Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System

3.Commission of Technology and Innovation (CTI)

  The CTI is also an institution dedicated to boosting innovation in Switzerland.  Established in 1943, it was known as the Commission for the Promotion of Scientific Research[1].  It was initially established for the purpose of boosting economy and raising the employment rate, and renamed after 1996.  The CTI and SNSF are two major entities dedicated to funding scientific research in Switzerland, and the difference between both resides in that the CTI is dedicated to funding R&D of the application technology and industrial technology helpful to Switzerland’s economic development.

  Upon enforcement of the amended RIPA 2011, the CTI was officially independent from the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OEPT) and became an independent entity entitled to making decisions and subordinated to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) directly[2].  The CTI is subject to the council system, consisting of 65 professional members delegated from industrial, academic and research sectors.  The members assume the office as a part time job.  CTI members are entitled to making decisions on funding, utilization of resources and granting of CTI Start-up Label independently[3].

  The CTI primarily carries out the mission including promotion of R&D of industrial technology, enhancement of the market-orientation innovation process and delivery of R&D energy into the market to boost industrial innovation.  For innovation, the CTI's core mission is categorized into[4]:

(1)Funding technology R&D activities with market potential

  The CTI invests considerable funds and resources in boosting the R&D of application technology and industrial technology.  The CTI R&D Project is intended to fund private enterprises (particularly small-sized and medium-sized enterprises) to engage in R&D of innovation technology or product.  The enterprises may propose their innovative ideas freely, and the CTI will decide whether the funds should be granted after assessing whether the ideas are innovative and potentially marketable[5].

  CTI’s funding is conditioned on the industrial and academic cooperation.  Therefore, the enterprises must work with at least one research institution (including a university, university of science and technology, or ETH) in the R&D.  Considering that small-sized and medium-sized enterprises usually do not own enough working funds, technology and human resources to commercialize creative ideas, the CTI R&D Project is intended to resolve the problem about insufficient R&D energy and funds of small- and medium-sized enterprises by delivering the research institutions’ plentiful research energy and granting the private enterprises which work with research institutions (including university, university of science and technology, or ETH) the fund.  Notably, CTI’s funding is applicable to R&D expenses only, e.g., research personnel’s salary and expenditure in equipment & materials, and allocated to the research institutions directly.  Meanwhile, in order to enhance private enterprises' launch into R&D projects and make them liable for the R&D success or failure, CTI’s funding will be no more than 50% of the total R&D budget and, therefore, the enterprises are entitled to a high degree of control right in the process of R&D.

  The industrial types which the CTI R&D Project may apply to are not limited.  Any innovative ideas with commercial potential may be proposed.  For the time being, the key areas funded by CTI include the life science, engineering science, Nano technology and enabling sciences, etc.[6]  It intends to keep Switzerland in the lead in these areas.  As of 2011, in order to mitigate the impact of drastic CHF revaluation to the industries, the CTI launched its new R&D project, the CTI Voucher[7].  Given this, the CTI is not only an entity dedicated to funding but also plays an intermediary role in the industrial and academic sectors.  Enterprises may submit proposals before finding any academic research institution partner.  Upon preliminary examination of the proposals, the CTI will introduce competent academic research institutions to work with the enterprises in R&D, subject to the enterprises' R&D needs.  After the cooperative partner is confirmed, CTI will grant the fund amounting to no more than CHF3,500,000 per application[8], provided that the funding shall be no more than 50% of the R&D project expenditure.

  The CTI R&D Project not only boosts innovation but also raises private enterprises’ willingness to participate in the academic and industrial cooperation, thereby narrowing the gap between the supply & demand of innovation R&D in the industrial and academic sectors.  Notably, the Project has achieved remarkable effect in driving private enterprises’ investment in technology R&D.  According to statistical data, in 2011, the CTI solicited additional investment of CHF1.3 from a private enterprise by investing each CHF1[9].   This is also one of the important reasons why the Swiss innovation system always acts vigorously.

Table 1  2005-2011 Passing rate of application for R&D funding

Year

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

Quantity of applications

590

780

637

444

493

407

522

Quantity of funded applications

293

343

319

250

277

227

251

Pass rate

56%

44%

50%

56%

56%

56%

48%

Data source: Prepared by the Study

(2)Guiding high-tech start-up

  Switzerland has learnt that high-tech start-ups are critical to the creation of high-quality employment and boosting of economic growth, and start-ups were able to commercialize the R&D results.  Therefore, as of 2001, Switzerland successively launched the CTI Entrepreneurship and CTI Startup to promote entrepreneurship and cultivate high-tech start-ups.

