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A new space to build great ideas

Alex Jiang made the bold decision to leave his home on the Mainland and move to Hong Kong alone last year to work as an engineer for the Nano & Advanced Materials Institute at the Science Park.   When he arrived in Hong Kong, Mr Jiang had to live in a hotel which cost him about $9,000 a month. After the Science Park opened InnoCell this year, he chose to rent a single room there for about $7,000 per month.   He stays at InnoCell with his colleagues and credits the co-working and co-living space with helping him adapt to his new life in Hong Kong.   “At the beginning, I decided to stay in a hotel along with most of my colleagues. Then I found out InnoCell offered a cheaper monthly rent and is much closer to our office. So my colleagues and I decided to move in.   “The bonus is since I do not have many friends in Hong Kong, I am able to ask my colleagues for help and we can support each other. Now, on the weekends, we cook together as well as exercise in the gym.”   Affordable accommodation The 17-storey InnoCell provides over 500 beds. Apart from the Science Park's company founders, Mainland or overseas employees, it is also open to visiting academics, scientists and technology talent.   InnoCell’s monthly rent is set at around 60% of the market price of a similar property in the neighbourhood. There are four types of units: single, twin, family and THE POWERHUB.   THE POWERHUB, with eight individual studios plus a private working area, is an ideal space for a project team to assemble and brainstorm.   Collaborative community It is not all work and no play at InnoCell. There is a 30,000 sq ft public area that includes meeting rooms, a library, and a gym and fitness centre, offering tailored communal facilities for the tenants.   Henry Adenusi travelled all the way from the UK and is working as a researcher for a Science Park company. He also rents an InnoCell unit.   He believes the design of the living spaces provides like-minded innovation and technology (I&T) talent with the chance to mingle and develop a collaborative community.   “This helps to spark creativity. And in terms of other interactions I have had, it is meeting other people, whether it is cooking in the kitchen or while reading or in the gym.   “So it is interesting to meet other people from different backgrounds, who work in different companies. I think this is a good chance also for networking.”   Innovation culture InnoCell represents a major step forward in the Science Park’s ambition to build a vibrant I&T ecosystem for Hong Kong which brings together talent, culture and infrastructure in an environment geared for innovation which can generate wider economic benefits to the city, explained Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation Chief Project Development Officer Simon Wong.   “At InnoCell, we try to create a lot of co-creation space to bring the tenants together. In this space, they can foster collaboration and networking through working together, living together,” Mr Wong added.   The InnoCell project is Hong Kong’s first high-rise building to adopt modular integrated construction or MiC technology, which enables off-site manufacturing in a prefabrication factory, followed by on-site installation, thereby speeding up construction.   Through this method, 418 MiC modules with high-performance materials were installed, serving as a blueprint and modernisation path for Hong Kong’s construction industry.
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