Post Brexit – An Update on the United Kingdom Privacy Regime
After lengthy talks, on 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom (‘UK’) finally exited the European Union (‘EU’). Then, the UK shifted into a transition period. The UK government was bombarded with questions from all stakeholders. In particular, the data and privacy industry yelled out the loudest – what am I going to do with data flowing from the EU to the UK? Privacy professionals queried – would the UK have a new privacy regime that significantly departs from the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’)?
Eventually, the UK made a compromise with all stakeholders – the British, the Europeans and the rest of the world – by bridging its privacy laws with the GDPR. On 28 June 2021, the UK obtained an adequacy decision from the EU. This was widely anticipated but also widely known to be delayed, as it was heavily impacted by the aftermaths of the invalidation of the US- EU Privacy Shield.
While the rest of the world seems to silently observe the transition undertaken by the UK, post-Brexit changes to the UK’s privacy regime is not only a domestic or regional matter, it is an international matter. Global supply chains and cross border data flows will be affected, shuffling the global economy into a new order. Therefore, it is crucial as citizens of a digital economy to unpack and understand the current UK privacy regime.
This paper intends to give the reader a brief introduction to the current privacy regime of the UK. The author proposes to set out the structure of the UK privacy legislation, and to discuss important privacy topics. This paper only focuses on the general processing regime, which is the regime that is most relevant to general stakeholders.
UK Privacy Legislation
There are two main privacy legislation in the UK – the Data Protection Act 2018 (‘DPA’) and the United Kingdom General Data Protection Act (‘UK GDPR’). These two acts must be read together in order to form a coherent understanding of the current UK privacy regime.
The UK GDPR is the creature of Brexit. The UK government wanted a smooth transition out of the EU and acknowledged that they needed to preserve the GDPR in their domestic privacy regime to an extent that would allow them to secure an adequacy decision. The UK government also wanted to create less impact on private companies. Thus, the UK GDPR was born. Largely it aligns closely with the GDPR, supplemented by the DPA.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) is the independent authority supervising the compliance of privacy laws in the UK. Prior to Brexit, the ICO was the UK’s supervisory authority under the GDPR. A unique feature of the ICO’s powers and functions is that it adopts a notice system. The ICO has power to issue four types of notices: information notices, assessment notices, enforcement notices and penalty notices. The information notice requires controllers or processors to provide information. The ICO must issue an assessment notice before conducting data protection audits. Enforcement is only exercisable by giving an enforcement notice. Administrative fines are only exercisable by giving a penalty notice.
Section 207(1A) of the DPA states that the DPA applies to any controller or processor established in the UK, regardless where the processing of personal data takes place. Like the GDPR, the DPA and the UK GDPR have an extraterritorial reach to overseas controllers or processors. The DPA and the UK GDPR apply to overseas controllers or processors who process personal data relating to data subjects in the UK, and the processing activities are related to the offering of goods or services, or the monitoring of data subjects’ behavior.
Transfers of Personal Data to Third Countries
On 28 June 2021, the UK received an adequacy decision from the EU. This means that until 27 June 2025, data can continue to flow freely between the UK and the European Economic Area (‘EEA’).
As for transferring personal data to third countries other than the EU, the UK has similar laws to the GDPR. Both the DPA and the UK GDPR restrict controllers or processors from transferring personal data to third countries. A transfer of personal data to a third country is permitted if it is based on adequacy regulations. An EU adequacy decision is known as ‘adequacy regulations’ under the UK regime.
If there is no adequacy regulations, then a transfer of personal data to a third country will only be permitted if it is covered by appropriate safeguards, including standard data protection clauses, binding corporate rules, codes of conduct, and certifications. The ICO intends to publish UK standard data protection clauses in 2021. In the meantime, the EU has published a new set of standard data protection clauses (‘SCCs’). However, it must be noted that the EU SCCs are not accepted to be valid in the UK, and may only be used for reference purposes. It is also worth noting that the UK has approved three certification schemes to assist organizations in demonstrating compliance to data protection laws.
Lawful Bases for Processing
Basically, the lawful bases for processing in the UK regime are the same as the GDPR. Six lawful bases are set out in article 6 of the UK GDPR. To process personal data, at least one of the following lawful bases must be satisfied:
Rights & Exemptions
The UK privacy regime, like the GDPR, gives data subjects certain rights. Most of the rights granted under the UK privacy regime is akin to the GDPR and can be found under the UK GDPR. Individual rights under the UK privacy regime is closely linked with its exemptions, this may be said to be a unique feature of the UK privacy regime which sets it apart from the GDPR. Under the DPA and the UK GDPR, there are certain exemptions, meaning organizations are exempted from certain obligations, most of them are associated with individual rights. For example, if data is processed for scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes, organizations are exempted from provisions on the right of access, the right to rectification, the right to restrict processing and the right to object in certain circumstances.
