Finland’s Technology Innovation System

I. Introduction

  When, Finland, this country comes to our minds, it is quite easy for us to associate with the prestigious cell-phone company “NOKIA”, and its unbeatable high technology communication industry. However, following the change of entire cell-phone industry, the rise of smart phone not only has an influence upon people’s communication and interaction, but also makes Finland, once monopolized the whole cell-phone industry, feel the threat and challenge coming from other new competitors in the smart phone industry. However, even though Finland’s cell-phone industry has encountered frustrations in recent years in global markets, the Finland government still poured many funds into the area of technology and innovation, and brought up the birth of “Angry Birds”, one of the most popular smart phone games in the world. The Finland government still keeps the tradition to encourage R&D, and wishes Finland’s industries could re-gain new energy and power on technology innovation, and indirectly reach another new competitive level.

  According to the Statistics Finland, 46% Finland’s enterprises took innovative actions upon product manufacturing and the process of R&D during 2008-2010; also, the promotion of those actions not merely existed in enterprises, but directly continued to the aspect of marketing and manufacturing. No matter on product manufacturing, the process of R&D, the pattern of organization or product marketing, we can observe that enterprises or organizations make contributions upon innovative activities in different levels or procedures. In the assignment of Finland’s R&D budgets in 2012, which amounted to 200 million Euros, universities were assigned by 58 million Euros and occupied 29% R&D budgets. The Finland Tekes was assigned by 55 million Euros, and roughly occupied 27.5% R&D budgets. The Academy of Finland (AOF) was assigned by 32 million Euros, and occupied 16% R&D budges. The government’s sectors were assigned by 3 million Euros, and occupied 15.2% R&D budgets. Other technology R&D expenses were 2.1 million Euros, and roughly occupied 10.5% R&D. The affiliated teaching hospitals in universities were assigned by 0.36 million Euros, and occupied 1.8% R&D budgets. In this way, observing the information above, concerning the promotion of technology, the Finland government not only puts more focus upon R&D innovation, but also pays much attention on education quality of universities, and subsidizes various R&D activities. As to the Finland government’s assignment of budges, it can be referred to the chart below.

  As a result of the fact that Finland promotes industries’ innovative activities, it not only made Finland win the first position in “Growth Competitiveness Index” published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) during 2000-2006, but also located the fourth position in 142 national economy in “The Global Competitiveness Report” published by WEF, preceded only by Swiss, Singapore and Sweden, even though facing unstable global economic situations and the European debt crisis. Hence, observing the reasons why Finland’s industries have so strong innovative power, it seems to be related to the Finland’s national technology administrative system, and is worthy to be researched.

II. The Recent Situation of Finland’s Technology Administrative System

A. Preface

  Finland’s administrative system is semi-presidentialism, and its executive power is shared by the president and the Prime Minister; as to its legislative power, is shared by the Congress and the president. The president is the Finland’s leader, and he/she is elected by the Electoral College, and the Prime Minister is elected by the Congress members, and then appointed by the president. To sum up, comparing to the power owned by the Prime Minister and the president in the Finland’s administrative system, the Prime Minister has more power upon executive power. So, actually, Finland can be said that it is a semi-predisnetialism country, but trends to a cabinet system.

  Finland technology administrative system can be divided into four parts, and the main agency in each part, based upon its authority, coordinates and cooperates with making, subsidizing, executing of Finland’s technology policies. The first part is the policy-making, and it is composed of the Congress, the Cabinet and the Research and Innovation Council; the second part is policy management and supervision, and it is leaded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and other Ministries; the third part is science program management and subsidy, and it is composed of the Academy of Finland (AOF), the National Technology Agency (Tekes), and the Finnish National Fund Research and Development (SITRA); the fourth part is policy-executing, and it is composed of universities, polytechnics, public-owned research institutions, private enterprises, and private research institutions. Concerning the framework of Finland’s technology administrative, it can be referred to below.

B. The Agency of Finland’s Technology Policy Making and Management

(A) The Agency of Finland’s Technology Policy Making

  Finland’s technology policies are mainly made by the cabinet, and it means that the cabinet has responsibilities for the master plan, coordinated operation and fund-assignment of national technology policies. The cabinet has two councils, and those are the Economic Council and the Research and Innovation Council, and both of them are chaired by the Prime Minister. The Research and Innovation Council is reshuffled by the Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC) in 1978, and it changed name to the Research and Innovation Council in Jan. 2009. The major duties of the Research and Innovation Council include the assessment of country’s development, deals with the affairs regarding science, technology, innovative policy, human resource, and provides the government with aforementioned schedules and plans, deals with fund-assignment concerning public research development and innovative research, coordinates with all government’s activities upon the area of science, technology, and innovative policy, and executes the government’s other missions.

