead applicant must be an R&D Centre1 or a designated local public research institute2. The industry co-applicant for collaborative projects can be either a company incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622); or an industry support organisation, a trade and industry association or professional body which has the legal capacity to enter into contracts.

Key Features

Application

MHKJFS invites applications for funding once a year. Applications must be submitted simultaneously by the Hong Kong and Mainland applicant organisations (Mainland partners) to ITC and MOST respectively. Unilateral submission will not be accepted.

The application period in 2022 was 10 May 2022 to 30 June 2022. Project proposals under three specific themes are being invited -

  1. Biotechnology: Research and development of biopharmaceuticals such as vaccines and antibody-based medicines; Research on Chinese medicine for prevention and treatment of major clinical diseases; Research on Chinese medicines-based new medicines; Applications of synthetic biology technologies;  
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI): Research on the security and privacy of AI systems; Smart transportation; Intelligent robots and related applied technologies in extreme weather/natural disasters; Brain-inspired intelligence; Smart healthcare such as medical robots; and  
  3. New Materials: Optoelectronic materials; Third-generation semiconductor technologies; Key materials for hydrogen fuel cells; Materials for highly safe lithium-ion batteries; Biomedical materials.

Please read the following documents before submitting an application:

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Assessment

The ITF Secretariat will conduct a preliminary screening upon receipt of an application. Where necessary, individual application may be subject to external review. The ITF Secretariat's assessment, together with the views of external reviewers (if any), will be submitted to the Innovation and Technology Fund Research Projects Assessment Panel for examination in accordance with the assessment framework.

ITC and MOST will vet the applications separately, following each side's own criteria. Only applications that are supported by both sides will be funded.

Frequently Asked Questions

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MHKJFS provides funding support for both platform and collaborative R&D projects. Projects funded by the MHKJFS will have to demonstrate an element of cooperation between Hong Kong and the Mainland (e.g. collaboration between research institutes in both places).

Platform projects refer to applied R&D projects that are industry-oriented and have potential for commercialisation. The projects must be undertaken by R&D Centres1 or designated local public research institutes2. All platform projects require industry sponsorship from at least one company to cover at least 10% of the total project cost within the project period. The IP rights generated from the projects will be owned by the lead applicants.

Collaborative projects refer to R&D projects undertaken by R&D Centres1 or designated local public research institutes2 in collaboration with industry co-applicants. The industry co-applicant should contribute, in the form of industry sponsorship, at least 50% of the total project cost if it wishes to own the IP rights generated from the project.

The applications will be processed and vetted by ITC and MOST separately. Only applications supported by both sides will be funded.

TCFS aims to enhance R&D collaboration between Hong Kong and Guangdong or Shenzhen. To support and encourage further R&D collaboration between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the HKSAR Government and MOST launched MHKJFS in 2019 to support R&D projects jointly conducted by Hong Kong and Mainland institutions.

The funding model and modus operandi of MHKJFS largely follow that of the projects jointly funded under Category C of TCFS. Applications under MHKJFS must be submitted simultaneously by the Hong Kong and the Mainland institutions (Mainland partners) to ITC and MOST respectively.

The Mainland partner should basically be an R&D institute, higher education institute or enterprise having registered in the Mainland and with the status of independent legal person. For the detailed requirements and any additional criteria, please refer to the Guide (in Chinese) issued by the MOST.

The right of final decision on the eligibility of the Mainland partner lies with the MOST.

Others

Applications should be completed in Chinese. In submitting an application, the lead applicant should also include detailed description of the research contents responsible by the Hong Kong side, as well as the respective responsibilities and activities of and key information on the Mainland partner (including participating organisation) in this project. The lead applicant, however, does not need to enclose the respective application prepared by the Mainland partner and submitted to the MOST. Vetting conducted in Hong Kong will be mainly based on the research contents described in the Hong Kong application form.

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