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The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) stated that Taiwan will engage in cooperation and exchanges with the Baltic states in the areas of quantum technology and biotechnology. The two countries are expected to lead to future bilateral academic and research exchanges. Both countries will discuss technology development, biomedicine, semiconductors and technology parks.

The natios have concluded that the plans for future cooperation between Taiwan and the Baltic states – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – will focus on academic and research exchanges in the quantum technology and biotech areas.

This direction was chosen after considering the Baltic states’ position as members of the European Union, with varying levels of technological development and expertise, and Taiwan’s current policy on science and technology research. The ministry added the delegation, which includes the parliamentary representatives Matas Maldeikis of Lithuania, Janis Vucans of Latvia and Juri Jaanson of Estonia showed positive interest in supporting bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the field of technology.

Taiwan believes that quantum technology is coming and the country is investing to become a leader. Taiwan will invest NT$ 8 billion – about US$ 282 million – in the development of quantum technology in the coming five years with a view to becoming a tech hub that boasts more than semiconductor manufacturing prowess.

The initiative is much broader than just building a quantum computer, according to the story. The country will invest in quantum devices, quantum computers, quantum algorithms and quantum communication technologies. The new technologies will be employed to develop applications for areas spanning cybersecurity, finance, national defence and more. Taiwan must invest in quantum research before it can secure a place in the competitive world of advanced technologies.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s biomedical industry has grown from strength to strength in recent years as a result of farsighted government policymaking, spotlighting her administration’s commitment to developing high-growth sectors of the economy.

Biomedical technology has been a top priority in Taiwan’s national development strategy. Over the past few years, the country has conducted over 300 clinical trials, 80% of which involved multinational firms, while local biomedical industry revenues grew 8.7% in 2019, with total investment exceeding NT$55.1 billion (US$1.84 billion).

Taiwan’s biomedical industry includes three major sectors: applied biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Research institutes have played an important role in the development of Taiwan’s economy, and today no less than nine institutes are involved in the development of Biomedical Innovations in the country’s biomedical industry.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, MOST announced that 20 tech startup companies would showcase Taiwan’s Biotech capabilities to the world connect with the global ecosystem, resources and industries in the forum organised by Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA). There are 20 TTA startup teams are selected by industrial experts and focused on global bio-industrial market potential startups.

Taiwan has demonstrated how to democratically tackle the COVID-19 threatening and how to be a truly global partner by utilising technologies. Taiwan’s efforts and commitments have drawn international attention and the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. has become stronger than ever before in the past year. The U.S. is leading the trends of advanced science and technology development and has a vivid startup ecosystem, while Taiwan has renowned semiconductor and ICT industries and long supported technology startups.

By working together, Taiwan can speed up the transition from scientific findings into practical technology applications and create a win-win situation and achieve future possible collaborations in the US. The companies presented disruptive biotech innovations such as vocal implant systems, AI Video-based telemedicine solutions and detection of respiratory function with ultrasound technology.

A new agenda to keep Victoria at the forefront of innovation, drive the creation of new industries and support jobs for future generations has been unveiled by the Government. The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy recently launched the Innovation Statement detailing the plans and investments to propel the state forward.

The ambitious plan builds on existing commitments with a new blueprint to turbocharge Victoria’s startup ecosystem, grow business and innovation precincts, develop homegrown talent, and commercialise world-leading research – keeping Victoria at the cutting edge.

Front and centre of the agenda is the landmark AU$ 2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund, which will bridge the gap between discovery and commercialisation, mobilise innovation in key areas such as health and life sciences, agri-food, advanced manufacturing, clean economy and digital technologies.

Health and medical research is another focus with investments totalling $590 million committed in the past year alone, including up to $400 million for a new Australian Institute of Infectious Disease to lead the fight against future pandemics, and an additional $50 million to spearhead local manufacturing of mRNA vaccines.

