About the Fund
The Green Tech Fund (GTF) was established in 2020 to provide better and more focused funding support to research and development projects which can help Hong Kong decarbonise and enhance environmental protection. A total of $400 million has been allocated to the GTF.
The GTF has four features:
- Clear themes – priority will be given to projects in four areas (Namely Net-zero Electricity Generation, Energy Saving and Green Buildings, Green Transport and Waste Reduction);
- User friendly – each project may last up to five years, with funding up to $30 million;
- Wide range of beneficiaries – apart from designated local public research institutes and R&D centres, local companies can also apply ;
- Emphasis on practical application – this online platform will share and promote project outcomes to encourage further development and practical application.
The GTF has the following objectives to expedite low-carbon transformation and enhance environmental protection –
- to encourage and support projects with greater prospect of realisation and commercialisation of decarbonisation and green technologies that can expedite low-carbon transformation and enhance environmental protection in Hong Kong;
- to facilitate the development, trial and fine-tuning of decarbonisation and green technologies, to build up ‘reference’ for subsequent marketing, and to encourage wider adoption of such technologies; and
- to motivate and attract more investment in R&D on decarbonisation and green technologies in Hong Kong.
GTF is open for application from the following organisations:
- Local universities (including all institutions funded by the University Grants Committee)
- Self-financing degree-awarding institutions registered under the Post-Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap. 320)
- The Hong Kong Productivity Council
- The Vocational Training Council
- The Clothing Industry Training Authority
- The Hong Kong Institute of Biotechnology
- Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems R&D Centre
- Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute
- Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel
- Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre
- Nano and Advanced Materials Institute
- incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Cap.622);
- registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap.310); and
- not a government subvented organisation nor its subsidiary (A government subvented organisation means an organisation that receives grant from the Government on a recurrent basis. The grant contributes towards the organisation's operational expenses, in exchange for its service to the public. The recurrent grant may account for the bulk of the subvented organisation's income or may just be a token contribution/sponsorship forming a small percentage of the subvented organisation's total income.)
The funding amount and project duration supported by the GTF are as follows.
Designated local public research institute or R&D Centre
Funding per project
HK$2.5 million – HK$30 million
HK$2.5 million – HK$20 million
Maximum Project Duration
GTF normally invites two rounds of application each year. The application deadline for the current round of application is 14 March 2023. Please read the Guide to Applicants and Notes for Auditors carefully before submitting an application.
The GTF Assessment Committee, chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Environment and Ecology (Environment), comprises members from different sectors including the academia, the industry, green groups and the Government. It will assess all applications for the GTF and monitor progress of funded projects.The terms of reference of the Green Tech Fund Assessment Committee (GTFAC) are as follows:
(a) in accordance with the Guide to Applicants, to consider and make decisions on –
- whether an application for the Green Tech Fund (GTF) should be approved;
- the amount of funding to be granted, if the application is recommended for approval; and
- the terms and conditions, if any, for approving an application;
(b)to receive reports from the recipient organisations for the approved projects, and monitor the implementation of the approved projects;
(c)to review the results of the approved projects upon their completion; and
(d)to provide advice on any other matter relating to the administration of the GTF as and when necessary.Click here for membership list of GTF Assessment Committee.
The FAQs below are for reference only. For details, please refer to the Guide to Applicants or project agreement.
Designated local public research institutes, R&D centres or local companies may apply for the GTF. We accept applications from two types of applicants, as follows –
1. Non-company Applicants include designated local public research institutes or R&D Centres
Designated local public research institutes are -
(a)Local universities (including all institutions funded by the University Grants Committee);
(b)Self-financing degree-awarding institutions registered under the Post-Secondary Colleges Ordinance (Cap. 320);
(c)The Hong Kong Productivity Council;
(d)The Vocational Training Council;
(e)The Clothing Industry Training Authority; or
(f)The Hong Kong Institute of Biotechnology.
Designated local R&D centres are -
(a)Automotive Parts and Accessory Systems R&D Centre;
(b)Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute;
(c)Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel;
(d)Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre; or
(e)Nano and Advanced Materials Institute.
