Taiwan has the potential to become a high-tech R&D center thanks to its plethora of advantages, including excellent manufacturing and production capabilities, a superior semiconductor industry, a world-class talent pool, and the fact that it boasts the world's largest market share as a producer of information and communications technology products. To transform Taiwan into a global high-tech R&D center, the government is implementing an "emerging industries R&D program" that will guide Taiwan's transformation from a contract manufacturing nation to a powerhouse of R&D and innovation.
The program has a three-part framework consisting of research by big-name foreign tech firms in Taiwan, co-innovation between Taiwanese and international companies, and development of value-added applications and services by Taiwanese firms. Priority will be given to developing core technologies including emerging semiconductors, new-generation communications and artificial intelligence (AI). By inviting international tech firms to set up R&D centers in Taiwan and connect with domestic industrial chains on collaborations that accelerate the growth of Taiwan's R&D system, the program hopes to boost the nation's capabilities in the R&D of emerging and nascent technologies.
Three core technologies
■ Emerging semiconductors: To secure Taiwan's leading position as a contract chip manufacturer, the program encourages foreign firms to invest in next-generation memory R&D and collaborate with Taiwanese companies on the research and creation of an industrial chain for the production of heterogeneously integrated chips. The program also encourages domestic companies to develop product applications at a quicker pace to meet growing demand arising from uses in autonomous vehicles, smart phones, data centers, and other innovative products.
■ New-generation communications—new infrastructure for 5G networks: To expand exports of reliable and cost-effective 5G solutions to the world, the program invites foreign firms to invest in the R&D of carrier-grade network systems. International companies are also encouraged to work with domestic firms on the construction of a new 5G industry chain that will build Taiwan's 5G brand. To bring innovative 5G services to businesses and individuals as quickly as possible, the government will help local companies develop commercial applications for all industries and sectors.
■ AI: Foreign firms are invited to establish emerging AI technology platforms to help Taiwan construct a "smart nation" AI ecosystem. To further make Taiwan an exporter of business-to-business AI solutions, the program is inviting foreign firms to team up with local businesses to create a local AI industry chain. The program also aims to build an AI innovation industry cluster by encouraging domestic companies to develop solutions facilitating industry adoption of AI.