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:2020/10/25)
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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)

Research on Policies for building a digital nation in Recent Years (2016-2017)

Research on Policies for building a digital nation in Recent Years (2016-2017)   Recent years, the government has already made some proactive actions, including some policies and initiatives, to enable development in the digital economy and fulfill the vision of Digital Nation. Those actions are as follows: 1. CREATING THE “FOOD CLOUD” FOR FOOD SAFETY CONTROLS   Government agencies have joined forces to create an integrated “food cloud” application that quickly alerts authorities to food safety risks and allows for faster tracing of products and ingredients. The effort to create the cloud was spearheaded by the Executive Yuan’s Office of Food Safety under the leadership of Vice Premier Chang San-cheng on January 12, 2016.   The “food cloud” application links five core systems (registration, tracing, reporting, testing, and inspection) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) with eight systems from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education (MOE), Council of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Administration.   The application gathers shares and analyzes information in a methodical and systematic manner by employing big data technology. To ensure the data can flow properly across different agencies, the Office of Food Safety came up with several products not intended for human consumption and had the MOHW simulate the flow of those products under import, sale and supply chain distribution scenarios. The interministerial interface successfully analyzed the data and generated lists of food risks to help investigators focus on suspicious companies.   Based on these simulation results, the MOHW on September 2, 2015, established a food and drug intelligence center as a mechanism for managing food safety risks and crises on the national level. The technologies for big data management and mega data analysis will enable authorities to better manage food sources and protect consumer health.   In addition, food cloud systems established by individual government agencies are producing early results. The MOE, for instance, rolled out a school food ingredient registration platform in 2014, and by 2015 had implemented the system across 22 countries and cities at 6,000 schools supplying lunches for 4.5 million students. This platform, which made school lunch ingredients completely transparent, received the 2015 eAsia Award as international recognition for the use of information technology in ensuring food safety. 2. REVISING DIGITAL CONVERGENCE ACTS   On 2016 May 5th, the Executive Yuan Council approved the National Communications Commission's (NCC) proposals, drafts of “Broadcasting Terrestrial and Channel Service Suppliers Administration Act”, “Multichannel Cable Platform Service Administration Act”, “Telecommunications Service Suppliers Act”, “Telecommunications Infrastructure and Resources Administration Act”, “Electronic Communications Act”, also the five digital convergence laws. They will be sent to the Legislature for deliberation. But in the end, this version of five digital convergence bills did not pass by the Legislature.   However, later on, November 16, 2017, The Executive Yuan approved the new drafts of “Digital Communication Act” and the “Telecommunication Service Management Act”.   The “Digital Communication Act” and the “Telecommunication Service Management Act” focused summaries as follows:   1. The digital communication bill   A. Public consultation and participation.   B. The digital communication service provider ought to use internet resource reasonability and reveal network traffic control measures.   C. The digital communication service provider ought to reveal business information and Terms of Service.   D. The responsibility of the digital communication service provider.   2. The telecommunication service management bill   A. The telecommunication service management bill change to use registration system.   B. The general obligation of telecommunications to provide telecommunication service and the special obligation of Specific telecommunications.   C. Investment, giving, receiving and merging rules of the telecommunication service.   Telecommunications are optimism of relaxing rules and regulations, and wish it would infuse new life and energy into the market. Premier Lai instructed the National Communications Commission and other agencies to elucidate the contents of the two communication bills to all sectors of society, and communicate closely with lawmakers of all parties to build support for a quick passage of the bills. 