(Hong Kong, 9 February 2022) The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) organised the Winter Internship Programme for the second consecutive year, striving to nurture young research and development (R&D) talent for Hong Kong. The six-week programme aims to provide tertiary students with the opportunities to gain practical experience in the innovation and technology (I&T) sector and equip for the future, nurture a new generation of “InnoTalent” in Hong Kong, and inject new impetus into Hong Kong’s R&D and business sectors.
The Programme this year attracted overwhelming response with around 1,000 applications. Ultimately, 34 interns were selected. Some of them were from non-science streams which showed the growing interest towards I&T among students. Of the chosen interns, 90% came from local universities including the likes of the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, with the rest from overseas tertiary institutions. Each applicant had to go through a rigorous group interview to test their creative thinking, communication skills, language ability, and understanding and interest in R&D in order to build up an army of I&T talent with the most potential as possible.
Mr Mohamed Butt, Executive Director of HKPC, said, “With the National 14th Five Year Plan supporting Hong Kong to become an international I&T hub, the I&T industry will be the dominant trend, making the nurturing of a new generation of R&D talent even more pressing. As the wave of digital transformation has heightened demand for the application and talent of R&D technology, HKPC takes on the task of strengthening the I&T talent pool and strives to equip young people with future work skills and broaden their I&T horizons. The interns would not only be attached to different departments of HKPC, but also go on field trips and job shadowing, and participate in workshops given by the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node and a graduation project competition. These aim to provide tertiary students with incredible on-the-job training opportunities and R&D experience. The interns this year have fully demonstrated the ‘dare-to-try’ spirit and achieved innovation through imagination. Hopefully they will continue to dream big and embark on the I&T path.”
One of the interns, Matthew Chung, majoring in Electrical Engineering at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said, “This experience has changed my perception of an internship programme. During the internship, I was fortunate to learn from colleagues in different positions, from frontline promotion to R&D department, from newly-joined staff to the management, and have the chance to personally witness the birth of a R&D product from conception to market launch, which is eye-opening.”
Miranda Ding, who currently studies Data Science and Policy Studies at CUHK, said, “By participating in the digital game jointly designed by the HKPC and Dialogue in the Dark (HK) Foundation has allowed me to sample the day-to-day difficulties facing visually impaired persons, inspiring my team to design the Pacer Smart Cane for our graduation project. We hope to improve the lives of those in need with down-to-earth technologies to truly achieve ‘small change, big improvement’ and a barrier-free community. The smart cane has a built-in lens and features artificial intelligence obstacle avoidance and GPS positioning and navigation functions which can remind visually impaired persons of obstacles and dangers in front of them by sending out reminder signals and vibrations through the connecting headphones. It can assist them to cross the road, reduce accident risks, and promote social integration.” This invention won the Best Graduation Project Award in this year’s Winter Internship Programme, with unlimited development potential.
Ms Eliza Ng, Chief People and Culture Officer of HKPC said, “This year, we took the interns into the community. Through the ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ workshop, we make them realise that technology is not beyond reach but is actually in their daily life. At HKPC, tertiary students can obtain unique learning and practical opportunities, participate in different R&D projects and have in-depth exchanges with expert consultants, thereby giving full play to their abilities and applying what they learn, so as to make better career plans for the future. The Programme also encourages local and overseas tertiary students to join the R&D ranks after graduation to further promote Hong Kong to become a smart city and enhance its competitiveness.”
HKPC is obligated to take on the social mission of nurturing young tech talents and leaders for Hong Kong. The next cohort of the Summer Internship Programme will be held from June to August this year for an eight-week run with about 30 places up for grabs. Details will be announced later.
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