The penalty for infringement of the UK GDPR is the amount specified in article 83 of the UK GDPR. If an amount is not specified, the penalty is the standard maximum amount. The standard maximum amount, at the time of writing, is £8,700,000 (around 10 million Euros) or 2% of the undertaking’s total annual worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year. In any other case, the standard maximum amount is £8,700,000 (around 10 million Euros).
The UK privacy regime closely aligns with the GDPR. However it would be too simple of a statement to say that the UK privacy regime is almost identical to the GDPR. The ICO’s unique enforcement powers exercised through a notice system is a distinct feature of the UK privacy regime. Recent legal trends show that the UK while trying to preserve its ties with the EU is gradually developing an independent privacy persona. The best example is that in regards to transfers to third countries, the UK has developed its first certification scheme and is attempting to develop its own standard data protection clauses. The UK’s transition out of the EU has certainly been interesting; however, the UK’s transformation from the EU is certainly awaited with awe.
 Commission Implementing Decision of 28.6.2021, pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the adequate protection of personal data by the United Kingdom, C(2021) 4800 final, https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/decision_on_the_adequate_protection_of_personal_data_by_the_united_kingdom_-_general_data_protection_regulation_en.pdf..
 Judgment of 16 July 2020, Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems, C-311/18, EU:C:2020:559, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:62018CJ0311.
 Data Protection Act 2018, §115.
 Data Protection Act 2018, §207(1A); REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 3.
 supra note 1.
 Data Protection Act 2018, §17A-18; REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 44-50.
 Data Protection Act 2018, §17A-18; REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 46-47.
International transfers after the UK exit from the EU Implementation Period, ICO, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/international-transfers-after-uk-exit/ (last visited Sep. 10, 2021).
 Standard contractual clauses for international transfers, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/standard-contractual-clauses-scc/standard-contractual-clauses-international-transfers_en (last visited Sep. 10, 2021).
 ICO, New certification schemes will “raise the bar” of data protection in children’s privacy, age assurance and asset disposal, ICO, Aug. 19, 2021, https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2021/08/ico-approves-the-first-uk-gdpr-certification-scheme-criteria/ (last visited Sep. 10, 2021).
 REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), art 6(1)-(2); Lawful basis for processing, ICO, https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/ (last visited Sep. 10, 2021).
 Data Protection Act 2018, sch 2, part 6, para 27.
 id. at §157.
Impact of Government Organizational Reform to Scientific Research Legal System and Response Thereto (1) – For Example, The Finnish Innovation Fund (“SITRA”) I. Foreword We hereby aim to analyze and research the role played by The Finnish Innovation Fund (“Sitra”) in boosting the national innovation ability and propose the characteristics of its organization and operation which may afford to facilitate the deliberation on Taiwan’s legal system. Sitra is an independent organization which is used to reporting to the Finnish Parliament directly, dedicated to funding activities to boost sustainable development as its ultimate goal and oriented toward the needs for social change. As of 2004, it promoted the fixed-term program. Until 2012, it, in turn, primarily engaged in 3-year program for ecological sustainable development and enhancement of society in 2012. The former aimed at the sustainable use of natural resources to develop new structures and business models and to boost the development of a bioeconomy and low-carbon society, while the latter aimed to create a more well-being-oriented public administrative environment to upgrade various public sectors’ leadership and decision-making ability to introduce nationals’ opinion to policies and the potential of building new business models and venture capital businesses. II. Standing and Operating Instrument of Sitra 1. Sitra Standing in Boosting of Finnish Innovation Policies (1) Positive Impact from Support of Innovation R&D Activities by Public Sector Utilization of public sector’s resources to facilitate and boost industrial innovation R&D ability is commonly applied in various countries in the world. Notwithstanding, the impact of the public sector’s investment of resources produced to the technical R&D and the entire society remains explorable. Most studies still indicate positive impact, primarily as a result of the market failure. Some studies indicate that the impact of the public sector’s investment of resources may be observable at least from several points of view, including: 1. The direct output of the investment per se and the corresponding R&D investment potentially derived from investees; 2. R&D of outputs derived from the R&D investment, e.g., products, services and production methods, etc.; 3. direct impact derived from the R&D scope, e.g., development of a new business, or new business and service models, etc.; 4. impact to national and social economies, e.g., change of industrial structures and improvement of employment environment, etc. Most studies indicate that from the various points of view, the investment by public sector all produced positive impacts and, therefore, such investment is needed definitely. The public sector may invest in R&D in diversified manners. Sitra invests in the “market” as an investor of corporate venture investment market, which plays a role different from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (“Tekes”), which is more like a governmental subsidizer. Nevertheless, Finland’s characteristics reside in the combination of multiple funding and promotion models. Above all, due to the different behavior model, the role played by the former is also held different from those played by the general public sectors. This is why we choose the former as the subject to be studied herein. Data source: Jari Hyvärinen & Anna-Maija Rautiainen, Measuring additionality and systemic impacts of public research and development funding – the case of TEKES, FINLAND, RESEARCH EVALUATION, 16(3), 205, 206 (2007). Fig. 1 Phased Efforts of Resources Invested in R&D by Public Sector (2) Two Sided f Role Played by Sitra in Boosting of Finnish Innovation Policies Sitra has a very special position in Finland’s national innovation policies, as it not only helps successful implementation of the innovation policies but also acts an intermediary