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)。

※Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”),STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=6981 (Date:2020/11/28)
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Only few of this type of medical device (MD) have been legally marketed either in the United States of America (USA) or in Taiwan. This is a novel MD, and the rules regulating it are still under development. Thus, it is valuable to investigate and discuss its regulations. To clarify the requirements of legally marketing the MD, this article not only collects and summarizes the latest draft guidance announced by the USA, but also compares and analyzes the similarities and differences between USA and Taiwan, and further explains the logics that USA applies to clarify and qualify CADe for marketing, so that the Department of Health (DOH) in Taiwan could use them as references. Meanwhile, the article collects the related requirements by the Administrative Procedure Act and by the Freedom of Government Information Law of our nation, and makes the following suggestions on MD regulations to the DOH: creating product code in the system of categorization, providing clearer definition of classification, and actively announcing the (abbreviated) marketing route that secures legal permission for each individual product. 5、A Discussion on the Recent Cases Concerning the Joint Infringement of Method/Process Patents in the U.S. and Japan In the era of internet and mobile communication, practices of a method patent concerning innovative service might often involve several entities, and sometimes the method patent can only be infringed jointly. Joint infringement of method/process patents is an issue needed to be addressed by patent law, since it is assumed that a method patent can only be directly infringed by one entity to perform all the steps disclosed in the patent. In the U.S., CAFC has established the "control or direction" standard to address the issue, but the standard has been criticized and it is under revision now. In Japan, there is no clearly-established standard to address the issue of joint infringement, but it seems that the entity that controls and benefits from the joint infringement might be held liable. Based on its discussion about the recent development in the U.S. and Japan, this article attempts to provide some suggestions for inventors of innovative service models to use patents to protect their inventions properly: they should try to avoid describing their inventions in the way of being practiced by multi-entities, they should try to claim both method and system/apparatus inventions, and they should try to predict the potential infringement of their patents in order to address the problem of how to prove the infringement.

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.

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

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

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