Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (1) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”)

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (1) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”)

I. Foreword

  We hereby aim to analyze and research the role played by The Finnish Innovation Fund (“Sitra”) in boosting the national innovation ability and propose the characteristics of its organization and operation which may afford to facilitate the deliberation on Taiwan’s legal system.  Sitra is an independent organization which is used to reporting to the Finnish Parliament directly, dedicated to funding activities to boost sustainable development as its ultimate goal and oriented toward the needs for social change.  As of 2004, it promoted the fixed-term program.  Until 2012, it, in turn, primarily engaged in 3-year program for ecological sustainable development and enhancement of society in 2012.  The former aimed at the sustainable use of natural resources to develop new structures and business models and to boost the development of a bioeconomy and low-carbon society, while the latter aimed to create a more well-being-oriented public administrative environment to upgrade various public sectors’ leadership and decision-making ability to introduce nationals’ opinion to policies and the potential of building new business models and venture capital businesses[1].

II. Standing and Operating Instrument of Sitra

1. Sitra Standing in Boosting of Finnish Innovation Policies

(1) Positive Impact from Support of Innovation R&D Activities by Public Sector

  Utilization of public sector’s resources to facilitate and boost industrial innovation R&D ability is commonly applied in various countries in the world.  Notwithstanding, the impact of the public sector’s investment of resources produced to the technical R&D and the entire society remains explorable[2].  Most studies still indicate positive impact, primarily as a result of the market failure.  Some studies indicate that the impact of the public sector’s investment of resources may be observable at least from several points of view, including: 1. The direct output of the investment per se and the corresponding R&D investment potentially derived from investees; 2. R&D of outputs derived from the R&D investment, e.g., products, services and production methods, etc.; 3. direct impact derived from the R&D scope, e.g., development of a new business, or new business and service models, etc.; 4. impact to national and social economies, e.g., change of industrial structures and improvement of employment environment, etc.  Most studies indicate that from the various points of view, the investment by public sector all produced positive impacts and, therefore, such investment is needed definitely[3].  The public sector may invest in R&D in diversified manners.  Sitra invests in the “market” as an investor of corporate venture investment market, which plays a role different from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (“Tekes”), which is more like a governmental subsidizer.  Nevertheless, Finland’s characteristics reside in the combination of multiple funding and promotion models.  Above all, due to the different behavior model, the role played by the former is also held different from those played by the general public sectors.  This is why we choose the former as the subject to be studied herein.


Data source: Jari Hyvärinen & Anna-Maija Rautiainen, Measuring additionality and systemic impacts of public research and development funding – the case of TEKES, FINLAND, RESEARCH EVALUATION, 16(3), 205, 206 (2007).
Fig. 1 Phased Efforts of Resources Invested in R&D by Public Sector

(2) Two Sided f Role Played by Sitra in Boosting of Finnish Innovation Policies

  Sitra has a very special position in Finland’s national innovation policies, as it not only helps successful implementation of the innovation policies but also acts an intermediary among the relevant entities.  Sitra was founded in 1967 under supervision of the Bank of Finland before 1991, but was transformed into an independent foundation under the direction of the Finnish Parliament[4].

  Though Sitra is a public foundation, its operation will not be intervened or restricted by the government.  Sitra may initiate any innovation activities for its new organization or system, playing a role dedicated to funding technical R&D or promoting venture capital business.  Meanwhile, Sitra also assumes some special function dedicated to decision-makers’ training and organizing decision-maker network to boost structural change.  Therefore, Sitra may be identified as a special organization which may act flexibly and possess resources at the same time and, therefore, may initiate various innovation activities rapidly[5].

  Sitra is authorized to boost the development of innovation activities in said flexible and characteristic manner in accordance with the Finland Innovation Fund Act (Laki Suomen itsenäisyyden juhlarahastosta).  According to the Act, Finland established Sitra in 1967 and Sitra was under supervision of Bank of Finland (Article 1).  Sitra was established in order to boost the stable growth of Finland’s economy via the national instrument’s support of R&D and education or other development instruments (Article 2).  The policies which Sitra may adopt include loaning or funding, guarantee, marketable securities, participation in cooperative programs, partnership or equity investment (Article 3).  If necessary, Sitra may collect the title of real estate or corporate shares (Article 7).


Data source: Finnish innovation system, Research.fi, http://www.research.fi/en/innovationsystem.html (last visited Mar. 15, 2013).
Fig. 2 Finnish Scientific Research Organization Chart

  Sitra's innovation role has been evolved through two changes.  Specifically, Sitra was primarily dedicated to funding technical R&D among the public sectors in Finland, and the funding model applied by Sitra prior to the changes initiated the technical R&D promotion by Tekes, which was established in 1983.  The first change of Sitra took place in 1987.  After that, Sitra turned to focus on the business development and venture capital invested in technology business and led the venture capital investment.  Meanwhile, it became a partner of private investment funds and thereby boosted the growth of venture capital investments in Finland in 1990.  In 2000, the second change of Sitra took place and Sitra’s organization orientation was changed again.  It achieved the new goal for structural change step by step by boosting the experimental social innovation activities.  Sitra believed that it should play the role contributing to procedural change and reducing systematic obstacles, e.g., various organizational or institutional deadlocks[6].

  Among the innovation policies boosted by the Finnish Government, the support of Start-Ups via governmental power has always been the most important one.  Therefore, the Finnish Government is used to playing a positive role in the process of developing the venture capital investment market.  In 1967, the Government established a venture capital company named Sponsor Oy with the support from Bank of Finland, and Sponsor Oy was privatized after 1983.  Finland Government also established Kera Innovation Fund (now known as Finnvera[7]) in 1971, which was dedicated to boosting the booming of Start-Ups in Finland jointly with Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. (“FII”) established by the Government in 1994, and Sitra, so as to make the “innovation” become the main development force of the country[8] .

  Sitra plays a very important role in the foundation and development of venture capital market in Finland and is critical to the Finnish Venture Capital Association established in 1990.  After Bank of Finland was under supervision of Finnish Parliament in 1991, Sitra became on the most important venture capital investors.  Now, a large portion of private venture capital funds are provided by Sitra[9]. Since Sitra launched the new strategic program in 2004, it has turned to apply smaller sized strategic programs when investing young innovation companies, some of which involved venture capital investment.  The mapping of young innovation entrepreneurs and angel investors started as of 1996[10].

