Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • General

  • Eligibility

  • Funding Scope/Coverage

  • Application Vetting/Assessment

  • Procurement

  • Reimbursement

  • Changes to Approved Projects

  • General

    • What is Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF)?

    • Construction Innovation and Technology Fund (CITF) is a funding scheme established by the Development Bureau (DEVB) of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that aims to provide the impetus to transform the local construction industry through automation, industrialisation and digitisation; and to enhance the capability of existing and prospective practitioners to harness technology for the continuous improvement in Hong Kong’s construction industry.

    • What are the objectives of CITF?

    • The CITF will fund projects and activities which are in line with the following strategic directions in driving the development of the construction industry, namely -

      • i) encouraging the adoption of innovative construction methods and technology in the construction industry to promote productivity, uplift built quality, improve site safety and enhance environmental performance; and
      • ii) enhancing the capacity of practitioners to harness technology for continuous improvement in the construction industry.
    • How should I make an application?

    • You can submit application through the CITF Application Portal. In case of difficulties, applicant enterprises may contact CITF Secretariat for assistance in submitting applications through the CITF website.

    • What is CITF Pre-approved Lists?

    • Pre-approved Lists were established to let CITF applicants have hands on reference to innovation and technology. The products and technologies were already reviewed by the Vetting Sub-committee. Thus CITF applicants choose to use these products and technologies can enjoy a streamlined application process.

    • Is it a must for eligible applicant to apply for CITF Pre-approved Lists application first before submitting the CITF application?

    • No, it is not. The Pre-approved Lists aim to provide CITF applicants a hands on reference to innovation and technology. For products/technologies not approved for inclusion into the Pre-approved Lists do not imply that they are not eligible for the CITF. If eligible applicants have an interest in adopting technologies not on the Pre-approved Lists, they may still submit application to the CITF.

    • My business needs money for research & development and expansion, is CITF the right funding programme for me?

    • CITF cannot be used for research & development and business expansion/financing.

    • What is the role of “Project Site Representative” in the application? Are there any requirements to become the project coordinator?

    • The “Project Site Representative” of the application will act as the main contact point between the applicant enterprise and CITF Secretariat. In order to ensure the smooth implementation and completion of the project, the “Project Site Representative” should be able to fully represent the applicant enterprise and be conversant with the operation, business processes and construction projects of the applicant enterprise. As such, the “Project Site Representative” must be a responsible personnel of the applicant enterprise.

  • Eligibility

    • Who are eligible to apply for funding under CITF?

      • a) Applicants for applications on Technology Adoption must be:
        • i) levy-paying contractors which have paid levy for construction works under the Construction Industry Council Ordinance (Cap. 587) to the CIC in the 24 months preceding the time of application;
        • ii) subcontractors which are registered and hold a valid registration under the Subcontractor Registration Scheme operated by the CIC at the time of application;
        • iii) consultants on the lists maintained by Government and professional bodies, including (i) the Engineering and Associated Consultants Selection Board; (ii) the Architectural and Associated Consultants Selection Board; (iii) the Band 3 Architectural Consultants and the list of Registered Practices maintained by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects; (iv) the Band 3 Architectural Consultants maintained by the Association of Architectural Practices Ltd; (v) member companies of the Association of Consultant Quantity Surveyors; (vi) member companies of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors; (vii) member companies of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Hong Kong; or (viii) member companies of the Association of Registered Engineering Consultants; or
        • iv) other players in the construction process may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      • b) Applicants for applications on Manpower Development must be:
        • i) local higher education institutions;
        • ii) professional institutions (including the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors);
        • iii) trade associations; or
        • iv) labour unions.
    • Another company of my partner has successfully applied for CITF. Can another project of our partnership apply for CITF as well?

    • Related enterprises, i.e. enterprises registered as different business under the BRO but having the same individual(s) holding 30% or more ownership in such enterprises, would be treated as one single enterprise for the purpose of calculating the cumulative funding amount (i.e. subject to respective cumulative funding ceiling in different categories). Eligible applicants are required to indicate in the application form as to whether any of their related enterprises have applied for or received funding support under CITF at the time of application.