3. FOCUSING ON ICT SECURITY TO BUILD DIGITAL COUNTRIES   The development of ICT has brought convenience to life but often accompanied by the threat of illegal use, especially the crimes with the use of new technologies such as Internet techniques and has gradually become social security worries. Minor impacts may cause inconvenience to life while major impacts may lead to a breakdown of government functions and effects on national security. To enhance the capability of national security protection and to avoid the gap of national security, the Executive Yuan on August 1st 2016 has upgraded the Office of Information and Communication Security into the Agency of Information and Communication Security, a strategic center of R.O.C security work, integrating the mechanism of the whole government governance of information security, through specific responsibility, professionalism, designated persons and permanent organization to establish the security system, together with the relevant provisions of the law so that the country's information and communication security protection mechanism will become more complete. The efforts to the direction could be divided into three parts:   First, strengthening the cooperation of government and private sectors of information security: In a sound basis of legal system, the government plans to strengthen the government and some private sectors’ information security protection abilities ,continue to study and modify the relevant amendments to the relevant provisions, strengthen public-private collaborative mechanism, deepen the training of human resources and enhance the protection of key information infrastructure of our country.   Second, improving the information and communication security professional capability: information and communication security business is divided into policy and technical aspects. While the government takes the responsibility for policy planning and coordination, the technical service lies in an outsourcing way. Based on a sound legal system, the government will establish institutionalized and long-term operation modes and plan appropriate organizational structures through the discussion of experts and scholars from all walks of life.   Third, formulating Information and Communication Safety Management Act and planning of the Fifth National Development Program for Information and Communication Security: The government is now actively promoting the Information and Communication Safety Management Act as the cornerstone for the development of the national digital security and information security industry. The main content of the Act provides that the applicable authorities should set up security protection plan at the core of risk management and the procedures of notification and contingency measures, and accept the relevant administrative check. Besides the vision of the Fifth National Development Program for Information and Communication Security which the government is planning now is to build a safe and reliable digital economy and establish a safe information and communication environment by completing the legal system of information and communication security environment, constructing joint defense system of the national Information and Communication security, pushing up the self-energy of the industries of information security and nurture high-quality human resources for elite talents for information security. 4. THE DIGITAL NATION AND INNOVATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN   The Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Plan (2017-2025) known as “DIGI+” plan, approved by the Executive Yuan on November 24, 2016. The plan wants to grow nation’s digital economy to NT $ 6.5 trillion (US$205.9 billion), improve the digital lifestyle services penetration rate to 80 %, increase broadband connections to 2 Gbps, ensure citizens’ basic rights to have 25 Mbps broadband access, and put our nation among the top 10 information technology nations worldwide by 2025.   The plan contains several important development strategies: DIGI+ Infrastructure: Build infrastructure conducive to digital innovation. DIGI+ Talent: Cultivate digital innovation talent. DIGI+ Industry: Support cross-industry transformation through digital innovation. DIGI+ Rights: Make R.O.C. an advanced society that respects digital rights and supports open online communities. DIGI+ Cities: Build smart cities through cooperation among central and local governments and the industrial, academic and research sectors. DIGI+ Globalization: Boost nation’s standing in the global digital service economy.   The plan also highlights few efforts:   First is to enrich “soft” factors and workforce to create an innovative environment for digital development. To construct this environment, the government will construct an innovation-friendly legal framework, cultivate interdisciplinary digital talent, strengthen research and develop advanced digital technologies.   Second is to enhance digital economy development. The government will incentivize innovative applications and optimize the environment for digital commerce.   Third, the government will develop an open application programming interface for government data and create demand-oriented, one-stop smart government cloud services.   Fourth, the government will ensure broadband access for the disadvantaged and citizens of the rural area, implement the participatory process, enhance different kinds of international cooperation, and construct a comprehensive humanitarian legal framework with digital development.   Five is to build a sustainable smart country. The government will use smart network technology to build a better living environment, promote smart urban and rural area connective governance and construction and use on-site research and industries innovation ecosystem to assist local government plan and promote construction of the smart country.   In order to achieve the overall effectiveness of the DIGI + program, interdisciplinary, inter-ministerial, inter-departmental and inter-departmental efforts will be required to collaborate with the newly launched Digital National Innovation Economy (DIGI +) Promotion Team. 5. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH STRATEGY   The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) reported strategy plan for artificial intelligence (AI) scientific research at Cabinet meeting on August 24, 2017. Artificial intelligence is a powerful and inevitable trend, and it will be critical to R.O.C.’s competitiveness for the next 30 years.   