While much of the 5+2 Innovative Industrial plan remains controversial, two sectors have gained support from both major political parties: smart machinery and Asia·Silicon Valley. Smart machines mean manufacturing equipment that is intelligent, self-learning, and can communicate with other machines and human operators, transmitting data in real time. These advanced technologies are finding applications in…

Innovation is high on Taiwan’s agenda, and the Asia·Silicon Valley segment of the 5+2 Innovative Industries plan promises to launch Taiwan into the innovation value ecosystem, says National Development Council (NDC) Deputy Minister Kung Ming-hsin. Innovative technologies and business models are transforming global business, Kung says, and “if Taiwan is not included in that trend,…

The Tsai administration is making a heavy commitment of resources to promoting seven sectors of the economy as the key to transforming Taiwan’s industry. The initial five “pillar industries” were the Internet of Things (also referred to as Asia·Silicon Valley), Biomedical, Green Energy, Smart Machinery, and Defense. Added later were high-value agriculture and the circular…

Despite local opposition from environmentalists, the industry continues to thrive based on low oil prices and expansion abroad. Cancellation of the Kuokuang petrochemical complex project in 2011 was a watershed in Taiwan’s industrial and environmental history. Touted as the largest investment in petrochemicals in decades – the estimated cost was over NT$600 billion (around US$20…