2. Company Applicants include local companies that are -
(a)Incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Cap.622);
(b)Registered in Hong Kong under the Business Registration Ordinance (Cap.310); and
(c)Not a Government subvented organization nor its subsidiary (A Government subvented organisation means an organisation that receives grant from the Government on a recurrent basis. The grant contributes towards the organisation's operational expenses, in exchange for its service to the public. The recurrent grant may account for the bulk of the organisation's income or may just be a token contribution/sponsorship forming a small percentage of the organisation's total income.)
According to paragraph 1.4 of the Guide to Applicants, the maximum funding for each project for Company Applicants is $20 million on a matching basis. Applicants shall contribute a least one-third of the total project cost. For Non-company Applicants, the maximum funding amount for each project is $30 million.
The maximum duration for each project is 3 years for Company Applicants and 5 years for Non-company Applicants.
The main purpose of the Green Tech Fund is to support local R&D projects on decarbonisation and green technologies. Only local institutes could apply. However, the Recipient Organisations may use up to 50% of the GTF funding to conduct R&D tasks outside Hong Kong, including other places or cities of the GBA. Prior approval from the EPD has to be sought.
We understand that Hong Kong may contribute to protecting the environment of the GBA by sharing R&D outcomes. Therefore, we welcome applicants to come up with research proposals that bring environmental benefits to Hong Kong and nearby regions. We will also share the outcomes of completed projects through the GTF website or other suitable platforms to encourage and facilitate the application of R&D outcomes in Hong Kong and other cities, thereby inspiring further innovation.
Priority will generally be given to projects that support Government’s policy objectives in the areas of net-zero electricity generation, energy saving and green buildings, green transport and waste reduction. A list of these priority R&D themes can be found in this link .
We accept applications that may fall within or outside the priority themes, but priority will generally be given to projects that fall under the priority themes published on this website.
The GTF attaches great importance to the R&D and practical application of technologies. We encourage innovation, but above all, it is important to make good use of technologies for decarbonisation and environmental protection in Hong Kong. As such, we accept applications that involve development or refinement of advanced technologies that involve the needs of Hong Kong.
The GTF has no specific limit on the number of projects or the amount of funding to be approved in each year. We will consider applications on individual merits subject to the balance of the fund.
According to paragraph 5.1.1 of the Guide to Applicants, no double subsidy is allowed for the same part of an expenditure item of each project funded by the GTF. We will liaise closely with relevant Government departments to ensure that projects funded by the GTF will not receive funding from other Government funding schemes.
Applicants applying for funds from other funding schemes of the Government may also apply for the GTF if their projects are not receiving subsidies from other Government funding scheme. Since different funding schemes have different target beneficiaries, coverage and funding amounts, applicants should apply for funds from suitable funding schemes according to their R&D areas.
Applicants should provide in the application form details of the proposed decarbonisation and green technologies, with clear descriptions on the direct and actual contribution to decarbonisation and environmental protection, and how they are better than the existing technologies. We encourage innovation, but above all, the Applicants should explain how the project may make the best use of technologies to achieve low-carbon transformation and environmental protection.
Applicants should provide in the application form details on whether they and their R&D teams have sufficient capability to achieve results for the proposed projects and provide proof for such capability.
Applicants should explain clearly in the application form the current status of the proposed R&D project, why GTF funding is required for the R&D work at the next stage, as well as the possibilities and plan for the realisation / commercialisation of the project deliverables.
Applicants should list all expenditure items, with justifications on their necessity and reasonableness, and follow strictly the Government’s procurement arrangements.
With the exception of certain sections that specifically require input in both Chinese and English, the application form should be completed in one single language, i.e. either Chinese or English.
With the exception of the sections “Project Title” and “Abstract” with specific word limits, there is no word limit applicable to individual sections of the application form, and no page limit for the attachments to the application form.
No. Applicants are not required to obtain support from government departments for their proposed projects. It is worth noting that as provided in paragraph 2.2.1 of the Guide to Applicants, applications are subject to review by the relevant Government Bureaux/Departments in addition to external reviewers. The assessment made by the relevant Government Bureaux/Departments and the external reviewers will be submitted to the GTF Assessment Committee for consideration.
