The Alibaba HK Entrepreneurs Fund (AEF), which aims to support young people and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, has sponsored the local charity SEED Foundation, to provide middle school students with science and technology knowledge and cultivate their interest in creating as early as possible. This school year, about 480 middle school students participated in its courses.
SEED Foundation was established in December 2021 to provide equal information and communication technology knowledge for students from different backgrounds. In addition to academic courses, SEED Foundation also focuses on extracurricular activities such as company visits, internships, inter-school competitions, to broaden students’ horizons.
To retain local talent and cultivating more young potential students has become one of the priorities of HK social development when the city has lost about 140,000 working people in the past two years.
The Hong Kong government planned the Blueprint for Innovation and Technology Development in December last year, and expanding the talent pool for science is one of the four major directions of the blueprint. Although Hong Kong already has a high degree of internationalization and a solid foundation, its economic and industrial structure is not diversified, meaning that local graduates prefer to join traditional industries with more secure prospects, instead of scientific research.
Cindy Chow, executive director of Alibaba HK Entrepreneurs Fund, said that talents are the foundation to promote the development of science and technology, and training young people has always been one of the missions of the fund. As the founding sponsor of SEED Foundation, the fund hopes to make a more complete plan and operate more efficiently in training young people through specialized teams.
Chow added that the global talent competition is intensifying, and Hong Kong needs to train young people and strengthen their abilities in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).
In August last year, SEED Foundation signed a memorandum of cooperation with HKU SPACE and Alibaba Cloud to offer a three-level cloud computing courses for middle school students in Hong Kong. The course provides comprehensive introductory knowledge of cloud computing and doesn’t require any technical background of the students.
SEED Foundation began to cooperate with HKU SPACE in February this year to implement user experience design courses in four pilot schools to train more design talents to fit the market demand. At the same time, it plans to arrange 50 to 100 students to have one-month internship in different institutions this summer.