1.CTI Entrepreneurship

  The CTI Entrepreneurship was primarily implemented by the Venture Lab founded by CTI investment.  The Venture Lab launched a series of entrepreneurship promotion and training courses, covering day workshops, five-day entrepreneurship intensive courses, and entrepreneurship courses available in universities.   Each training course was reviewed by experts, and the experts would provide positive advice to attendants about innovative ideas and business models.

Data source: Venture Lab Site

Fig. 3  Venture Lab Startup Program

2.CTI Startup

  The CTI is dedicated to driving the economy by virtue of innovation as its priority mission.  In order to cultivate the domestic start-ups with high growth potential in Switzerland, the CTI Startup project was launched in 1996[10] in order to provide entrepreneurs with the relevant guidance services. The project selected young entrepreneurs who provided innovative ideas, and guided them in the process of business start to work their innovative ideas and incorporate competitive start-ups.

  In order to enable the funding and resources to be utilized effectively, the CTI Startup project enrolled entrepreneurs under very strict procedure, which may be categorized into four stages[11]:

Data source: CTI Startup Site

Fig. 4  Startup Plan Flow Chart

  In the first stage, the CTI would preliminarily examine whether the applicant’s idea was innovative and whether it was technologically feasible, and help the applicant register with the CTI Startup project.  Upon registration, a more concrete professional examination would be conducted at the second stage.  The scope of examination included the technology, market, feasibility and management team’s competence.  After that, at the stage of professional guidance, each team would be assigned a professional “entrepreneurship mentor”, who would help the team develop further and optimize the enterprise’s strategy, flow and business model in the process of business start, and provide guidance and advice on the concrete business issues encountered by the start-up.  The stage of professional guidance was intended to guide start-ups to acquire the CTI Startup Label, as the CTI Startup Label was granted subject to very strict examination procedure.  For example, in 2012, the CTI Startup project accepted 78 applications for entrepreneurship guidance, but finally the CTI Startup Label was granted to 27 applications only[12]. Since 1996, a total of 296 start-ups have acquired the CTI Startup Label, and more than 86% thereof are still operating now[13].  Apparently, the CTI Startup Label represents the certification for innovation and on-going development competence; therefore, it is more favored by investors at the stage of fund raising.

Table 2  Execution of start-up plans for the latest three years

 

Quantity of application

Quantity of accepted application

Quantity of CTI Label granted

2012

177

78

27

2011

160

80

26

2010

141

61

24

Data source: CTI Annual Report, prepared by the Study

  Meanwhile, the “CTI Invest” platform was established to help start-up raise funds at the very beginning to help commercialize R&D results and cross the valley in the process of R&D innovation.  The platform is a private non-business-making organization, a high-tech start-up fund raising platform co-established by CTI and Swiss investors[14].  It is engaged in increasing exposure of the start-ups and contact with investors by organizing activities, in order to help the start-ups acquire investment funds.

(3)Facilitating transfer of knowledge and technology between the academic sector and industrial sector

  KTT Support (Knowledge & Technology Transfer (KTT Support) is identified as another policy instrument dedicated to boosting innovation by the CTI.  It is intended to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technology between academic research institutions and private enterprises, in order to transfer and expand the innovation energy.

  As of 2013, the CTI has launched a brand new KTT Support project targeting at small-sized and medium-sized enterprises.  The new KTT Support project consisted of three factors, including National Thematic Networks (NTNs), Innovation Mentors, and Physical and web-based platforms.  Upon the CTI’s strict evaluation and consideration, a total of 8 cooperative innovation subjects were identified in 2012, namely, carbon fiber composite materials, design idea innovation, surface innovation, food study, Swiss biotechnology, wood innovation, photonics and logistics network, etc.[15]  One NTN would be established per subject.  The CTI would fund these NTNs to support the establishment of liaison channels and cooperative relations between academic research institutions and industries and provide small- and medium-sized enterprises in Switzerland with more rapid and easy channel to access technologies to promote the exchange of knowledge and technology between both parties.  Innovation Mentors were professionals retained by the CTI, primarily responsible for evaluating the small-sized and medium-sized enterprises’ need and chance for innovation R&D and helping the enterprises solicit competent academic research partners to engage in the transfer of technology.  The third factor of KTT Support, Physical and web-based platforms, is intended to help academic research institutions and private enterprises establish physical liaison channels through organization of activities and installation of network communication platforms, to enable the information about knowledge and technology transfer to be more transparent and communicable widely.

  In conclusion, the CTI has been dedicated to enhancing the link between scientific research and the industries and urging the industrial sector to involve and boost the R&D projects with market potential.  The CTI’s business lines are all equipped with corresponding policy instruments to achieve the industrial-academic cooperation target and mitigate the gap between the industry and academic sectors in the innovation chain.  The various CTI policy instruments may be applied in the following manner as identified in the following figure.

