New Minister of Science and Technology Addresses Luncheon Meeting

Recently appointed Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong has high hopes for Taiwan’s technology industry. On July 15, Minister Wu spoke at an AmCham Taipei luncheon, titled “台灣2030 – 邁向智慧國家 Taiwan 2030 – Striding Toward a More Innovative Country” at the W Hotel, where he outlined his vision of the future for the island’s tech sector, developing Taiwan into a “sustainable human-centric smart nation.” He emphasized that improvements to the tech sector should also improve Taiwan as a whole.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption and affected planning for the future in countries around the world. Nevertheless, Minister Wu is focusing on what Taiwan will be able to accomplish with technology. His presentation at the luncheon covered four main areas:

  • Challenges and opportunities: An aging society, rapid digital transformation, and declining natural resources, among other trends will make a well-developed circular economy and inclusive society especially important in the coming years.
  • Preparing Taiwan for the Digital Age: Furthering the government’s goals for industrial upgrading and structural reform as part of its 5+2 Innovative Industries initiative.
  • Industrial innovation, digital transformation: From 5G to renewable energy, Taiwan is gradually becoming adept at balancing development with sustainability. The usage of drones for agricultural purposes and a growing reliance on AI technology has demonstrated Taiwan’s ability to build on its existing strengths.
  • Building toward a “smart sustainable nation”: The 5+2 initiative and Minister Wu’s new plan to target six core areas for future development both seek to position Taiwan on the world stage as a key economic power. By focusing on advanced network foundations, precision health initiatives, and satellite communications, Taiwan will be able to reach its goals by 2030.

Minister Wu emphasized the importance of industry integration, both domestically and internationally. Collaboration at each level is critical to technological development; otherwise, industries are destined to fail. Nevertheless, he expressed optimism that Taiwan’s tech sector would continue to make great strides in the future.

Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong, AmCham President William Foreman, and co-chairs from AmCham Digital Economy Committee and Technology Committee.


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Insurance Committee Presentation Focuses on Fintech

According to the World Economic Forum, the growing use of financial technology (fintech) is expected to bring disruptive innovation to the world of finance, increasing efficiency and lowering the costs of financial services. Fintech is already the focus of serious attention in many countries, and Taiwan is no exception.

At a luncheon meeting organized by AmCham Taipei’s Insurance Committee at The Sherwood Taipei on December 14, Jennifer Wang, Vice President and the Distinguished Chair Professor of National Cheng-Chi University, gave attendees an update on current developments in fintech in Taiwan. Since introducing the relevant regulations early this year, the Taiwanese government has been encouraging enterprises, both financial institutions and start-ups in various industries, to participate in this new field. Having more companies involved in the current experimental stage for fintech in Taiwan is seen as enabling the authorities to refine the regulations to make them as effective as possible.

From left to right: AmCham Taipei President Andrea Wu; Speaker Professor Jennifer Wang; AmCham Taipei Insurance Committee co-chairs Dan Ting, Chairman of Hotai Insurance and Linda Tsou from Cigna Taiwan Life Assurance.

Wang, a former Vice Chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission, said fintech offers hope of bringing the following benefits:

  • Lowering the costs of financial services
  • Collecting big data and financial information to analyze
  • Providing customized financial services based on the collected data
  • Enhancing supervision of the financial sector and preventing financial crimes

Strategic IP Considerations on Industry Innovations in the Digital Era

Cloud-fueled digital transformation is driving innovation, touching every individual and industry, in what some call the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Companies around the world are racing to transform their business and succeed in the new digital age, or else face the risk of disruption.

AmCham Taipei’s IP&L Committee invited Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President & Chief IP Counsel of Microsoft Corp., to deliver a presentation on “Strategic IP Considerations on Industry Innovations in the Digital Era” at a luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei on October 23.

Andersen referred to Johnson Controls as an example of a company that uses sensors from a building or environment to generate data such as temperature, humidity, and air quality so as to provide services based on customers’ needs. Using Azure, a cloud computing platform and service solution by Microsoft, Johnson Controls can store valuable data from connected buildings in a centralized computer or cloud server without having to worry about service interruption.

From left to right: AmCham Intellectual Property & Licensing Committee Co-chair Peter J. Dernbach, Partner of Winkler Partners; Speaker Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President & Chief IP Counsel of Microsoft Corporation; AmCham President Andrea Wu; Chris Neumeyer Special Counsel, Duane Morris & Selvam Taiwan, Foreign Legal Affairs Law Firm; and AmCham Intellectual Property & Licensing Committee Co-chair Vincent Shih, Assistant General Counsel, GM, Corporate, External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft Taiwan Corp.

