Thursday, June 24, 2010

Weekly News Background from Taiwan's Government Information Office

News Background

I. Taiwan Inventions and Designs Shine on World Stage
Taiwan was the biggest winner among 15 participating countries at the 2010 Invention and New Product Exposition (INPEX) held in the United States. According to the award list, released June 19, Taiwan’s delegation garnered 24 gold, 25 silver and five bronze awards, as well as seven special awards.

Apart from the INPEX event in Pittsburgh, Taiwan also stood out at two other top invention shows—the iENA trade fair in Nuremburg, Germany and the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland. Taiwan obtained 26 gold awards at the iENA trade fair in late 2009, and 28 more golds at the Geneva event this April.

The Taiwan delegation to INPEX this year included 42 members with 56 invention entries. The youngest member of the delegation was You Jun-bo, aged 13. To better study the growth process of the silkworm, You invented the “multi-angle ecological observation video camera” with a rotatable lens that can provide 75 to 150 times magnification power. For its convenience and practicality, the invention earned a gold medal.

Another invention that received a gold medal was an apparatus for storing the heat generated by air conditioners, developed by Professor Weng Kuo-liang of National Chin-Yi University of Technology. The apparatus recovers energy through heat exchanges during the repeated vaporization of water and, when affixed onto a water supply line in the air conditioning system, heats up water that can be dispensed through an outflow pipe for home use.

In addition to scientific research and development, Taiwan’s creative craftworks have come into the international limelight as well. The National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute presented the Yii design brand at the prestigious Milan International Furniture Fair this year and received widespread acclaim from master designers and major media from around the world. At a news conference held on June 17, Minister Emile Sheng of the Council for Cultural Affairs said that Yii’s display at the Milan Triennale Museum was an honor for the nation’s handicraft industry. For example, in Yii’s Cocoon Plan collection, inspired by silkworms, Rock Wang and Chen Kao-ming developed a series of cocoon-shaped sofas and stools made from bamboo and silk. Three years after the launch of the Yii brand, its products have received global recognition and are exhibited alongside items from Japan and other countries.

II. Solid Progress Seen in Taiwan’s Promotion of Emerging Industries

Taiwan’s industrial sector currently suffers from over-concentration, insufficiently diversified development and susceptibility to international economic downturns. To map a developmental direction for future industries, the Executive Yuan compared Taiwan’s advantages in human capital and information technology with global trends to draw up the “Six Key Emerging Industries Plan.” Two of the “emerging industries” targeted by this plan are biotechnology and green energy.

In biotechnology, the Executive Yuan launched the “Diamond Action Plan for a Biotech Takeoff” on March 26, 2009. The plan has four principal elements: boosting the capacity to commercialize R&D, setting up a biotech venture capital fund, promoting an integrated cultivation mechanism and establishing a food and drug administration. The biotech venture capital fund’s primary objective is to inject funds into the biotech industry, with at least US$155.8 million planned for investment during the initial period.

Meanwhile, the developmental direction set forth by the Executive Yuan for green energy focuses on renewable energy, electric cars, solar photonics and solar batteries, and light emitting diode (LED) lighting. Public investment of at least US$623.2 million in R&D on related technologies is planned for the next five years, a move that is expected to attract in excess of US$6.23 billion in private investment. It is estimated that the green energy industry’s production value will rise from around US$5 billion in 2008 to US$36 billion in 2015, a process that will create 110,000 jobs.

Vice President Vincent C. Siew said, at photonics industry event, that photonics is set to follow semiconductors and motherboards as a US$30 billion industry this year. Photonics technologies are central to the development of “green” industries, and also essential to promoting the Six Key Emerging Industries. Moreover, the industry meshes with the global trends of saving energy and cutting carbon emissions.

Source: Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan)