Hong Kong, May 21, 2018 – Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA), SenseTime and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP”) announced the launch of The HKAI Lab (“Lab”). As a not-for-profit initiative, The HKAI Lab aims to advance the frontiers of AI with cutting-edge technologies and expertise, empower startups to commercialize their new inventions, and inspire new ideas and knowledge sharing among academics, scientists and entrepreneurs in the field of AI. Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, established by Alibaba to support young entrepreneurs, and SenseTime will provide funding for the operation of the Lab.
The first initiative rolled out today by the Lab is a six-month Accelerator Program(“Program”). With support from Alibaba Cloud and HKSTP, the Program will provide funding, AI technologies, network and working space to prospective AI startups in Hong Kong as an effort to cultivate a local community of talent and startups in AI and data science.
Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, said, “Alibaba sees AI as a fundamental technology that will make a difference to society. We are pleased to partner with SenseTime and HKSTP to foster Hong Kong’s AI capabilities and elevate its technology profile in the region. We envision the Hong Kong AI Lab to be an open platform where researchers, start-ups and industry participants can collaborate and build a culture of innovation. ”
Prof. Xiao’ou Tang, Founder of SenseTime, said, “We created The HKAI Lab together with Alibaba and HKSTP in support of the calling for developing the Greater Bay Area into a distinguished technological center. The Lab will serve as a platform to bridge the academia and the industry, apply AI technologies to traditional industries, and promote broader collaboration between Hong Kong and the mainland. With this platform and leading AI technologies from SenseTime, we aspire to create new opportunities for young people in Hong Kong.”
Mrs. Fanny Law, Chairperson of HKSTP said: “AI is a major technology focus for HKSTP. At Science Park, there are multiple AI R&D companies specialising in smart security, bio-tech, chatbots, fintech, smart logistics etc. Today, we are pleased to witness the launch of the HK AI Lab. The collaboration builds on the respective strengths of Alibaba, SenseTime and HKSTP, and also serves as a showcase of the partnership among the industry, academia, research and public bodies to drive innovation and technology.”
Starting September 2018, the Program will offer two intakes per year, providing funding and resources to about 10 successful startup applicants in each intake class. SenseTime will provide deep learning platform and AI technologies to prospective startups. They will also obtain cloud computing services, machine learning platform, and IT support including GPU-equipped high-performance computer resources from Alibaba Cloud, as well as access to technologies developed by Alibaba DAMO Academy, a global research program created by Alibaba Group. In addition, they will receive advice from the Lab’s advisory board which consists of leading AI scientists, entrepreneurs and academics. Through the Program and incubation support from the HKSTP’s Incu-Tech program, startups enrolled will receive free working space from HKSTP. The Program will start accepting applications from mid-June 2018.
For more information about the HKAI Lab Accelerator Program and requirements for applicants, please refer to the website: https://www.hongkongai.org.