among the relevant entities. Sitra was founded in 1967 under supervision of the Bank of Finland before 1991, but was transformed into an independent foundation under the direction of the Finnish Parliament. Though Sitra is a public foundation, its operation will not be intervened or restricted by the government. Sitra may initiate any innovation activities for its new organization or system, playing a role dedicated to funding technical R&D or promoting venture capital business. Meanwhile, Sitra also assumes some special function dedicated to decision-makers’ training and organizing decision-maker network to boost structural change. Therefore, Sitra may be identified as a special organization which may act flexibly and possess resources at the same time and, therefore, may initiate various innovation activities rapidly. Sitra is authorized to boost the development of innovation activities in said flexible and characteristic manner in accordance with the Finland Innovation Fund Act (Laki Suomen itsenäisyyden juhlarahastosta). According to the Act, Finland established Sitra in 1967 and Sitra was under supervision of Bank of Finland (Article 1). Sitra was established in order to boost the stable growth of Finland’s economy via the national instrument’s support of R&D and education or other development instruments (Article 2). The policies which Sitra may adopt include loaning or funding, guarantee, marketable securities, participation in cooperative programs, partnership or equity investment (Article 3). If necessary, Sitra may collect the title of real estate or corporate shares (Article 7). Data source: Finnish innovation system, Research.fi, http://www.research.fi/en/innovationsystem.html (last visited Mar. 15, 2013). Fig. 2 Finnish Scientific Research Organization Chart Sitra's innovation role has been evolved through two changes. Specifically, Sitra was primarily dedicated to funding technical R&D among the public sectors in Finland, and the funding model applied by Sitra prior to the changes initiated the technical R&D promotion by Tekes, which was established in 1983. The first change of Sitra took place in 1987. After that, Sitra turned to focus on the business development and venture capital invested in technology business and led the venture capital investment. Meanwhile, it became a partner of private investment funds and thereby boosted the growth of venture capital investments in Finland in 1990. In 2000, the second change of Sitra took place and Sitra’s organization orientation was changed again. It achieved the new goal for structural change step by step by boosting the experimental social innovation activities. Sitra believed that it should play the role contributing to procedural change and reducing systematic obstacles, e.g., various organizational or institutional deadlocks. Among the innovation policies boosted by the Finnish Government, the support of Start-Ups via governmental power has always been the most important one. Therefore, the Finnish Government is used to playing a positive role in the process of developing the venture capital investment market. In 1967, the Government established a venture capital company named Sponsor Oy with the support from Bank of Finland, and Sponsor Oy was privatized after 1983. Finland Government also established Kera Innovation Fund (now known as Finnvera) in 1971, which was dedicated to boosting the booming of Start-Ups in Finland jointly with Finnish Industry Investment Ltd. (“FII”) established by the Government in 1994, and Sitra, so as to make the “innovation” become the main development force of the country . Sitra plays a very important role in the foundation and development of venture capital market in Finland and is critical to the Finnish Venture Capital Association established in 1990. After Bank of Finland was under supervision of Finnish Parliament in 1991, Sitra became on the most important venture capital investors. Now, a large portion of private venture capital funds are provided by Sitra. Since Sitra launched the new strategic program in 2004, it has turned to apply smaller sized strategic programs when investing young innovation companies, some of which involved venture capital investment. The mapping of young innovation entrepreneurs and angel investors started as of 1996. In addition to being an important innovation R&D promoter in Finland, Sitra is also an excellent organization which is financially self-sufficient and tends to gain profit no less than that to be generated by a private enterprise. As an organization subordinated to the Finnish Parliament immediately, all of Sitra’s decisions are directly reported to the Parliament (public opinion). Chairman of Board, Board of Directors and supervisors of Sitra are all appointed by the Parliament directly. Its working funds are generated from interest accruing from the Fund and investment income from the Fund, not tax revenue or budget prepared by the Government any longer. The total fund initially founded by Bank of Finland amounted to DEM100,000,000 (approximately EUR17,000,000), and was accumulated to DEM500,000,000 (approximately EUR84,000,000) from 1972 to 1992. After that, following the increase in market value, its nominal capital amounted to DEM1,400,000,000 (approximately EUR235,000,000) from 1993 to 2001. Obviously, Sitra generated high investment income. Until 2010, it has generated the investment income amounting to EUR697,000,000 . In fact, Sitra’s concern about venture capital investment is identified as one of the important changes in Finland's national technical R&D polices after 1990. Sitra is used to funding businesses in three manners, i.e., direct investment in domestic stock, investment in Finnish venture capital funds, and investment in international venture capital funds, primarily in four industries, technology, life science, regional cooperation and small-sized & medium-sized starts-up. Meanwhile, it also invests in venture capital funds for high-tech industries actively. In addition to innovation technology companies, technical service providers are also its invested subjects. 