Applications are invited twice a year. Applications should be submitted to the GTF Secretariat electronically here .
Applicants should submit the following documents in their applications:
-a 6-slide PowerPoint introduction of the project;
-Curriculum Vitae of project coordinator and team members with supporting documents;
-Supporting documents on arrangements of collaboration with collaborating parties (if any);
-Information about other R&D projects currently taken part by the project coordinator (if any);
-Supporting documents to show if there are companies interested in the further development of project deliverables (if any);
-Supporting documents to show that the project is supported by any Government departments or public bodies (if any);
-Supporting documents to show the availability of other committed sources of financial contribution (if any); and
-Comments raised by the GTF Assessment Committee on previously rejected application (if any);
Applicants should submit a complete set of application documents with updated information before the application deadline. According to paragraph 2.1.3 of the Guide to Applicants, applicants are not allowed to amend their applications. They may, however, upon the request of the GTF Secretariat, provide supplementary information to their applications.
There is no limit on the number of projects each Applicant may submit in the same round of application.
Paragraph 2.1.2 of the Guide to Applicants provides that applications from universities must be submitted through their Research Offices. The university may request the responsible officer of the Research Office to sign on Part E of the application form, or submit supporting documents to prove that the application is submitted by the Research Office.
Upon receipt of an application, the GTF Secretariat will conduct a preliminary check and may seek clarification or supplementary information from the Applicant. According to paragraph 2.2.1 of the Guide to Applicants, if the Applicant fails to respond to the GTF Secretariat’s request for clarification or supplementary information within 2 weeks or by the deadline specified by the GTF Secretariat, the application will be regarded as withdrawn with immediate effect. After that, applications will be reviewed by the relevant Government Bureaux/Departments and external reviewers. Their comments on the application will be submitted to the GTF Assessment Committee for consideration.
Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria –
Potential Contributions to Decarbonisation and Environmental Protection
Technical and Management Capability
Plan for Further Development of Project Deliverables
According to paragraphs 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 of the Guide to Applicants, applications are subject to review by relevant Government Bureaux/Departments and external reviewers. Their comments will be submitted to the GTF Assessment Committee for consideration.
The GTF Assessment Committee, comprising members from different sectors including the academia, the industry, green groups and the Government, will provide advice during the assessment and monitoring process.
Similar to other funding schemes, there is no appeal mechanism for the GTF.
Congratulations! The GTF Secretariat will contact you and invite you to sign a project agreement with the Government before commencing the project. The project agreement will specify all the terms and conditions for compliance by the Recipient Organisations, including submission of progress reports and audited accounts, etc. The Recipient Organisation should open a Project Bank Account with a licensed bank under its name, specifically for processing all receipts and payments of GTF project.
According to paragraph 3.2 of the Guide to Applicants, the Recipient Organisation should open a Project Bank Account with a licensed bank. The GTF Secretariat will disburse funds by issuing cheques to the Recipient Organisations. All project funds (including GTF fund and Recipient Company’s matching fund) must be kept in the Project Bank Account specifically for approved project expenditures.
According to paragraph 3.4.1 of the Guide to Applicants, an approved project is required to be carried out strictly in accordance with the final proposal appended to the project agreement. Any modification, amendment or addition to the project or the agreement, including change of the Project Commencement Date or Scheduled Project Completion Date, project coordinator or key equipment, scope, methodology or cashflow projection, will require prior approval by EPD. The project coordinator should inform EPD well in advance by submitting a request for approval for the proposed changes. The GTF Assessment Committee will be consulted on the proposed changes if necessary.
No adjustment can be made to the total budget approved for the project. According to paragraph 3.5.1 of the Guide to Applicants, Non-company Recipient Organisations should seek prior approval from EPD if they foresee that the cumulative deviation of expenditure in any of the expenditure categories will exceed 50% of the approved budget. For Recipient Companies, EPD’s prior approval is necessary for any deviation of expenditure in respect of the “manpower” category, and any cumulative deviation of expenditure in either the “equipment” or “other direct costs” category that exceeds 50% of the original budget. EPD will consult the GTF Assessment Committee on the proposed deviations if necessary.
