While machinery production has become Taiwan’s third industry with annual production value of over NT$1 trillion (US$32.67 billion) in 2017 after going smart, the IoT (Internet of Things) industry is likely to become the country’s fourth industrial sector to achieve so, according to Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen.
Tsai made the statement when speaking at a recent gathering of associations of Taiwan investors abroad. She said that over the past year, the government has worked hard to spur industrial transformation and ease related rules and regulations to attract overseas Taiwan businesses to return home for more investments in IoT applications and other high-tech sectors.
Studies commissioned by the government show that Taiwan businesses used to focus on ODM production and hardware and firmware technologies, injecting much less resources into building of brand image and the marketing, R&D, talent cultivation and integrated solutions associated with software applications. In addition, most Taiwan industrial PC makers see relatively smaller operating scales than their international counterparts and suffer poor connections with international organizations and industrial standards. All these have undermined the competitiveness of Taiwan makers in the global IoT value chains.
To counter, the government in Taiwan will, in its Asia Silicon Valley Project, set up an open, common IoT platform to effectively integrate technology R&D, international IoT standards, application services, business models and industry resources while also encouraging Taiwan ICT hardware makers to join the Smart Open-Inno platform, step up talent cultivation, and re-allocate funds and resources to work out comprehensive IoT turnkey solutions for exports.
Meanwhile, the government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) pointed out that artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the center stage of IoT applications, and that NB-IoT chips, software and service solutions are expected to become the mainstreams of the LPWA (low power wide area) technology adopted by telecom operators in 2018.
ITRI stressed that Taiwan boast strong manufacturing prowess in terminal hardware devices and this advantage can be integrated with network transmission and software systems to better utilize AI, NB-IoT and edge computing, so as to effectively strengthen the application service momentum of Taiwan’s IoT industry.