2. “Investment” Instrument Applied by Sitra to Boost Innovation Business The Starts-Up funding activity conducted by Sitra is named PreSeed Program, including INTRO investors’ mapping platform dedicated to mapping 450 angel investment funds and entrepreneurs, LIKSA engaged in working with Tekes to funding new companies no more than EUR40,000 for purchase of consultation services (a half thereof funded by Tekes, and the other half funded by Sitra in the form of loan convertible to shares), DIILI service dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with professional sale consultation resources to integrate the innovation activity (product thereof) and the market to remedy the deficit in the new company’s ability to sell. The investment subjects are stated as following. Sitra has three investment subjects, namely, corporate investments, fund investments and project funding. (1) Corporate investment Sitra will not “fund” enterprises directly or provide the enterprises with services without consideration (small-sized and medium-sized enterprises are aided by other competent authorities), but invest in the businesses which are held able to develop positive effects to the society, e.g., health promotion, social problem solutions, utilization of energy and effective utilization of natural resources. Notwithstanding, in order to seek fair rate of return, Sitra is dedicated to making the investment (in various enterprises) by its professional management and technology, products or competitiveness of services, and ranging from EUR300,000 to EUR1,000,000 to acquire 10-30% of the ownership of the enterprises, namely equity investment or convertible funding. Sitra requires its investees to value corporate social responsibility and actively participate in social activities. It usually holds the shares from 4 years to 10 years, during which period it will participate the corporate operation actively (e.g., appointment of directors). (2) Fund investments For fund investments, Sitra invests in more than 50 venture capital funds. It invests in domestic venture capital fund market to promote the development of the market and help starts-up seek funding and create new business models, such as public-private partnerships. It invests in international venture capital funds to enhance the networking and solicit international funding, which may help Finnish enterprises access international trend information and adapt to the international market. (3) Project funding For project funding, Sitra provides the on-site information survey (supply of information and view critical to the program), analysis of business activities (analysis of future challenges and opportunities) and research & drafting of strategies (collection and integration of professional information and talents to help decision making), and commissioning of the program (to test new operating model by commissioning to deal with the challenge from social changes). Notwithstanding, please note that Sitra does not invest in academic study programs, research papers or business R&D programs. (4) DIILI Investment Model Integrated With Investment Absorption A Start-Up usually will not lack technologies (usually, it starts business by virtue of some advanced technology) or foresighted philosophy when it is founded initially, while it often lacks the key to success, the marketing ability. Sitra DIILI is dedicated to providing the professional international marketing service to help starts-up gain profit successfully. Owing to the fact that starts-up are usually founded by R&D personnel or research-oriented technicians, who are not specialized in marketing and usually retains no sufficient fund to employ marketing professionals, DILLI is engaged in providing dedicated marketing talents. Now, it employs about 85 marketing professionals and seeks to become a start-up partner by investing technical services. Notwithstanding, in light of the characteristics of Sitra’s operation and profitability, some people indicate that it is more similar to a developer of an innovation system, rather than a neutral operator. Therefore, it is not unlikely to hinder some work development which might be less profitable (e.g., establishment of platform). Further, Sitra is used to developing some new investment projects or areas and then founding spin-off companies after developing the projects successfully. The way in which it operates seems to be non-compatible with the development of some industries which require permanent support from the public sector. The other issues, such as INTRO lacking transparency and Sitra's control over investment objectives likely to result in adverse choice, all arise from Sitra’s consideration to its own investment opportunities and profit at the same time of mapping. Therefore, some people consider that it should be necessary to move forward toward a more transparent structure or a non-income-oriented funding structure . Given this, the influence of Sitra’s own income over upgrading of the national innovation ability when Sitra boosts starts-up to engage in innovation activities is always a concern remaining disputable in the Finnish innovation system. 3. Boosting of Balance in Regional Development and R&D Activities In order to fulfill the objectives under Lisbon Treaty and to enable EU to become the most competitive region in the world, European Commission claims technical R&D as one of its main policies. Among other things, under the circumstance that the entire R&D competitiveness upgrading policy is always progressing sluggishly, Finland, a country with a population of 5,300,000, accounting for 1.1% of the population of 27 EU member states, was identified as the country with the No. 1 innovation R&D ability in the world by World Economic Forum in 2005. Therefore, the way in which it promotes innovation R&D policies catches the public eyes. Some studies also found that the close relationship between R&D and regional development policies of Finland resulted in the integration of regional policies and innovation policies, which were separated from each other initially, after 1990. Finland has clearly defined the plan to exploit the domestic natural resources and human resources in a balanced and effective manner after World War II. At the very beginning, it expanded the balance of human resources to low-developed regions, in consideration of the geographical politics, but in turn, it achieved national balanced development by meeting the needs for a welfare society and mitigation of the rural-urban divide as time went by. The Finnish innovation policies which may resort to technical policies retroactively initially drove the R&D in the manners including upgrading of education degree, founding of Science and Technology Policy Council and Sitra, establishment of Academy of Finland (1970) and establishment of the technical policy scheme, et al.. Among other things, people saw the role played by Sitra in Finland’s knowledge-intensive society policy again. From 1991 to 1995, the Finnish Government officially included the regional competitiveness into the important policies. The National Industrial Policy for Finland in 1993 adopted the strategy focusing on the development based on competitive strength in the regional industrial communities. Also, some studies indicated that in consideration of Finland’s poor financial and natural resources, its national innovation system should concentrate the resources on the R&D objectives which meet the requirements about scale and essence. Therefore, the “Social Innovation, Social and Economic Energy Re-building Learning Society” program boosted by Sitra as the primary promoter in 2002 defined the social innovation as “the reform and action plan to enhance the regulations of