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Marriage of intelligent tech and industry expand smart machinery capabilities


Following a presentation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) on progress and results of the Smart Machinery Development Program, Premier Lai Ching-te instructed the MOEA, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor to continue coordinating and guiding the efforts of industry, academia and researchers to produce innovative capabilities.

The ministries were also directed to assist with the development of smart manufacturing and the resolution of any shared issues facing the industries involved. Proactive steps to cultivate interdisciplinary talent and help steer the transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises will be undertaken, as well.

Smart machinery is one of the areas promoted as part of the government's "five plus two" innovative industries program, as well as an important element of President Tsai Ing-wen's policies, said the premier. The goal is to upgrade existing capabilities in precision machinery and information and communications technology to allow smart manufacturing, ultimately transforming Taiwan into the world's research, development and manufacturing center for smart machinery and key components used in high-end equipment.

Premier Lai thanked industry for its dedicated efforts as part of public-private cooperation—with the assistance from the MOEA and local governments—to push the value of machinery production to over NT$1.1 trillion (US$36.1 billion) in 2017, elevating the business to become one of Taiwan's three "trillion dollar" industries. The premier instructed the MOEA to work with local governments to carry out related work and promote these successes throughout the nation.

The MOEA indicated that the government's promotion of smart machinery is focused on building a comprehensive ecosystem for related development and guiding targeted industries into smart manufacturing. Following a strategy of connecting with local communities, the future and the world, these efforts are expected to entrench the smart machinery industry, nurture expertise and talent, and carry forward the transformation and upgrade of the industrial landscape. Success will achieve such goals as expanding international cooperation and creating business opportunities.

Taiwan's smart manufacturing industry in 2017 attracted NT$53.89 billion (US$1.77 billion) in major investments, according to the MOEA, and employed an estimated 308,000 people, for a gain of over 6,360 jobs compared to 2016. Furthermore, Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry data show that thanks to the combined efforts of businesses and government, machinery industry production broke through the trillion-dollar ceiling in 2017 by growing 11.1 percent to about NT$1.1 trillion.

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