Enhanced Tax Deduction for R&D - Designated Local Research Institutions (DLRI)

Apply for DLRI designation


The following "local institutions" may apply to become "Designated Local Research Institutions" (DLRI) :

  • any university or college located in Hong Kong; or
  • any other "local institution" (Note 1) that undertakes "qualifying R&D activities" in Hong Kong, including:
    1. a body corporate incorporated in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) ("Companies Ordinance") or a former Companies Ordinance as defined by section 2(1) of the Companies Ordinance.
    2. a body corporate incorporated outside Hong Kong and registered as a non-Hong Kong company with a place of business in Hong Kong under the Companies Ordinance.
    3. a statutory corporation established under any other relevant Ordinances in Hong Kong.

Note 1: "local institution" means an institute, association, organisation or corporation that is located in Hong Kong.

Application Procedure

Details of the application procedure for designation as DLRI are given in the "DLRI Application Guidelines". A brief summary of the key steps is given below:

Step 1 – Submission of Application

  1. Download the "DLRI Application Guidelines" (Guidelines)
  2. Read the Guidelines carefully and complete the following:
    1. Application Form (Form A) and Annexes
    2. Document checklist
  3. Print and manually sign the completed Application Form (Form A).
  4. Submit the application in one of the following ways:
    1. By Email
      Electronic copies of the application form and all supporting documents shall be submitted to DLRI Secretariat by email to DLRI-enquiry@itc.gov.hk (the email should be titled "Application for DLRI (Electronic Submission)"); or
    2. By Post or In Person
      The applicant may submit the application form and documents (either in hard copies or electronic copies stored in electronic device) by post or in person to DLRI Secretariat at the following address:

      DLRI Secretariat
      Innovation and Technology Commission
      20/F., West Wing, Central Government Offices,
      2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong

Step 2 – Review of Documents

  1. The Secretariat will issue an acknowledgement after verifying the completeness of the application documents.
  2. The Secretariat may request the applicant to provide additional information, documents, records or written clarifications should there be missing, inadequate or ambiguous information in the application documents.
  3. In the event that the applicant fails to provide a satisfactory response within the specific timeframe set by the Secretariat, the Secretariat may suspend, return or reject the application.

Step 3 – Assessment

  1. The assessment will only commence after the Secretariat has received all application documents and clarifications from applicants.
  2. An Expert Panel may advise the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology during the assessment.
  3. The purpose of the assessment is to evaluate whether the applicant possesses the competency to provide R&D services in the particular fields and areas of science and technology in Hong Kong.
  4. Where necessary, the Secretariat may arrange site visits to the applicant to:
    1. verify information in the application documents;
    2. obtain further understanding of the applicant and the track record and experience of its key research personnel; and
    3. follow up with any other matters relevant to the application.

Step 4 – Follow-up Actions

  1. In respect of the application, the Secretariat may request follow-up actions be taken by the applicant such as further submission of supporting documents.

Step 5 – Assessment Outcome

  1. The assessment time for each application depends on the complexity and number of science and technology fields and areas for which designation is sought and whether on-site assessment is needed.
  2. For a less complex single field application where on-site assessment is not required and all required information and clarifications have been provided by the applicant, the assessment would generally be completed within 6 weeks. For more complicated cases, the processing time will be longer.
  3. The assessment outcome and an "instrument of designation" (for a successful application) will be delivered to the applicant by post.
  4. An applicant has the right to seek a review on the assessment outcome (See Section 9 in the "DLRI Application Guidelines").

Step 6 – Issuance of an Instrument of Designation

  1. In general, the designation as DLRI carries a validity period of two to four years. The designation validity period depends on the assessment outcome and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. If a DLRI wishes to retain its designation status, it must apply for renewal three months before the expiry of the designation validity period.
  2. DLRI shall inform ITC immediately, or at the latest within one month, of any changes in its circumstances and / or designation particulars that may affect its conformity with the designation criteria / terms and conditions and designation status. Examples of such changes are changes in ownership, legal, commercial or organisational status or changes in the science and technology field(s) under designation.
  3. For the occurrence of any changes affecting designation, ITC may conduct assessment on the DLRI to verify whether it continues to meet the criteria and the terms and conditions for the designation. ITC may alter the designation validity period, the scope of designation and the terms and conditions for the designation at its discretion.