  The Research and Innovation Council is an integration unit for Finland’s national technology policies, and it originally is a consulting agency between the cabinet and Ministries. However, in the actual operation, its scope of authority has already covered coordination function, and turns to direct to make all kinds of policies related to national science technology development. In addition, the consulting suggestions related to national scientific development policies made by the Research and Innovation Council for the cabinet and the heads of Ministries, the conclusion has to be made as a “Key Policy Report” in every three year. The Report has included “Science, Technology, Innovation” in 2006, “Review 2008” in 2008, and the newest “Research and Innovation Policy Guidelines for 2011-2015” in 2010.

  Regarding the formation and duration of the Research and Innovation Council, its duration follows the government term. As for its formation, the Prime Minister is a chairman of the Research and Innovation Council, and the membership consists of the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Finance and a maximum of six other ministers appointed by the Government. In addition to the Ministerial members, the Council shall comprise ten other members appointed by the Government for the parliamentary term. The Members must comprehensively represent expertise in research and innovation. The structure of Council includes the Council Secretariat, the Administrative Assistant, the Science and Education Subcommittee, and the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee. The Council has the Science and Education Subcommittee and the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee with preparatory tasks. There are chaired by the Ministry of Education and Science and by the Minister of Economy, respectively. The Council’s Secretariat consists of one full-time Secretary General and two full-time Chief Planning Officers. The clerical tasks are taken care of at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

(B) The Agency of Finland’s Technology Policy Management

  The Ministries mainly take the responsibility for Finland’s technology policy management, which includes the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Employment and Economy, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Transport and Communication, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Financial, and the Ministry of Justice. In the aforementioned Ministries, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Employment and Economy are mainly responsible for Finland national scientific technology development, and take charge of national scientific policy and national technical policy, respectively. The goal of national scientific policy is to promote fundamental scientific research and to build up related scientific infrastructures; at the same time, the authority of the Ministry of Education and Culture covers education and training, research infrastructures, fundamental research, applied research, technology development, and commercialization. The main direction of Finland’s national scientific policy is to make sure that scientific technology and innovative activities can be motivated aggressively in universities, and its objects are, first, to raise research funds and maintain research development in a specific ratio; second, to make sure that no matter on R&D institutions or R&D training, it will reach fundamental level upon funding or environment; third, to provide a research network for Finland, European Union and global research; fourth, to support the research related to industries or services based upon knowledge-innovation; fifth, to strengthen the cooperation between research initiators and users, and spread R&D results to find out the values of commercialization, and then create a new technology industry; sixth, to analyze the performance of national R&D system.

  As for the Ministry of Employment and Economy, its major duties not only include labor, energy, regional development, marketing and consumer policy, but also takes responsibilities for Finland’s industry and technical policies, and provides industries and enterprises with a well development environment upon technology R&D. The business scope of the Ministry of Employment and Economy puts more focus on actual application of R&D results, it covers applied research of scientific technology, technology development, commercialization, and so on. The direction of Finland’s national technology policy is to strengthen the ability and creativity of industries’ technology development, and its objects are, first, to develop the new horizons of knowledge with national innovation system, and to provide knowledge-oriented products and services; second, to promote the efficiency of the government R&D funds; third, to provide cross-country R&D research networks, and support the priorities of technology policy by strengthening bilateral or multilateral cooperation; fourth, to raise and to broaden the efficiency of research discovery; fifth, to promote the regional development by technology; sixth, to evaluate the performance of technology policy; seventh, to increase the influence of R&D on technological change, innovation and society; eighth, to make sure that technology fundamental structure, national quality policy and technology safety system will be up to international standards.

(C) The Agency of Finland’s Technology Policy Management and Subsidy

  As to the agency of Finland’s technology policy management and subsidy, it is composed of the Academy of Finland (AOF), the National Technology Agency (Tekes), and the Finnish National Fund Research and Development (SITRA). The fund of AOF comes from the Ministry of Education and Culture; the fund of Tekes comes from the Ministry of Employment and Economy, and the fund of SITRA comes from independent public fund supervised by the Finland’s Congress.