The ministry will devote NT$16 billion over the next five years to building an AI innovation ecosystem in R.O.C. According to MOST, the plan will promote five strategies:   1. Creating an AI platform to provide R&D services   MOST will devote NT$5 billion over the next four years to build a platform, integrating the resources, providing a shared high-speed computing environment and nurturing emerging AI industries and applications.   2. Establishing an AI innovative research center   MOST will four artificial intelligence innovation research centers across R.O.C. as part of government efforts to enhance the nation’s competitiveness in AI technology. The centers will support the development of new AI in the realms of financial technology, smart manufacturing, smart healthcare and intelligent transportation systems.   3. Setting up AI robot maker spaces   An NT$2 billion, four-year project assisting industry to develop the hardware-software integration of robots and innovative applications was announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology.   4. Subsidizing a semiconductor “moonshot” program to explore ambitious and groundbreaking smart technologies   This program will invest NT$4 billion from 2018 through 2021 into developing semiconductors and chip systems for edge devices as well as integrating the academic sector’s R&D capabilities and resources. the project encompasses cognitive computing and AI processor chips; next-generation memory designs; process technologies and materials for key components of sensing devices; unmanned vehicles, AR and VR; IoT systems and security.   5. Organizing Formosa Grand Challenge competitions   The program is held in competitions to engage young people in the development of AI applications.   The government hopes to extend R.O.C.’s industrial advantages and bolster the country’s international competitiveness, giving R.O.C. the confidence to usher in the era of AI applications. All of these efforts will weave people, technologies, facilities, and businesses into a broader AI innovation ecosystem. 6. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLANS   Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) launched plans to develop intelligent transportation systems at March 7th in 2017. MOTC integrates transportation and information and communications technology through these plans to improve the convenience and reduce the congestion of the transportation. These plans combine traffic management systems for highways, freeways and urban roads, a multi-lane free-flow electronic toll collection system, bus information system that provides timely integrated traffic information services, and public transportation fare card readers to reduce transport accidence losses, inconvenience of rural area, congestion of main traffic arteries and improve accessibility of public transportation.   There are six plans are included: 1. Intelligent transportation safety plan; 2. Relieve congestion on major traffic arteries; 3. Make transportation more convenient in Eastern Taiwan and remote areas; 4. Integrate and share transportation resources; 5. Develop “internet-of-vehicles” technology applications; and 6. Fundamental R&D for smart transportation technology.   These plans promote research and development of smart vehicles and safety intersections, develop timely bus and traffic information tracking system, build a safe system of shared, safe and green-energy smart system, and subsidize the large vehicles to install the vision enhancement cameras to improve the safety of transportation. These plans also use eTag readers, vehicle sensors and info communication technologies to gather the traffic information and provide timely traffic guidance, reduce the congestion of the traffic flow. These plans try to use demand-responsive transit system with some measures such as combine public transportation and taxi, to improve the flexibility of the public traffic service and help the basic transportation needs of residents in eastern Taiwan and rural areas to be fulfilled. A mobile transport service interface and a platform that integrating booking and payment processes are also expected to be established to provide door-to-door transportation services and to integrate transportation resources. And develop demonstration projects of speed coordination of passenger coach fleets, vehicle-road interaction technology, and self-driving car to investigate and verify the issues in technological, operational, industrial, legal environments of internet-of-vehicles applications in our country. Last but not least, research and development on signal control systems that can be used in both two and four-wheeled vehicles, and deploy an internet-of-vehicles prototype platform and develop drones traffic applications.   These plans are expected to reduce 25% traffic congestion, 20% of motor vehicle incidence, leverage 10% using rate of public transportation, raise 20% public transportation service accessibility of rural area and create NT$30 billion production value. After accomplishing these targets, the government can establish a comprehensive transportation system and guide industry development of relating technology areas.   Through the aforementioned initiatives, programs, and plans, the government wants to construct the robust legal framework and policy environment for digital innovation development, and facilitate the quality of citizens in our society.

