Alibaba is partnering with artificial intelligence startup Sensetime to establish a not-for-profit artificial intelligence lab to foster tech talent in Hong Kong.
Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund joined hands with the Chinese AI unicorn to launch HKAI Lab on Monday. This effort will support the local startup community with help from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP).
The lab will launch a six-month Accelerator Program in September to provide funding, technologies, contacts and networking space to AI startups in Hong Kong.
“The lab will serve as a platform to bridge academia and industry,” said Prof. Xiao’ou Tang, founder of SenseTime. “We aspire to create new opportunities for young people in Hong Kong.”
The Accelerator Program will have two incoming cycles per year, providing funding and resources to about 10 successful startup applicants in each incoming class. SenseTime will provide deep learning platforms and AI solutions to prospective startups.
“The collaboration builds on the strengths of Alibaba, SenseTime and HKSTP”, said Fanny Law, Chairperson of HKSTP.
Hong Kong’s government is seeking to boost its innovation sectors along with the traditional industries. This year, it budgeted billions of HK dollars for research institutions.
Hong Kong has become a hot hub for tech enterprises in regions where Alibaba has strong connections.
“Alibaba sees AI as a fundamental technology that will change society,” said Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group. “We envision the Hong Kong AI Lab as an open platform to build a culture of innovation.”