    • If our company missed the chance for application at this stage, when can we apply for CITF funding again?

    • CITF is open for application throughout the year subject to the availability of funding under CITF. The Fund will be implemented for an initial period of five years from October 2018 with HK$1 billion from the Development Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

    • My project was turned down by another Government funding agency. Can I apply for funding under the CITF?

    • The Government has set up different funding schemes with their own objectives and eligibility criteria. Projects rejected by others do not necessarily mean they would be rejected by the CITF. They will be assessed having regard to the vetting criteria of the funding schemes. However, applicants would be required to disclose in the application proposal whether they have attempted/are attempting to seek funding support from other funding sources.

    • Our company is not a levy-paying contractors, subcontractors under the Subcontractor Registration Scheme or consultant on the lists maintained by the Government and professional bodies, are we eligible to apply for the CITF?

    • Other players in the construction process may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    • What is “related enterprises”?

    • For “related enterprises” i.e. enterprises with different business registration certificates but having the same individual(s) holding 30% or more ownership, they would be treated as one single enterprise in counting the funding ceiling per company.

  • Funding Scope/Coverage

    • What is the scope of CITF funding?

    • CITF covers Technology Adoption and Manpower Development:

      • a) Technology Adoption
        • i) Building Information Modelling (BIM) training, BIM experiential use and BIM project adoption;
        • ii) Advanced construction technologies, e.g. automation, industrialisation and digitisation etc.;
        • iii) Employ specialist Modular Integrated Construction (MiC) consultant, Purchase/rental of MiC specific construction plant and Purchase/offsite production of MiC modules; and
        • iv) Prefabricated steel rebar.
      • b) Manpower Development
        • i) Non-local enrichment courses for students, including training fees, accommodation for the duration of training, air passage and administration fees;
        • ii) Non-local training/visits for practitioners, including training fees and administration fees;
        • iii) International conferences in Hong Kong, including venue, air passage and accommodation for speakers and administration fees for organising the event; and
        • iv) Local collaborative courses, including venue, air passage and accommodation for speakers and administration fees for organising the event.
    • What are the difference between BIM Project Adoption and BIM Experiential Use?

      • a) Funding ceiling: Project Adoption is HK$600,000 per applicant; while Experiential Use is HK$200,000 per applicant;
      • b) Project Adoption is required to have one or more awarded or on-going construction contract(s) to implement the adoption of BIM; while Experiential Use is not.
    • Our company is planning to renew our BIM software license. Can we apply for CITF funding support?

    • Yes, renewal of BIM software license will also be funded by the CITF.

  • Application Vetting/Assessment

    • How will CITF Secretariat process the applications?

    • Upon receipt of an application, CITF Secretariat will check its eligibility and conduct a preliminary screening. The Secretariat may also seek clarification or supplementary information from the applicant enterprise if necessary. Eligible applications will be considered by the CITF Vetting Sub-committee (the VSc) while ineligible applications will be returned to the applicant enterprise by the Secretariat.

    • What are the assessment criteria?

    • In considering an application, due consideration will be given to the following factors, wherever applicable:

      • a) in relation to an application on Technology Adoption:
        • i) the potential of the Project in promoting productivity, uplifting built quality, improving site safety and enhancing environmental performance;
        • ii) whether the potential benefits to be accrued from the Project can serve the interests of the construction industry as a whole, in addition to the commercial interests of the Applicant; and
        • iii) whether the Project is cost-effective.
      • b) in relation to an application on Manpower Development:
        • i) whether the Project is non-profit making; and
        • ii) whether the budget is reasonable and realistic with itemised cost breakdown and detailed justifications for costs.
      • c) whether the objectives of the Project are in line with the strategic directions in driving the development of the construction industry; and
      • d) whether value can be added to the Project with the CITF funding support.
    • When and how will we know the result of our CITF application?

    • Applicant will be informed of its application result within 60 clear working days after the receipt of the Application Form and all required information by the CITF Secretariat.

    • What is the chance of getting funding support from the CITF?

