Guangdong-Hong Kong Technology Cooperation Funding Scheme (TCFS)
Launched in September 2004, TCFS aims to enhance the level of collaboration on research and development (R&D) among universities, research institutes and technology enterprises in Hong Kong and Guangdong/Shenzhen.
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.
- Support platform and collaborative R&D projects with an element of Hong Kong and Guangdong or Hong Kong and Shenzhen cooperation.
- Three categories of projects under TCFS:
- Category A: projects solicited, vetted and funded solely by Hong Kong.
- Category B: projects solicited, vetted and funded solely by Guangdong or Shenzhen.
- Category C: projects jointly solicited and funded by Guangdong and Hong Kong (Category C1) or Shenzhen and Hong Kong (Category C2). R&D work of the projects must be conducted in both Hong Kong and Guangdong or Shenzhen.
- Maximum Project Duration: 24 months.
- Industry Sponsorship: at least 10% of the total project cost for platform projects; at least 50% of the total project cost for collaborative projects.
- Intellectual Property (IP) Rights Ownership: lead applicant for platform projects; industry co-applicant for collaborative projects if it contributes at least 50% of the total project cost.
TCFS invites applications for funding once a year. The application period in 2021 was 20 September 2021 to 19 November 2021. Please read the following documents before submitting an application:
- Guide to Filling in the TCFS Application Form
- Funding and Administrative Guidelines for Successful Applicants
- Guide on Intellectual Property Arrangements for Research and Development Projects funded under the Innovation and Technology Fund
Applications under Category C must be submitted concurrently by both the Hong Kong and Guangdong/Shenzhen applicant organisations to ITC and Guangdong/Shenzhen authorities respectively. Unilateral submission will not be accepted.
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 reviewer(s) (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 Guangdong/Shenzhen authorities will vet the applications under Category C separately, following each side's own criteria. Only applications that are supported by both sides will be funded.
Frequently Asked Questions
To strengthen technology development in Hong Kong and Guangdong, the Government of the HKSAR joined hands with Guangdong Province and launched the TCFS in 2004 as a key cooperation initiative to encourage collaboration on R&D among universities, research institutes and technology enterprises in the two places. The Shenzhen Municipal Government joined the TCFS in 2005.
TCFS provides funding support for both platform and collaborative R&D projects. Projects funded by the TCFS will have to demonstrate an element of Hong Kong and Guangdong or Hong Kong and Shenzhen cooperation (e.g. collaboration between research institutes in Hong Kong and Guangdong/Shenzhen).
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.
For Category C(1) projects, the Mainland partner should basically be an R&D institute, higher education institute or enterprise having registered in Guangdong 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 Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province.
For Category C(2) projects, the Mainland partner should be an R&D institute, higher education institute, enterprise or healthcare unit having registered in Shenzhen and with the status of legal person. For the detailed requirements and any additional criteria, please refer to the Guide (in Chinese) issued by the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality.
The right of final decision on the eligibility of the Mainland partner lies with the relevant Mainland authorities.
Applications under Category C should be completed in Chinese. In submitting an application under Category C, 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 Guangdong/Shenzhen partner in this project. The lead applicant, however, does not need to enclose the respective application prepared by the Guangdong/Shenzhen partner and submitted to the Guangdong/Shenzhen authorities. Vetting conducted in Hong Kong will be mainly based on the research contents described in the Hong Kong application form.
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