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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A R&D Desert?

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER checks his phone diary.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Some documents have just been delivered to my chambers. But I wish to go swimming in the sea tomorrow.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): An option is to go back to chambers tomorrow morning before I go to the Golden Coast Beach.

  8. INT. STUDY - 08:55

  9. Taping an iPad screen, Peter joins a webinar.

  10. PETER (V.O.): I've just seen a resent email and realized that there's a pre-conference Workshop this morning. I believe I should join.

  11. Pausing.

  12. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm interested to learn about CEOs' perspectives of tech-startups and accountants' analyses of financial statements of bio-tech companies.

  13. Act 2


  15. Peter is following a presentation.

  16. PETER (V.O.): The godfather of bio-tech in Hong Kong suggests good R&D opportunities in the GBA - Greater Bay Area. He uses lots of acronyms.

  17. Researching.

  18. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd):CRO is Contract Research Organization, CDMO is Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation, ICH is the International Council of Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use.

  19. Watching.

  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The CEOs are all very well educated. Without knowing the prior art, how could they be novel and inventive in applying their products or processes in industries?

  21. Watching.

  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Their models' value propositions all sound promising to me. For those who haven't crossed the valley of death, they're hungry for funds.

  23. Watching.

  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the bio-tech field, support in terms of millions of dollars isn't good enough. But the general project success rate is just around 10%.

  25. The webinar ends.

  26. INT. CHAMBERS - 13: 40

  27. Carrying a brief case, Peter leaves.

  28. PETER (V.O.): I've already had a quick look of the documents, I know what to do next. Let me endeavour to follow the webinar's afternoon session.


  30. A. Inside a crowded MTR train, Peter tries to join a webinar, but without success.

  31. B. Using another phone, Peter succeeds in joining. He reads the slides.

  32. C. Getting off the train, Peter puts the phone close to his ear.

  33. D. Inside a lift, Peter finds the video streaming has stopped.

  34. E. Inside a restaurant, Peter waits for his takeaway while focusing on his phone.


  36. INT. KITCHEN - 14:20

  37. Peter enjoys fried chicken and red bean ice, while following the webinar.

  38. PETER (V.O.): I know what are intangible assets from the legal perspective. What I'm interested to learn is how they're reflected in pharmas' financial statements.

  39. Watching.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Another confusing acronym IPR&D. It's In-Process Research and Development.

  41. Watching.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In short, Research can't be capitalised, while Development that meets technical feasibility criteria can.

  43. Watching.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For acquired intangible assets, their costs which can be measured are recognized as expenses.

  45. Watching.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As to the valuation of intangible assets, the management consultant's practical perspective is dramatically different from accounting firms, in my opinion.

  47. Watching.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Data, especially clinical ones, can be very costly to have. AI assists in interpretation and saves costs.

  49. As the webinar ends, Peter leaves.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is Hong Kong, China, still a R&D desert? It seems that it's becoming a R&D greenhouse.


  52. Peter is swimming freestyle.

  53. PETER (V.O.): At night, I can only swim in swimming pools. I've never had a coach. But I'm sure I won't get drowned.

  54. Act 3


  56. PETER (V.O.): If the US-China conflict persists, R&D startups and talents, if they want to avoid the politics, the real option is to stay in or come to Hong Kong, China.

  57. Reflecting.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I believe my initiative on International IP Trading via Hong Kong, China, is part of the world's science and technology ecosystem.

  59. Thinking.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My business model satisfies those who are hungry for money, rather than R&D money. They should also welcome my concept to establish an IP-based Capital Market in Hong Kong, China,

  61. Thinking.

  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I believe the politics and the pandemic have brought Hong Kong, China, another great opportunity. We should seize it.

  63. FADE OUT.

  64. THE END

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