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:2024/03/01)
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Encouraging international cooperation efforts, connecting domestic technological innovation capacities with industries abroad. (3) Integration of Cross-Branch Advisory Resources and Deregulation to further support Industrial Development Cross-administrations consultations further deregulation to support an ideal industrial development environment and overcoming traditional cross-branch developmental limitations in an effort to develop innovation industries. IV. Conclusion Taiwan is currently at a pivotal stage in upgrading its industry, the role of the government will be clearly evidenced by its efforts in promoting cross-branch/cross-fields cooperation, establishing a industrial-academic cooperation platform. Simultaneously, the implementation of land, human resources, fiscal, financial and environmental policies will be adopted to further improve the investment ambient, so that Taiwan’s businesses, research institutions and the government could all come together, endeavoring to help Taiwan breakthrough its currently economic impasse through a thorough industrial upgrading. Moreover, it can be argued that the real essence of the present action plan lies in the urge to transform Taiwan’s traditional industries into incubation centers for innovative products and services. With the rapid evolution of ICTs, accelerating development and popular use of Big Data and the Internet of Things, traditional industries can no longer afford to overlook its relation with these technologies and the emerging industries that are backed by them. It is only through the close and intimate interconnection between these two industries that Taiwan’s economy would eventually get the opportunity to discard its outdated growth model based on “quantity” and “cost”. It is believed that the aforementioned interaction is an imperative that would allow Taiwanese industries to redefine its own value amidst fierce global market competition. The principal efforts by the Taiwanese government are in nurturing such a dialogue to occur with the necessary platform, as well as financial and human resources. An illustration of the aforementioned vision can be seen from the “Industrie 4.0” project lead by Germany – the development of intelligent manufacturing, through close government, business and academic cooperation, combining the internet of things development, creating promising business opportunities of the Smart Manufacturing and Services market. This is the direction that Taiwan should be leading itself too. References 1.Executive Yuan, Republic of China http://www.ey.gov.tw/en/(last visited: 2015.02.06) 2.Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs http://www.moeaidb.gov.tw/(last visited: 2015.02.06) 3.Industrial Upgrading and Transformation Action Plan http://www.moeaidb.gov.tw/external/ctlr?PRO=filepath.DownloadFile&f=policy&t=f&id=4024(last visited: 2015.02.06)

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”)

Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”) III. Comparison of Strength and Weakness of Sitra Projects 1. Sitra Venture Capital Investment Model   In order to comprehend how to boost innovation business development to upgrade innovation ability, we analyze and compare the innovation systems applied in Sweden, France and Finland[1] . We analyze and compare the characteristics, strength and weakness of innovation promotion models in terms of funding, networking and professional guidance. Generally, the first difficulty which a start-up needs to deal with when it is founded initially is the funding. Particularly, a technology company usually requires tremendous funding when it is founded initially. Some potentially adequate investors, e.g., venture capitals, seldom invest in small-sized start-up (because such overhead as supervision and management fees will account for a high percentage of the investment due to the small total investment amount). Networking means how a start-up integrates such human resources as the management, investors, technical advisors and IP professionals when it is founded initially. Control over such human resources is critical to a new company’s survival and growth. Professional guidance means how professional knowledge and human resource support the start-up’s operation. In order to make its product required by the market, an enterprise usually needs to integrate special professional knowledge. Notwithstanding, the professional knowledge and talents which are available from an open market theoretically often cannot be accessed, due to market failure[2].   Assuming that Sitra’s funding is prioritized as Pre-seed-Initiation stage, Seed-Development stage and Follow-up – Growth stage, under Finland model, at the Pre-seed-Initiation stage, Sitra will provide the fund amounting to EUR20,000 when Tekes will also provide the equivalent fund, provided that the latter purely provides subsidy, while the fund provided by Sitra means a loan to be repaid (without interest) after some time (usually after commercialization), or a loan convertible to shares. Then, the loan would be replaced by soft or convertible (to shares) investment and the source of funding would turn to be angel investors or local seed capital at the Seed-Development stage. At this stage, the angel investors, local seed capital and Sitra will act as the source of funding jointly in Finland, while Tekes will not be involved at this stage. At the Follow-up-Growth stage, like the Sweden model, Sitra will utilize its own investment fund to help mitigate the gap between local small-sized funding and large-sized international venture capital[3].   