As companies shift from traditional computing to the cloud, they need to rethink the business risks involved as data is digitalized. These risks include 1) security, 2) intellectual property protection, 3) compliance issues, 4) data privacy, and 5) data sovereignty. Andersen shared with the audience some of the risk mitigation strategies:

  • Review the terms of service provided by cloud technology suppliers to protect your business from third-party IP claims, and ensure that you understand the implication of limitations of liability and use of open source software on the products and services covered.
  • Develop your own patent portfolio to secure your innovations, especially technologies relevant for your competitors, and to deter or defend against patent lawsuits.
  • Obtain licenses to third-party IP to reduce your business risk, increase business flexibility, and provide basic defense against non-practicing entities (NPEs).

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

Asia Silicon Valley Project: Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Taiwan

In today’s knowledge-based economy, scientific and technological innovation has become a key driver of economic growth and national progress. For this reason, Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is trying hard to facilitate stronger links between academic research and industrial development.

AmCham Taipei’s Technology Committee held a luncheon at the W Hotel Taipei on August 18, inviting Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-Gee to introduce the Asia Silicon Valley Project and discuss how MOST is fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to encourage creativity in science and technology.

Chen explained that to connect Taiwan to global tech clusters and create new industries for the next generation, MOST will be implementing the following programs:

  • Establish a comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) value chain by collaborating with key players in the ecosystem – including chip and device makers, and software and network service providers – to integrate hardware advantages into smart applications.
  • Foster Taiwan’s startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem by working with universities and helping top local talent establish professional networks with Silicon Valley to boost Taiwan’s academic and industrial competitiveness at the international level.
  • Develop an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem by linking select Taiwan startups with Silicon Valley to offer training and resources, as well encourage mutual long-term partnership.

From left to right: AmCham’s Technology Committee Co-Chair, Revital Shpangental Golan, CEO, Anemone Ventures; Chen Liang-Gee, Minister of Science and Technology of Taiwan; Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President; and AmCham’s Technology Committee Co-Chair, Connie Wang, Director, Corning Advanced Technology Center, Corning Display Technologies Taiwan.

In the near future, the Ministry will set up an artificial intelligence and robotics production base as part of wider government efforts to foster the AI industry and bolster Taiwan’s competitiveness in smart manufacturing. The Ministry will also aim to develop IoT technologies while building a complete innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem under the Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan. The plan will also focus on IoT security, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence applications, self-driving vehicles, and mobile lifestyles. These efforts will be combined with the New Southbound Policy to take advantage of new economic trends and opportunities.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

Event Reminder: Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei is pleased to co-host with the Taiwan-USA Industrial Cooperation Promotion Office (TUSA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) a “Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue” on March 30, 2017. Members of the media are invited to cover the opening session of the dialogue.

Members of the media who plan to cover this event are required to sign up with AIT’s Public Diplomacy Section by noon on March 29 via email to [email protected] or fax 2162-2242.

Event:             Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue

Time:               9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, March 30, 2017

Venue:             AIT’s American Center – 21st Floor, 333 Keelung Road, Section 1, Taipei

Language:        English with simultaneous interpretation



08:40 – Media registration

09:00 – Welcome remarks by Christian Marchant, Acting Deputy Director, AIT

  • Remarks by Mei-hua Wang, Vice Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Remarks by Mark Cohen, Senior Counsel, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

09:20 – Group Photos

09:25 – Keynote Speeches

  • TIPO, Your Best Partner!, Shu-min Hong, Director General, TIPO (Taiwan Intellectual Property Office)
  • Maximizing IP Commercialization:  Less is More, Honorable Judge Sidney H. Stein, United States District Court Southern District of New York

10:00 – Opening Session Concludes

The expert dialogue will address the legal framework and provide practical guidance for industry participants in the thriving US$5 billion U.S.-Taiwan licensing trade.  This trade creates value through spurring innovation, disseminating technology, and generating income for intellectual property owners through technology transfer and commercialization. This program is being held in furtherance of the October 2016 Digital Economy Forum, at which both sides affirmed the importance of intellectual property rights and licensing to expand two-way technology trade and investment between the two economies.

For more information, please contact the AmCham Government & Public Affairs or tel: 02-2718-8226 ext. 213

Taiwan Biotech Industry Heats Up


Biotech is hot in Taiwan, with a number of high profile companies emerging over the past few years with significant market capitalizations on the promise of bold new drugs and the incoming administration of Tsai Ing-wen promising even greater support.

At the AmCham Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, and Public Health Joint Committee Luncheon on April 19, Dr. Chi Wei-kuang, Director and Distinguished Scientist of Bioengineering Group at the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) shared “Taiwan’s vision and current stage in biotech industry.”

