The Macau Science and Technology Fund (FDCT) will provide financial support reaching MOP500,000 (US$62,278) for candidates presenting viable applications and solutions for the development of Macau as a Smart City.
In a press conference held yesterday, the FDCT stated that local individuals, companies and research institutions would be able to apply for the support between June 15 and September 15 of this year.
The projects seeking financing should be related to societal sectors such as transport, tourism, medical treatment and government.
The execution of the projects should not exceed 18 months and the proposed solutions should involve cloud systems, mobile applications, e-commerce online platforms, mobile payments, Internet of Things (IoT) or improving the performance of existing solutions.
In the event of approval for financial support of an amount of up to MOP500,000, half will be provided for the initial planning stages with the second half only provided once the project application has proved viable.
The project’s feasibility will be evaluated taking into account the application capacity of the applicant; possible market business possibilities; level of innovation; potential practical application and the ratio between expenses and budget.
According to the President of the FDCT Administrative Committee, Frederico Ma Chi Ngai, a similar support plan was provided last year with a greater focus on proposals by research institutions, with this year’s plan focusing more on receiving proposals from individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Our past experience indicates that we will probably receive between 20 to 30 applications, with previous plans having had a success rate of 40 per cent in the past,” he added.
Mr. Ma also stated the department had not yet defined a ceiling for the amount of subsidies to be granted in the plan, but that at least five projects would be approved, with a possible maximum amount of investment of MOP2.5 million.
“We don’t want theses that will just stay on paper but projects that are viable, practical and can be applied. We want to use all resources available from society” Chan Wan Hei, one of the members of the FDCT Administrative Committee, said yesterday.
The FDCT representatives said the support plan is in line with the MSAR’s Five-Year Development Plan, which includes the goal of developing Macau into a Smart City by 2020.
Last year, the FDCT announced it had created a taskforce that would co-ordinate with different government departments on a framework for the development of a Smart City, revealing an overall plan by the end of this year.
Mr. Ma said yesterday that the FDCT was currently waiting for a ‘Smart City Programme Deck’ – a framework of areas to be developed – created by Barcelona-based strategic consultancy Doxa Innova & Smart.
These recommendations will then be added to the overall plan, with the FDCT not revealing if the plan will be able to be presented by the proposed deadline.