No. All expenditures of GTF projects should be incurred within approved project period.
In general, up to 50% of the approved total project cost can be incurred outside Hong Kong. According to paragraph 5.1.3 of the Guide to Applicants, the Recipient Organisation must seek prior approval from EPD if it wishes to use GTF funding to conduct R&D tasks outside Hong Kong. The cost of such research activities should be accounted for as “other direct costs”. It is the Recipient Organisation’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the laws applicable to the jurisdiction(s) where the project activities are conducted and to provide the necessary insurance coverage for such activities.
According to paragraph 5.2.4 of the Guide to Applicants, for Recipient Companies, in general, their company shareholders/directors shall NOT take salary from the project fund. Only in exceptional cases would company shareholders/directors who directly participate in the R&D work of the project be allowed to receive nominal salary from the project funds. Prior approval from the Permanent Secretary for the Environment and Ecology (Environment)/ Director of Environmental Protection has to be sought.
No. According to paragraph 5.3.6 (a) of the Guide to Applicants, projects funds cannot be used to cover the charges/time cost for the use of existing equipment owned by the recipient organisation or a company within the same group of companies as the recipient companies, except that the charging arrangement of the services in question has received prior approval by the EPD under paragraph 5.4.2 of the Guide to Applicants on grounds of operational efficiency, reliability and quality of services, etc., and that the services are not for providing general or administrative support such as personnel, accounting, security, cleansing, library services, etc.
According to paragraph 5.3.5 of the Guide to Applicants, the title to the equipment for a project procured with the project funds will be held by the Recipient Organisation.
According to paragraph 5.4.4 of the Guide to Applicants, Company Applicants established within 2 years prior to the deadline of the respective round of application invitation may apply for rental subsidy up to 15% of the total amount of funds requested from the GTF.
In accordance with the procurement and recruitment procedures as set out in paragraph 8.1 of the Guide to Applicants, Recipient Organisations may seek assistance from other organisations in carrying out the project in the form of engagement of external consultancy or outsourcing to a third party technology vendor. If the Applicant has, at the application stage, planned to allocate projects funds of the GTF to a specified organisation to carry out the project, the Applicant should provide the details of the proposal, the justifications for not following the procurement procedures set out in the Guide to Applicants, and the Applicant’s relationship with that organisation in the application form for the GTF Assessment Committee to consider. After the project is approved, if the Recipient Organisation would like to procure goods or services from a specified organisation, it has to provide the details of the proposal, the justifications for not following the procurement procedures set out in the Guide to Applicants, and the Recipient Organisation’s relationship with that organisation, and seek the prior approval of the EPD.
It is not mandatory to share financial benefits with the Government. If the Applicants would like to share the financial benefits with the Government, they should state clearly the related arrangement in the application form.
According to paragraph 9.1 of the Guide to Applicants, as a general rule, IP rights generated from the project are vested with the Recipient Organisation.
- Environmental Protection Department : (https://www.epd.gov.hk)
- Environment and Ecology Bureau : (https://www.eeb.gov.hk)
- Climate Ready : (https://www.climateready.gov.hk)
- Low Carbon Living Calculator : (https://www.carboncalculator.gov.hk)
- E&M InnoPortal : (https://inno.emsd.gov.hk)
- HK RE Net : (https://re.emsd.gov.hk/english/index.html)
- HK EE Net : (https://ee.emsd.gov.hk/english/index.html)
- The Hong Kong Research Portal : (https://www.researchportal.hk)
- Environment and Conservation Fund: (https://www.ecf.gov.hk)
- Sustainable Development Fund: (https://www.eeb.gov.hk/en/susdev/sdf/index.htm)
- Recycling Fund : (https://www.recyclingfund.hk)
- New Energy Transport Fund : (https://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/air/prob_solutions/new-energy-transport-fund.html)