The 2017 World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) was held in Taiwan from September 10 to September 13, putting Taiwan's technological prowess on display and facilitating networking among global industry players. Now in its 21st year, this year's event marked the second time that Taiwan has staged the "Olympics of the tech industry" since 2000.
Centered on the theme "Taiwan, Living the Digital Dream," WCIT 2017 showcased Taiwan's creative technological soft power and the impact of its information and communications technologies (ICT) around the world. In addition to signaling Taiwan's transformation from hardware contract manufacturing to innovative smart applications, the exhibition demonstrated Taiwan's willingness to provide resources for the next generation, as they pursue their digital dreams and create new visions for innovative technology.
II. Over 2,500 tech professionals from 80 countries
For this year's event, over 2,500 tech professionals from more than 80 countries and territories converged on Taipei for the opportunity to hear the insights of more than 90 keynote speakers. The agenda centered around Taiwan's "five plus two" innovative industries policy, with a spotlight on Taiwan's transformation from a contract manufacturer of information hardware to a digital powerhouse of information applications. Opportunities were also provided for the younger generation to participate. The congress consisted of three portions:
A. Exhibition: Featuring nearly 700 booths and 335 exhibitors, the "Taiwan, Living the Digital Dream" exhibition of futuristic technologies showcased the strengths and latest R&D achievements of Taiwan's industrial, academic and research sectors. The exhibition also drew over 250 top innovation teams and provided young people with a platform for global networking.
1. The conference portion shared insights into the latest trends in ICT applications, including green energy technology, the circular economy, smart medical care, the internet of things, financial technology, big data, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, artificial intelligence and open data.
2. Participants explored high-tech solutions for such global challenges as population aging, energy shortages, environmental pollution, the well-being of society, and urban-rural development gaps.
C. Firsthand experience: Participants took trips through eight major cities (Keelung, Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung) to see the development of smart city industries and experience the friendliness and convenience of Taiwan firsthand.
Once renowned as a global manufacturing hub, Taiwan has in recent years incorporated information technology applications, software and hardware into an impressive digital infrastructure that has turned the nation into an ICT application service powerhouse and a trendsetter in digital living and smart city technologies. WCIT 2017 was not only a three-day international conference but also a unique opportunity for the world to see and experience Taiwan's smart city achievements up close.