The Victoria Government is fostering the big ideas of entrepreneurs and supporting home-grown start-ups to scale up while also building a robust investor landscape to help more Victorian innovators take their ideas global.

The state’s start-up agency, LaunchVic, is leading the way with programs such as the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund helping female founders access early-stage funding, and the $60.5 million Victorian Startup Capital Fund injecting more money into local start-ups.

The Government’s significant investment is building Victoria’s innovation capabilities, increasing competitiveness and attracting national and international investors. Priority initiatives like the $64 million Digital Jobs program are addressing the digital skills shortage by training mid-career Victorians for in-demand digital roles, while the $550 million Connecting Victoria program is helping businesses take advantage of digital opportunities with reliable, better value broadband across the state.

The Innovation Statement showcases Victoria’s impressive history of class-leading innovations and modern inventions making their mark around the world and celebrates and elevates stories from across the Victorian innovation community.

The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy stated that Victoria is ahead of the curve and there’s no slowing down, which is why the nation must support its innovation ecosystem and continue to make game-changing advancements in science, health and medicine, and technology. The new innovation agenda is a commitment to ensure the next generation of Victorians have all they need for the jobs of tomorrow, she added.

Digital technology and innovation drive economic growth, productivity and competitiveness. The Victorian Government is committed to positioning Victoria as the number one destination for digital technology companies and start-ups in the Asia-Pacific.

The results of the latest survey of Victoria’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry indicate continued growth and a positive outlook with:

  • 19,941 businesses
  • 139,100 employees
  • annual revenue of $38.4 billion (including $2.4 billion in international revenue).

More broadly, it has been estimated that in 2020, Victoria’s digital economy could be worth $50.8 billion.

Victorian Government support

The Victorian Government is creating a supportive local environment where innovation can thrive with programs, initiatives and events being rolled out across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The AU$ 45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program is addressing digital infrastructure, enhanced broadband, mobile blackspots and digital agriculture, and the $18 million Regional Rail Connectivity Project is improving connectivity on five major regional rail lines.

The Victorian Government has established LaunchVic, an independent agency responsible for leading the development of a globally-connected startup ecosystem by supporting startups and investors to sustainably grow and deliver economic and cultural benefits for both Victoria and Australia.

China’s top industry regulator unveiled a five-year plan to accelerate the integration of digital and real economies amid a broader push to lay down a policy framework for the nation’s industrial development until 2025.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said accelerating the deep integration of information technologies in all industrial chains is of great significance to promote industrial digitisation and digital industrialisation in the new era. According to the five-year plan, the ministry will adopt five special initiatives, including promoting manufacturing digital transformation and industrial internet platforms, to advance industrial upgrade.

The five-year plan put forward both quantitative and qualitative objectives. For instance, by 2025, the nation aims to grow the penetration rate of industrial internet platforms to 45% and the popularisation rate of digital research, development and design tools to 85%.

– Xie Shaofeng, Director, Information Technology, Development Department, MIIT

The ministry said the integrative development of”5G plus industrial internet” is on a fast track in China. At this time, more than 100 influential industrial internet platforms have also been built. In addition, more than 1,800 5G plus industrial internet projects are under construction in China, covering 10 important industries including mining, coal and electricity.

The intensified efforts to accelerate the development of the industrial internet will greatly improve production efficiency. Over the long term, it will boost the competitiveness of China’s manufacturing on the global stage.

The MIIT also unveiled a five-year plan to cultivate the nation’s big data industry. According to the plan, by 2025, the estimated scale of China’s big data industry will exceed 3 trillion yuan ($471 billion), up from more than 1 trillion yuan in 2020, and the average compound annual growth rate will be maintained at about 25%.

China’s big data industry has grown quickly over the past five years, with the average compound annual growth rate exceeding 30%. The next five years will be an important period to build China into a manufacturing and digital powerhouse, which thus means new and higher requirements for the development of the big data industry.

China’s data will account for 27.8% of the world’s total, ranking it first worldwide. In the era of the industrial digital economy, a large quantity of industrial data will be connected to the internet, which will further drive the development of the big data industry.