    • It is difficult to provide any generalised answer as funding support will be given to any quality applications if they can fulfil the relevant funding criteria.

  • Procurement

    • Our mother company is a supplier of some equipment required for our CITF project. Can we order from our mother company directly?

    • Though applicant enterprises can engage service providers and suppliers of its choice, to avoid conflict of interests, applicant enterprises must not engage a service provider/supplier, the owners, shareholders, management of which are the owners, shareholders, management of the applicant enterprise or their relatives. Applicant enterprises or any person/staff authorised by the applicant enterprises to handle or in any way involved in the quotation or tender exercise should have no actual or potential conflict of interest, and should not participate in the procurement process if otherwise. Applicant enterprises are required to report cases of conflict of interest, including actions taken, to CITF Secretariat in writing.

    • Can we purchase the technology/item for the CITF project from a particular supplier directly?

    • No. Applicant enterprises should ensure that all procurement for goods and items (including project auditing) are carried out in an open, fair and competitive manner and the appointment of reasonable qualified suppliers or service providers. In general, applicant enterprises should adhere to the following procurement procedures:

      • a) for every procurement the aggregate value of which does not exceed HK$50,000, quotation in written form from at least one supplier or service providers must be obtained;
      • b) for every procurement the aggregate value of which is more than HK$50,000 but not over HK$200,000, quotations in written form from at least two suppliers or service providers must be obtained; and
      • c) for every procurement the aggregate value of which is more than HK$200,000, quotations in written form from at least three suppliers or service providers must be obtained.

      In all of the scenarios set out in sub-clauses a) to c) above, the supplier or service provider (as the case may be) that has submitted the lowest bid should be selected. If the lowest bid is not selected, full justifications must be given.

    • What should we do if we intend to procure goods or services from a particular supplier or service provider?

    • The Applicant must submit the following details, including but not limited to its relationship with the supplier or service provider concerned and justifications for not complying with the open procurement process, to CITF Secretariat for consideration and approval.

  • Reimbursement

    • Can eligible applicants apply for the funding support from the CITF for the purchased technologies/items before the application has been approved?

    • CITF funding will not be provided for expenditures prior to project approval or incurred outside the project period.

    • If a company successfully applied for funding support from CITF, does this mean that the company can receive the CITF funding immediately once it has completed the project?

    • The Successful Applicant must properly and timely record all expenditures in respect of the Approved Project and properly keep all required documents including receipts and other documents as may be necessary to substantiate the incurrence of expenditures.

  • Changes to Approved Projects

    • Our construction project has encountered some unexpected delay. Can we apply for extension?

    • Applicant enterprises should seek prior approval from CITF Secretariat for any modifications in the project completion date. Request for project extension without increase in the approved funding amount will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicant enterprises should provide full justifications for CITF Secretariat’s assessment on the reasonableness for the proposed changes. CIC and/or CITF Secretariat reserves the right to withhold disbursement of any part of funding support to the applicant enterprise and/or withdraw approval of funding in full or in part from the applicant enterprise should there be any changes in the project completion date without prior approval.

    • Due to budget constraint, my company has to terminate the CITF project. Can we partially get the approved funding? Or can we withhold the project and re-launch it with CITF funding support later?

    • In the event the project is terminated by the applicant enterprise for whatever reasons, the applicant enterprise should notify CITF Secretariat in writing immediately to explain the reasons for the termination. CITF Secretariat may at any time terminate all or any part of the funding support by giving written notice to the applicant enterprise with immediate effect.

      Under normal circumstances, reimbursement will be made upon submission of all the required documents and supplementary information and CITF Secretariat’s acceptance of the final project report.

      In case applicant enterprises need to make changes to their application because of unexpected circumstances, any requests for changes and/or any modification, the liaison officer on behalf of the successful applicant must update the details of the Approved Project on the CITF Portal within 14 calendar days. Depending on the extent of the requested changes and the impact of the proposed changes on the outcome of the project, recommendations by respective CITF Vetting Sub-committee may be sought before approval by CITF Secretariat.