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Taiwan Accelerates Smart Technology Initiatives

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Taiwan’s 5+2 innovative industries plan will soon materialise as the Cyber Security and Smart Technology Research and Development Building in Shalun. Under the island’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the building aims to be the hub for startups and high-tech companies and the south Taiwan headquarters for Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), a deep tech startup ecosystem building program.

The 5+2 innovative industries plan was initiated with seven areas of focus: intelligent machinery, green energy, biomedicine, new agriculture, circular economy, national defence, and aerospace, and transforming Taiwan into Asia’s Silicon Valley.

With cybersecurity designated as part of the island’s national defence, an action plan was unveiled in 2018, including building a cybersecurity education and training system guided by industry needs. Taiwan’s action plan’s objectives for 2025 include increasing the number of people working in the cybersecurity field to 10,000 and providing assistance and support for establishing 40 cybersecurity startups.

Regarding smart technology and green living, Tainan is set to be the leading centre for smart green city living, with its Shalun area being developed as green energy technology and innovation ecosystem. The new Cyber Security and Smart Technology R&D building is part of Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City, an industrial park in Gueiren District, Tainan.

Few people wanted to move for work to Gueiren five years ago, but the hub in the district is expected to become the cradle of Asia’s most advanced cybersecurity technology, featuring innovative startups.

– Wu Tsung-tsong, Minister of Science and Technology

Taiwan mapped out its National Science and Technology Development Plan 2021-2024 to strengthen balanced regional development by spreading characteristic industry clusters throughout its northern, central, and southern regions.

Taiwan’s 2030 vision 

The plan listed four goals towards realising the country’s 2030 vision for innovation, inclusion, and sustainability:

  1. Refine the talent cultivation environment and create competitive advantages for talent recruitment
  2. Improve the research and development ecosystem and allocate resources for the development of pioneering technology
  3. Co-create economic momentum and build a solid ground for innovation
  4. Enhance smart living capacity and realize a secure society

The most recent development initiatives expand on the 5+2 industrial innovation plan by focusing on six core strategic industries: digital and information industry, national defence and strategic industry, cybersecurity industry, green and renewable energy industry, medical technology, and precision health industry, and strategic stockpile industry.

A few days after the building’s opening, where President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated Taiwan’s commitment to fostering technological advancement with a humanistic approach, MOST announced that it would be transformed into a new science and technology council as early as March 2022.

The new council will oversee the country’s overall technology development, which includes helping the cabinet and other government agencies to strengthen their technology development and decision-making in their operations and policies, as tech has become an index of its national competitiveness.

As cybersecurity designated as part of the island’s national defence, the President of Taiwan said that no stone is being left unturned in strengthening Taiwan’s cybersecurity industry, as reported by OpenGov Asia. Cybersecurity is one of the most important of the six core strategic industries founded on the plan. This is evidenced by strong legislative support in the form of amendments to the National Security Act in 2019 and the passage of the Cybersecurity Management Act in 2018.

The government is responding to this challenge by integrating the development of cybersecurity, information and communication technology, the internet and telecommunications. Taiwan is promoting a partnership between Taiwan’s public and private sectors, as well as like-minded partners in the international community. By sharing information, it is possible to efficiently and swiftly strengthen the country’s digital defences.

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