Data source: CTI Annual Report 2011

Fig. 5  Application of CTI Policy Instrument to Innovation Chain

III. Swiss Technology R&D Budget Management and Allocation

  The Swiss Federal Government has invested considerable expenditures in technology R&D.  According to statistic data provided by Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO) and OECD, the Swiss research expenditures accounted for 2.37% of the Federal Government’s total expenditures, following the U.S.A. and South Korea (see Fig. 6).  Meanwhile, the research expenditures of the Swiss Government grew from CHF2.777 billion in 2000 to CHF4.639 billion in 2010, an average yearly growth rate of 5.9% (see Fig. 7).  It is clear that Switzerland highly values its technology R&D.

Data source: FSO and OECD

Fig. 6 Percentage of Research Expenditures in Various Country Governments’ Total Expenditures (2008)

Data source: FSO and OECD

Fig. 7  Swiss Government Research Expenditures 2000-2010

1.Management of Swiss Technology R&D Budget

  Swiss research expenditures are primarily allocated to the education, R&D and innovation areas, and play an important role in the Swiss innovation system.  Therefore, a large part of the Swiss research expenditures are allocated to institutions of higher education, including ETH, universities, and UASs.  The Swiss research expenditures are utilized by three hierarchies[16] (see Fig. 8):

  1. Government R&D funding agencies: The Swiss research budget is primarily executed by three agencies, including SERI, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
  2. Intermediary R&D funding agencies: Including SNSC and CTI.
  3. Funding of R&D performing institutions: Including private enterprises, institutions of higher education and private non-profit-making business, et al.

  Therefore, the Swiss Government research expenditures may be utilized by the Federal Government directly, or assigned to intermediary agencies, which will allocate the same to the R&D performing institutions.  SERI will allocate the research expenditures to institutions of higher education and also hand a lot of the expenditures over to SNSF for consolidated funding to the basic science of R&D.

Data source: FSO

Fig. 8  Swiss Research Fund Utilization Mechanism

~to be continued~


[1] ORGANIZATION FOR ECONNOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT [OECD], OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Switzerland 27 (2006).

[2] As of January 1, 2013, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs was reorganized, and renamed into Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).

[3] The Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI, THE COMMISSION FOR TECHOLOGY AND INNOVATION CTI, http://www.kti.admin.ch/org/00079/index.html?lang=en (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).

[4] Id.

[5] CTI INVEST, Swiss Venture Guide 2012 (2012), at 44, http://www.cti-invest.ch/getattachment/7f901c03-0fe6-43b5-be47-6d05b6b84133/Full-Version.aspx (last visited Jun. 4, 2013).

[7] CTI Voucher, THE COMMISSION FOR TECHOLOGY AND INNOVATION CTI, http://www.kti.admin.ch/projektfoerderung/00025/00135/index.html?lang=en (last visited Jun. 3, 2013).

[8] Id.

[10] CTI Start-up Brings Science to Market, THE COMMISSION FOR TECHOLOGY AND INNOVATION CTI, http://www.ctistartup.ch/en/about/cti-start-/cti-start-up/ (last visited Jun. 5, 2013).

[11] Id.

[12] Supra note 8, at 45.

[13] Id.

[14] CTI Invest, http://www.cti-invest.ch/About/CTI-Invest.aspx (last visited Jun. 5, 2013).

[15] KTT Support, CTI, http://www.kti.admin.ch/netzwerke/index.html?lang=en (last visited Jun.5, 2013).

[16] Swiss Federal Statistics Office (SFO), Public Funding of Research in Switzerland 2000–2010 (2012), available at http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/en/index/themen/04/22/publ.Document.163273.pdf (last visited Jun. 20, 2013).

