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Taiwan Reorganises National Space Agency to Meet Digital Goals

It may look trivial. However, this latest move by the country’s legislature shows how much Taiwan is valuing its space capabilities. The country is keen on putting its space agency, a central part of its digital transformation, in the best spot possible.

It started with legislation to pave the way for more progress. Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan approved a bill that would upgrade the National Space Organisation (NSPO) to become a directly affiliated agency with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

Currently, the NSPO is part of MOST’s National Applied Research Laboratories. The recent move is timely. Spinning off the NSPO will facilitate faster the development of space technology and talent in Taiwan, the NSPO said in a statement. That should keep the country closer to its space technology plans. As disclosed, the planned reorganisation is also designed to meet targets set out by the Space Development Act, which was passed early this year, in January.

It should do away with possible delays and red tape in government. The goal is clear. The act mandates the establishment of a legal entity for “national space strategies and plans” and the “promotion of space development.”

According to the government, the operations of the newly upgraded NSPO will be supervised by an 11-to-15-member board. One of the board members will be selected as chair by the premier. Further, the policy-making body ensures that the processes for the space agency are as straightforward as can be. It adopted nonbinding resolutions asking the MOST and NSPO to take recusal measures to avoid potential conflict of interests and establish a fair and transparent procurement process to block corruption.

It’s a win-win scenario. For its part, the NSPO is given a better way to function and reach its mandated goals. The space agency said in a statement that its upgrade would enable it to better promote the country’s space industry and education. In addition to its existing tasks, the organisation will also be responsible for screening applications for rocket launches in Taiwan, the statement said.

Just recently, Taiwan made public its plans to launch bigger satellites right from its island by 2026. It is definitely an ambitious goal given that it would be the first time the island nation would do so. Already, it has cooperated with key nations to make the most of space technology.

One example is the INSPIRESat-1 microsatellite. The small satellite was a resounding success and it should be able to give needed weather updates to the island nation. To note, the project is a joint collaboration of Taiwan, India and the United States of America.

There’s no doubt digital transformation has moved the country’s economy forward. It has provided new corridors of opportunity for Taiwan to flourish in trade. For instance, ICT products have grown substantially in its export list to other countries in the region in its Southbound Trade Policy. It’s giving the country bigger gains as time goes by.

Digitalisation also makes the country in a good position to increase its semiconductor business. With the arrival of electric cars, for one, Taiwan is poised to win big. Electric cars, to note, are the wave of the future as the emphasis on clean energy away from fossil fuel-dependent means of transportation steadily becomes the norm.

Digitasation has eased the lives of many in the island nation. A classic example here is that of public transportation. Not only did Taipei roll out electric buses, but also it has equipped these public vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as reported on OpenGov Asia.

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