  In addition to being an important innovation R&D promoter in Finland, Sitra is also an excellent organization which is financially self-sufficient and tends to gain profit no less than that to be generated by a private enterprise.  As an organization subordinated to the Finnish Parliament immediately, all of Sitra’s decisions are directly reported to the Parliament (public opinion).  Chairman of Board, Board of Directors and supervisors of Sitra are all appointed by the Parliament directly[11].  Its working funds are generated from interest accruing from the Fund and investment income from the Fund, not tax revenue or budget prepared by the Government any longer.  The total fund initially founded by Bank of Finland amounted to DEM100,000,000 (approximately EUR17,000,000), and was accumulated to DEM500,000,000 (approximately EUR84,000,000) from 1972 to 1992.  After that, following the increase in market value, its nominal capital amounted to DEM1,400,000,000 (approximately EUR235,000,000) from 1993 to 2001.  Obviously, Sitra generated high investment income.  Until 2010, it has generated the investment income amounting to EUR697,000,000 .

  In fact, Sitra’s concern about venture capital investment is identified as one of the important changes in Finland's national technical R&D polices after 1990[13].  Sitra is used to funding businesses in three manners, i.e., direct investment in domestic stock, investment in Finnish venture capital funds, and investment in international venture capital funds, primarily in four industries, technology, life science, regional cooperation and small-sized & medium-sized starts-up.  Meanwhile, it also invests in venture capital funds for high-tech industries actively.  In addition to innovation technology companies, technical service providers are also its invested subjects[14].

2.  “Investment” Instrument Applied by Sitra to Boost Innovation Business

  The Starts-Up funding activity conducted by Sitra is named PreSeed Program, including INTRO investors’ mapping platform dedicated to mapping 450 angel investment funds and entrepreneurs, LIKSA engaged in working with Tekes to funding new companies no more than EUR40,000 for purchase of consultation services (a half thereof funded by Tekes, and the other half funded by Sitra in the form of loan convertible to shares), DIILI service[15] dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with professional sale consultation resources to integrate the innovation activity (product thereof) and the market to remedy the deficit in the new company’s ability to sell[16].

  The investment subjects are stated as following.  Sitra has three investment subjects, namely, corporate investments, fund investments and project funding.

(1) Corporate investment

  Sitra will not “fund” enterprises directly or provide the enterprises with services without consideration (small-sized and medium-sized enterprises are aided by other competent authorities), but invest in the businesses which are held able to develop positive effects to the society, e.g., health promotion, social problem solutions, utilization of energy and effective utilization of natural resources.  Notwithstanding, in order to seek fair rate of return, Sitra is dedicated to making the investment (in various enterprises) by its professional management and technology, products or competitiveness of services, and ranging from EUR300,000 to EUR1,000,000 to acquire 10-30% of the ownership of the enterprises, namely equity investment or convertible funding.  Sitra requires its investees to value corporate social responsibility and actively participate in social activities.  It usually holds the shares from 4 years to 10 years, during which period it will participate the corporate operation actively (e.g., appointment of directors)[17].

(2) Fund investments

  For fund investments[18], Sitra invests in more than 50 venture capital funds[19].  It invests in domestic venture capital fund market to promote the development of the market and help starts-up seek funding and create new business models, such as public-private partnerships.  It invests in international venture capital funds to enhance the networking and solicit international funding, which may help Finnish enterprises access international trend information and adapt to the international market.

(3) Project funding

  For project funding, Sitra provides the on-site information survey (supply of information and view critical to the program), analysis of business activities (analysis of future challenges and opportunities) and research & drafting of strategies (collection and integration of professional information and talents to help decision making), and commissioning of the program (to test new operating model by commissioning to deal with the challenge from social changes).  Notwithstanding, please note that Sitra does not invest in academic study programs, research papers or business R&D programs[20].

(4) DIILI Investment Model Integrated With Investment Absorption

  A Start-Up usually will not lack technologies (usually, it starts business by virtue of some advanced technology) or foresighted philosophy when it is founded initially, while it often lacks the key to success, the marketing ability.  Sitra DIILI is dedicated to providing the professional international marketing service to help starts-up gain profit successfully.  Owing to the fact that starts-up are usually founded by R&D personnel or research-oriented technicians, who are not specialized in marketing and usually retains no sufficient fund to employ marketing professionals, DILLI is engaged in providing dedicated marketing talents.  Now, it employs about 85 marketing professionals and seeks to become a start-up partner by investing technical services.

  Notwithstanding, in light of the characteristics of Sitra’s operation and profitability, some people indicate that it is more similar to a developer of an innovation system, rather than a neutral operator.  Therefore, it is not unlikely to hinder some work development which might be less profitable (e.g., establishment of platform).  Further, Sitra is used to developing some new investment projects or areas and then founding spin-off companies after developing the projects successfully.  The way in which it operates seems to be non-compatible with the development of some industries which require permanent support from the public sector.  The other issues, such as INTRO lacking transparency and Sitra's control over investment objectives likely to result in adverse choice, all arise from Sitra’s consideration to its own investment opportunities and profit at the same time of mapping.  Therefore, some people consider that it should be necessary to move forward toward a more transparent structure or a non-income-oriented funding structure[21] .  Given this, the influence of Sitra’s own income over upgrading of the national innovation ability when Sitra boosts starts-up to engage in innovation activities is always a concern remaining disputable in the Finnish innovation system.