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※Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Research Legal System and Response Thereto (2) – Observation of the Swiss Research Innovation System,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=7701 (Date:2020/11/28)
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This is applicable to (1) SMEs who can postpone the business income taxes payable from the year when they acquire new shares of non-listed companies by transferring the intellectual properties they own; (2) individuals who can postpone the individual income taxes payable from the year when they acquire new shares of non-listed companies by transferring the intellectual properties they own. IV. Tax incentives aiming to improve the business environment (I) Tax reductions for wages to additional headcounts   SMEs are vital to the Taiwan, making uo 90% of the companies accounting in Taiwan, who employ more than 6.5 million people or 72.8% of the total workforce. Any economic recession may make it difficult for SMEs to maintain their labor costs given their smaller funding size and external challenges. This will cause higher unemployment rates and hurt the economy, which may cause impairment of the capacity or create a labor gap for SMEs, eventually shrink the industry scale. To lower the burden of operational and investment costs and learn from the legislatives in Japan and the U.S.[6], tax incentives are put in place as a buffer for adverse effects of external environments. The first paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provide tax incentives for employee salaries of new headcounts based on the assessment on the economy over a time period. This is intended to encourage domestic investments and avoid the pitfall of direct government subsidies distorting salary structures. It is hoped that investments from SMEs can stimulate the momentum of economic growth. 1. Taxpayers   The tax incentives under Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises aim to assist SMEs through difficult times in an economic downturn. The threshold of the period time is based on the unemployment rate has been below the economic indicator predetermined for six consecutive months, which calculated by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan. In number of the unemployment rate has been below the economic indicator predetermined for six consecutive months, it is deemed that the business environment is not friendly to SMEs. In this instance, the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment will trigger the tax incentives. The abovementioned economic indicator shall be published by the competent authorities once every two years.   Moreover, to qualify for the tax incentives for new employees, SMEs should investing new ventures or instill new capital by at least $500,000[7] or hiring workforce at least two full-time headcounts compared with the previous fiscal year, that constitute at the Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, which aims to encourage SMEs investments. 2. Taxpayers (1) Qualifications of additional headcounts   As the dispatched human resource services typically meet temporary or short-term requirements and contractors do not enjoy employment security, this is not consistent with the spirit of the legislation to create jobs and reduce unemployment. Therefore, to avoid the one-time increase of headcounts from accessing the tax reductions during the year and the deterioration of labor relations in Taiwan. Tax incentive is not offered to the additional recruitment of part-time or contracted workers.   Meanwhile, the tax incentives are only applicable to the additional employment of Taiwanese nationals, above or below 24 years old. A tax deduction of 50% based on annual wages is provided for the hiring of people below 24 years old. The extra tax deduction will stimulate young employment. (2) Definition of additional employment   The number of additional headcounts is based on permanent hires and calculated as the difference between the average number of Taiwanese employees covered by labor insurance per month throughout a single fiscal year or before and after the incremental increase of workforce. The conversion of regular contracts to indefinite employment in writing or signing up for indefinite R&D headcounts under the military service scheme can also be deemed as additional employment. It is worth noting, however, the new headcounts resulted from M&A activities or transfer between affiliated companies are excluded in this legislation. (3) Calculation of wages   Companies are also required to increase employment as well as the Comparable Wages. The comparable wages are estimated with the summation of 30% of the wages for the year before and after additional employment that based on the aggregate of the new hires comparable wages compared to the prior year. In other words, if the aggregate wages paid out are higher than comparable wages during the year, the companies concerned have indeed incurred higher personnel expenses. Tax incentives are thus granted because it improves the business environment and it is the purpose of this legislation. 3. Tax incentive effects   The first paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides deductions of business income taxes during the year to qualified SMEs at an amount equivalent to 130% of the incremental wages paid to new headcounts who are Taiwanese nationals. The deductible amount is equivalent to 150% of the incremental wages if new headcounts are Taiwanese nationals below 24 years old. (II) Tax incentives for companies that increase salaries   Companies are subject to the effect of changes in the external factors such as global supply and demand on the international market, as well as the domestic business environment as a result of risk aversion from investors and expectation from customers. These uncertainties associated with investments and the rising prices for consumers will suppress the wage levels in Taiwan. This the reason why the second paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises grants tax deductions for the companies who increase salaries, to encourage companies share earnings with employees and enhance private-sector consumption. SMEs may deduct their business income taxes payable during the year up to 30% of salary increase for existing entry-level employees who are Taiwanese nationals, not as a result of statutory requirement for basic wage adjustments. 