What is TVP?
TVP aims to subsidise local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in using technological services and solutions to improve productivity, or upgrade or transform their business processes. The programme will be implemented on a pilot basis for an initial period of three years from November 2016 with HK$500 million from the Innovation and Technology Fund.
Who are eligible to apply?
An enterprise will be eligible to apply if:
- it is registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration Ordinance (BRO) (Cap. 310);
- it has at least one year of substantive business operation in Hong Kong which is related to the project under application at the time of application; and
- it fulfills the Government’s definition of SMEs, i.e. manufacturing businesses employing fewer than 100 persons in Hong Kong; or non-manufacturing businesses employing fewer than 50 persons in Hong Kong.
What kind of projects will be funded by TVP?
TVP supports projects in the form of technological services and solutions which could improve productivity, or upgrade or transform the business processes of the applicant enterprise. A list of typical technological services and/or solutions covered by TVP is at Annex B of the Guidance Notes for Applications. Applicant enterprises are welcome to propose other technological services and solutions which could achieve the objectives of TVP. For funding support under TVP, prior approval must be obtained before project commencement.
How can I use the funds from TVP?
The approved funding from TVP can be used to cover the following:
- Technology Consultancy – the applicant enterprise may engage a technology consultant to provide external consultancy for conducting the project under application. The consultant must be a local organization/research institution, or a company/organisation registered in Hong Kong under the BRO.
- Purchase, rental or subscription of customised equipment/hardware, software and technological services or solutions that form an essential part of the project.
- Purchase, rental or subscription of off-the-shelf/readily available equipment/hardware, software and technological services or solutions that form an essential part of the project. In general, the costs of such equipment/ hardware/ software/ services or solutions should constitute no more than 50% of the project cost.
- Project auditing for projects with approved funding exceeding $50,000. The maximum audit fee to be counted towards the total project cost is $3,000.
Normal business operating costs will not be funded under TVP.
What is the funding amount?
Funding up to $200,000 for each eligible enterprise will be provided on a 2:1 matching basis. The applicant enterprise must contribute no less than one third of the total approved project cost in cash. Subject to the cumulative funding ceiling of $200,000, up to three projects from an enterprise may be approved. To ensure proper focus on project implementation, an enterprise is not allowed to undertake more than one TVP project at the same time. Expenditure items under an approved TVP project shall not receive funding support from other local public funding sources.
Is there any restriction on the project duration?
What is the vetting mechanism ?
Upon receipt of an application, ITC will check its eligibility and conduct a preliminary screening. ITC may also seek clarification or supplementary information from the applicant enterprise if necessary. Eligible applications will be considered by the TVP Committee while ineligible applications will be returned to the applicant enterprise. Applications supported by the Committee will be submitted to the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology (CIT) for approval of funding.
What are the vetting criteria ?
Each eligible application will be assessed based on individual merits and considered on a case-by-case basis. The assessment criteria include –
- relevance of the proposed project to the applicant enterprise’s business– the project should have good prospects of enhancing its competitiveness through improving productivity, business development/expansion, cost reduction or efficiency enhancement, upgrading/improving/ transforming business processes.
- reasonableness of the budget – assessment with reference to market prices of the technologies in question as known to the TVP Committee or ITC will be made. Individual items of expenditure must also be essential and directly related to the implementation of the project.
- reasonableness of the implementation details – consideration may include whether concrete and quantifiable project deliverables and outcomes have been set. The implementation details should also be realistic taking into account factors such as the complexity of the technology and the project duration.
- adverse record of consultants and/or service provider(s) as known to the TVP Committee and ITC if available.
How to apply for funding?
An enterprise should register as a user and submit its application through the Technology Voucher Programme Funding Administrative System (https://tvp.itf.gov.hk). In case of difficulties, applicant enterprises may approach the TVP secretariat for assistance in submitting applications through the TVP website.
Is there any application deadline?
Subject to funding availability, TVP is open for application throughout the year.
Source: Innovation and Technology Commission – Innovation and Technology Fund (https://www.itf.gov.hk/l-eng/TVP.asp)