3.  Boosting of Balance in Regional Development and R&D Activities

  In order to fulfill the objectives under Lisbon Treaty and to enable EU to become the most competitive region in the world, European Commission claims technical R&D as one of its main policies.  Among other things, under the circumstance that the entire R&D competitiveness upgrading policy is always progressing sluggishly, Finland, a country with a population of 5,300,000, accounting for 1.1% of the population of 27 EU member states, was identified as the country with the No. 1 innovation R&D ability in the world by World Economic Forum in 2005.  Therefore, the way in which it promotes innovation R&D policies catches the public eyes.  Some studies also found that the close relationship between R&D and regional development policies of Finland resulted in the integration of regional policies and innovation policies, which were separated from each other initially, after 1990[22].  Finland has clearly defined the plan to exploit the domestic natural resources and human resources in a balanced and effective manner after World War II.  At the very beginning, it expanded the balance of human resources to low-developed regions, in consideration of the geographical politics, but in turn, it achieved national balanced development by meeting the needs for a welfare society and mitigation of the rural-urban divide as time went by. The Finnish innovation policies which may resort to technical policies retroactively initially drove the R&D in the manners including upgrading of education degree, founding of Science and Technology Policy Council and Sitra, establishment of Academy of Finland (1970) and establishment of the technical policy scheme, et al..  Among other things, people saw the role played by Sitra in Finland’s knowledge-intensive society policy again.  From 1991 to 1995, the Finnish Government officially included the regional competitiveness into the important policies.  The National Industrial Policy for Finland in 1993 adopted the strategy focusing on the development based on competitive strength in the regional industrial communities[23].

  Also, some studies indicated that in consideration of Finland’s poor financial and natural resources, its national innovation system should concentrate the resources on the R&D objectives which meet the requirements about scale and essence.  Therefore, the “Social Innovation, Social and Economic Energy Re-building Learning Society” program boosted by Sitra as the primary promoter in 2002 defined the social innovation as “the reform and action plan to enhance the regulations of social functions (law and administration), politics and organizational structure”, namely reform of the mentality and cultural ability via social structural changes that results in social economic changes ultimately.  Notwithstanding, the productivity innovation activity still relies on the interaction between the enterprises and society.  Irrelevant with the Finnish Government’s powerful direction in technical R&D activities, in fact, more than two-thirds (69.1%) of the R&D investment was launched by private enterprises and even one-thirds launched by a single enterprise (i.e., Nokia) in Finland.  At the very beginning of 2000, due to the impact of globalization to Finland’s innovation and regional policies, a lot of R&D activities were emigrated to the territories outside Finland[24].  Multiple disadvantageous factors initiated the launch of national resources to R&D again.  The most successful example about the integration of regional and innovation policies in Finland is the Centres of Expertise Programme (CEP) boosted by it as of 1990.  Until 1994, there have been 22 centres of expertise distributed throughout Finland.  The centres were dedicated to integrating local universities, research institutions and enterprise for co-growth.  The program to be implemented from 2007 to 2013 planned 21 centres of expertise (13 groups), aiming to promote the corporate sectors’ cooperation and innovation activities.  CEP integrated local, regional and national resources and then focused on the businesses designated to be developed[25].

[1] Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[2] Jari Hyvärinen & Anna-Maija Rautiainen, Measuring additionality and systemic impacts of public research and development funding – the case of TEKES, FINLAND, RESEARCH EVALUATION, 16(3), 205, 208 (2007).

[3] id. at 206-214.

[4] Charles Edquist, Tterttu Luukkonen & Markku Sotarauta, Broad-Based Innovation Policy, in EVALUATION OF THE FINNISH NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM – FULL REPORT 11, 25 (Reinhilde Veugelers st al. eds., 2009).

[5] id.

[6] id.

[7] Finnvera is a company specialized in funding Start-Ups, and its business lines include loaning, guarantee, venture capital investment and export credit guarantee, etc.  It is a state-run enterprise and Export Credit Agency (ECA) in Finland.  Finnvera, http://annualreport2012.finnvera.fi/en/about-finnvera/finnvera-in-brief/ (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[8] Markku Maula, Gordon Murray & Mikko Jääskeläinen, MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, Public Financing of Young Innovation Companies in Finland 32 (2006).

[9] id. at 33.

[10] id. at 41.

[11] Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[12] Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[13] The other two were engaged in boosting the regional R&D center and industrial-academy cooperative center programs.  Please see Gabriela von Blankenfeld-Enkvist, Malin Brännback, Riitta Söderlund & Marin Petrov, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT [OECD],OECD Case Study on Innovation: The Finnish Biotechnology Innovation System 15 (2004).

[14] id. at20.

[15] DIILI service provides sales expertise for SMEs, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/articles/2005/diili-service-provides-sales-expertise-smes-0 (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[16] Maula, Murray & Jääskeläinen, supra note 8 at 41-42.

[17] Corporate investments, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/corporate-investments (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[18] Fund investments, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/fund-investments (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[19] The venture capital funds referred to herein mean the pooled investment made by the owners of venture capital, while whether it exists in the form of fund or others is not discussed herein.

[20] Project funding, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/project-funding (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).

[21] Maula, Murray & Jääskeläinen, supra note 8 at 42.

[22] Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Regional and Innovation Policies in Finland – Towards Convergence and/or Mismatch? REGIONAL STUDIES, 42(7), 1031, 1032-1033 (2008).

[23] id. at 1036.

[24] id. at 1038.

[25] id. at 1038-1039.

※Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (1) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”),STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=6980 (Date:2020/01/19)
Quote this paper
You may be interested
Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System I. Foreword   Switzerland is a landlocked country situated in Central Europe, spanning an area of 41,000 km2, where the Alps occupy 60% of the territory, while it owns little cultivated land and poor natural resources. In 2011, its population was about 7,950,000 persons[1]. Since the Swiss Federal was founded, it has been adhering to a diplomatic policy claiming neutrality and peace, and therefore, it is one of the safest and most stable countries in the world. Switzerland is famous for its high-quality education and high-level technological development and is very competitive in biomedicine, chemical engineering, electronics and metal industries in the international market. As a small country with poor resources, the Swiss have learnt to drive their economic and social development through education, R&D and innovation a very long time ago. Some renowned enterprises, including Nestle, Novartis and Roche, are all based in Switzerland. Meanwhile, a lot of creative small-sized and medium-sized enterprises based in Switzerland are dedicated to supporting the export-orientation economy in Switzerland.   Switzerland has the strongest economic strength and plentiful innovation energy. Its patent applications, publication of essay, frequencies of quotation and private enterprises’ innovation performance are remarkable all over the world. According to the Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Switzerland has ranked first among the most competitive countries in the world for four years consecutively since 2009[2]. Meanwhile, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) released by INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly, Switzerland has also ranked first in 2011 and 2012 consecutively[3]. Obviously, Switzerland has led the other countries in the world in innovation development and economic strength. Therefore, when studying the R&D incentives and boosting the industrial innovation, we might benefit from the experience of Switzerland to help boost the relevant mechanism in Taiwan.   Taiwan’s government organization reform has been launched officially and boosted step by step since 2012. In the future, the National Science Council will be reformed into the “Ministry of Science and Technology”, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs into the “Ministry of Economy and Energy”, and the Department of Industrial Development into the “Department of Industry and Technology”. Therefore, Taiwan’s technology administrative system will be changed materially. Under the new government organizational framework, how Taiwan’s technology R&D and industrial innovation system divide work and coordinate operations to boost the continuous economic growth in Taiwan will be the first priority without doubt. Support of innovation policies is critical to promotion of continuous economic growth. The Swiss Government supports technological research and innovation via various organizations and institutions effectively. In recent years, it has achieved outstanding performance in economy, education and innovation. Therefore, we herein study the functions and orientation of the competent authorities dedicated to boosting research and innovation in Switzerland, and observe its policies and legal system applied to boost the national R&D in order to provide the reference for the functions and orientation of the competent authorities dedicated to boosting R&D and industrial innovation in Taiwan. II. Overview of Swiss Federal Technology Laws and Technology Administrative System   Swiss national administrative organization is subject to the council system. The Swiss Federal Council is the national supreme administrative authority, consisting of 7 members elected from the Federal Assembly and dedicated to governing a Federal Government department respectively. Switzerland is a federal country consisting of various cantons that have their own constitutions, councils and governments, respectively, entitled to a high degree of independence.   Article 64 of the Swiss Federal Constitution[4] requires that the federal government support research and innovation. The “Research and Innovation Promotion Act” (RIPA)[5] is dedicated to fulfilling the requirements provided in Article 64 of the Constitution. Article 1 of the RIPA[6] expressly states that the Act is enacted for the following three purposes: 1. Promoting the scientific research and science-based innovation and supporting evaluation, promotion and utilization of research results; 2. Overseeing the cooperation between research institutions, and intervening when necessary; 3. Ensuring that the government funding in research and innovation is utilized effectively. Article 4 of the RIPA provides that the Act shall apply to the research institutions dedicated to innovation R&D and higher education institutions which accept the government funding, and may serve to be the merit for establishment of various institutions dedicated to boosting scientific research, e.g., the National Science Foundation and Commission of Technology & Innovation (CTI). Meanwhile, the Act also provides detailed requirements about the method, mode and restriction of the government funding.   According to the RIPA amended in 2011, the Swiss Federal Government’s responsibility for promoting innovation policies has been extended from “promotion of technology R&D” to “unification of education, research and innovation management”, making the Swiss national industrial innovation framework more well-founded and consistent[8] . Therefore, upon the government organization reform of Switzerland in 2013, most of the competent authorities dedicated to technology in Swiss have been consolidated into the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.   Under the framework, the Swiss Federal Government assigned higher education, job training, basic scientific research and innovation to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), while the Commission of Technology & Innovation (CTI) was responsible for boosting the R&D of application scientific technology and industrial technology and cooperation between the industries and academy. The two authorities are directly subordinate to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). The Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC), subordinate to the SERI is an advisory entity dedicated to Swiss technology policies and responsible for providing the Swiss Federal Government and canton governments with the advice and suggestion on scientific, education and technology innovation policies. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is an entity dedicated to boosting the basic scientific R&D, known as the two major funding entities together with CTI for Swiss technology R&D. The organizations, duties, functions and operations of certain important entities in the Swiss innovation system are introduced as following. Date source: Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research official website Fig. 1 Swiss Innovation Framework Dedicated to Boosting Industries-Swiss Federal Economic, Education and Research Organizational Chart 1. State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)   SERI is subordinate to the Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, and is a department of the Swiss Federal Government dedicated to managing research and innovation. Upon enforcement of the new governmental organization act as of January 1, 2013, SERI was established after the merger of the State Secretariat for Education and Research, initially subordinate to Ministry of Interior, and the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OEPT), initially subordinated to Ministry of Economic Affairs. For the time being, it governs the education, research and innovation (ERI). The transformation not only integrated the management of Swiss innovation system but also unified the orientations toward which the research and innovation policy should be boosted.   