(D) The Agency of Finland’s Technology Plan Execution

  As to the agency of Finland’s technology plan execution, it mainly belongs to the universities under Ministries, polytechnics, national technology research institutions, and other related research institutions. Under the Ministry of Education and Culture, the technology plans are executed by 16 universities, 25 polytechnics, and the Research Institute for the Language of Finland; under the Ministry of Employment and Economy, the technology plans are executed by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), the Geological Survey of Finnish, the National Consumer Research Centre; under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the technology plans are executed by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and University Central Hospitals; under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the technology plans are executed by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), the Finnish Geodetic Institute, and the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL); under the Ministry of Defense, the technology plans are executed by the Finnish Defense Forces’ Technical Research Centre (Pvtt); under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the technology plans are executed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute; under the Ministry of Environment, the technology plans are executed by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE); under the Ministry of Financial, the technology plans are executed by the Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT). At last, under the Ministry of Justice, the technology plans are executed by the National Research Institute of Legal Policy.

※Finland’s Technology Innovation System,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=6885 (Date:2020/11/28)
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Israel’s Technological Innovation System

I.Introduction Recently, many countries have attracted by Israel’s technology innovation, and wonder how Israel, resource-deficiency and enemies-around, has the capacity to enrich the environment for innovative startups, innovative R&D and other innovative activities. At the same time, several cross-border enterprises hungers to establish research centers in Israel, and positively recruits Israel high-tech engineers to make more innovative products or researches. However, there is no doubt that Israel is under the spotlight in the era of innovation because of its well-shaped national technology system framework, innovative policies of development and a high level of R&D expenditure, and there must be something to learn from. Also, Taiwanese government has already commenced re-organization lately, how to tightly connect related public technology sectors, and make the cooperation more closely and smoothly, is a critical issue for Taiwanese government to focus on. Consequently, by the observation of Israel’s national technology system framework and technology regulations, Israel’s experience shall be a valuable reference for Taiwanese government to build a better model for public technology sectors for future cooperation. Following harsh international competition, each country around the world is trying to find out the way to improve its ability to upgrade international competitiveness and to put in more power to promote technology innovation skills. Though, while governments are wondering how to strengthen their countries’ superiority, because of the differences on culture and economy, those will influence governments’ points of view to form an appropriate national innovative system, and will come with a different outcome. Israel, as a result of the fact that its short natural resources, recently, its stunning performance on technology innovation system makes others think about whether Israel has any characteristics or advantages to learn from. According to Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D in 2013 amounted to NIS 44.2 billion, and shared 4.2% of the GDP. Compared to 2012 and 2011, the national expenditure on civilian R&D in 2013, at Israel’s constant price, increased by 1.3%, following an increase of 4.5% in 2012 and of 4.1% in 2011. Owing to a high level of national expenditure poured in, those, directly and indirectly, makes the outputs of Israel’s intellectual property and technology transfer have an eye-catching development and performance. Based on Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, in 2012-2013, approximately 1,438 IP invention disclosure reports were submitted by the researchers of various universities and R&D institutions for examination by the commercialization companies. About 1,019 of the reports were by companies at the universities, an increase of 2.2% compared to 2010-2011, and a 1% increase in 2010-2011 compared to 2008-2009. The dominant fields of the original patent applicants were medicines (24%), bio-technology (17%), and medical equipment (13%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties amounted to NIS 1,881 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,680 million in 2011, and increase of 11.9%. The dominant field of the received revenues was medicines (94%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties in university in 2012 amounted to NIS 1,853 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,658 million in 2011, an increase of 11.8%. Therefore, by the observation of these records, even though Israel only has 7 million population, compared to other large economies in the world, it is still hard to ignore Israel’s high quality of population and the energy of technical innovation within enterprises. II.The Recent Situation of Israel’s Technology Innovation System A.The Determination of Israel’s Technology Policy The direction and the decision of national technology policy get involved in a country’s economy growth and future technology development. As for a government sector deciding technology policy, it would be different because of each country’s government and administrative system. Compared to other democratic countries, Israel is a cabinet government; the president is the head of the country, but he/she does not have real political power, and is elected by the parliament members in every five years. At the same time, the parliament is re-elected in every four years, and the Israeli prime minister, taking charge of national policies, is elected from the parliament members by the citizens. The decision of Israel’s technology policy is primarily made by the Israeli Ministers Committee for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology. The chairman of the Israeli Ministry Committee for Science and Technology is the Minister of Science and Technology, and takes charge of making the guideline of Israel’s national technology development policy and is responsible for coordinating R&D activities in Ministries. The primary function of the Ministry of Science and Technology is to make Israel’s national technology policies and to plan the guideline of national technology development; the scope includes academic research and applied scientific research. In addition, since Israel’s technology R&D was quite dispersed, it means that the Ministries only took responsibilities for their R&D, this phenomenon caused the waste of resources and inefficiency; therefore, Israel government gave a new role and responsibility for the Chief Scientists Forum under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2000, and wished it can take the responsibility for coordinating R&D between the government’s sectors and non-government enterprises. The determination of technology policy, however, tends to rely on counseling units to provide helpful suggestions to make technology policies more intact. In the system of Israel government, the units playing a role for counseling include National Council for Research and Development (NCRD), the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the National Council for Civil Research and Development (MOLMOP), and the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries. Among the aforementioned units, NCRD and the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure not only provide policy counseling, but also play a role in coordinating R&D among Ministries. NCRD is composed by the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries, the chairman of Planning and Budgeting Committee, the financial officers, entrepreneurs, senior scientists and the Dean of Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. NCRD’s duties include providing suggestions regarding the setup of R&D organizations and related legal system, and advices concerning how to distribute budgets more effectively; making yearly and long-term guidelines for Israel’s R&D activities; suggesting the priority area of R&D; suggesting the formation of necessary basic infrastructures and executing the priority R&D plans; recommending the candidates of the Offices of Chief Scientists in Ministries and government research institutes. As for the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the role it plays includes providing advices concerning budgets and the development framework of technology basic infrastructures; providing counsel for Ministries; setting up the priority scientific plans and items, and coordinating activities of R&D between academic institutes and national research committee. At last, as for MOLMOP, it was founded by the Israeli parliament in 2002, and its primary role is be a counseling unit regarding technology R&D issues for Israel government and related technology Ministries. As for MOLMOP’s responsibilities, which include providing advices regarding the government’s yearly and long-term national technology R&D policies, providing the priority development suggestion, and providing the suggestions for the execution of R&D basic infrastructure and research plans. B.The Management and Subsidy of Israel’s Technology plans Regarding the institute for the management and the subsidy of Israel’s technology plans, it will be different because of grantee. Israel Science Foundation (ISF) takes responsibility for the subsidy and the management of fundamental research plans in colleges, and its grantees are mainly focused on Israel’s colleges, high education institutes, medical centers and research institutes or researchers whose areas are in science and technical, life science and medicine, and humanity and social science. As for the budget of ISF, it mainly comes from the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) in Israel Council for Higher Education. In addition, the units, taking charge of the management and the subsidy of technology plans in the government, are the Offices of the Chief Scientist in Ministries. Israel individually forms the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy. The function of the Office of the Chief Scientist not only promotes and inspires R&D innovation in high technology industries that the Office the Chief Scientist takes charge, but also executes Israel’s national plans and takes a responsibility for industrial R&D. Also, the Office of the Chief Scientist has to provide aid supports for those industries or researches, which can assist Israel’s R&D to upgrade; besides, the Office of the Chief Scientists has to provide the guide and training for enterprises to assist them in developing new technology applications or broadening an aspect of innovation for industries. Further, the Office of the Chief Scientists takes charge of cross-country R&D collaboration, and wishes to upgrade Israel’s technical ability and potential in the area of technology R&D and industry innovation by knowledge-sharing and collaboration. III.The Recent Situation of the Management and the Distribution of Israel’s Technology Budget A.The Distribution of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets By observing Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D occupied high share of GDP, Israel’s government wants to promote the ability of innovation in enterprises, research institutes or universities by providing national resources and supports, and directly or indirectly helps the growth of industry development and enhances international competitiveness. However, how to distribute budgets appropriately to different Ministries, and make budgets can match national policies, it is a key point for Israel government to think about. Following the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to some Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education and other Ministries. As for the share of R&D budgets, the Ministry of Science and Technology occupies the share of 1.7%, the Ministry of Economy is 35%, the Israel Council for Higher Education is 45.5%, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is 8.15%, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources is 1.1%, and other Ministries are 7.8% From observing that Israel R&D budgets mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, Israel government not only pours in lot of budgets to encourage civilian technology R&D, to attract more foreign capitals to invest Israel’s industries, and to promote the cooperation between international and domestic technology R&D, but also plans to provide higher education institutes with more R&D budgets to promote their abilities of creativity and innovation in different industries. In addition, by putting R&D budgets into higher education institutes, it also can indirectly inspire students’ potential innovation thinking in technology, develop their abilities to observe the trend of international technology R&D and the need of Israel’s domestic industries, and further appropriately enhance students in higher education institutes to transfer their knowledge into the society. B.The Management of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets Since Israel is a cabinet government, the cabinet takes responsibility for making all national technology R&D policies. The Ministers Committee for Science and Technology not only has a duty to coordinate Ministries’ technology policies, but also has a responsibility for making a guideline of Israel’s national technology development. The determination of Israel’s national technology development guideline is made by the cabinet conference lead by the Prime Minister, other Ministries does not have any authority to make national technology development guideline. Aforementioned, Israel’s national technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education, and etc. As for the plan management units and plan execution units in Ministries, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Regional Research and Development Centers is the plan execution unit; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Economy, and its plan execution unit is different industries; the ISF is the plan management units in the Israel Council for Higher Education; also, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, and its plan execution units include the Institute of Field and Garden Corps, the Institute of Horticulture, the Institute of Animal, the Institute of Plan Protection, the Institute of Soil, Water & Environmental Sciences, the Institute for Technology and Storage of Agriculture Products, the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Research Center; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, and its plan execution units are the Geological Survey of Israel, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research and the Institute of Earth and Physical. As for other Ministries, the Offices of the Chief Scientist are the plan management units for Ministries, and the plan execution unit can take Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research or medical centers for example.

