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Smart machinery and biomedicine pave way to more competitive Taiwan


Premier Lai Ching-te on Tuesday hosted the 22nd interministerial meeting on accelerating investment in Taiwan, where the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), respectively, analyzed and discussed the results of two key "five plus two" innovative industries plan initiatives: the Smart Machinery Development Program and the Biomedical Industry Innovation Promotion Program. The premier expressed appreciation for the hard work of the ministries involved and applauded the programs' many achievements in advancing the development of targeted industries.

Thanks to cooperative efforts between businesses and government, the value of machinery industry production grew by 11.1 percent year-on-year to break a trillion NT dollars (US$32.9 billion) in 2017. In the first seven months of 2018, exports of all machinery rose 14.1 percent, while machine tool exports specifically jumped 17 percent in the same period. According to statistics from the International Trade Centre, 2017 saw Taiwan move from the world's fifth largest exporter of machine tools to fourth.

The MOEA indicated that the application of combined central and local government resources is already transforming Taichung into a global capital for smart machinery. New developments include a smart manufacturing trialing facility featuring domestically produced smart-processing production lines for machine tools, where large multinationals will be encouraged to set up to offer rapid prototyping and trial production services. Also planned is a global smart machinery development center that will provide a platform uniting innovative research and business models to drive industry development.

The new smart manufacturing trialing facility has already attracted such big global names as Dassault Systems, Mitsubishi Electric, Siemens, Rockwell Automation and Microsoft. The MOEA hopes that international cooperation and the demonstration of technical capabilities by major international manufacturers of smart production systems will raise technology standards among domestic firms and provide companies in Taiwan with smart manufacturing solutions.

In the area of biomedicine, MOST explained that Taiwan's string of industrial clusters will spur industrial innovation, from the National Biotechnology Research Park in Nangang and the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park to the specialty medical device cluster advantageously developed by the precision machinery industry in central and southern Taiwan. Future efforts to promote domestic companies producing for the domestic market, together with the marketing of specialty medical devices and international cooperation in pharmaceuticals, will inevitably speed improvements in the industry.

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