Moreover, China will accelerate the construction of a digital government to improve administrative services. Accordingly, the country should create a national digital government network to improve regional and interagency information sharing and ensure its digital public services cover more sectors and become more accessible.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) has provided continuous support to release the potential of digital innovation and foster new drivers of growth. CAST urged to enhance digital literacy of the general public to achieve inclusive development goals beneficial to all. CAST called on efforts to deepen international cooperation and build a global network on digital governance.

The nation is already a leader in the 4th generation of the industrial revolution. Digital transformation is of great importance for the survival and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and special assistance will be provided for SMEs to enhance their intelligent manufacturing capacity. Experts from China and abroad discuss the endless frontier of digital technology and inclusive development as a solution to the digital divide.

China needs to be built into a highland for global digital technologies and a thriving digital economy. Only by filling the digital divide can people eliminate information asymmetry and obtain the best results. China must Take sci-tech measures to promote high-quality development of financial industries.

Through the InvoiceNow nationwide e-invoicing network, businesses can now reduce cost and processing times when they transact with the Housing & Development Board (HDB), JTC and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Launched by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2019, InvoiceNow is based on the international Peppol business standard, and invoices are transmitted over the Peppol document e-delivery network.

The network helps businesses improve efficiency, reduce cost, enjoy faster payment and stay green at the same time as well as allows businesses to transact internationally with other linked companies. InvoiceNow on Nationwide E-delivery Network complements the existing EDI connections to allow e-invoicing to businesses connected to the Peppol network. This allows more than 40,000 Singapore businesses that have joined the network to digitally transact with other Peppol-linked companies in Singapore and worldwide.

IMDA has been pioneering the development of digital utilities, such as InvoiceNow, to enable our businesses large and small to transact seamlessly in the digital economy. With the support from HDB, JTC and MPA, companies on this nationwide InvoiceNow network can now receive e-invoices from these agencies and benefit from going digital. I urge businesses that have not yet switched to e-invoicing to join InvoiceNow.

Regarding the involvement of banks in InvoiceNow, InvoiceNow is supported by the Association of Banks (ABS) in Singapore. Supporting banks are working on solutions that allow users to flip InvoiceNow invoices to payment directly cutting down on complexity and reducing business friction.

As part of efforts to drive digital transformation and help Singapore businesses seize opportunities in the digital economy, IMDA worked with HDB, JTC and MPA to enable the agencies to issue e-invoices for direct receipt into their business customers’ accounting systems through InvoiceNow. Collectively, HDB, JTC and MPA represent 70% of public sector invoicing, and every month the agencies’ 25,000 business customers receive more than 49,000 invoices.

E-invoicing enables businesses to digitalise the way they transact, reducing the amount of time and effort in re-keying the data into their own systems, saving up to $8 per invoice processed and enjoying faster processing times when sending their own e-invoices. This will also enable our businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

In tandem with digital transformation efforts of the maritime industry, MPA partnered with IMDA to embark on InvoiceNow. This serves as an additional platform for their customers to receive invoices digitally via the Peppol network with greater efficiency. This will help more maritime companies accelerate the adoption of electronic business processes.

OpenGov Asia reported the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) are also investing close to S$70 million to support “cutting-edge” communications and connectivity research. Mr Heng noted that SGTraDex will onboard stakeholders along the supply chain, especially smaller firms, so they can be part of this digital backbone. SGTraDex will also enable new value-added services for supply chain participants and speed up the processing of customs clearance, trade financing, insurance, and other related activities, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

SGTraDex was conceptualised by the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Supply Chain Digitalisation which will be anchored through a public-private partnership. SGTraDex is a digital infrastructure that facilitates trusted and secure sharing of data between supply chain ecosystem partners. Globally, there is a macro shift in trade flows and supply chains both physically and digitally. There have been momentous inefficiencies in events, documentation and financial information flows across the supply chain.

