Promoting Industrial Innovation
◎Boosting Industrial Research and Development
To take advantage of industrial development opportunities presented by next-generation technologies given Taiwan's industrial strengths, the government has outlined R&D plans for the green energy technology industry, the national defense industry, the pharmaceutical biotechnology industry, the smart machinery industry, and for an Asia Silicon Valley. It will also work to transform the petrochemical industry into a circular economy that is eco-friendly and efficient.
As part of the implementation of this strategy, the government will emphasize connecting industries with local educational, research, and human resources. This will make the targeted strategic industries more competitive internationally by integrating advanced technology with human resources. This will be carried out by both the central and local governments under the principle of balanced regional development, which will spearhead service and industry chain upgrades for small and medium-sized enterprises, gathering resources for the next stage of economic advancement.
The green energy industry is especially suitable for further promotion in Taiwan, as the country's green industry has benefited greatly as the target of global investment over the past 10 years.
Taiwan enjoys a distinct technology advantage in the electronics industry given the amount of capital invested in it. However, cooperation is necessary with related government agencies, such as the Council of Agriculture, since the introduction of a solar energy industry requires sufficient land. In the solar energy industrial chain, Taiwan only lacks the ability to pack modules, so industrial and green energy policies can direct about NT$10 billion in investments into the solar energy industry. Once the solar energy plants are ready to generate electricity, they will also generate a stable income. Meanwhile, the Shalun area of Tainan city will be developed into an Innovative Green Technology Park. In cooperation with local governments, they will form an industrial village in southern Taiwan specializing in green energy research and helping the green energy industry develop in other places.
Under the government's plan to create the Asia Silicon Valley, Taoyuan will become the center of the Taiwan Intelligent Industry community, with the Internet of Things and related industries forming the core and with manufacturing capability similar to the American Silicon Valley. Fundraising, advanced human resources, rapid prototyping, and one-stop integrated services will make Taoyuan the base for global startup founders. This solid manufacturing support will connect Taoyuan with the American Silicon Valley and Asian startup clusters, while the Taoyuan industrial park will construct large-scale experimental sites to concentrate resources in order to both export comprehensive solutions and to create a humane employment environment.
For the smart machinery industry, the country's machinery industries are already clustered in central Taiwan. With Taiwan's precision machinery and ICT industries and with the introduction of Productivity 4.0 techniques to upgrade to smart machinery, that area will become the capital of the smart machinery industry. The government, industry, and academia will collaborate to cultivate human resources for the smart machinery industry, as well as promote the adoption of smart machinery in other industries. After boosting the production capacity and output of local factories and industries, central Taiwan's smart machinery industry can expand into emerging markets overseas.
In order to enhance Taiwan's pharmaceutical biotechnology research industry, it is essential to strengthen the new drug industrial chain and to promote specialty drugs with the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S). The PIC/S forms an important international organization for specialty drug manufacturers, and cooperation with it is needed to make Taiwan the research and industry center for biotechnology and healthcare in Asia. This involves developing smart niche medical devices and related service hubs, deregulating the healthcare industry for private interest groups, assisting with the industrialization of the healthcare service industry, creating healthcare startup hubs, and revising the regulations governing the development of new biotech drugs to include cellular and gene therapy products.
In the national defense industry sector, the major focus will be on Taipei's information security (infosec) sector, Taichung's aerospace technology sector, and Kaohsiung's naval vessel construction sector, and on combining these sectors with local industrial hubs to promote growth in the infosec industry. To meet the needs of the Ministry of National Defense, the government will also seek to boost the research, manufacturing, and maintenance capabilities of the aerospace industry to develop new technology and prototype vehicles. It will also facilitate the growth of the domestic defense industry by upgrading its technology and integrating its systems to meet domestic needs and create jobs.
For these five industries, it is not simply a matter of gathering manufacturers together like in the past. These five industries are field tests, combining funding, technology, and land. This allows the manufacturing and service industries to carry out the field tests, and the results will flow downstream and stimulate the entire industrial chain. In the future, the government will coordinate efforts to attract foreign investment and technology, and broaden market demand. Local governments will play an important role in this promotional framework, and they have a strong willingness to cooperate.
Regarding the transformation of the petrochemical industry and the establishment of a circular economy, Taiwan will push toward the development of new high-value, low-carbon materials to from a strong backdrop for the five innovation industries. The short-term goal is the transformation into a high-value industry through the research and development and pilot production of high-value petrochemical products. The long-term goal is to create new value for the industry by establishing a circular economic park producing high-quality, low-carbon materials.
◎Nurturing Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The government has initiated the Discovery Project to integrate capital, technology, and industry to create a friendly environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. By utilizing the research cooperation mechanism, businesses’ research and development can more closely meet market demands, commercializing the process. The Project will help boost entrepreneur access to foreign investment by strengthening integration of the Internet, by managing matchmaking for diverse sources of funding, and by facilitating creative practices. At the same time, it will create the capital market that is best suited to support entrepreneurs by strategically providing subsidies that encourage the development of the industry as a whole. The Project will create Asia’s center for young entrepreneur IPOs through regulatory reform, improving policies, and introducing foreign international resources.
◎Fostering Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
In order to assist with innovation among small and medium-sized enterprises and to pair up research and development with manufacturing, the government launched the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. This program provides one-stop assistance for businesses in the early stages with Proof of Concept (POC), research and development to Proof of Service (POS), and commercialization for Proof of Business (POB). The Program also provides assistance with gathering information about international markets, promotes the usage of cross-border e-commerce platforms by small and medium-sized enterprises to interface with those international markets, and assists with international marketing. It further establishes credit guarantees to support the development of the five innovative industries and the petrochemical industry, making it easier for them to get funding and providing more diverse channels for funding. Aside from this, the Program strengthens cooperation between industries and academia, making universities and research institutes a key component in R&D and human resource cultivation for both SMEs and local industries.