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Introduction to Tax Incentive Regime for SMEs I. Introduction   The developments of SMEs (small-and-medium enterprises) plays an important pillar of development of industries and creation of jobs in Taiwan. In 2017, the total number of SMEs in Taiwan was 1,437,616. They offer 8,904,000 jobs, accounting for 78.44% of the workforce[1]. However, SMEs have difficulties in entering international supply chains because of their weakness in finance. Therefore, how to enhance the global competitiveness of SMEs is an important issue for the concerned authority. Chapter 4 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises prescribes the tax incentive regime based on the financial capability of SMEs and characteristics of industries in order to facilitate the development of SMEs, especially the globalization of SMEs. This paper will review the importance of tax incentives to SMEs and introduces the tax incentive regime under the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises In order to help SMES have an understanding of such regime. II. SME Tax Incentives Scheme   As the gatekeeper of the market, the government may intervene the market with various policies or tools to reallocate and improve the soundness of the market environment when the market competitions is impaired due to information asymmetry or externalities. At this juncture, preferential tax rates or tax deductions can be offered to specific taxpayers through legal institution. This allows these taxpayers to retain higher post-tax earnings so that they are incentified to invest more resources in the legally defined economic activities. Tax incentives targeting at risky or spillover investments to create benefits to specific economic activities will help the development of industries and markets.   Whilst Article 10 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation has provided tax cuts for R&D expenditures, these incentives are not focus on SMEs and hence not supportive to their research and innovations. This was the reason for the 2016 amendment of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises added Article 35 to offer tax incentives in order to encourage R&D and innovative efforts and Article 35-1 to activate intellectual properties via licensing. These articles aim to accelerate the momentum of innovations and transformations which promoting investments for SMEs. OthersTo assist SMEs to cope with change of the business environment, the Article 36-2 added the tax incentives for salary or headcount increases, to contribute to the sustainability of SMEs and stabilize the labour market and industrial structures. Following is an explanation of the applicability of these schemes and the requirements to qualify such incentives. III. Tax Incentives to Promote Investments (I) Tax deductions for R&D expenditures   Governments around the world seek to encourage corporate R&D activities, that Tax incentives are put in place to reduce R&D costs and foster a healthy environment of investment for more R&D initiatives. Neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea and Singapore are frequently practicing belowing tax burdens to encourage R&D efforts. Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises in Taiwan allows accelerated depreciation and offers tax cuts[2] to stimulate R&D and innovations and create an investment friendly environment for SMEs. 1. Taxpaying Entities and Requirements (1) Qualifications for SMEs   Article 35 of the Act is applicable to qualified SMEs and individual taxpayers, which are (1) from manufacturing, construction & engineering, mining and quarrying industries, with paid-in capital below or equal to NT$80 million or with the number of full-time employees less than 200 people; (2) from other industries with the sales of the previous year below or equal to NT$100 million or with the number of full-time employees less than 100 people. Thus, the qualifications of Small and Medium Enterprises are based on either paid-in capital/sales or number of employees under the Act[3].Meanwhile, SMEs may not have an independent R&D department due to the limit of size or operating cost.Therefore, if the taxpayers hiring full-time R&D personnel that can provide records of job descriptions and work logs to R&D activities, the SMEs can access the tax incentives provided that the R&D functions. The recognized by government agencies is increasingly flexibility for SMEs seeking policy support. 2. Taxpayers and requirements (1) A certain degree of innovativeness   As the tax incentive regime strives to promote innovations, the R&D expenses should be used to fund innovative developments. According to the official letters from the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs, there is no high bar as forward-looking, risky and innovative as usually” required for other incentives previously, which is considering the size of SMEs and their industry characteristics. The “certain degree” of innovativeness shall be based on industry environments and SME businesses as determined by competent authorities in a flexible manner. (2) Flexibility in the utilization of business income tax reductions   To encourage regular R&D activities, The case that SMEs may not have R&D undertakings each year due to funding constraints, or start-up company may have incurred R&D expenditures but are not yet profitable and hence have no tax liabilities during the year, Corporate taxpayers were able to choose beside deduct the payable taxes during a single year, and reduce the payable taxes during the current year over three years starting from the year when tax incentives are applicable. 3. Tax incentive effects   As previously mentioned, Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises accommodates the characteristics of SMEs by allowing reductions of corporate business taxes for up to 15% R&D expenditures during the current year, or spreading the tax reductions by spreading up to 10% of the R&D expenditures over three years from the first year when the incentives are applicable. It is worth noting that the tax deductions shall not exceed 30% of the payable business income taxes during a single year.   