1. Taxpayers   The tax incentives are applicable to SMEs as defined by the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment and based on the same economic indicators previously mentioned. 2. Qualification for tax incentives (1) Definition of entry-level employees   The object of taxation under this act is the enterprise's average wage payment to the entry-level employees. The entry-level employees referred to in this act are authorized by the "Small and medium-sized enterprise employee salary increase, salary deduction act " that refers to employees of local nationality with an average monthly recurring salary below nt $50,000[8] whose were entered into indefinite employment contracts with SMEs. Through such conditions, the effect of tax concessions will be concentrated on promoting the salary level of grassroots staff and helping enterprises to cope with changes in the industrial environment. (2) Average salaries   The salaries to entry-level employees refer to the basic salaries, fixed allowances and bonuses paid on a monthly basis. Payment-in-kind shall be discounted based on the actual prices and included into the regular salaries. Meanwhile, regular salaries should be calculated with annualized averages, as this legislation seeks to boost salary levels. The regular salaries to entry-level employees during the year are estimated with the monthly number of entry-level employees during the same year. Only when the average basis salaries during the year are higher than those in the prior year can the tax incentives be applicable. 3. Tax incentive effects   Applying this article, SMEs can deduct their business income taxes each year up to 130% of salary increase for existing entry-level employees who are Taiwanese nationals, which are not as a result of statutory requirement for basic wage adjustments. However, it is not allowed to double count the increased personnel expenses for new headcounts applicable to the first and second paragraphs of the same article. V. Conclusions   The funding scales and relatively weak financial structures are the factors that led SMEs be susceptible influenced by supply change dynamics and business cycles. To the extent that is suppressing the flexible in capital utilization for SMEs, also influencing on the sustainability of SMEs. Differ from government subsidies require budgeting, reviewing and implementations, there are complications regarding the allocation of administrative resources. Therefore, it is important to plan for tax incentives in order to stimulate R&D, innovation and job creation by SMEs and ultimately make SMEs more competitive.   The tax incentives to SMEs amended in 2016 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration are known for the following: (I) The lowering of thresholds for tax reductions of R&D expenses in order to encourage SMEs to invest in R&D activities with a “certain degree” of innovativeness and enhance the momentum for SMEs to upgrade and transform themselves; (II) Deferral the income taxations on the transfer of intellectual properties for equity, in order to encourage application and utilization of such intellectual properties, provide incentives for R&D programs or innovations by individuals and SMEs. This also creates a catalyst for industry upgrade; (III) Tax deductions for the employment of new headcounts or the increase of employee wages during the time the economic indicators have reached a certain threshold and based on the health of the investment environment. This is to encourage company investments and capital increases in Taiwan and mitigate the volatility of economic cycles, in order to get ready for business improvement.   The above tax incentive programs, i.e. tax deductions for R&D and innovations; deferral of taxations on the transfer of intellectual properties for equity; tax deductions for the hiring of new headcounts and the increase of employee salaries, are meant to boost the investment from SMEs and the competitiveness of SMEs. The Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises seeks to reduce tax burdens of SMEs actively investing for their future and competitive advantages. Tax incentives help to mitigate the adverse effect of the economy on the business environment. It is also the fostering of the sources of business income tax revenues for the government. This is the very purpose of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. [1]White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Taiwan, 2018, p21 (November 9, 2018) published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs [2]Pursuant to the authorization conferred by Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced the Regulations Governing the Reduction of Expenditures for Small and Medium Enterprises Research and Development as Investment. [3]Article 2 on the definition of SMEs. The abovementioned criterion is universally applicable to the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. It also applies to the eligibility of tax incentives to be introduced in this paper unless otherwise specified. [4]Official Letter Economic-Business No. 10304605790, Ministry of Economic Affairs [5]Official Letter Taiwan-Finance No. 10300207480, Ministry of Finance [6]“Assessment of the Taxations under Article 35, Article 35-1, the first paragraph and the second paragraph of Article 36-2, the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises” published by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs, pages 15-17, https://www.moeasmea.gov.tw/files/2670/93B9AF54-84E2-4293-A5CA-EA7DD9FAA05A(most recently browsed date September 9, 2019). [7]Order of Interpretation Economics-Business No. 104004602510 from the Ministry of Economic Affairs: “Second, on the day when the economic indicator has reached the threshold, the paid-in capital of the new business should be at least NT$500,000 and there is no need to instill additional capital during the period when tax incentives are applicable. For existing businesses, there is no limitation on the number of capital increases during the applicable period. So long as the cumulative increase in capital reaches NT$500,000 and new employees are hired during the same fiscal year or during the prior fiscal year.” [8]Paragraph 1, Article 2 of the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment

