The Macao Science Centre (MSC) incurred a loss of MOP 165 million (US$20.7 million) last year, Mak Soi Kun, who heads the legislature’s Follow-up Committee for Public Finance Affairs, quoted its representatives as saying on Tuesday.
Mak briefed reporters after a closed-door meeting of the committee, which asked representatives from public-funded Macao Science Centre Limited, Macau Slaughterhouse Limited, and Macau Urban Renewal Limited to brief its members about their respective operational and financial conditions.
The Macao Science Centre Limited is co-owned of the public Macau Foundation (FM), Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) and Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Centre (CPTTM).
The Macao Science Centre in Nape opened in 2010.
According to Mak, the representatives from the centre who attended yesterday’s meeting, including its curator Sio Hon Pan, told the committee that the science-themed museum had a gross revenue of MOP 17.7 million last year, but incurred a loss of MOP 165 million. Last year’s financial loss was covered by the Macau Foundation, Mak quoted the representatives as saying.
According to Mak, the committee members asked the representatives how the centre would be able to break even in the future – i.e. generate revenue that can cover expenditure. Mak quoted the representatives as saying that the centre has gradually reduced its number of staff from 130 initially to 93, and also has recruited more volunteers to support its operation. The centre has also been reducing the number of staff by using digitisation, Mak said.
According to Mak, the representatives told the committee that the centre plans to jointly hold exhibitions with science centres in other cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) with the aim of reducing the Macao Science Centre’s exhibition costs.
The representatives also told the committee that the centre plans to promote the training of local scientific research professionals in its long-term strategies, in which case the centre would be able to sell science and technology products developed by local professionals to other GBA cities and Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs), according to Mak.
The centre also plans to increase residents’ involvement in Macao’s science and technology development, including setting up a “model smart home” in the centre, Mak quoted the representatives as saying.