SERI’s core missions include “enactment of national technology policies”, “coordination of research activities conducted by higher education institutions, ETH, and other entities of the Federal Government in charge of various areas as energy, environment, traffic and health, and integration of research activities conducted by various government entities and allocation of education, research and innovation resources. Its functions also extend to funding the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to enable SNSF to subsidize the basic scientific research. Meanwhile, the international cooperation projects for promotion of or participation in research & innovation activities are also handled by SERI to ensure that Switzerland maintains its innovation strength in Europe and the world.   The Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC) is subordinate to SERI, and also the advisory unit dedicated to Swiss technology policies, according to Article 5a of RIPA[9]. The SSTC is responsible for providing the Swiss Federal Government and canton governments with advice and suggestion about science, education and innovation policies. It consists of the members elected from the Swiss Federal Council, and a chairman is elected among the members. 2. Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)   The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is one of the most important institutions dedicated to funding research, responsible for promoting the academic research related to basic science. It supports about 8,500 scientists each year. Its core missions cover funding as incentives for basic scientific research. It grants more than CHF70 million each year. Nevertheless, the application science R&D, in principle, does not fall in the scope of funding by the SNSF. The Foundation allocates the public research fund under the competitive funding system and thereby maintains its irreplaceable identity, contributing to continuous output of high quality in Switzerland.   With the support from the Swiss Federal Government, the SNSF was established in 1952. In order to ensure independence of research, it was planned as a private institution when it was established[10]. Though the funding is provided by SERI, the SNSF still has a high degree of independence when performing its functions. The R&D funding granted by the SNSF may be categorized into the funding to free basic research, specific theme-oriented research, and international cooperative technology R&D, and the free basic research is granted the largest funding. The SNSF consists of Foundation Council, National Research Council and Research Commission[11]. Data source: prepared by the Study Fig. 2  Swiss National Science Foundation Organizational Chart (1) Foundation Council   The Foundation Council is the supreme body of the SNSF[12], which is primarily responsible for making important decisions, deciding the role to be played by the SNSF in the Swiss research system, and ensuring SNSF’s compliance with the purpose for which it was founded. The Foundation Council consists of the members elected from the representatives from important research institutions, universities and industries in Swiss, as well as the government representatives nominated by the Swiss Federal Council. According to the articles of association of the SNSF[13], each member’s term of office should be 4 years, and the members shall be no more than 50 persons. The Foundation Council also governs the Executive Committee of the Foundation Council consisting of 15 Foundation members. The Committee carries out the mission including selection of National Research Council members and review of the Foundation budget. (2) National Research Council   The National Research Council is responsible for reviewing the applications for funding and deciding whether the funding should be granted. It consists of no more than 100 members, mostly researchers in universities and categorized, in four groups by major[14], namely, 1. Humanities and Social Sciences; 2. Math, Natural Science and Engineering; 3. Biology and Medical Science; and 4. National Research Programs (NRPs)and National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs). The NRPs and NCCRs are both limited to specific theme-oriented research plans. The funding will continue for 4~5years, amounting to CHF5 million~CHF20 million[15]. The specific theme-oriented research is applicable to non-academic entities, aiming at knowledge and technology transfer, and promotion and application of research results. The four groups evaluate and review the applications and authorize the funding amount.   Meanwhile, the representative members from each group form the Presiding Board dedicated to supervising and coordinating the operations of the National Research Council, and advising the Foundation Council about scientific policies, reviewing defined funding policies, funding model and funding plan, and allocating funding by major. (3) Research Commissions   Research Commissions are established in various higher education research institutions. They serve as the contact bridge between higher education academic institutions and the SNSF. The research commission of a university is responsible for evaluating the application submitted by any researcher in the university in terms of the school conditions, e.g., the school’s basic research facilities and human resource policies, and providing advice in the process of application. Meanwhile, in order to encourage young scholars to attend research activities, the research committee may grant scholarships to PhD students and post-doctor research[16]. ~to be continued~ [1] SWISS FEDERAL STATISTICS OFFICE, Switzerland's population 2011 (2012), http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/news/publikationen.Document.163772.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013). [2] WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM [WEF], The Global Competiveness Report 2012-2013 (2012), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2012-13.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2011-2012 (2011), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GCR_Report_2011-12.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2010-2011 (2010), http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2010-11.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); WEF, The Global Competiveness Report 2009-2010 (2009),. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalCompetitivenessReport_2009-10.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013). [3] INSEAD, The Global Innovation Index 2012 Report (2012), http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/gii/GII%202012%20Report.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013); INSEAD, The Global Innovation Index 2011 Report (2011), http://www.wipo.int/freepublications/en/economics/gii/gii_2011.pdf (last visited Jun. 1, 2013). [4] SR 101 Art. 64: “Der Bund fördert die wissenschaftliche Forschung und die Innovation.” [5] Forschungs- und Innovationsförderungsgesetz, vom 7. Oktober 1983 (Stand am 1. Januar 2013). For the full text, please see www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/420.1.de.pdf (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [6] Id. [7] Id. [8] CTI, CTI Multi-year Program 2013-2016 7(2012), available at http://www.kti.admin.ch/?lang=en&download=NHzLpZeg7t,lnp6I0NTU042l2Z6ln1ad1IZn4Z2qZpnO2Yuq2Z6gpJCDeYR,hGym162epYbg2c_JjKbNoKSn6A-- (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [9] Supra note 5. [10] Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/default.aspx (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [11] Id. [12] Foundation Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/foundationcouncil.aspx (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [13] See Statutes of Swiss National Science Foundation Art.8 & Art. 9, available at http://www.snf.ch/SiteCollectionDocuments/statuten_08_e.pdf (last visited Jun. 3, 2013). [14] National Research Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/researchcouncil/Pages/default.aspx (last visted Jun.3, 2013). [15] Theres Paulsen, VISION RD4SD Country Case Study Switzerland (2011), http://www.visionrd4sd.eu/documents/doc_download/109-case-study-switzerland (last visited Jun.6, 2013). [16] Research Commissions, Swiss National Science Foundation, http://www.snf.ch/E/about-us/organisation/Pages/researchcommissions.aspx (last visted Jun. 6, 2013).

