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Taiwan, UK: Fostering Net-Zero Emissions through Science and Technology

Image credit: moea.gov.tw

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) and Innovate UK officially announced the “Call for 2023 Taiwan-UK Innovation Collaboration.” The call is open from April 24th to July 19th, 2023, and encourages collaboration in smart technology domains such as:

  • Next-generation communication and semiconductor technology;
  • Green energy technologies (renewable energy, hydrogen transportation and electric vehicles);
  • Smart manufacturing biotechnology (medicine, medical materials);
  • Service innovation (the Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence).

Taiwan and the UK will provide funding subsidies to encourage industrial investments in Research and Development (R&D) to create a competitive advantage. In 2023, the UK government will allocate up to 2 million pounds (approximately NT$75 million) to subsidise UK businesses participating in the UK-Taiwan Collaborative R&D Call. The A+ Industrial Innovative R&D Programme will subsidise the initiative on behalf of the Department of Information Technology.

The project duration ranges from two to three years, with a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years. The applicant must submit a standard proposal and associated documentation.

In addition, ITRI, with the assistance of the Department of Industrial Technology under the MOEA, displayed nine innovative technologies, including AI, ICT, and robotics, at the 2023 US Consumer Electronics Show.

The technologies on exhibit prompted interviews and reports from the media. The AI Aquarium was selected as one of the 25 best technologies displayed at CES 2023, while Interesting Engineering named it one of the five most futuristic products introduced at this year’s event.

More than a thousand industrial, academic, and research institutions from around the world negotiated with ITRI. Compared to 2022, the scope of this year’s CES increased by 70%, and more than 3,200 exhibitors from 174 countries participated.

Premier Chen Chien-jen of Taiwan was also briefed by the National Science and Technology Council on a programme promoting science and technology to transition to net-zero carbon emissions. Taiwan’s ability to achieve its long-term objective of net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the premier, will largely depend on new scientific and technological advances.

He instructed related ministries and agencies to promote the research, development, and application of science and technology related to net zero. Also, attaining net-zero emissions by 2050 is both a challenge and an opportunity for Taiwan.

Science and technology will be the propelling forces behind the transformation of industries, society, lifestyles, and the energy sector to net-zero emissions. Under the programme, net-zero research and development will enable more effective and efficient use of energy and resources and will involve the introduction of smart technologies, sharing economies, and new understandings in the humanities and social sciences to assist the public in adapting to a net-zero lifestyle in the future and mitigating the negative effects of this transition.

Premier Chen stated that the government intends to allocate at least NT$15 billion (US$493 million) annually for the programme. The first phase (2023-2026) prioritises expenditures for the development of the basic technological infrastructure necessary to accomplish the government’s national net-zero policy goals by 2030.

It integrates the promotion of five key areas: sustainable and future-oriented energy sources, low carbon and carbon reduction, carbon negative, the circular economy and the humanities and social sciences – to accelerate the implementation of net-zero technologies in the real world and facilitate R&D for the next generation.

The plan also encourages cooperation between the government and civic organisations to disseminate net-zero concepts among the general population and establish mechanisms for private investment on a voluntary basis. According to the premier, this will enhance public comprehension and participation and aid Taiwan’s transformation into a model nation for net-zero science and technology.

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