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.

Executive Yuan Promotes Free Economic Demonstration Zone

I.Background To promote more liberal and internationalized development of Taiwan economy, Premier of Executive Yuan approved the “Free Economic Demonstration Zone Plan” on April 26, 2013. Meanwhile, an Executive Yuan Working Group on Promotion of Economic Demonstration Zone is set up to accelerate the mapping out of the promotion programs as well as detailed action plans. The first phase of the Free Economic Demonstration Zone is to be officially initiated in July. According to the “Free Economic Demonstration Zone Plan”, the relevant laws and provisions regarding the flowing of human and financial capitals, and of logistics, will be loosen up to a great degree, based on the core ideas of liberalization, internationalization, and forwardness. Other related measures such as offering of lands and taxation would also be made, in order to attract capitals from both the inside and outside of the country. In addition, the Free Economic Demonstration Zone will first develop economic activities such as intelligent computing, international medicine services, value-added agriculture and cooperation among industries, to accelerate the transformation of the industrial structure of Taiwan. In order to construe an excellent environment for business of full liberalization and internationalization, the promotion strategies will be focused on “break-through of legal frameworks and innovations of management mechanisms”. II.Content of the Plan To accelerate the promotion process, the Free Economic Demonstration Zone will be conducted in two phases. The first phase is centered on the existing free trade port areas, including five ports and one airport, incorporated with the nature of “being inside the country border but outside the tariff zone”. All the industrial parks in the near counties and cities will also be integrated. The promotion will be set out simultaneously in the north, middle and south of Taiwan. The effects of the promotion are expected to be magnified by fully utilizing the resources and the unique characters of industries of each region. Moreover, the promulgation of a special legislation on the Free Economic Demonstration Zone would be facilitated in the future. After this special legislation is passed, the set-ups of demonstration zones can be applied by authorities either of central or of local government and the related promotion works of the second phase will be unfolded immediately. According to the Executive Yuan, the Free Economic Demonstration Zone will be beneficial in terms of creating positive conditions for Taiwan to participate in regional trade organizations and attract both local and foreign investment, injecting new movement into the economic growth of Taiwan. III.Recent Development In addition, on August 8, 2013, relevant discussions on “Furtherance Plan for Free Economic Demonstration Zone Phase One” are further unfolded in the Executive Yuan conference. In addition, the Premier also indicates, that the furtherance of the Free Economic Demonstration Zone (hereafter: FEDZ) is divided into two phases. The first phase starts from the moment that the Plan is approved till the related special legislation is passed and promulgated. In this phase, the relevant tasks can be achieved through the ways of promulgation of administrative orders. On the other hand, the tasks concerning taxation benefits and other parts that involve legislation will not able to be initiated till the second phase of the Plan. For those tasks, the Council for Economic Planning and Development is asked to complete the drafting of this special legislation and related procedures for registering it into the Executive Yuan, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and other concerned agencies, in the hope that the related legislation works of the Executive Yuan can be completed before the end of this year. In respect of “Furtherance Plan for Free Economic Demonstration Zone Phase One”, Premier Jiang further points out, that FEDZ is a model incorporates the concept of “being inside the country border but outside the tariff zone” and the idea of “combining the stores upfront and the factories behind, outsourcing manufactures”. In this way, the hinterland of a port can be expended and magnified effects to be achieved through using the resources provided by the factory in behind. Under this pattern, the expansion effects that cities and counties such as New Taipei City and Changhua Country fight for, can be further extended by this concept of “factories in the back”. As for Port of Anping, over which Tainan City government has proactively fought for, can be listed as a demonstration zone once the Executive Yuan approved it as free trade port zone. In the future, other places that are with forward-looking industry and suitable can still be enlisted. Premier Jiang further expresses that, there are four demonstration industries in the first phase, including intelligent computing, international medicine services, value-added agriculture and cooperation among industries. Yet, he also points out that the demonstration of liberalized economy is a concept of “4+N”. It means that the demonstration will not be limited to the scope of these four industries. Other industries that match up with the idea of liberalization, internationalization and foresight can all be incorporated into FEDZ through continuing examination. Moreover, Premier Jiang later mentions on August 14th, that FEDZ is a crucial task for the government at this moment. He thus requests the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the Council of Agriculture, to enhance the training and service quality of staffers of the single service window of furtherance of FEDZ. Moreover, Premier Jiang additionally indicated in November, that the scope of the FEDZ will include Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park and Kaohsiung Free Trade Port Area. The combination of the two will facilitate adding value to the agriculture in Taiwan and put momentum into quality agriculture, making the high-quality agricultural products of our country being sold to all over the world with swift logistic services. Premier Jiang also mentioned, that in order to avoid Taiwan being marginalized amid regional integrations of global economies, the government is facilitating industries of potentials by proactively promote the FEDZ. The current approach is to expend the original free trade port area with legislative bases, creating the demonstration zones of free economy by combing original establishments such as Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park. If this approach and system is proved feasible, the next step would be promoting it to island-wide, making the whole nation open-up. IV.Conclusion In the past decade, the economic development in Taiwan, compared to neighboring economic zones such as Hong Kong, Korean or Singapore, was indeed stagnant. It is thus a positive move for the government to put great efforts in promoting FEDZ, in the hope that the liberalization and internationalization of the economy of this country can therefore be significantly improved. Yet, some commentators are of slightly more skeptical opinions, reminding that in terms of the tax relaxation in the Plan, similar approach was already taken by the government before, which did not lead to the expected outcome. In sum, it still remains as a continuing task for us and for the administration as well, to ponder on how Taiwan can find out its own unique strength in the face of global competition. How we can attract more international partners, to create mutual economic benefits. The FEDZ is undoubtedly a first step. Nevertheless, challenges are still ahead of the government, as to how to take many more steps in the future, in order to make Taiwan to march on the stage of the world again.

Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan’s Biological Resources

Preface Considering that, many countries and regional international organizations already set up ABS system, such as Andean Community, African Union, Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Australia, South Africa, and India, all are enthusiastic with the establishment of the regulations regarding the access management of biological resources and genetic resources. On the other hand, there are still many countries only use traditional and existing conservation-related regulations to manage the access of biological resources. Can Taiwan's regulations comply with the purposes and objects of CBD? Is there a need for Taiwan to set up specific regulations for the management of these access activities? This article plans to present Taiwan's regulations and review the effectiveness of the existing regulations from the aspect of enabling the legal and effective access to biological resources. A recommendation will be made on whether Taiwan should reinforce the management of the bio-resources access activities. Review and Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan's Biological Rersearch Resources (1)Evaluate the Needs and Benefits before Establishing the Regulation of Access Rights When taking a look at the current development of the regulations on the access of biological resources internationally, we discover that some countries aggressively develop designated law for access, while some countries still adopt existing regulations to explain the access rights. Whether to choose a designated law or to adopt the existing law should depend on the needs of establishing access and benefit sharing system. Can the access and benefit sharing system benefit the functioning of bio-technological research and development activities that link closely to the biological resources? Can the system protect the interests of Taiwan's bio-research results? In Taiwan, in the bio-technology industry, Agri-biotech, Medical, or Chinese Herb Research & Development are the key fields of development. However, the biological resources they use for the researches are mainly supplied from abroad. Hence, the likelihood of violating international bio-piracy is higher. On the contrary, the incidence of international research houses searching for the biological resources from Taiwan is comparatively lower, so the possibility for them to violate Taiwan's bio-piracy is very low. To look at this issue from a different angle, if Taiwan establishes a separate management system for the access of biological resources, it is likely to add more restrictions to Taiwan's bio-tech R&D activities and impact the development of bio-industry. Also, under the new management system, international R&D teams will also be confined, if they wish to explore the biological resources, or conduct R&D and seek for co-operation activities in Taiwan. Not to mention that it is not a usual practice for international R&D teams to look for Taiwan's biological resources. A new management system will further reduce their level of interest in doing so. In the end, the international teams will then shift their focus of obtaining resources from other countries where the regulation on access is relatively less strict. Before Taiwan establishes the regulations on the legal and effective access to bio-research resources, the government should consider not only the practical elements of the principal on the fair and impartial sharing of the derived interests from bio-research resources, but also take account of its positive and negative impacts on the development of related bio-technological industries. Even if a country's regulation on the access and benefit sharing is thorough and comprehensive enough to protect the interests of bio-resource provider, it will, on the contrary, reduce the industry's interest in accessing the bio-resources. As a result, the development of bio-tech industry will be impacted and the resource provider will then be unable to receive any benefits. By then, the goal of establishing the regulation to benefit both the industry and resource provider will not be realized. To sum up, it is suggested to evaluate the suitability of establishing the management system for the access to biological resources through the cost-effect analysis first. And, further consider the necessity of setting up regulations by the access the economic benefits derived from the regulation for both resource provider and bio-tech industry. (2)The Feasibility of Managing the access to Bio-research Resources from existing Regulations As analysed in the previous paragraphs, the original intention of setting up the Wildlife Conservation Act, National Park Law, Forestry Act, Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and Aboriginal Basic Act is to protect the environment and to conserve the ecology. However, if we utilize these traditional regulations properly, it can also partially help to manage the access to biological resources. When Taiwan's citizens wish to enter specific area, or to collect the biological resources within the area, they need to receive the permit from management authority, according to current regulations. Since these national parks, protection areas, preserved areas, or other controlled areas usually have the most comprehensive collections of valuable biological resources in a wide range of varieties, it is suggested to include the agreements of access and benefit sharing as the mandatory conditions when applying for the entrance permit. Therefore, the principal of benefit sharing from the access to biological resources can be assured. Furthermore, the current regulations already favour activities of accessing biological resources for academic research purpose. This practice also ties in with the international trend of separating the access application into two categories - academic and business. Australia's practice of access management can be a very good example of utilizing the existing regulations to control the access of resources. The management authority defines the guidelines of managing the entrance of control areas, research of resources, and the collection and access of resources. The authority also adds related agreements, such as PIC (Prior Informed Consent), MTA (Material Transfer Agreement), and benefit sharing into the existing guidelines of research permission. In terms of scope of management, the existing regulation does not cover all of Taiwan's bio-research resources. Luckily, the current environmental protection law regulates areas with the most resourceful resources or with the most distinctive and rare species. These are often the areas where the access management system is required. Therefore, to add new regulation for access management on top of the existing regulation is efficient method that utilizes the least administrative resources. This could be a feasible way for Taiwan to manage the access to biological resources. (3)Establish Specific Regulations to Cover the Details of the Scope of Derived Interests and the Items and Percentage of Funding Allocation In addition to the utilization of current regulations to control the