social functions (law and administration), politics and organizational structure”, namely reform of the mentality and cultural ability via social structural changes that results in social economic changes ultimately. Notwithstanding, the productivity innovation activity still relies on the interaction between the enterprises and society. Irrelevant with the Finnish Government’s powerful direction in technical R&D activities, in fact, more than two-thirds (69.1%) of the R&D investment was launched by private enterprises and even one-thirds launched by a single enterprise (i.e., Nokia) in Finland. At the very beginning of 2000, due to the impact of globalization to Finland’s innovation and regional policies, a lot of R&D activities were emigrated to the territories outside Finland. Multiple disadvantageous factors initiated the launch of national resources to R&D again. The most successful example about the integration of regional and innovation policies in Finland is the Centres of Expertise Programme (CEP) boosted by it as of 1990. Until 1994, there have been 22 centres of expertise distributed throughout Finland. The centres were dedicated to integrating local universities, research institutions and enterprise for co-growth. The program to be implemented from 2007 to 2013 planned 21 centres of expertise (13 groups), aiming to promote the corporate sectors’ cooperation and innovation activities. CEP integrated local, regional and national resources and then focused on the businesses designated to be developed.  Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  Jari Hyvärinen & Anna-Maija Rautiainen, Measuring additionality and systemic impacts of public research and development funding – the case of TEKES, FINLAND, RESEARCH EVALUATION, 16(3), 205, 208 (2007).  id. at 206-214.  Charles Edquist, Tterttu Luukkonen & Markku Sotarauta, Broad-Based Innovation Policy, in EVALUATION OF THE FINNISH NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM – FULL REPORT 11, 25 (Reinhilde Veugelers st al. eds., 2009).  id.  id.  Finnvera is a company specialized in funding Start-Ups, and its business lines include loaning, guarantee, venture capital investment and export credit guarantee, etc. It is a state-run enterprise and Export Credit Agency (ECA) in Finland. Finnvera, http://annualreport2012.finnvera.fi/en/about-finnvera/finnvera-in-brief/ (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  Markku Maula, Gordon Murray & Mikko Jääskeläinen, MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, Public Financing of Young Innovation Companies in Finland 32 (2006).  id. at 33.  id. at 41.  Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  The other two were engaged in boosting the regional R&D center and industrial-academy cooperative center programs. Please see Gabriela von Blankenfeld-Enkvist, Malin Brännback, Riitta Söderlund & Marin Petrov, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT [OECD],OECD Case Study on Innovation: The Finnish Biotechnology Innovation System 15 (2004).  id. at20.  DIILI service provides sales expertise for SMEs, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/articles/2005/diili-service-provides-sales-expertise-smes-0 (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  Maula, Murray & Jääskeläinen, supra note 8 at 41-42.  Corporate investments, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/corporate-investments (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  Fund investments, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/fund-investments (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  The venture capital funds referred to herein mean the pooled investment made by the owners of venture capital, while whether it exists in the form of fund or others is not discussed herein.  Project funding, Sitra, http://www.sitra.fi/en/project-funding (last visited Mar. 10, 2013).  Maula, Murray & Jääskeläinen, supra note 8 at 42.  Jussi S. Jauhiainen, Regional and Innovation Policies in Finland – Towards Convergence and/or Mismatch? REGIONAL STUDIES, 42(7), 1031, 1032-1033 (2008).  id. at 1036.  id. at 1038.  id. at 1038-1039.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.Taiwan Announced the Biobanks Regulations and Management Practices
Taiwan Has Passed “Statute of Human Biobank Management” to Maintain Privacy and Improve Medicine Industries Due to lack of regulations, divergent opinions abounded about the establishment of Biobanks and collection of human biological specimen. For example, a researcher in an academic research organization and a hospital-based physician collected biospecimens from native Taiwanese. Although they insisted that the collections were for research only, human rights groups, ethics researchers, and groups for natives´ benefits condemned the collections as an invasion of human rights. Consequently, the Taiwanese government recognized the need for Biobanks regulation. To investigate the relationship between disease and multiple factors and to proceed with possible prevention, The Legislative Yuan Social Welfare and Healthy Environment Committee has passed "the draft statute of human biobank management" through primary reviewing process on December 30, 2009 and subsequently passed through entire three-reading procedure on January 7, 2010. Therefore, the medical and research institute not only can set up optimal gene database for particular disease curing, but also can collect blood sample for database establishment, legally. However, the use of sample collections will be excluded from the use of judiciary purpose. In the light of to establish large scale biobank is going to face the fundamental human right issue, from the viewpoint of biobank management, it is essential not only to set up the strict ethics regulation for operational standard, but also to make the legal environment more complete. For instance, the Department of Health, Executive Yuan had committed the earlier planning of Taiwan biobank establishment to the Academic Sinica in 2006, and planned to collect bio-specimen by recruiting volunteers. However, it has been criticized by all circles that it might be considered violating the Constitution article 8 provision 1 front paragraph, and article 22 rules; moreover, it might also infringe the personal liberty or body information privacy. Therefore, the Executive Yuan has passed the draft statute of human biobank management which was drafted and reviewed by Department of Health during the 3152nd meeting, on July 16, 2009, to achieve the goal of protecting our nation’s privacy and promoting the development of medical science by management biomedical research affairs in more effective ways. Currently, the draft statute has been passed through the primary review procedure by the Legislative Yuan. About the draft statute, there are several important points as following: (1) Sample Definition: Types of collected sample include human somatic