Taiwan opens headquarters for ambitious ‘Asia Silicon Valley’ plan

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) inaugurated Sunday the base for the implementation of the government’s ambitious “Asian Silicon Valley” plan, which is designed to improve Taiwan’s overall economic structure.

The major tasks of the “Executive Center for the Asian Silicon Valley Plan” in Taoyuan will be to promote the Internet of Things (IoT) and innovation industries, boost Taiwan’s economic development by integrating relevant local and international sectors, and push Taiwan’s industrial transformation, said Chen while addressing the inauguration ceremony.

The opening is the first step for the executive center, from which Taiwan will move to attract talent in innovation from around the world and bring them together, making them into the power driving Taiwan’s industrial upgrading and transformation, Chen added.

Also attending the inauguration ceremony were Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and Chen Tain-jy (陳添枝), head of the Cabinet-level National Development Council (NDC).

The Asian Silicon Valley Plan Executive Center is situated in a financial building in front of the Taoyuan station of the high-speed railway in Zhongli District.

Cheng expressed his expectation that the new facility will develop Taoyuan into the locomotive for Taiwan’s economic development.

The Asian Silicon Valley Plan was not formed to make a Taiwanese copy of Silicon Valley in the United States, “but to encourage Taiwanese industries to have the spirit of innovation,” the mayor said.

According to the NDC, which drafted the Asian Silicon Valley implementation plan, it consists of “one ecosystem,” “two objectives,” “three links” and “four strategies.”

The ecosystem means the formation of a cluster of innovative startups with a heavy focus on research and development, while the two objectives include one to foster the ecosystem and the other to promote innovative R&D for IoT industries.

The three links means joining local industries together, to connect Taiwan to the world, and to build links to the future.

As for the four strategies, they are the concrete steps the government will take to tie Taiwan to Silicon Valley in the U.S. and other global tech clusters, turning the island into an innovative startup destination for young Asians, and creating new industries for the next generation, according to the NDC.

The implementation strategies include creating a robust startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem by cultivating innovative talent, providing business expansion capital, and adjusting relevant laws for a friendlier startup environment; establishing a one-stop service center to integrate the R&D capabilities of Silicon Valley and other global innovation clusters; integrating Taiwan’s hardware advantages into software applications; and establishing a quality Internet environment.

The plan’s implementation period will run from 2016 to 2023, the NDC said.

A budget of NT$11.3 billion (US$357.9 million) has already been allocated for 2017 for Internet infrastructure, mobile broadband services, e-commerce, smart applications, test beds, industry-university collaboration, digital talent and regulatory adjustment, the council said.

Projecting the combined impacts of the Asian Silicon Valley plan and other digital economy plans, the NDC expects Taiwan’s IoT global market share to climb from 3.8 percent in 2015 to 4.2 percent by 2020 and to 5 percent by 2025.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has said clearly that the aim of the plan is to improve Taiwan’s overall economic structure.

One of five innovative industries upon which President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has vowed to focus, the Asian Silicon Valley initiative is similar in nature to the Industry 4.0 movement taking hold around the world, Lin said.

Four other innovative industries the Tsai administration has designated as the core of Taiwan’s future industry cover the fields of smart machinery, green technology, biomedical technology and national defense.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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