SGTraDex aims to streamline information flows across a fragmented global supply chain ecosystem through a common data highway. With this digital transformation, companies will gain the momentum to build a stronger and robust supply chain ecosystem for international trade flows. New efficiencies and opportunities will be unlocked through this collaboration where ecosystem partners come together to achieve shared visibility of the end-to-end supply chain.

The Philippines’ central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has refreshed its six-year-old National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) to make it more current and to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and greater digitalisation of financial services. The BSP will launch an enhanced version of the current NSFI in January 2022. The Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC), an interagency committee in charge of the NSFI and chaired by the BSP, agreed to alter and update the NSFI on November 9.

“The plan must evolve in tandem with the landscape,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno remarked. “This pushes the bank to reassess the initial strategic plan and ensure that the NSFI continues to be a flexible framework for promoting financial inclusion across the country.”

The National Survey on Financial Institutions (NSFI) was originally introduced in July 2015 and the most recent national survey on FI as an official report was in 2019. The BSP publishes quarterly FI data on its website, the most recent of which was in the fourth quarter of 2020. The objective of the NSFI is to promote and develop public-private collaboration and financial inclusion policies and programmes. The Financial Institutions Surveillance Commission (FISC) developed an inclusive financial system in 2015.

According to Diokno, there is still more work to be done to make formal financial services available to everybody, and the pandemic and rapid development of digital technology are bringing new opportunities as well as obstacles in the pursuit of financial inclusion.

The BSP said the new NSFI will encompass six years from 2022 to 2028, with strategies transformed into priority activities, key performance indicators, and targets. The bank emphasised that this is a shift from the present NSFI, which lays out the principles for achieving financial inclusion but does not include a timescale or goals.

To update the NSFI, the BSP and the Asian Development Bank are holding ongoing consultation workshops and actively requesting views from the banking and other sectors. According to Diokno, who spoke at the BSP’s recent “Financial Education Expo,” Filipinos’ financial behaviour has changed because of the pandemic.

“Some for the better (and) they are prioritising saving, availing health and life insurance, and preparing for retirement to provide better financial opportunities for themselves and their families during and beyond the pandemic,” he said. This was one of the updated information that the national FI survey aims to capture.

OpenGov Asia reported the issuance of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on broadening the provision of internet service through satellite services is seen by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as further promoting financial inclusion and digital finance in the country. The IRR, issued in September by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) under Department Circular No. 002, Series of 2021, aims to promote the development of an inclusive and vibrant satellite industry by liberalising access to satellite systems.

Increased access to satellite services is expected to hasten the rollout of internet connectivity for the country’s unserved, underserved, geographically isolated, and disadvantaged areas. With the issuance of the IRR, banks, fintech companies, and other financial sector entities will be guided even further in their exploration of ways to use satellite technology for their operations, particularly in expanding presence in underserved communities.

As financial transactions and services shift to online platforms, internet connectivity is recognised as a critical enabler of financial and economic inclusion. Banks and other financial service providers (FSPs) will be able to better serve rural areas with more access points, such as automated teller machines and cash agent services that rely on internet connectivity, as internet service is expanded.

Around 85% of Vietnamese banking consumers are more likely to use online and digital banking services compared to 18 months ago, according to a recent report. Globally, nearly two-thirds (61%) of consumers have made greater use of digital banking services over the last 18 months. Two in five (41%) have started using digital banking services for the very first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Vietnam, these numbers are higher, at 70% and 54%, respectively. Approximately 90% of respondents use online and digital banking services mostly to pay bills, transfer money, and check account balances. These statistics will help banks understand customers habits and behaviours to create more effective online services.

The report surveyed 4,500 consumers globally, including Vietnamese consumers (accounting for 11%). It identifies five emerging financial “tribes” that banks need to know about in a post-pandemic world. These consumer groups include techcelerators, ethical bankers, convenience cravers, covidpreneurs and neo asset hoarders. Techcelerators are recent converts to the world of digital banking who have adopted digital services amid physical branch closures.