The use of automated facial recognition technology and supervision mechanism in UK

The use of automated facial recognition technology and supervision mechanism in UK I. Introduction   Automatic facial recognition (AFR) technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and it can identify target people in a short time. The UK Home Office announced the "Biometrics Strategy" on June 28, 2018, saying that AFR technology will be introduced in the law enforcement, and the Home Office will also actively cooperate with other agencies to establish a new oversight and advisory board in order to maintain public trust. AFR technology can improve law enforcement work, but its use will increase the risk of intruding into individual liberty and privacy.   This article focuses on the application of AFR technology proposed by the UK Home Office. The first part of this article describes the use of AFR technology by the police. The second part focuses on the supervision mechanism proposed by the Home Office in the Biometrics Strategy. However, because the use of AFR technology is still controversial, this article will sort out the key issues of follow-up development through the opinions of the public and private sectors. The overview of the discussion of AFR technology used by police agencies would be helpful for further policy formulation. II. Overview of the strategy of AFR technology used by the UK police   According to the Home Office’s Biometrics Strategy, the AFR technology will be used in law enforcement, passports and immigration and national security to protect the public and make these public services more efficient[1]. Since 2017 the UK police have worked with tech companies in testing the AFR technology, at public events like Notting Hill Carnival or big football matches[2].   In practice, AFR technology is deployed with mobile or fixed camera systems. When a face image is captured through the camera, it is passed to the recognition software for identification in real time. Then, the AFR system will process if there is a ‘match’ and the alarm would solicit an operator’s attention to verify the match and execute the appropriate action[3]. For example, South Wales Police have used AFR system to compare images of people in crowds attending events with pre-determined watch lists of suspected mobile phone thieves[4]. In the future, the police may also compare potential suspects against images from closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) or mobile phone footage for evidential and investigatory purposes[5].   The AFR system may use as tools of crime prevention, more than as a form of crime detection[6]. However, the uses of AFR technology are seen as dangerous and intrusive by the UK public[7]. For one thing, it could cause serious harm to democracy and human rights if the police agency misuses AFR technology. For another, it could have a chilling effect on civil society and people may keep self-censoring lawful behavior under constant surveillance[8]. III. The supervision mechanism of AFR technology   To maintaining public trust, there must be a supervision mechanism to oversight the use of AFR technology in law enforcement. The UK Home Office indicates that the use of AFR technology is governed by a number of codes of practice including Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)’s Code of Practice for surveillance cameras[9]. (I) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984   The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 lays down police powers to obtain and use biometric data, such as collecting DNA and fingerprints from people arrested for a recordable offence. The PACE allows law enforcement agencies proceeding identification to find out people related to crime for criminal and national security purposes. Therefore, for the investigation, detection and prevention tasks related to crime and terrorist activities, the police can collect the facial image of the suspect, which can also be interpreted as the scope of authorization of the  PACE. (II) Surveillance Camera Code of Practice   The use of CCTV in public places has interfered with the rights of the people, so the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 requires the establishment of an independent Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) for supervision. The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice  proposed by the SCC sets out 12 principles for guiding the operation and use of surveillance camera systems. The 12 guiding principles are as follows[10]: A. Use of a surveillance camera system must always be for a specified purpose which is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and necessary to meet an identified pressing need. B. The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified. C. There must be as much transparency in the use of a surveillance camera system as possible, including a published contact point for access to information and complaints. D. There must be clear responsibility and accountability for all surveillance camera system activities including images and information collected, held and used. E. Clear rules, policies and procedures must be in place before a surveillance camera system is used, and these must be communicated to all who need to comply with them. F. No more images and information should be stored than that which is strictly required for the stated purpose of a surveillance camera system, and such images and information should be deleted once their purposes have been discharged. G. Access to retained images and information should be restricted and there must be clearly defined rules on who can gain access and for what purpose such access is granted; the disclosure of images and information should only take place when it is necessary for such a purpose or for law enforcement purposes. H. Surveillance camera system operators should consider any approved operational, technical and competency standards relevant to a system and its purpose and work to meet and maintain those standards. I. Surveillance camera system images and information should be subject to appropriate security measures to safeguard against unauthorised access and use. J. There should be effective review and audit mechanisms to ensure legal requirements, policies and standards are complied with in practice, and regular reports should be published. K. When the use of a surveillance camera system is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and there is a pressing need for its use, it should then be used in the most effective way to support public safety and law enforcement with the aim of processing images and information of evidential value. L. Any information used to support a surveillance camera system which compares against a reference database for matching purposes should be accurate and kept up to date. (III) ICO’s Code of Practice for surveillance cameras   It must need to pay attention to the personal data and privacy protection during the use of surveillance camera systems and AFR technology. The ICO issued its Code of Practice for surveillance cameras under the Data Protection Act 1998 to explain the legal requirements operators of surveillance cameras. The key points of ICO’s Code of Practice for surveillance cameras are summarized as follows[11]: A. The use time of the surveillance camera systems should be carefully evaluated and adjusted. It is recommended to regularly evaluate whether it is necessary and proportionate to continue using it. B. A police force should ensure an effective administration of surveillance camera systems deciding who has responsibility for the control of personal information, what is to be recorded, how the information should be used and to whom it may be disclosed. C. Recorded material should be stored in a safe way to ensure that personal information can be used effectively for its intended purpose. In addition, the information may be considered to be encrypted if necessary. D. Disclosure of information from surveillance systems must be controlled and consistent with the purposes for which the system was established. E. Individuals whose information is recoded have a right to be provided with that information or view that information. The ICO recommends that information must be provided promptly and within no longer than 40 calendar days of receiving a request. F. The minimum and maximum retention periods of recoded material is not prescribed in the Data Protection Act 1998, but it should not be kept for longer than is necessary and should be the shortest period necessary to serve the purposes for which the system was established. (IV) A new oversight and advisory board   In addition to the aforementioned regulations and guidance, the UK Home Office mentioned that it will work closely with related authorities, including ICO, SCC, Biometrics Commissioner (BC), and Forensic Science Regulator (FSR) to establish a new oversight and advisory board to coordinate consideration of law enforcement’s use of facial images and facial recognition systems[12].   