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A visitor marvels at high-resolution images of flowers at the Taichung
World Flora Exposition in the central Taiwan metropolis.
A visitor marvels at high-resolution images of flowers at the Taichung World Flora Exposition in the central Taiwan metropolis. (Chin Hung-hao)

  • Taiwan is one of the world’s leading producers of information and communication technology products.
  • World Economic Forum ranks Taiwan 12th out of 141 economies in the Global Competitiveness Report released in October 2019.
In April 2014, the National Science Council—the government’s dedicated agency charged with advancing science and technology development, supporting academic research and promoting the nation’s three science parks—was reorganized and renamed as the Ministry of Science and Technology. While continuing its predecessor’s innovative measures and programs, the MOST, with a new organizational structure, aims to focus academic research on the needs of industry as Taiwan relies on science and technology innovation as a key driver of economic growth and national progress.
The success of Taiwan’s high-tech enterprises is largely attributable to the government’s generous funding of applied scientific development. With government support, the Industrial Technology Research Institute, National Applied Research Laboratories and Institute for Information Industry all played important roles in jump-starting the nation’s rise as a technological powerhouse by conducting research, aiding the private sector with R&D and exploring new technologies.
Supporting Innovation
ITRI’s innovative prowess is best illustrated by the fact that in the past 12 years it has won a total of 41 highly prestigious R&D 100 Awards given out by U.S.-based R&D Magazine, in addition to being named a Derwent Top 100 Global Innovator for the third consecutive year. The institute has been instrumental in establishing several companies that have gone on to command prominent positions in the global marketplace, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and United Microelectronics Corp., which are among the world’s top custom integrated circuit chipmakers.
Hosting eight national research centers covering four major areas of earth and environment, information and communication technology, biomedical technology and technology policies, NARLabs’ mission is to establish R&D platforms, support academic research, promote frontier science and technology and foster the development of high-tech manpower. NARLabs’ FORMOSAT-5 satellite has provided remote sensing images to 35 disaster relief operations at home and abroad since its launch in 2017, highlighting the organization’s goal of achieving global excellence with a local impact. Its research outcomes have additionally received six Outstanding S&T Contribution Awards from the Executive Yuan in recognition of major contributions to society.
The goal of III is to boost Taiwan’s global competitiveness by providing a platform for digital transformation. The institute conducts R&D on innovative ICT products and applications. It also plays a key role in advancing ICT development in the public and private sectors by serving as a think tank on related policymaking and promoting talent cultivation. Over the past three decades, more than 480,000 professionals have received training through III.
Taiwan’s tech ecosystem provides an ideal environment for global investors looking to establish a presence in Asia. Local venture capitalists, engineering service providers and technology developers have extensive experience collaborating on cutting-edge R&D. This is on display at Taiwan Tech Arena, a new hub for innovation and startups that is attracting young entrepreneurs from around the world. Bringing together accelerators, venture capital firms and enterprises, TTA is a platform for global exchanges and talent incubation. An estimated 100 startups are expected to form through the hub each year, cultivating 2,000 entrepreneurs and increasing investment.
After years of dedication by the public and private sectors toward developing technological expertise, Taiwan’s science parks are now home to clusters of companies pursuing breakthroughs in fields such as biotechnology, personal computing and peripherals, integrated circuits, nanotechnology, optoelectronics, precision machinery and telecommunications.