Vietnam was most likely to identify with techcelerators, with 33% of respondents showing the traits of this group. Ethical bankers are young, purpose-driven savers that want to make a positive impact in the world. Some 76% of Vietnamese consumers agreed that they are willing to pay a premium for financial services if a cut goes towards helping the environment or local communities.

Convenience cravers are one-stop shoppers who want all-in-one services at their fingertips, and no extra cost. Covidpreneurs are entrepreneurs who have set up their own business during the pandemic, in need of easy-to-use and reliable business banking services. 14% of Vietnamese respondents belong to this group. Neo asset hoarders are new asset owners who want to use financial services to buy, trade, and hold assets. This group is the smallest, but a rapidly growing tribe globally.

An industry expert explained that each tribe shows something significant about the way consumer behaviour is adapting and what banks must do to stay ahead of the curve. Traditional audience segmentation in financial services is broken. The one-size-fits-all model, in which customers are divided based on how much they earn, or simple demographics, is redundant in a world of open finance. If banks want to survive, they must think about how to affiliate themselves with the new groups within society and appeal to them with products and experiences that meet their shared values and user needs.

Digital transformation in banking has accelerated in Vietnam and the report shows that 87% of local banking customers agreed with the importance of online and digital banking services in a bank or financial institution. Over 80% of respondents prefer to save or invest rather than spend money – the highest rates of all surveyed markets, and more than 74% are willing to pay a premium for financial services that save their time and offer greater flexibility.

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) wants to encourage banks to improve information technology governance and risk management. This is in line with the banking industry’s migration from the old banking system to digital banking. Banking Supervision Deputy Commissioner, OJK as previously stated, banks must anticipate issues such as customer data protection and exchange, the risk of customer data leakage connected to fraud, probable incompatibility of technology investments with business strategy, and others.

“The risk of cyber-attacks is one of the main risks that banks need to watch out for and mitigate in the digital era, considering the development of banking digitalisation increases the emergence of cyber security risks for banks,” said the Commissioner.

OJK has released a roadmap for Indonesian banking development through 2025, which will serve as a guide for future regulations and agreements. This is to foresee national banking cyber security threats. “OJK will encourage banks to continue to strengthen related to IT (information technology) governance and risk management, adopt the latest technology, then cooperate with IT and implement advance digital banking,” he said.

Meanwhile, Retno Ponco Windarti, the Director of Bank Indonesia’s Payment System Policy Department, said that the department has its way of securing digital data for every customer with a national payment system, one of which is close collaboration with payment service providers (PJP) and payment system infrastructure providers (PIP). “We give a maximum of one hour from the time the incident must be reported. Then, we conduct discussions, audits to find out what the real cause is.”

In addition, they would impose consequences on PJP and PIP for failing to meet their responsibilities, so that digital security becomes one of the factors that the financial services business must emphasise.

In the banking industry, Bank DKI, as the Regional Bank, has taken precautions to protect itself from cyber-attacks, one of which is the IT Security Cyber Architecture method. Amirul Wicaksono, Director of Technology and Operations at Bank DKI, stated that the organisation is still safe from cyber threats due to bank laws. “Banks have regulations, such as regulations on risk management in the use of technology (MRTI). OJK also always audits the risk mitigation function and the function to ward off cyberattacks.”

OpenGov Asia reported, Indonesia, the country with the fourth-fastest growth in internet users in the world, faces both great opportunities and significant threats as digital technology and the internet advance. However, according to the Indonesian government’s cyber and crypto agency, Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara (BSSN), Indonesia is becoming a victim of an increasing number of cyber-attacks, with over 423 million recorded by the end of 2020. Without solid cybersecurity systems, the 150 million internet users in Indonesia are at risk of being caught up in a tragic cybersecurity issue.

Strengthening the legal and policy fundamentals of cybersecurity and cryptology is essential if Indonesia is to grow its digital economy, embrace the fourth industrial revolution, and protect critical infrastructure and information security assets.

