Since taking office, the Tsai Ing-wen administration has sought to promote the Internet of Things (IoT) in Taiwan and to transform Taiwan into the “Silicon Valley of Asia.” To do so, the administration developed the Asian Silicon Valley Development Plan (ASV), run by the National Development Council (NDC; 國家發展委員會), an initiative designed to promote IoT innovation and R&D as well as to create an ecosystem that fosters startups and entrepreneurship.
The Asian Silicon Valley Development Plan aims to connect Taiwan to Silicon Valley in the United States and other global technology clusters, turning the island into an innovative startup destination for young people and creating new industries for the next generation.
The Asian Silicon Valley Development Plan’s implementation period is from 2016 to 2023. A budget of NT $11.2 billion (US $354.7 million) has been allocated for 2017 to improve internet infrastructure, mobile broadband services, e-commerce, smart applications, test beds, industry-university collaboration, digital talent, and regulatory adjustment. Budgets for later years will be reviewed on a rolling basis, allocated according to actual needs and use-efficiency.
The implementation strategies are as follows:
- Create a robust startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem by cultivating innovative talent, providing business expansion capital, and adjusting laws for a friendlier startup environment.
- Establish a one-stop service center to integrate the R&D capabilities of Silicon Valley and other global innovation clusters; participate actively in forming international standards and certification of IoT-related technologies.
- Integrate Taiwan’s hardware advantages into software applications.
- Commercialize research findings of universities and research institutes.
- Establish a quality internet environment, build diversified smart test beds, and develop applications based on smart logistics, smart transport and smart medicine.
Projecting the combined impacts of the Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan and other digital economy plans, the NDC expects Taiwan’s IoT global market share to grow from 3.8 percent in 2015, to 4.2 percent in 2020 and 5 percent in 2025. The plan’s objectives include establishing 100 successful companies within Taiwan, attracting investments from international corporations, and creating an online learning platform for IoT industries. In order to reach these objectives, NT $10 billion (about US$ 319 million) of the National Development Fund (NDF) will be set aside to fund startups during their series B and C funding. Meanwhile, the NDF has established a NT $100 billion (about US$ 3.19 billion) fund to stimulate private sector investments and promote innovation.
With the Asian Silicon Valley Development Plan, Taiwan will turn its industrial focus from information technology (IT) to the IoT and become a startup destination for young talented minds and a model of innovation and entrepreneurship for Asia at large.
The main point: The Asian Silicon Valley plan will expand Taiwan’s Internet of Things (IoT) market share by investing in startups, attracting and cultivating young and creative talent, and reforming the regulatory regime to foster innovation. Taken together, these efforts will create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, innovation and growth.