According to a World Economic Forum report, Taiwan is in the midst of an innovation-driven economy, but these findings are unsurprising, reports Dr. Peter Hsieh for Entrepreneur.
Hints of this high-tech excellence are prevalent throughout the Taiwanese economy. In 2017, Taiwan ranked third out of 159 nations for broadband download speeds. Further reflecting its robust manufacturing industry, the country produces 70 per cent of the world's integrated circuits and 90 per cent of laptops sold around the globe.
Although these figures represent what many already know, the emergence of intelligent technologies has begun to influence Taiwan's industrial trajectory. Here’s a look at the impact of these new technologies, and the development of Industry 4.0 in Taiwan.
The Industry 4.0 Ecosystem
Industry 4.0 has come to represent how industrial processes leverage smart technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data. The interconnectivity that results from integrating these technologies forms the foundation of this ecosystem. For many solutions, IoT serves as the framework on which other technologies are deployed. According to IDC analysts, IoT investment will reach $745 billion in 2019. This figure represents a growth rate of 15.4 per cent over 2018 spending.
Smart Machinery Development
Taiwan is home to the highest density of machinery plants in the world with more than 13,000 factories. A majority of the manufacturing activity is located in Taiwan’s “Golden Valley” in Taichung City, and the government is making efforts to support smart manufacturing development. For instance, it launched a smart automation initiative in 2011, proposed a Productivity 4.0 plan in 2015, and promoted the 5+2 Industrial Transformation Plan in 2016.
All of these initiatives are part of the larger Smart Machinery Industry Promotion Project with the goal of turning Taiwan into a hub for smart machinery development.
A High-Tech Workforce
According to the Organization for Economic Development, Taiwan has a 98.5 per cent literacy rate and the fourth highest standardized math test scores in the world. Further, over 25 per cent of all university degrees are in engineering. As a result, many continue to see Taiwan as a desirable hub for further investment.
The Startup Ecosystem
In February of 2018, the National Development Council of Taiwan introduced the Action Plan for Enhancing Taiwan's Startup Ecosystem. This initiative represents five strategies and 40 measures to better support the high-tech startup ecosystem in Taiwan. To make Taiwan an Asian startup funding hub, the government intends to scale fundraising by NT$5 billion ($160 million) annually, until 2023. Having a robust ecosystem of startups that can develop accessible and affordable technology will help drive the Industry 4.0 revolution.
Transitioning to the Future
Taiwan is well-positioned to become a leader in Industry 4.0 development and implementation. As the transition to intelligent industrial technologies persists, the nation can draw from its many strengths. With government initiatives spanning AI, IoT, and other industries, Taiwan is proving it’s ready to take a leading role in industrial innovation.
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