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Flu jab booking set

Community vaccination centres (CVCs) in various districts will offer free seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) to Hong Kong residents aged 50 or above when they are there for COVID-19 vaccination starting from October 6.   The Government announced today that eligible people can make reservations for receiving both COVID-19 vaccination and SIV through the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme booking system starting from 9am tomorrow.   They may also choose to receive the free SIV on site when they are receiving the COVID-19 jab starting from October 6.   Given that local seasonal influenza activity has been staying at low levels since February 2020, the overall immunity against influenza in the community is at present relatively low, the Government noted.   As the winter flu season is approaching, citizens are strongly urged to complete the recommended dosage of COVID-19 vaccines and the latest seasonal influenza vaccine as early as possible to obtain better protection in the event of

HK set to become tech hub

Research and development (R&D) is always the foundation of innovation and technology (I&T), and we have invested heavily in encouraging and supporting local R&D works. Apart from supporting R&D activities through various schemes, the Government has also been fostering technology transfer and realisation of R&D results. One of the good examples is to foster the development of local technology startups from our universities by launching the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities under the Innovation & Technology Fund to support teams from our local universities, including Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in starting technology businesses and commercialising their R&D results. Annual funding provided to each university has been increased up to $8 million, and each startup may receive up to $1.5 million per year for a maximum of three years. Since its inception, the support scheme has provided funding support to 334 startups with a total amount of $250 million.        Quality infrastructure and facilities for R&D are also indispensable for promoting I&T. We have set up two InnoHK research clusters focusing on two major areas, namely healthcare technologies and artificial intelligence as well as robotics technologies. We aim to pool in top-notch researchers all over the world via this initiative to consolidate Hong Kong's leading position as the hub for global research collaboration. The first batch of some 20 R&D laboratories including world-renowned universities and research institutes, as well as our local universities, have begun operation in the Science Park. I am so grateful for the support and participation of CUHK in this InnoHK initiative. Last month, the Chief Executive visited the Microbiota I-Center, MagIC, and I am particularly impressed by the research team's vision to have a new pharmaceutical and healthcare frontier in Hong Kong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).        Outstanding institutes and excellent researchers in Hong Kong will definitely have bigger roles to play on the road of building Hong Kong into an international I&T hub, leveraging the vast opportunities brought about by the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the GBA development. I sincerely hope that CUHK and the academia can seize every opportunity ahead and embrace the country's support, thereby bringing more impetus to the research and innovation sector in Hong Kong.   Secretary for Innovation & Technology Alfred Sit gave these remarks at the CUHK Innovation Day 2021 on September 23.
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