To sum up, it is estimated that the use of AFR technology by law enforcement has been abided by existing regulations and guidance. Firstly, surveillance camera systems must be used on the purposes for which the system was established. Secondly, clear responsibility and accountability mechanisms should be ensured. Thirdly, individuals whose information is recoded have the right to request access to relevant information. In the future, the new oversight and advisory board will be asked to consider issues relating to law enforcement’s use of AFR technology with greater transparency. IV. Follow-up key issues for the use of AFR technology   Regarding to the UK Home Office’s Biometrics Strategy, members of independent agencies such as ICO, BC, SCC, as well as civil society, believe that there are still many deficiencies, the relevant discussions are summarized as follows: (I) The necessity of using AFR technology   Elizabeth Denham, ICO Commissioner, called for looking at the use of AFR technology carefully, because AFR is an intrusive technology and can increase the risk of intruding into our privacy. Therefore, for the use of AFR technology to be legal, the UK police must have clear evidence to demonstrate that the use of AFR technology in public space is effective in resolving the problem that it aims to address[13].   The Home Office has pledged to undertake Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) before introducing AFR technology, including the purpose and legal basis, the framework applies to the organization using the biometrics, the necessity and proportionality and so on. (II)The limitations of using facial image data   The UK police can collect, process and use personal data based on the need for crime prevention, investigation and prosecution. In order to secure the use of biometric information, the BC was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The mission of the BC is to regulate the use of biometric information, provide protection from disproportionate enforcement action, and limit the application of surveillance and counter-terrorism powers.   However, the BC’s powers do not presently extend to other forms of biometric information other than DNA or fingerprints[14]. The BC has expressed concern that while the use of biometric data may well be in the public interest for law enforcement purposes and to support other government functions, the public benefit must be balanced against loss of privacy. Hence, legislation should be carried to decide that crucial question, instead of depending on the BC’s case feedback[15].   Because biometric data is especially sensitive and most intrusive of individual privacy, it seems that a governance framework should be required and will make decisions of the use of facial images by the police. (III) Database management and transparency   For the application of AFR technology, the scope of biometric database is a dispute issue in the UK. It is worth mentioning that the British people feel distrust of the criminal database held by the police. When someone is arrested and detained by the police, the police will take photos of the suspect’s face. However, unlike fingerprints and DNA, even if the person is not sued, their facial images are not automatically deleted from the police biometric database[16].   South Wales Police have used AFR technology to compare facial images of people in crowds attending major public events with pre-determined watch lists of suspected mobile phone thieves in the AFR field test. Although the watch lists are created for time-limited and specific purposes, the inclusion of suspects who could possibly be innocent people still causes public panic.   Elizabeth Denham warned that there should be a transparency system about retaining facial images of those arrested but not charged for certain offences[17]. Therefore, in the future the UK Home Office may need to establish a transparent system of AFR biometric database and related supervision mechanism. (IV) Accuracy and identification errors   In addition to worrying about infringing personal privacy, the low accuracy of AFR technology is another reason many people oppose the use of AFR technology by police agencies. Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, said the police must immediately stop using the AFR technology and avoid mistaking thousands of innocent citizens as criminals; Paul Wiles, Biometrics Commissioner, also called for legislation to manage AFR technology because of its accuracy is too low and the use of AFR technology should be tested and passed external peer review[18].   In the Home Office’s Biometric Strategy, the scientific quality standards for AFR technology will be established jointly with the FSR, an independent agency under the Home Office. In other words, the Home Office plans to extend the existing forensics science regime to regulate AFR technology.   Therefore, the FSR has worked with the SCC to develop standards relevant to digital forensics. The UK government has not yet seen specific standards for regulating the accuracy of AFR technology at the present stage. V. Conclusion   From the discussion of the public and private sectors in the UK, we can summarize some rules for the use of AFR technology. Firstly, before the application of AFR technology, it is necessary to complete the pre-assessment to ensure the benefits to the whole society. Secondly, there is the possibility of identifying errors in AFR technology. Therefore, in order to maintain the confidence and trust of the people, the relevant scientific standards should be set up first to test the system accuracy. Thirdly, the AFR system should be regarded as an assisting tool for police enforcement in the initial stage. In other words, the information analyzed by the AFR system should still be judged by law enforcement officials, and the police officers should take the responsibilities.   In order to balance the protection of public interest and basic human rights, the use of biometric data in the AFR technology should be regulated by a special law other than the regulations of surveillance camera and data protection. The scope of the identification database is also a key point, and it may need legislators’ approval to collect and store the facial image data of innocent people. Last but not least, the use of the AFR system should be transparent and the victims of human rights violations can seek appeal. [1] UK Home Office, Biometrics Strategy, Jun. 28, 2018, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-biometrics-strategy (last visited Aug. 09, 2018), at 7. [2] Big Brother Watch, FACE OFF CAMPAIGN: STOP THE MET POLICE USING AUTHORITARIAN FACIAL RECOGNITION CAMERAS, https://bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/all-campaigns/face-off-campaign/ (last visited Aug. 16, 2018). [3] Lucas Introna & David Wood, Picturing algorithmic surveillance: the politics of facial recognition systems, Surveillance & Society, 2(2/3), 177-198 (2004). [4] Supra note 1, at 12. [5] Id, at 25. [6] Michael Bromby, Computerised Facial Recognition Systems: The Surrounding Legal Problems (Sep. 2006)(LL.M Dissertation Faculty of Law University of Edinburgh), http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.197.7339&rep=rep1&type=pdf , at 3. [7] Owen Bowcott, Police face legal action over use of facial recognition cameras, The Guardian, Jun. 14, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/14/police-face-legal-action-over-use-of-facial-recognition-cameras (last visited Aug. 09, 2018). [8] Martha Spurrier, Facial recognition is not just useless. In police hands, it is dangerous, The Guardian, May 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/16/facial-recognition-useless-police-dangerous-met-inaccurate (last visited Aug. 17, 2018). [9] Supra note 1, at 12. [10] Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Surveillance camera code of practice, Oct. 28, 2014, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/surveillance-camera-code-of-practice (last visited Aug. 17, 2018). [11] UK Information Commissioner’s Office, In the picture: A data protection code of practice for surveillance cameras and personal information, Jun. 09, 2017, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/encryption/scenarios/cctv/ (last visited Aug. 10, 2018). [12] Supra note 1, at 13. [13] Elizabeth Denham, Blog: facial recognition technology and law enforcement, Information Commissioner's Office, May 14, 2018, https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/blog-facial-recognition-technology-and-law-enforcement/ (last visited Aug. 14, 2018). [14] Monique Mann & Marcus Smith, Automated Facial Recognition Technology: Recent Developments and Approaches to Oversight, Automated Facial Recognition Technology, 10(1), 140 (2017). [15] Biometrics Commissioner, Biometrics Commissioner’s response to the Home Office Biometrics Strategy, Jun. 28, 2018, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/biometrics-commissioners-response-to-the-home-office-biometrics-strategy (last visited Aug. 15, 2018). [16] Supra note 2. [17] Supra note 13. [18] Jon Sharman, Metropolitan Police's facial recognition technology 98% inaccurate, figures show, INDEPENDENT, May 13, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/met-police-facial-recognition-success-south-wales-trial-home-office-false-positive-a8345036.html (last visited Aug. 09, 2018).