If the instruments and equipment for R&D, experiments or quality inspections have a lifetime over two years or longer, it is possible to accelerate the depreciation within half of the years of service prescribed by the income tax codes for fixed assets. However, the final year less than 12 months over the shortened service years shall not be counted. Accelerated depreciation brings in tax benefits for fixed asset investments during the initial stage, that meets the requirements for new technologies and risk management by frontloading the equipment depreciation and creates a buffer for capital utilization. (II) Deferred taxations on licensing/capitalization of intellectual properties   The deferral of tax payments under the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is meant to avoid any adverse effect on the application of technological R&Ds by SMEs. As the equity stakes via capitalization of intellectual properties by inventors or creators are not cashed out yet and the subsequent gains may not be at the same valuation as determined at the time of capitalization, the immediate taxation may hinder the willingness to transfer intellectual properties. Therefore, assisting SMEs to release intellectual properties with potential economic value, the licensing and capitalization of intellectual properties is strongly encouraged. The tax expenses shall be deferred within SME or an individual acquires stakes on a non-publicly-listed company by transferring their intellectual properties.   This is to stimulate the applications and sharing of relevant manufacturing technologies. When an SME or an individual acquires stakes on a non-publicly-listed company by transferring their intellectual properties, their tax expenses shall be deferred. 1. Taxpayers and requirements (1) Qualifications for individuals or SMEs   Article 35-1 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is applicable to SMEs and individual taxpayers. This is to foster the growth of SMEs and enhancement of industry competitiveness by encouraging R&D and innovations from individuals and start-ups. To promote the commercialize of intellectual properties in different ways, the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides income tax incentives to individuals and SMEs transferring intellectual properties. The purpose is to encourage different paths to industry upgrades. (2) Ownership of intellectual properties   To ensure that the proceeds of intellectual property is linked to the activity of intellectual properties which perform by individuals or SMEs. Only the owners of the intellectual properties capitalized and transferred can enjoy the tax benefits.   Intellectual properties referred to in the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises are the properties with value created with human activities and hence conferred with legal rights. These include but are not limited to copyrights, patent rights, trademarks, trade secrets, integrated circuit layouts, plant variety rights and any other intellectual properties protected by laws[4]. (3) Acquisition of stock options   The abovementioned tax incentives are offered to the individuals or SMEs who transfer intellectual properties to non-listed companies in exchange of their new shares. The income taxes on the owners of intellectual properties are deferred until acquisition of shares. These shares are not registered with the book-entry system yet. Before the transferrers of intellectual properties dispose or offload these shares, immediate taxations will impose economic burdens and funding challenges given the unknown prices of the eventual cash-out. Therefore, this legislation is only applicable to taxpayers who obtain options for new shares. 2. Taxpayers and requirements (1) Transfer of intellectual properties   According to Article 36 of the Copyright Act as interpreted by official letters issued by the Ministry of Finance, the transfer of intellectual properties is the conferring of intellectual properties to others, and the transferees access these intellectual properties within the scope of the transfer. In terms “transfer” of the first and second paragraphs of Article 36 does not include licensing[5], but such as granting, licensing and inheritance. (2) Timing of income tax payments   In general, the particular time that calculation of taxes payable is based on when the taxpayers acquire the incomes, less relevant expenses or costs. The taxes payable timing should be depending on when the taxpayers obtain the newly issued shares by transferring intellectual properties. However, the levy of income taxes at the time of intellectual property transfers and new share acquisitions may cause a sudden jump in taxes payable in the progressive system and thus a burden on the economics of SMEs and individuals concerned. Thus, to avoid disruptions to company operations or personal finance planning, Article 36 makes the exception for the incomes earned by subscribing to new shares as a result of transferring intellectual properties. Such incomes are not subject to taxes during the year when the shares are acquired, in order to mitigate the tax barriers concerned.   In sum, the taxes shall be paid when such shares are transferred, gifted or distributed. 