Legal Opinion Led to Science and Technology Law: By the Mechanism of Policy Assessment of Industry and Social Needs

With the coming of the Innovation-based economy era, technology research has become the tool of advancing competitive competence for enterprises and academic institutions. Each country not only has begun to develop and strengthen their competitiveness of industrial technology but also has started to establish related mechanism for important technology areas selected or legal analysis. By doing so, they hope to promote collaboration of university-industry research, completely bring out the economic benefits of the R & D. and select the right technology topics. To improve the depth of research cooperation and collect strategic advice, we have to use legislation system, but also social communication mechanism to explore the values and practical recommendations that need to be concerned in policy-making. This article in our research begins with establishing a mechanism for collecting diverse views on the subject, and shaping more efficient dialogue space. Finally, through the process of practicing, this study effectively collects important suggestions of practical experts.

Taiwan Announced the Biobanks Regulations and Management Practices

Taiwan Has Passed “Statute of Human Biobank Management” to Maintain Privacy and Improve Medicine Industries Due to lack of regulations, divergent opinions abounded about the establishment of Biobanks and collection of human biological specimen. For example, a researcher in an academic research organization and a hospital-based physician collected biospecimens from native Taiwanese. Although they insisted that the collections were for research only, human rights groups, ethics researchers, and groups for natives´ benefits condemned the collections as an invasion of human rights. Consequently, the Taiwanese government recognized the need for Biobanks regulation. To investigate the relationship between disease and multiple factors and to proceed with possible prevention, The Legislative Yuan Social Welfare and Healthy Environment Committee has passed "the draft statute of human biobank management" through primary reviewing process on December 30, 2009 and subsequently passed through entire three-reading procedure on January 7, 2010. Therefore, the medical and research institute not only can set up optimal gene database for particular disease curing, but also can collect blood sample for database establishment, legally. However, the use of sample collections will be excluded from the use of judiciary purpose. In the light of to establish large scale biobank is going to face the fundamental human right issue, from the viewpoint of biobank management, it is essential not only to set up the strict ethics regulation for operational standard, but also to make the legal environment more complete. For instance, the Department of Health, Executive Yuan had committed the earlier planning of Taiwan biobank establishment to the Academic Sinica in 2006, and planned to collect bio-specimen by recruiting volunteers. However, it has been criticized by all circles that it might be considered violating the Constitution article 8 provision 1 front paragraph, and article 22 rules; moreover, it might also infringe the personal liberty or body information privacy. Therefore, the Executive Yuan has passed the draft statute of human biobank management which was drafted and reviewed by Department of Health during the 3152nd meeting, on July 16, 2009, to achieve the goal of protecting our nation’s privacy and promoting the development of medical science by management biomedical research affairs in more effective ways. Currently, the draft statute has been passed through the primary review procedure by the Legislative Yuan. About the draft statute, there are several important points as following: (1) Sample Definition: Types of collected sample include human somatic cell, tissues, body fluids, or other derivatives; (2) Biobank Establishment: It requires not only to be qualified and permitted, but also to set up the ethical reviewing mechanism to strengthen its management and application; (3)Sample Collection and Participant Protection: In accordance with the draft statute, bio-specimen collecting should respect the living ethics during the time and refer to the "Medical Law" article 64 provision 1; before sample collection, all related points of attention should be kept in written form , the participant should be notified accordingly, and samples can only be collected with the participant’s consent. Furthermore, regarding the restrained read right and setting up participants’ sample process way if there were death or lost of their capacity; (4) Biobank Management: The safety regulation, obligation of active notification, free to retreat, data destruction, confidentiality and obligation, and termination of operation handling are stipulated; and (5) Biobank Application: According to the new draft statute, that the biological data can’t be used for other purposes, for example, the use of inquisition result for the "Civil law", article 1063, provision 2, prosecution for denying the parent-child relationship law suit", or according to the "Criminal law", article 213, provision 6. This rule not only protects the participants’ body information and their privacy right, but also clearly defines application limits, as well as to set up the mechanism for inner control and avoid conflict of interests to prevent unnecessary disputes. Finally, the Department of Health noted that, as many medical researches has shown that the occurrence of diseases are mostly co-effected by various factors such as multiple genes and their living environment, rather than one single gene, developed countries have actively devoted to human biological sample collection for their national biobank establishment. The construction and usage of a large-scale human bank may bring up the critical issue such as privacy protection and ethical problems; however, to meet the equilibrium biomedical research promotion and citizen privacy issue will highly depend on the cooperation and trust between the public and private sectors. Taiwan Department of Health Announced the Human Biobanks Information Security Regulation The field of human biobanks will be governed by the Act of Human Biobanks (“Biobanks Act”) after its promulgation on February 3, 2010 in Taiwan. According to Article 13 of the Biobanks Act, a biobank owner should establish its directive rules based on the regulation of information security of biobanks announced by the competent authority. Thus the Department of Health announced the draft of the Human Biobanks Information Security Regulation (“Regulation”) for the due process requirement. According to the Biobanks Act, only the government institutes, medical institutes, academic institutes, and research institutes are competent to establish biobanks (Article 4). In terms of the collecting of organisms, the participants should be informed of the relevant matters by reasonable patterns, and the collecting of organisms may be conducted after obtaining the written consent of the participants (Article 6). The relative information including the organisms and its derivatives are not allowed to be used except for biological and medical research. After all the protection of biobanks relative information above, the most important thing is the safety regulations and directive rules of the database administration lest all the restrictions of biobanks owners and the use be in vain. The draft Regulation aims to strengthen the safety of biobanks database and assure the data, the systems, the equipments, and the web circumstances are safe for the sake of the participants’ rights. The significant aspects of the draft are described as below. At first, the regulation should refer to the ISO27001, ISO27002 and other official rules. Concerning the personnel management, the security assessment is required and the database management personnel and researchers may not serve concurrently. In case some tasks are outsourced, the contractor should be responsible for the information security; the nondisclosure agreement and auditing mechanism are required. The application system should update periodically including the anti-virus and firewall programs. The biobanks database should be separated physically form internet connection, including the prohibition of information transforming by email or any other patterns through internet. The authorizing protocol of access to the biobanks should be established and all log files should be preserved in a period. The system establishment and maintenance should avoid remote control. In case the database system is physically out of the owner’s control, the authorization of the officer in charge is required. If an information security accident occurred, the bionbanks owner should contact the competent authority immediately and inform the participants by adequate tunnel. The biobanks owner should establish annual security auditing program and the project auditing will be conducted subject to the necessity. To sum up, while the biobanks database security regulation is fully established, the biobanks owners will have the sufficient guidance in connection with the biobank information security to comply with in the future.

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