To combat these attacks, Indonesia’s government had recently partnered with a leading cybersecurity solutions vendor to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity capabilities and fend off mounting threats. Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to improve cybersecurity capacity development and institution building within the country’s government sector. Broadly, the MoU covers collaborating through knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, cybersecurity training, and joint programs to build cyber awareness in Indonesia.

The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 slashed global vehicle sales and led to a shrinkage of the industry to US$ 6,261 million. Yet as the epidemic gets under control,  sales have started to rise significantly. Moreover, the growing penetration of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) in new energy vehicles will favour sustained growth in the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) industry, projected to pass US$ 12 billion in 2026.

At present, Taiwan is one of the leading countries in the PCB industry. According to Taipei Printed Circuit Association (TPCA), Taiwan’s Printed Circuit Board industry has temporarily led the global market with a 33.9% market share. Taiwan can maintain its technological lead for 3-5 years if the government sets up a global hub of advanced PCB fabrication and pursue autonomy in the supply of PCB materials.

Observations in terms of the performance of various PCB products by Taiwanese manufacturers show that the IC substrate and HDI with the most brilliant performance were the stars in 2020. Benefiting from chips and high-speed memory, the IC substrate demand increased up to 16%. Despite the decline in the overall mobile market, the demand for high-standard baseboards from smartphones also boosted HDI growth by 9.6%.

The demand for FPCB also increased by up to 6% due to the launch delay and hot sales of US mobiles. Thanks to the business opportunities from work from home, distance learning, and videoconferencing that boosted the demand for laptops and the gradual recovery of automotive sales, the sales of multilayer boards also increased by 2% at the rebound in the second half of the year after a slump in the first half of the year.

Regarding the rigid-flex board, the only PCB product that experienced a decline in 2020, manufacturers needed to find a new market outlet through product reform due to the battery demand fall after the global smartphone decline. Taiwan’s PCB industry’s overall performance showed a surprise with a brilliant overall performance.

Despite the continuation of the pandemic, the launch of vaccines for COVID-19, the upheavals in the global situation, the transition from 4G to 5G telecommunication technology in 2021 will bring an overall growth to major PCB products. These include PCBs for smartphones, laptops, wearables, servers, self-driving cars, and network equipment, where the strong momentum of wearables, self-driving cars, and network equipment will even lead to the growth of the entire electronics industrial chain.

While Taiwanese PCB manufacturers still capture strengths in technology and quality, and alongside Taiwan’s world-leading semiconductor and ICT industries, besides enjoying the geographic advantages, Taiwan’s PCB industry can take advantage of Taiwan as the world-leading IC substrate production base. Therefore, Taiwan’s PCB industry must upgrade to advance processes to catch the tremendous business opportunities alongside Taiwan’s semiconductor industry’s evolution.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, Semiconductor manufacturers moving into the 2 nm process are facing challenges in accurately measuring the dimensions of key components, such as transistor structure, size and film thickness. The Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has coordinated with the British Office Taipei in jointly promoting cooperation between Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and a leading UK manufacturing company.

According to statistics, the size of the market for semiconductor measurement and testing equipment in 2020 was US$4.1647 billion, and it is expected to reach US$5.3734 billion by 2026. The DoIT stressed that based on Taiwan’s cutting edge in its complete semiconductor industry chain and 2 nm manufacturing technology, the constitutes a milestone in the advanced measurement of semiconductors and will accelerate the development of inspection technologies.

Amid the ever-changing development of semiconductor technology, advanced measurement technology will be seen as a key to success in semiconductor manufacturing. It will highlight the role of measurement technology in system integration and cross-field innovation, further assisting the industry in transition and upgrading.

OpenGov TV Speaker Panel – Know Your Customers

Part 3 of our OpenGov TV Speaker Panel series with OneConnect. Listen to experts talk about the importance of KYC (Knowing Your Customers)!