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Hong Kong moonshot projects? ‘Leadership needed to drive interest, investment’

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Hong Kong moonshot projects? Ambitious bids desirable but leadership needed to drive interest, investment, scientists say

Experts chime in after Alibaba Cloud founder Wang Jian suggests city should tap into China space telescope to set up central research opportunityGovernment funding and private donations needed, they say, as well as the ability to sell such bids to top global talentHong Kong economyKahon ChanandSammy HeungPublished: 12:08pm, 21 Jun, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Ambitious scientific bids by Hong Kong could lure talent to the city but it would take leadership to drive interest and investment for such projects to take off, according to experts.

Scientists and researchers chimed in after Alibaba Cloud founder Wang Jian on Tuesday floated a “moonshot” idea for the city to set up a cloud-based research hub for astronomers from around the world to make discoveries based on imagery captured by the yet-to-be-launched Chinese Survey Space Telescope.Wang, who made the suggestion at the Post’s China Conference: Hong Kong 2023, said such a project would be a magnet for top talent and spawn innovations with great potential even if the initial idea itself held limited economic benefits.

The telescope, also known as Xuntian, is set to be put into use next year and will boast a 2.5 billion-pixel camera that has a field of view 300 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope, allowing scientists to map up to 40 per cent of the skies.

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