3. Tax incentive effects   Article 35-1 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides tax incentives to stimulate the mobilization of intellectual properties by smoothing out the impact of income taxes payable. This is applicable to (1) SMEs who can postpone the business income taxes payable from the year when they acquire new shares of non-listed companies by transferring the intellectual properties they own; (2) individuals who can postpone the individual income taxes payable from the year when they acquire new shares of non-listed companies by transferring the intellectual properties they own. IV. Tax incentives aiming to improve the business environment (I) Tax reductions for wages to additional headcounts   SMEs are vital to the Taiwan, making uo 90% of the companies accounting in Taiwan, who employ more than 6.5 million people or 72.8% of the total workforce. Any economic recession may make it difficult for SMEs to maintain their labor costs given their smaller funding size and external challenges. This will cause higher unemployment rates and hurt the economy, which may cause impairment of the capacity or create a labor gap for SMEs, eventually shrink the industry scale. To lower the burden of operational and investment costs and learn from the legislatives in Japan and the U.S.[6], tax incentives are put in place as a buffer for adverse effects of external environments. The first paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provide tax incentives for employee salaries of new headcounts based on the assessment on the economy over a time period. This is intended to encourage domestic investments and avoid the pitfall of direct government subsidies distorting salary structures. It is hoped that investments from SMEs can stimulate the momentum of economic growth. 1. Taxpayers   The tax incentives under Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises aim to assist SMEs through difficult times in an economic downturn. The threshold of the period time is based on the unemployment rate has been below the economic indicator predetermined for six consecutive months, which calculated by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan. In number of the unemployment rate has been below the economic indicator predetermined for six consecutive months, it is deemed that the business environment is not friendly to SMEs. In this instance, the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment will trigger the tax incentives. The abovementioned economic indicator shall be published by the competent authorities once every two years.   Moreover, to qualify for the tax incentives for new employees, SMEs should investing new ventures or instill new capital by at least $500,000[7] or hiring workforce at least two full-time headcounts compared with the previous fiscal year, that constitute at the Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, which aims to encourage SMEs investments. 2. Taxpayers (1) Qualifications of additional headcounts   As the dispatched human resource services typically meet temporary or short-term requirements and contractors do not enjoy employment security, this is not consistent with the spirit of the legislation to create jobs and reduce unemployment. Therefore, to avoid the one-time increase of headcounts from accessing the tax reductions during the year and the deterioration of labor relations in Taiwan. Tax incentive is not offered to the additional recruitment of part-time or contracted workers.   Meanwhile, the tax incentives are only applicable to the additional employment of Taiwanese nationals, above or below 24 years old. A tax deduction of 50% based on annual wages is provided for the hiring of people below 24 years old. The extra tax deduction will stimulate young employment. (2) Definition of additional employment   The number of additional headcounts is based on permanent hires and calculated as the difference between the average number of Taiwanese employees covered by labor insurance per month throughout a single fiscal year or before and after the incremental increase of workforce. The conversion of regular contracts to indefinite employment in writing or signing up for indefinite R&D headcounts under the military service scheme can also be deemed as additional employment. It is worth noting, however, the new headcounts resulted from M&A activities or transfer between affiliated companies are excluded in this legislation. (3) Calculation of wages   Companies are also required to increase employment as well as the Comparable Wages. The comparable wages are estimated with the summation of 30% of the wages for the year before and after additional employment that based on the aggregate of the new hires comparable wages compared to the prior year. In other words, if the aggregate wages paid out are higher than comparable wages during the year, the companies concerned have indeed incurred higher personnel expenses. Tax incentives are thus granted because it improves the business environment and it is the purpose of this legislation. 3. Tax incentive effects   The first paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides deductions of business income taxes during the year to qualified SMEs at an amount equivalent to 130% of the incremental wages paid to new headcounts who are Taiwanese nationals. The deductible amount is equivalent to 150% of the incremental wages if new headcounts are Taiwanese nationals below 24 years old. (II) Tax incentives for companies that increase salaries   Companies are subject to the effect of changes in the external factors such as global supply and demand on the international market, as well as the domestic business environment as a result of risk aversion from investors and expectation from customers. These uncertainties associated with investments and the rising prices for consumers will suppress the wage levels in Taiwan. This the reason why the second paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises grants tax deductions for the companies who increase salaries, to encourage companies share earnings with employees and enhance private-sector consumption. SMEs may deduct their business income taxes payable during the year up to 30% of salary increase for existing entry-level employees who are Taiwanese nationals, not as a result of statutory requirement for basic wage adjustments. 1. Taxpayers   The tax incentives are applicable to SMEs as defined by the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment and based on the same economic indicators previously mentioned. 