In 2017, the Executive Yuan started promoting the Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Program (also known as "DIGI+") as an administrative blueprint for leading digital development and innovation. The goal of DIGI+ is to promote innovative digital development, improve the quality of life, and hasten the transformation of Taiwan into a smart tech nation, as well as encourage inventive and value-added applications under the "five plus two" innovative industries plan. By leveraging Taiwan's advantages as a small but industrious nation able to quickly integrate multiple disciplines, the program will inject smart technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and big data into industry and daily life, and advance the emergence of Taiwan as a model of smart tech innovation.
I. What is DIGI+?
DIGI+ is an acronym derived from the fundamental concepts underlying the program. The "D" is for development and a solid keystone to support it. "I" comes from innovation, a necessary component of an innovative digital economy. "G" stands for the governance of a smart tech nation, and the final "I" indicates inclusion as embodied by Taiwan's welcoming and inclusive civil society. The "+" at the end of the acronym may be read as "plus" or "upgrade," in the sense that promotion of the DIGI+ program will deliver improvements in the nation's foundational digital infrastructure, as well as spur innovation at every level of society and the economy.
II. DIGI+ program highlights
◆ Enhance soft infrastructure to create an environment conducive to digital innovation: DIGI+ calls for the construction of an innovation-friendly legal framework and the cultivation of interdisciplinary technical talent, matched to the research and development of advanced digital technologies.
◆ Promote development of the digital economy: Taiwan's digital economy will grow with the development of innovative applications, expanded digital commerce, and support for industrial innovation.
◆ Create a service-oriented digital government and promote open governance: This includes the development of an open application programming interface (Open API) for government data, and the establishment of demand-oriented, one-stop smart government cloud services.
◆ Develop a vibrant online society with equality of access: The DIGI+ program aims to ensure broadband internet access for the disadvantaged, implement participatory democracy, promote digital infrastructure in remote regions and outlying islands, build a comprehensive legal foundation for digital human rights, and provide citizens with equal opportunities for digital development.
◆ Build sustainable, smart cities and townships: This aspect of the program involves using smart network technology to build a quality living environment, promoting joint governance and construction of smart cities and townships, and utilizing local ecosystems for technical innovation encompassing industry, academia and research to help local governments orchestrate development of smart cities and townships.
III. Expected benefits
◆ By 2025, the DIGI+ program will expand Taiwan's digital economy to NT$6.5 trillion (US$213.73 billion).
◆ The penetration rate for digital lifestyle services will rise to 80 percent, broadband internet connections of 2 gigabits per second will be rolled out to cover 90 percent of users, and citizens will be guaranteed the basic right to 25 megabits per second broadband service.
◆ Taiwan will rank among the top 10 nations in the world for networked readiness.