Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS)

What is ESS?

  • It is a major funding initiative under the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), which is designed to encourage the private sector to invest in research and development (R&D).
  • Funding support of each approved project is up to HK$10 million and will be provided on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis.
  • Project period should generally not be longer than 2 years.
  • The funding recipient company will own all intellectual property rights arising from the project.
  • Recoupment of Government's contribution is not required.
  • Benefit-sharing of commercialised R&D results would be non-mandatory.
  • Project with an approved project period of 12 months or longer can apply for financial assistance under the Researcher Programme and/ or Postdoctoral Hub to hire additional staff.
  • The funding recipient company can also apply for the Research and Development Cash Rebate Scheme to receive a cash rebate of up to 40% of the company’s expenditure in the project.

To learn more about ESS, please see ESS FAQ.

Who are eligible to apply?

A company will be eligible to apply if it is:

  1. incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance;
  2. registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration Ordinance;
  3. not a government subvented organisation*; and
  4. not a subsidiary of any government subvented organisation*.

*A government subvented organisation means organisation that receives grant from the government on a recurrent basis. The grant contributes towards the organisation's operational expenses, in exchange for its service to the public. The recurrent grant may account for the bulk of the organisation's income or may just be a token contribution/sponsorship forming a small percentage of the organisation's total income.

What are the vetting criteria?

Project applications will be considered by an assessment panel comprising independent experts in the innovation and technology sector. Funding has to be justified on the following components:

  • Innovation and Technology Component;
  • Technical and Management Capability;
  • Financial Considerations;
  • Commercial Viability of Project Deliverables; and
  • Relevance with Government Policies or in Overall Interest of the Community.

How to apply for funding?

An applicant is required to register its organisation and the relevant personnel with the Innovation and Technology Commission Funding Administrative System (ITCFAS) prior to submitting the application proposal electronically.

Is there any application deadline?

Applications can be submitted throughout the year.


The guides are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You need to install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or above to read it.