2. Qualification for tax incentives (1) Definition of entry-level employees   The object of taxation under this act is the enterprise's average wage payment to the entry-level employees. The entry-level employees referred to in this act are authorized by the "Small and medium-sized enterprise employee salary increase, salary deduction act " that refers to employees of local nationality with an average monthly recurring salary below nt $50,000[8] whose were entered into indefinite employment contracts with SMEs. Through such conditions, the effect of tax concessions will be concentrated on promoting the salary level of grassroots staff and helping enterprises to cope with changes in the industrial environment. (2) Average salaries   The salaries to entry-level employees refer to the basic salaries, fixed allowances and bonuses paid on a monthly basis. Payment-in-kind shall be discounted based on the actual prices and included into the regular salaries. Meanwhile, regular salaries should be calculated with annualized averages, as this legislation seeks to boost salary levels. The regular salaries to entry-level employees during the year are estimated with the monthly number of entry-level employees during the same year. Only when the average basis salaries during the year are higher than those in the prior year can the tax incentives be applicable. 3. Tax incentive effects   Applying this article, SMEs can deduct their business income taxes each year up to 130% of salary increase for existing entry-level employees who are Taiwanese nationals, which are not as a result of statutory requirement for basic wage adjustments. However, it is not allowed to double count the increased personnel expenses for new headcounts applicable to the first and second paragraphs of the same article. V. Conclusions   The funding scales and relatively weak financial structures are the factors that led SMEs be susceptible influenced by supply change dynamics and business cycles. To the extent that is suppressing the flexible in capital utilization for SMEs, also influencing on the sustainability of SMEs. Differ from government subsidies require budgeting, reviewing and implementations, there are complications regarding the allocation of administrative resources. Therefore, it is important to plan for tax incentives in order to stimulate R&D, innovation and job creation by SMEs and ultimately make SMEs more competitive.   The tax incentives to SMEs amended in 2016 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration are known for the following: (I) The lowering of thresholds for tax reductions of R&D expenses in order to encourage SMEs to invest in R&D activities with a “certain degree” of innovativeness and enhance the momentum for SMEs to upgrade and transform themselves; (II) Deferral the income taxations on the transfer of intellectual properties for equity, in order to encourage application and utilization of such intellectual properties, provide incentives for R&D programs or innovations by individuals and SMEs. This also creates a catalyst for industry upgrade; (III) Tax deductions for the employment of new headcounts or the increase of employee wages during the time the economic indicators have reached a certain threshold and based on the health of the investment environment. This is to encourage company investments and capital increases in Taiwan and mitigate the volatility of economic cycles, in order to get ready for business improvement.   The above tax incentive programs, i.e. tax deductions for R&D and innovations; deferral of taxations on the transfer of intellectual properties for equity; tax deductions for the hiring of new headcounts and the increase of employee salaries, are meant to boost the investment from SMEs and the competitiveness of SMEs. The Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises seeks to reduce tax burdens of SMEs actively investing for their future and competitive advantages. Tax incentives help to mitigate the adverse effect of the economy on the business environment. It is also the fostering of the sources of business income tax revenues for the government. This is the very purpose of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. [1]White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Taiwan, 2018, p21 (November 9, 2018) published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs [2]Pursuant to the authorization conferred by Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced the Regulations Governing the Reduction of Expenditures for Small and Medium Enterprises Research and Development as Investment. [3]Article 2 on the definition of SMEs. The abovementioned criterion is universally applicable to the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. It also applies to the eligibility of tax incentives to be introduced in this paper unless otherwise specified. [4]Official Letter Economic-Business No. 10304605790, Ministry of Economic Affairs [5]Official Letter Taiwan-Finance No. 10300207480, Ministry of Finance [6]“Assessment of the Taxations under Article 35, Article 35-1, the first paragraph and the second paragraph of Article 36-2, the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises” published by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs, pages 15-17, https://www.moeasmea.gov.tw/files/2670/93B9AF54-84E2-4293-A5CA-EA7DD9FAA05A(most recently browsed date September 9, 2019). [7]Order of Interpretation Economics-Business No. 104004602510 from the Ministry of Economic Affairs: “Second, on the day when the economic indicator has reached the threshold, the paid-in capital of the new business should be at least NT$500,000 and there is no need to instill additional capital during the period when tax incentives are applicable. For existing businesses, there is no limitation on the number of capital increases during the applicable period. So long as the cumulative increase in capital reaches NT$500,000 and new employees are hired during the same fiscal year or during the prior fiscal year.” [8]Paragraph 1, Article 2 of the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment

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