How to recruit professional human resources is critical to a start-up’s success. Many enterprises usually lack sufficient professional human resources or some expertise. DIILI service network set up by Sitra is able to provide the relevant solutions. DILLI is a network formed by product managers. Its members actively participate in starts-up and seek innovation. They also participate in investment of starts-up independently sometimes. Therefore, they are different from angel investors, because they devote themselves to the starts-up on a full-time basis[4]. In other words, they manage the starts-up as if the starts-up were their own business. 2. Key to Public Sector’s Success in Boosting Development of Innovation Activity Business   In terms of professional guidance, voluntary guidance means the direct supply of such professional resources as financing, human resource and technology to starts-up, while involuntary guidance means the supply of strategic planning in lieu of direct assistance to help the enterprises make routine decisions[5]. The fractured and incomplete professional service attendant market generates low marginal effect. Therefore, it is impossible for the traditional consultation service to mitigate such gap and the investment at the pre-seed initiation stage will be excessive because of the acquisition of the professional services. Meanwhile, professional advisors seldom are involved in consultation services at the pre-seed initiation stage of a start-up because of the low potential added value. Therefore, at such stage, only involuntary professional guidance will be available usually. Under Sitra model, such role is played by an angel investor.   Upon analysis and comparison, we propose six suggested policies to boost innovation activities successfully as the reference when observing Sitra operation. First of all, compared with the French model, Finland Sitra and Sweden model set more specific objectives to meet a start-up’s needs (but there is some defect, e.g., Sitra model lacks voluntary professional guidance). Second, structural budget is a key to the successful model. Sitra will receive the funds in the amount of EUR235,000,000 from the Finnish Government, but its operating expenditure is covered by its own operating revenue in whole. Third, it is necessary to provide working fund in installments and provide fund at the pre-seed-initiation stage. Under both of Finland model and Sweden model, funds will be provided at the pre-seed-initiation stage (Tekes is responsible for providing the fund in Finland). Fourth, the difficulty in networking must be solved. In Sitra, the large-sized talent network set up by it will be dedicated to recruiting human resources. Fifth, the voluntary professional guidance is indispensable at the pre-seed-initiation stage, while the same is unavailable at such stage under Sitra model. Instead, the Sweden model is held as the optimal one, as it has a dedicated unit responsible for solving the difficulty to seek profit. Sixth, soft loan[6] will be successfully only when the loan cannot be convertible to shares. At the pre-seed initiation stage or seed-development stage, a start-up is usually funded by traditional loan. Assuming that the start-up is not expected to gain profit, whether the loan may be convertible to shares will also be taken into consideration when the granting of loan is considered (therefore, the fund provider will not be changed to the “capital” provider). Besides, the government authorities mostly lack the relevant experience or knowledge, or are in no position to negotiate with international large-sized venture capital companies. For example, under the French model, the government takes advantage of its power to restrict the venture capital investment and thereby renders adverse impact to starts-up which seek venture capital. Finally, the supply of own fund to meet the enterprises’ needs at seed-development stage and follow-up-growth stage to mitigate the gap with large-sized venture capital[7] is also required by a successful funding model. IV. Conclusion-Deliberation of Finnish Sitra Experience   As the leading national industrial innovation ability promoter in Finland, Sitra appears to be very characteristic in its organizational framework or operating mechanism. We hereby conclude six major characteristics of Sitra and propose the potential orientation toward deliberation of Taiwan’s industrial innovation policies and instruments. 1. Particularity of Organizational Standing   In consideration of the particularity of Sitra organizational standing, it has two characteristics observable. First, Sitra is under supervision of the Finnish Parliament directly, not subordinated to the administrative organizational system and, therefore, it possesses such strength as flexibility and compliance with the Parliament’s requirements. Such organization design which acts independently of the administrative system but still aims to implement policies has been derived in various forms in the world, e.g., the agency model[8] in the United Kingdom, or the independent apparatus in the U.S.A. Nevertheless, to act independently of the administrative system, it has to deal with the deliberation of responsible political principles at first, which arouses the difficulty in taking care of flexibility at the same time. In Taiwan, the intermediary organizations include independent agencies and administrative corporations, etc., while the former still involves the participation of the supreme administrative head in the right of personnel administration and is subordinated to the ministries/departments of the Executive Yuan and the latter aims to enforce the public missions in the capacity of “public welfare” organization. Though such design as reporting to the Parliament directly is not against the responsible political principles, how the Parliament owns the authority to supervise is the point (otherwise, theoretically, the administrative authorities are all empowered by the parliament in the country which applies the cabinet system). Additionally, why some special authorities are chosen to report to the parliament directly while other policy subjects are not is also disputable. The existence of Sitra also refers to a circumstantial evidence substantiating that Finland includes the innovation policy as one of the important government policies, and also the objective fact that Finland’s innovation ability heads the first in the world.   