access to biological resources, many countries establish specific regulations to manage the biological resources. If, after the robust economic analysis had been done, the country has come to an conclusion that it is only by establishing new regulations of access management the resources and derived interests of biological resources can be impartially shared, the CBD (Convention of Bio Diversity), the Bonn Guidelines, or the real implementation experiences of many countries can be an important guidance when establishing regulations. Taiwan has come up with the preliminary draft of Genetic Resources Act that covers the important aspects of international access guidelines. The draft indicates the definition and the scope of access activities, the process of access applications (for both business and academic purpose), the establishment of standardized or model MTA, the obligation of disclosing the sources of property rights (patents), and the establishment of bio-diversity fund. However, if we observe the regulation or drafts to the access management of the international agreements or each specific country, we can find that the degree of strictness varies and depends on the needs and situations. Generally speaking, these regulations usually do not cover some detailed but important aspects such as the scope of derived interests from biological resources, or the items and percentage of the allocation of bio-diversity fund. Under the regulation to the access to biological resources, in addition to the access fee charge, the impartial sharing of the derived interests is also an important issue. Therefore, to define the scope of interests is extremely important. Any interest that is out of the defined scope cannot be shared. The interest stated in the existing regulation generally refers to the biological resources or the derived business interests from genetic resources. Apart from describing the forms of interest such as money, non-money, or intellectual property rights, the description of actual contents or scope of the interests is minimal in the regulations. However, after realizing the importance of bio-diversity and the huge business potential, many countries have started to investigate the national and international bio-resources and develop a database system to systematically collect related bio-research information. The database comprised of bio-resources is extremely useful to the activities related to bio-tech developments. If the international bio-tech companies can access Taiwan's bio-resource database, it will save their travelling time to Taiwan. Also, the database might as well become a product that generates revenues. The only issue that needs further clarification is whether the revenue generated from the access of database should be classified as business interests, as defined in the regulations. As far as the bio-diversity fund is concerned, many countries only describe the need of setting up bio-diversity funds in a general manner in the regulations. But the definition of which kind of interests should be put into funds, the percentage of the funds, and the related details are not described. As a result, the applicants to the access of bio-resources or the owner of bio-resources cannot predict the amount of interests to be put into bio-diversity fund before they actually use the resources. This issue will definitely affect the development of access activities. To sum up, if Taiwan's government wishes to develop the specific regulations for the access of biological resources, it is advised to take the above mentioned issues into considerations for a more thoroughly described, and more effective regulations and related framework. Conclusion In recent years, it has been a global trend to establish the regulations of the access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources. The concept of benefit sharing is especially treated as a useful weapon for the developing countries to protect the interests of their abundant bio-research resources. However, as we are in the transition period of changing from free access to biological resources to controlled access, we are facing different regulations within one country as well as internationally. It will be a little bit disappointing for the academic research institution and the industry who relies on the biological resources to conduct bio-tech development if they do not see a clear principal direction to follow. The worse case is the violation of the regulation of the country who owns the bio-resources when the research institutions try to access, exchange, or prospect the biological resources without thorough understanding of related regulations. For some of Taiwan's leading fields in the bio-tech industry, such as Chinese and herbal medicine related products, agricultural products, horticultural products, and bio-tech products, since many resources are obtained from abroad, the incidence of violation of international regulation will increase, and the costs from complying the regulations will also increase. Therefore, not only the researcher but also the government have the responsibility to understand and educate the related people in Taiwan's bio-tech fields the status of international access management regulations and the methods of legally access the international bio-research resources. Currently in Taiwan, we did not establish specific law to manage the access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources. Comparing with the international standard, there is still room of improvement for Taiwan's regulatory protection to the provider of biological resources. However, we have to consider the necessity of doing so, and how to do the improvement. And Taiwan's government should resolve this issue. When we consider whether we should follow international trend to establish a specific law for access management, we should always go back to check the potential state interests we will receive and take this point into consideration. To define the interests, we should always cover the protection of biological resources, the development of bio-tech industry, and the administrative costs of government. Also the conservation of biological resources and the encouragement of bio-tech development should be also taken into consideration when the government is making decisions. In terms of establishing regulations for the access to biological resources and the benefit sharing, there are two possible solutions. The first solution is to utilize the existing regulations and add the key elements of access management into the scope of administrative management. The work is planned through the revision of related current procedures such as entrance control of controlled areas and the access of specific resources. The second solution is to establish new regulations for the access to biological resources. The first solution is relatively easier and quicker; while the second solution is considered to have a more comprehensive control of the issue. The government has the final judgement on which solution to take to generate a more effective management of Taiwan's biological resources.

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