Some key takeaways offered by Dr. Chi include:

  • Taiwanese firms are involved in both the production of conventional “small molecule” pharmaceuticals as well as the development of cutting edge “large molecule” biological drugs derived from cells
  • Taiwan’s biotech firms include Taimed, Medigen, TaiGen, TopoGenomics, TTY Biopharma and many others with a combined market cap of US$23 billion
  • Taiwan currently has 96 drugs in the development pipeline, over half of them in Stage 2 clinical trials

Dr. Chi Wei-kuang presents the Taiwan biotech industry’s “Diamond Action Plan” to AmCham Taipei leaders.

The newer field of Biological drugs is seen as offering highest value with lower capital investment and operating costs, where key areas for drug development include oncology, central nervous system (CNS) disease, infectious disease, and inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

Since the early 1980s Taiwan’s government has been offering support to the biotech industry through a number of policies and organizations, but major funding for the industry only occurred over the last 5-6 years.

Key policies to watch for the Taiwan Biotech Industry:

  • Statute for the Development of Biotech New Drug Industry
  • Biotech Industry Takeoff Action Plan
  • Diamond Action Plan for Biotech Takeoff

Key organizations involved in the industry’s advancement

  • Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB)
  • Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA)
  • Biomedical Engineering Research Center (ITRI)

Funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan’s DCB offers support bridging the gap between primary research and drug commercialization. The National Research Program for Biopharmaceuticals will expire in 2016, but will be replaced by the BioEconomy Plan.

Taiwanese biotech firms, though small, are highly innovative and are actively collaborating with foreign firms for advanced clinical trials and drug development. Continued government support is vital for the industry to fulfill its vision.


AmCham Taipei Vice Chairwoman Libby Driscoll (left) and Chairman Dan Silver (right) present Chi Wei-kuang with a token of appreciation following his presentation.

Taiwan’s Role in the Future of Computer Memory

Micron CEO Mark Durcan addresses AmCham Taipei Guests at a Special Luncheon on March 10 regarding the semiconductor industry in Taiwan

Micron Technology CEO Mark Durcan spoke to AmCham Taipei guests on March 10 at a special Global Executive Insights luncheon, offering a wealth of knowledge about future trends in the global computer memory industry and a clear summary of why Taiwan plays such a large role in the sector. Durcan’s full presentation is available below.

2015 Semiconductor Market Breakdown

Durcan stressed three major trends in the memory segment of the semiconductor industry:

1. Supplier consolidation:

Major semiconductor manufacturers continue to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions.

2. Diversification of end markets

During the dotcom boom and bust over 70% of memory was dedicated to PC applications. Today only 25% goes to PCs, while demand for memory in mobile devices and server/cloud applications soars. Significant growth for memory demand can also be seen in other advanced fields:

  • Automotive: crash avoidance technology
  • Medical: advanced diagnostics
  • Graphics: augmented/virtual reality and gaming


3. Slowing supply growth

While demand growth for memory (measured in bits) continues to rise, the amount of new bits that can be produced each year by the industry through advances in existing technology is plateauing.

The result is a gradual shift away from supplying memory products to major OEMs, towards a diversified end market – and an increasing demand for more customized, innovative memory solutions for individual customers.

Looking forward

Due to the slowing technology-driven scaling of existing memory types (NAND and DRAM), Micron has begun to explore the development of new memory products, including:

3D NAND – a new configuration of existing NAND memory chips has tripled the capacity of existing NAND products, allowing 3.5TB to be stored in a space the size of a stick of gum while greatly reducing power consumption

3D Xpoint – An entirely new type of memory (the first in decades), Durcan claims that 3D Xpoint has the potential to dramatically transform computing architectures, boasting speeds and densities 1000x greater than those of NAND.

Taiwan’s Role

Micron, one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers, produces 60% of it’s DRAM memory chips in Taiwan alone. Since 2008, Micron has invested US$8bn in Taiwan, with another $4bn pending the completion of their acquisition of Inotera. Durcan stressed repeatedly the importance of Taiwan to the success of Micron’s semiconductor business, highlighting several key factors that contribute to its optimal business environment:

  • Advanced education programs produce a high quality talent pool, with experience in semiconductor technology and strong work ethic
  • A Supportive and business-friendly government and regulatory environment.
  • A strong, quality-focused technology manufacturing ecosystem that drives a cost-competitive environment, as well as a high-quality test and assembly infrastructure
  • Proximity to large markets such as China, with engineers and other talent who speak the same language and live in the same time zone as customers from these markets
  • Historically affordable energy costs

AmCham Taipei would like to thank Mark Durcan and Micron for their time and willingness to share their insight with the Taiwan business community at this AmCham Special Luncheon.


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