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DDB Group Hong Kong, in collaboration with the School of Professional Education and Executive Development (SPEED) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), has launched a tech innovation hub, Equator, in Hong Kong.

The initiative looks to engage undergrads, namely "digital natives", connecting them with DDB and Tribal’s technologists to develop creative solutions for clients.

DDB’s tech hub, Equator, first started in Singapore September 2016. It provides technology solutions including platform engineering, mobility solutions, omni-channel commerce, data-driven marketing and the internet of things (IOT).

With Equator, DDB hopes to groom the next generation of tech and creative practitioners in the city. Students from all streams of PolyU SPEED were encouraged to apply. Following a selection process, successful candidates will now complete a designated number of work hours with DDB to earn hands-on experience on real client projects. Remuneration will be reinvested into a scholarship programme for each participant.

Dr Jack Lo, director of PolyU SPEED said “Our students’ minds are young, fresh, unencumbered by biases and prejudices. If we can provide them with a congenial environment, we have high hopes that our students can come up with some new and possibly unconventional ideas.”

“Millenials are a force to be reckoned with and I am very excited to work closely with the next generations of creative minds,” said Keith Ho, chief creative officer, managing director of DDB Group Hong Kong.

In delivering to the initiative's promise, Tribal has arranged Johnson & Johnson to be the lead client for the programme, "allowing them access to new, raw, fresh talent that it wouldn’t ordinarily have access to," said Leo Tsui, president of Tribal Hong Kong.

Chloe Kwok, Johnson & Johnson head of marketing, Hong Kong said, “The demands of our workforce to continuously adapt and grow means our young talent also needs to have both the educational skills and practical experience to tackle the challenges of new media and an increasingly competitive landscape.”

The Equator internship programme was initially launched at a DDB Open Day on 8 March, 2018. 56 students from PolyU SPEED interviewed for the role and 24 students were named at the signing ceremony held at Hung Hom Bay campus on 20 March, 2018.