cell, tissues, body fluids, or other derivatives; (2) Biobank Establishment: It requires not only to be qualified and permitted, but also to set up the ethical reviewing mechanism to strengthen its management and application; (3)Sample Collection and Participant Protection: In accordance with the draft statute, bio-specimen collecting should respect the living ethics during the time and refer to the "Medical Law" article 64 provision 1; before sample collection, all related points of attention should be kept in written form , the participant should be notified accordingly, and samples can only be collected with the participant’s consent. Furthermore, regarding the restrained read right and setting up participants’ sample process way if there were death or lost of their capacity; (4) Biobank Management: The safety regulation, obligation of active notification, free to retreat, data destruction, confidentiality and obligation, and termination of operation handling are stipulated; and (5) Biobank Application: According to the new draft statute, that the biological data can’t be used for other purposes, for example, the use of inquisition result for the "Civil law", article 1063, provision 2, prosecution for denying the parent-child relationship law suit", or according to the "Criminal law", article 213, provision 6. This rule not only protects the participants’ body information and their privacy right, but also clearly defines application limits, as well as to set up the mechanism for inner control and avoid conflict of interests to prevent unnecessary disputes. Finally, the Department of Health noted that, as many medical researches has shown that the occurrence of diseases are mostly co-effected by various factors such as multiple genes and their living environment, rather than one single gene, developed countries have actively devoted to human biological sample collection for their national biobank establishment. The construction and usage of a large-scale human bank may bring up the critical issue such as privacy protection and ethical problems; however, to meet the equilibrium biomedical research promotion and citizen privacy issue will highly depend on the cooperation and trust between the public and private sectors. Taiwan Department of Health Announced the Human Biobanks Information Security Regulation The field of human biobanks will be governed by the Act of Human Biobanks (“Biobanks Act”) after its promulgation on February 3, 2010 in Taiwan. According to Article 13 of the Biobanks Act, a biobank owner should establish its directive rules based on the regulation of information security of biobanks announced by the competent authority. Thus the Department of Health announced the draft of the Human Biobanks Information Security Regulation (“Regulation”) for the due process requirement. According to the Biobanks Act, only the government institutes, medical institutes, academic institutes, and research institutes are competent to establish biobanks (Article 4). In terms of the collecting of organisms, the participants should be informed of the relevant matters by reasonable patterns, and the collecting of organisms may be conducted after obtaining the written consent of the participants (Article 6). The relative information including the organisms and its derivatives are not allowed to be used except for biological and medical research. After all the protection of biobanks relative information above, the most important thing is the safety regulations and directive rules of the database administration lest all the restrictions of biobanks owners and the use be in vain. The draft Regulation aims to strengthen the safety of biobanks database and assure the data, the systems, the equipments, and the web circumstances are safe for the sake of the participants’ rights. The significant aspects of the draft are described as below. At first, the regulation should refer to the ISO27001, ISO27002 and other official rules. Concerning the personnel management, the security assessment is required and the database management personnel and researchers may not serve concurrently. In case some tasks are outsourced, the contractor should be responsible for the information security; the nondisclosure agreement and auditing mechanism are required. The application system should update periodically including the anti-virus and firewall programs. The biobanks database should be separated physically form internet connection, including the prohibition of information transforming by email or any other patterns through internet. The authorizing protocol of access to the biobanks should be established and all log files should be preserved in a period. The system establishment and maintenance should avoid remote control. In case the database system is physically out of the owner’s control, the authorization of the officer in charge is required. If an information security accident occurred, the bionbanks owner should contact the competent authority immediately and inform the participants by adequate tunnel. The biobanks owner should establish annual security auditing program and the project auditing will be conducted subject to the necessity. To sum up, while the biobanks database security regulation is fully established, the biobanks owners will have the sufficient guidance in connection with the biobank information security to comply with in the future.Analyzing the Framwork of the Regulation「Act For The Development of Biotech And New Pharmaceuticals Industry」in Taiwan
Taiwan Government passed The「Act for the Development of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry」for supporting the biopharmaceutical industry. The purpose of the Act is solely for biopharmaceutical industry, and building the leading economic force in Taiwan. To fulfill this goal, the Act has enacted regulations concerning funding, taxation and recruitment especially for the biopharmaceutical industry. The Act has been seen as the recent important law in the arena of upgrading industry regulation on the island. It is also a rare case where single legislation took place for particular industry. After the Act came into force, the government has promulgated further regulations to supplement the Act, including Guidance for MOEA-Approved Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company Issuing Stock Certificate, Deductions on Investments in R&D and Personnel Training of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company, Guidance for Deduction Applicable to Shareholders of Profit-Seeking Enterprises -Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company etc. The following discussions are going to introduce the Act along with related incentive measures from an integrated standpoint. 