Executive Yuan Yuan Promoted “Productivity 4.0” to Boost Global Competitiveness

Executive Yuan Yuan Promoted “Productivity 4.0” to Boost Global Competitiveness 1.Executive Yuan held the “Productivity 4.0: Strategy Review Board Meeting” to boost industrial transformation The Executive Yuan held the “Productivity 4.0: Strategy Review Board Meeting” on June 4-5th , 2015. The GDP per capita of manufacturing and service industries, including machinery, metal processing, transportation vehicles, 3C, food, textile, logistics, health care, and agriculture, are expected to be over 10 million NT dollars by 2024. This meeting focuses on three topics: Productivity 4.0 industry and technology development strategy, advanced development strategy on advanced manufacturing and innovation application, and strategy on engineering smart tech talents cultivation and Industry-academic Cooperation. The three main themes to be used to put the advanced manufacturing into force are smart automation and robots, sensing and control technologies from Internet of Things (IoT), and technologies used in analyzing the big data. As a result, the digitalization of small- and medium-sized business and smart operation of big business are as the cornerstones to build service-oriented systems and develop advanced manufacturing in R.O.C.. Facing challenges of labor shortages and aging labor forces, the Executive Yuan is planning to implement “Productivity 4.0” to stimulate the process of industry transformation of value-added innovation and provide new products and services in global market. In implementing the above-mentioned policy goals, the Executive Yuan is planning three directions to be followed. First, global competitiveness is depended upon key technologies. As OEMs, manufacturing industry in R.O.C. is unable to provide products of self-owned brand and is vulnerable while facing challenges from other transnational companies. Second, the Premier, Dr. Mao Chi-kuo, made reference of the bicycle industry’s successful development model as an example for the Productivity 4.0 “A-Team” model. Through combining technologies and organizations, the aim is to build competitive supply chains across all the small- and medium-sized business. Finally, the new skills training and the cultivation of talents are more urgent than ever before. While technical and vocational schools, universities and postgraduate studies are needed to be equipped with sufficient fundamental knowledge, those already in the job market have to learn the skills and knowledge necessary for industrial transformation so that they could contribute their capabilities and wisdom for Ourfuture. 2.Executive Yuan Approved “Productivity 4.0 Initiative” to Promote Industry Innovation and Transformation The Executive Yuan has approved the Productivity 4.0 Initiative on September 17, 2015. Before its approval, the Office of Science and Technology (OST) gave a presentation on the Draft of the Productivity 4.0 Initiative on July 23, 2015 detailing the underlying motives behind the program. Confronted with the challenges our traditional industries and OEMs meet, including labor shortages (the national laboring population ranging from age 15 to 65 has seen a substantial decrease of 0.18 to 0.2 million annually) and a aging labor force, the the Productivity 4.0 Initiative sets the directions for industrial development tackling these issues through six main strategies: enhancing and fine-tuning flagship industries’ smart-supply-chain ecosystems, encouraging the establishing of startups, localizing production and services, securing autonomy in key technologies, cultivating practical and technical talents and injection of industrial policy tools. After hearing the presentation on the Initiative, the Premier, Mao Chi-kuo, made reference to the core ideas of the Productivity 4.0 Initiative in his concluding remarks. “The core concept of the Productivity 4.0 Initiative is to propel R.O.C. to a pivotal position in the global manufacturing supply chain by capitalizing on the nation’s core strength in industrial technology, while fostering an outstanding work environment stimulating synergy between employees and automotive systems in order to cope with R.O.C.’s imminent labor shortage,” Mao said Also focusing on the Productivity 4.0 Initiative, the Premier gave a keynote speech titled ‘Views on the current economic and social issues’ at the Third Wednesday Club. He takes the view that the GDP downslide is of a structural nature and the government is going to guide the economy towards an upward path by assisting industries to innovate and transform. In an effort to remove the three major obstacles to innovation and entrepreneurship— discouraging laws and regulations, difficulty in raising capital and gathering financing as well as lack of international partnerships, the government has been diligently promoting the Third Party Payment Act as well as setting-up R.O.C. Rapid Innovation Prototyping League for Enterprises. Among these measures, Industry 4.0 has been at the core of the Initiative, in which cyber-physical production system (CPS) would be introduced by integrating Cloud-computing and Internet of Things technology to spur industrial transformations, specifically industrial manufacturing, added-value services and agricultural production. The Productivity 4.0 Initiative is an imperative measure in dealing with R.O.C.’s imminent issues of labor shortage, and the aging society, its promising effects are waiting to unfold. 3.Executive Yuan’s Further Addendum to “Productivity 4.0 Plan”: Attainment of Core Technologies and the Cultivation of Domestic Technical Talents In an continual effort to put in place the most integrated infrastructural setting for the flourishing of its “Productivity 4.0 Plan”, Executive Yuan Premier Mao Chi-Kuo announced on the 22nd October that the overhaul infrastructural set-up will be focused on the development of core technologies and the cultivation of skilled technical labor. To this end, the Executive Yuan is gathering participation and resources from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (hereafter MOEA), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Labor, the Council of Agriculture, among other governmental bodies, collecting experiences and knowledge from academia and researchers, in order to improve the development of pivotal technologies, the training of skilled technical labor and consequently to improve and reform the present education system so as to meet the aforementioned goals. Premier Mao Chi-Kuo pointed out that Productivity 4.0 is a production concept in which the industry is evolved from mere automation- to intelligent-based manufacturing, shifting towards a “small-volume, large-variety” production paradigm, closing the gaps between production and consumption sides through direct communication, hence allowing industry to push itself further on changing its old efficiency-based production model to an innovation-driven one. Apart from the Research and Development efforts geared towards key technologies, Premier Mao stressed that the people element, involved in this transformative process, is what dictates Productivity 4.0 Plan’s success. The cross-over or multi-disciplinary capability of the labor force is especially significant. In order to bring up the necessary work force needed for Productivity 4.0, besides raising support for the needed Research and Development, an extensive effort should be placed in reforming and upgrading the current educational system, as well as the technical labor and internal corporate educational structure. Moreover, an efficient platform should be implemented so that opinions and experiences could be pooled out, thus fostering closer ties between industry, academia and research. The MOEA stated that the fundamental premise behind the Productivity 4.0 strategy is that by way of systematic, brand-orientated formation of technical support groups, constituted by members of industry, academia and research, will we able to develop key sensor, internet and core technologies for our manufacturing, business and agriculture sector. It is estimated that by the end of year 2016, the Executive Yuan will have completed 6 major Productivity 4.0 production lines; supported the development of technical personnel in smart manufacturing, smart business and smart agriculture, amounting to 2,500 persons; established 4 inter-university, inter-disciplinary strategic partnerships in order to prepare much needed labor force for the realization of the Productivity 4.0 Plan. It is estimated that by the year 2020, industry has already developed the key technologies through the Productivity 4.0 platform, aiding to decrease by 50% the time currently needed to for Research and Development, increasing the technological sovereignty by 50% and accrue production efficiency by 15% and above. Furthermore, through the educational reforms, the nation will be able to lay solid foundations for its future labor talents, as well as connecting them to the world at large, effectively making them fit to face the global markets and to upgrade their production model.

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.

TOP