Second, Sitra is a self-sufficient independent fund, which aims to promote technical R&D and also seeks profit for itself, irrelevant with selection of adequate investment subjects or areas. Instead, for this purpose, the various decisions made by it will deal with the utility and mitigate the gap between R&D and market. Such entity is responsible for public welfare or policy projects and also oriented toward gain from investment to feed the same back to the individuals in the organization. In the administrative system, Sitra is not directed by the administrative system but reports to the Parliament directly. Sitra aims to upgrade the national R&D innovation ability as its long-term goal mission and utilizes the promotion of innovation business and development of venture capital market. The mission makes the profit-orientation compatible with the selection of investment subjects, as an enterprise unlikely to gain profit in the future usually is excluded from the national development view. For example, such industries as green energy, which is not likely to gain profit in a short term, is still worth investing as long as it meets the national development trend and also feasible (in other words, selection of marketable green technology R&D, instead of comparison of the strength and weakness in investment value of green energy and other high-polluted energy). 2. Expressly Distinguished From Missions of Other Ministries/Departments   For the time being, Sitra primarily invests in starts-up, including indirect investment and direct investment, because it relies on successful new technology R&D which may contribute to production and marketability. Starts-up have always been one of the best options, as large-sized enterprises are able to do R&D on their own without the outsourcing needs. Further, from the point of view of an inventor, if the new technology is marketable, it will be more favorable to him if he chooses to start business on his own or make investment in the form of partnership, instead of transfer or license of the ownership to large-sized enterprises (as large-sized enterprises are more capable of negotiation). However, note that Sitra aims to boost innovation activities and only targets at start-up business development, instead of boosting and promoting the start-up per se. Under the requirement that Sitra needs to seek profit for itself, only the business with positive development view will be targeted by Sitra. Further, Sitra will not fund any business other than innovation R&D or some specific industries. Apparently, Sitra only focuses on the connection between innovation activities and start-up, but does not act as the competent authority in charge of small-sized and medium-sized enterprises.   Meanwhile, Sitra highlights that it will not fund academic research activities and, therefore, appears to be distinguished from the competent authority in charge of national scientific research. Though scientific research and technology innovation business, to some extent, are distinguished from each other in quantity instead of quality, abstract and meaningless research is existent but only far away from the commercialization market. Notwithstanding, a lot of countries tend to distinguish basic scientific research from industrial technology R&D in the administration organization's mission, or it has to be. In term of the way in which Sitra carries out its mission, such distinguishing ability is proven directly. 3. Well-Founded Technology Foresight-Based Investment Business   The corporate investments, fund investments and project funding launched by Sitra are all available to the pre-designated subjects only, e.g. ecological sustainable development, energy utilization efficiency, and social structural changes, etc. Such way to promote policies as defining development area as the first priority and then promoting the investment innovation might have some strength and weakness at the same time. First of all, the selection of development areas might meet the higher level national development orientation more therefor, free from objective environmental restrictions, e.g. technical level, leading national technology industries and properties of natural resources. Notwithstanding, an enterprise’s orientation toward innovation R&D might miss the opportunity for other development because of the pre-defined framework. Therefore, such way to promote policies as defining development areas or subjects as the first priority will be inevitably based on well-founded technology foresight-based projects[9], in order to take various subjective and objective conditions into consideration and to forecast the technology development orientation and impact to be faced by the home country’s national and social economies. That is, said strength and weakness will be taken into consideration beforehand for foresight, while following R&D funding will be launched into the technology areas pre-designated after thorough analysis. 