1 、 Scope of Application According to Article 3 of the Act, 「Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry」 refers to the industry that deals in New Rugs and High-risk Medical devices used by human beings, animals, and plants; 「Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company」 refers to a company in the Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry that is organized and incorporated in accordance with the Company Act and engages in the research, development, and manufacture of new drugs and high-risk medical devices. Thus, the Act applies to company that conducts research and manufacture product in new drug or high-risk medical devices for human and animal use. Furthermore, to become a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company stipulated in the Act, the Company must receive letter of approval to establish as a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company valid for five years. Consequently, company must submit application to the authority for approval by meeting the following requirements: (1) Companies that conduct any R&D activities or clinical trials must receive permission, product registration, or proof of manufacture for such activities from a competent authority. However, for those conducted these activities outside the country will not apply. (2) When applied for funding for the previous year or in the same year, the expense on R&D in the previous year exceeds 5% of the total net revenue within the same year; or the expenses exceeds 10% of the total capital of the company. (3) Hired at least five R&D personnel majored in biotechnology. For New Drug and High-Risk Medical Device are confined in specific areas. New Drug provided in the Act refers to a drug that has a new ingredient, a new therapeutic effect or a new administration method as verified by the central competent authorities. And High-Risk Medical Device refers to a type of Class III medical devices implanted into human bodies as verified by the central competent authorities. Therefore, generic drug, raw materials, unimplanted medical device, and medical device are not qualified as type III, are all not within the scope of the Act and are not the subject matter the Act intends to reward. 2 、 Tax Benefits Article 5, 6 and 7 provided in the Act has followed the footsteps of Article 6 and 8 stipulated of the Statute, amending the rules tailored to the biopharmaceutical industry, and provided tax benefits to various entities as 「Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company」, 「Investors of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry」, 「Professionals and Technology Investors」. (1) Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company In an effort to advance the biopharmaceutical industry, alleviate financial burden of the companies and strengthen their R&D capacity. The Act has provided favorable incentive measures in the sector of R&D and personnel training. According to Article 5: 「For the purpose of promoting the Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Industry, a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company may, for a period of five years from the time it is subject to profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable, enjoy a reduction in its corporate income tax payable, for up to 35% of the total funds invested in research and development (R&D) and personnel training each year.」 Consequently, company could benefit through tax deduction and relieve from the stress of business operation. Moreover, in supporting Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Company to proceed in R&D and personnel training activities, the Act has set out rewards for those participate in ongoing R&D and training activities. As Article 5 provided that」 If the R&D expenditure of a particular year exceeds the average R&D expenditure of the previous two years, or if the personnel training expenditure of a particular year exceeds the average personnel training expenditure of the pervious two years, 50% of the exceed amount in excess of the average may be used to credit against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable. 「However, the total amount of investment credited against by the payable corporate income tax in each year shall not exceed 50% of the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable by a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company in a year, yet this restriction shall not apply to the amount to be offset in the last year of the aforementioned five-year period. Lastly, Article 5 of the Act shall not apply to Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Company that set up headquarters or branches outside of Taiwan. Therefore, to be qualified for tax deduction on R&D and personnel training, the headquarters or branches of the company must be located in Taiwan. (2) Investors of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company To raise funding, expand business development, and attract investor continuing making investments, Article 6 of the Act has stated that 「In order to encourage the establishment or expansion of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Companies, a profit-seeking enterprise that subscribes for the stock issued by a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company at the time of the latter's establishment or subsequent expansion; and has been a registered shareholder of the Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company for a period of 3 years or more, may, for a period of five years from the time it is subject to corporate income tax, enjoy a reduction in its profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for up to 20% of the total amount of the price paid for the subscription of shares in such Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company.」 Yet 「If the afore-mentioned profit-seeking enterprise is a venture capital company (「VC」), such VC corporate shareholders may, for a period of five years from the fourth anniversary year of the date on which the VC becomes a registered shareholder of the subject Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company, enjoy a reduction in their profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable based on the total deductible amount enjoyed by the VC under Paragraph 1 hereof and the shareholders' respective shareholdings in the VC.」 