4. Self-Interested Investment with the Same High Efficiency as General Enterprises   Sitra aims to gain profit generally, and its individual investment model, e.g., DIILI, also permits marketing managers to involve business operation. The profit-sharing model enables Sitra to seek the same high efficiency as the general enterprises when purusing its innovation activity development. The investment launched by Sitra highlights that it is not “funding” (which Tekes is responsible for in Finland) or the investment not requiring return. Therefore, it has the system design to acquire corporate shares. Sitra participates in a start-up by offering its advanced technology, just like a general market investor who will choose the potential investment subject that might benefit him most upon his personal professional evaluation. After all, the ultimate profit will be retained by Sitra (or said DIILI manger, subject to the investment model). Certainly, whether the industry which requires permanent support may benefit under such model still remains questionable. However, except otherwise provided in laws expressly, said special organization standing might be a factor critical to Sitra profit-seeking model. That is, Sitra is not subordinated to the administrative system but is under supervision of the parliament independently, and how its staff deal with the conflict of interest issues in the capacity other than the public sector’s/private sector’s staff is also one of the key factors to success of the system. 5. Investment Model to Deal With Policy Instruments of Other Authorities/Agencies   Sitra decides to fund a start-up depending on whether it may gain profit as one of its priorities. As aforesaid, we may preliminarily recognize that the same should be consistent with funding to starts-up logically and no “government failure” issue is involved. For example, the funding at the pre-seed-initiation stage needs to tie in with Tekes’ R&D “funding” (and LIKSA service stated herein) and, therefore, may adjust the profit-seeking orientation, thereby causing deviation in promotion of policies. The dispute over fairness of repeated subsidy/funding and rationality of resource allocation under the circumstance must be controlled by a separate evaluation management mechanism inevitably. 6. Affiliation with Enhancement of Regional Innovation Activities   Regional policies cannot be separable from innovation policies, especially in a country where human resources and natural resources are not plentiful or even. Therefore, balancing regional development policies and also integrating uneven resource distribution at the same time is indispensable to upgrading of the entire national social economic benefits. The Finnish experience indicated that innovation activities ought to play an important role in the regional development, and in order to integrate enterprises, the parties primarily engaged in innovation activities, with the R&D ability of regional academic research institutions to upgrade the R&D ability effectively, the relevant national policies must be defined for adequately arranging and launching necessary resources. Sitra's approaches to invest in starts-up, release shares after specific period, integrate the regional resources, upgrade the national innovation ability and boost the regional development might serve to be the reference for universities’ centers of innovative incubator or Taiwan’s local academic and scientific sectors[10] to improve their approaches.   For the time being, the organization engaged in venture capital investment in the form of fund in Taiwan like Sitra of Finland is National Development Fund, Executive Yuan. However, in terms of organizational framework, Sitra is under supervision of the Parliament directly, while National Development Fund is subordinated to the administrative system of Taiwan. Though Sitra and National Development Fund are both engaged in venture capital investments primarily, Sitra carries out its missions for the purpose of “promoting innovative activities”, while the National Development Fund is committed to achieve such diversified goals as “promoting economic changes and national development[11]” and is required to be adapted to various ministries’/departments’ policies. Despite the difference in the administrative systems of Taiwan and Finland, Sitra system is not necessarily applicable to Taiwan. Notwithstanding, Sitra’s experience in promotion and thought about the system might provide a different direction for Taiwan to think when it is conceiving the means and instruments for industrial innovation promotion policies in the future. [1] Bart Clarysse & Johan Bruneel, Nurturing and Growing Innovation Start-Ups: The Role of Policy As Integrator, R&D MANAGEMENT, 37(2), 139, 144-146 (2007). Clarysse & Bruneel analysis and comparison refers to Sweden Chalmers Innovation model, French Anvar/Banque de Developpement des PMEs model and Finland Sitra PreSeed Service model. [2] id. at 141-143. [3] id. at 141. [4] id. at 145-146. [5] id. at 143. [6] The loan to be repaid is not a concern. For example, the competent authority in Sweden only expects to recover one-fourths of the loan. [7] Clarysse & Bruneel, super note 26, at 147-148. [8] 彭錦鵬,〈英國政署之組織設計與運作成效〉,《歐美研究》,第30卷第3期,頁89-141。 [9] Technology foresight must work with the innovation policy road mapping (IPRM) interactively, and consolidate the forecast and evaluation of technology policy development routes. One study case about IPRM of the environmental sustainable development in the telecommunication industry in Finland, the IPRM may enhance the foresighted system and indicates the potential factors resulting in systematic failure. Please see Toni Ahlqvist, Ville Valovirta & Torsti Loikkanen, Innovation policy road mapping as a systemic instrument for forward-looking policy design, Science and Public Policy 39, 178-190 (2012). [10] 參見李昂杰,〈規範新訊:學界科專辦法及其法制配套之解析〉,《科技法律透析》,第23卷第8期,頁33(2011)。 [11] National Development Fund, Executive Yuan website, http://www.df.gov.tw/(tftgkz45150vye554wi44ret)/page-aa.aspx?Group_ID=1&Item_Title=%E8%A8%AD%E7%AB%8B%E5%AE%97%E6%97%A8#(Last visit on 2013/03/28)

Introduction to Tax Incentive Regime for SMEs

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

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).

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