The government enacted this regulation to encourage corporations and VC to invest in biotech and new pharmaceutical company, and thus provide corporate shareholders with 20% of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable deduction, and provide VC corporate shareholders tax deduction that proportion to its shareholdings in the VC. (3) Top Executives and Technology Investors Top Executives refer to those with biotechnology background, and has experience in serving as officer of chief executive (CEO) or manager; Technology Investors refer to those acquire shares through exchange of technology. As biopharmaceutical industry possesses a unique business model that demands intensive technology, whether top executives and technology investors are willing to participate in a high risk business and satisfy the needs of industry becomes a critical issue. Consequently, Article 7 of the Act stated that 「In order to encourage top executives and technology investors to participate in the operation of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Companies and R&D activities, and to share their achievements, new shares issued by a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company to top executives and technology investors (in return of their knowledge and technology) shall be excluded from the amount of their consolidated income or corporate income of the then current year for taxation purposes; provided, however, that if the title to the aforesaid shares is transferred with or without consideration, or distributed as estate, the total purchase price or the market value of the shares at the time of transfer as a gift or distribution as estate shall be deemed income generated in that tax year and such income less the acquisition cost shall be reported in the relevant income tax return.」 Additionally, 「For the title transfer of shares under the preceding paragraph, the Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company concerned shall file a report with the local tax authorities within thirty 30 days from the following day of the title transfer.」 Purpose of this regulation is to attract top executives and technology personnel for the company in long-term through defer taxation. Moreover, the Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Company usually caught in a prolong period of losses, and has trouble financing through issuing new shares, as stipulated par value of each share cannot be less than NTD $10.Thus, in order to offer top executive and technology investors incentives and benefits under such circumstances, Article 8 has further provided that」Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Companies may issue subscription warrants to its top executives and technology investors, provided that the proposal for the issuance of the aforesaid subscription warrants shall pass resolution adopted by a majority votes of directors attended by at least two-thirds (2/3) of all the directors of the company; and be approved by the competent authorities. Holders of the subscription warrants may subscribe a specific number of shares at the stipulated price. The amount of stipulated price shall not be subject to the minimum requirement, i.e. par value of the shares, as prescribed under Article 140 of the Company Act. Subscription of the shares by exercising the subscription warrant shall be subject to income tax in accordance with Article 7 hereof. if a Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Company issue new shares pursuant to Article 7 hereof, Article 267 of the Company Act shall not apply. The top executives and technology investors shall not transfer the subscription warrant acquired to pursuant to this Article.」 These three types of tax benefits are detailed incentive measures tailor to the biopharmaceutical industry. However, what is noteworthy is the start date of the benefits provided in the Act. Different from the Statue, the Act allows company to enjoy these benefits when it begins to generate profits, while the Statute provides company tax benefits once the authority approved its application in the current year. Thus, Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company enjoys tax benefits as the company starts to make profit. Such approach reflects the actual business operation of the industry, and resolves the issue of tax benefits provided in the Statue is inapplicable to the biopharmaceutical industry. 3 、 Technical Assistance and Capital Investment Due to the R&D capacity and research personnel largely remains in the academic circle, in order to encourage these researchers to convert R&D efforts into commercial practice, the government intends to enhance the collaboration among industrial players, public institutions, and the research and academic sectors, to bolster the development of Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company. However, Article 13 of Civil Servants Service Act prohibits officials from engaging in business operation, the Act lifts the restriction on civil servants. According to Article 10 of the Act provided that」For a newly established Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company, if the person providing a major technology is a research member of the government research organization, such person may, with the consent of the government research organization, acquired 10% or more of the shares in the Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company at the time of its establishment, and act as founder, director, or technical adviser thereof. In such case, Article 13 of the Civil Servants Service Act shall not apply. And the research organization and research member referred to thereof shall be defined and identified by the Executive Yuan, in consultation with the Examination Yuan.」 This regulation was enacted because of the Civil Servants Services Act provided that public officials are not allowed to be corporate shareholders. However, under certain regulations, civil servants are allowed to be corporate shareholders in the sector of agriculture, mining, transportation or publication, as value of the shares cannot exceed 10% of the total value of the company, and the civil servant does not served in the institution. In Taiwan, official and unofficial research institution encompasses most of the biotechnology R&D capacity and research personnel. If a researcher is working for a government research institution, he would be qualified as a public servant and shall be governed by the Civil Servants Service Act. As a result of such restriction, the Act has lifted the restriction and encouraged these researchers to infuse new technologies into the industry. At last, for advancing the development of the industry, Article 11 also provided that 」R&D personnel of the academic and research sectors may, subject to the consent of their employers, served as advisors or consultants for a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company.」 4 、 Other Regulations For introducing and transferring advanced technology in support of the biopharmaceutical industry, Article 9 stated that 「Organization formed with government funds to provide technical assistance shall provide appropriate technical assistance as may be necessary.」 Besides technical assistance, government streamlines the review process taken by various regulatory authorities, in order to achieve an improved product launch process result in faster time-to-market and time-to profit. As Article 12 provided that 「the review and approval of field test, clinical trials, product registration, and others, the central competent authorities shall establish an open and transparent procedure that unifies the review system.」