Brief Introduction to Taiwan Social Innovation Policies
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set forth by the United Nations in 2000 are carried out primarily by nations and international organizations. Subsequently, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations in 2015 started to delegate the functions to organizations of all levels. Presently, there is a global awareness of the importance of balancing “economic growth”, “social progress”, and “environmental protection” simultaneously during development. In the above context, many similar concepts have arisen worldwide, including social/solidarity economy, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, and social innovation.
Generally, social innovation aims to alter the interactions between various groups in society through innovative applications of technology or business models, and to find new ways to solve social problems through such alterations. In other words, the goal is to use innovative methods to solve social problems. The difference between social innovation and social enterprise is that social enterprise combines commercial power to achieve its social mission under a specific perspective, while social innovation creates social value through cooperation with and coordination among technology, resources, and communities under a diversified nature.
2. Overview of Taiwan Social Enterprise Policy
To integrate into the global community and assist in the development of domestic social innovation, Taiwan’s Executive Yuan launched the “Social Enterprise Action Plan” in 2014, which is the first policy initiative to support social enterprises (from 2014 to 2016). Under this policy initiative, through consulting with various ministries and applying methods such as “amending regulations”, “building platforms”, and “raising funds”, the initiative set to create an environment with favorable conditions for social innovation and start-ups. At this stage, the initiative was adopted under the principle of “administrative guidance before legislation” in order to encourage private enterprise development without excessive burden, and avoid regulations restricting the development of social enterprises, such as excessive definition of social enterprises. Moreover, for preserving the original types of these enterprises, this Action Plan did not limit the types of social enterprises to companies, non-profit organizations, or other specific types of organizations.
To sustain the purpose of the Social Enterprise Action Plan and to echo and reflect the 17 sustainable development goals proposed in SDGs by the United Nations, the Executive Yuan launched the “Social Innovation Action Plan” (effective from 2018 to 2022) in 2018 to establish a friendly development environment for social innovation and to develop diversified social innovation models through the concept of “openness, gathering, practicality, and sustainability”. In this Action Plan, “social innovation” referred to “social innovation organizations” that solve social problems through technology or innovative business models. The balancing of the three managerial goals of society, environment value, and profitability is the best demonstration of the concept of social innovation.
3. Government’s Relevant Social Enterprise Policy and Resources
The ministries of the Taiwan Government have been promoting relevant policies in accordance with the Social Innovation Action Plan issued by the Executive Yuan in 2018, such as the “Registration System for Social Innovation Enterprises” (counseling of social enterprises), the “Buying Power - Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement”, the “Social Innovation Platform” established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the “Social Innovation Manager Training Courses”, the “Promoting Social Innovation and Employment Opportunities” administered by the Ministry of Labor, and the “University Social Responsibility Program” published by the Ministry of Education. Among the above policies stands out the measures adopted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and a brief introduction of those policies are as follows:
i. Social Innovation Platform
To connect all resources involved in social issues to promote social innovation development in Taiwan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs established the “Social Innovation Platform”. With visibility through the Social Innovation Platform, it has become more efficient to search for targets in a public and transparent way and to assist with the input of resources originally belonging to different fields in order to expand social influence.
As a digital platform gathering “social innovation issues in Taiwan,” the Social Innovation Platform covers multiple and complete social innovation resources, which include the “SDGs Map” constructed on the Social Innovation Platform, by which we can better understand how county and city governments in Taiwan implement SDGs and Voluntary Local Review Reports, and which allow us to search the Social Innovation Database and the registered organizations, by which citizens, enterprises, organizations, and even local governments concerned with local development can find their partners expediently as possible, establish service lines to proactively assist public or private entities with their needs/resources, and continue to enable the regional revitalization organizations, ministries, and enterprises to identify and put forward their needs for social innovation through the function of “Social Innovation Proposals”, which assist social innovation organizations with visibility while advancing cooperation and expanding social influence.
In addition, the “Event Page” was established on the Social Innovation Platform and offers functions, such as the publishing, searching, and sorting of events in four major dimensions with respect to social innovation organization, governments, enterprises, and citizens; and encourages citizens, social innovation organizations, enterprises, and governments to devote themselves via open participation to continuously expande the influence of the (Civic Technology) Social Innovation Platform. The “Corporate Social Responsibility Report” collects the corporate social responsibility reports, observes the distribution of resources for sustainable development by corporations in Taiwan, offers filtering functions by regions, keyword, popular rankings, and or SDGs types, and provides contact information and a download function for previous years’ reports, in order to effectively assist social innovation organizations to obtain a more precise understanding of the status quo, needs, and trends with respect to their development of respective products and services.
Figure 1: SDGs Map
Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/)
Figure 2: Social Innovation Database
Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/)
Figure 3: Social Innovation Proposals
Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/)
Figure 4: Event Page
Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/)
Figure 5: Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Reference: Social Innovation Platform (https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/)
ii. Social Innovation Database
To encourage social innovation organizations to disclose their social missions, products and services, and to guide society to understand the content of social innovation, and to assist the administrative ministries to be able to utilize such information, the Ministry of Economic Affairs issued the “Principles of Registration of Social Innovation Organizations” to establish the “Social Innovation Database”.
Once a social innovation organization discloses the items, such as its social missions, business model, or social influence, it may obtain the relevant promotional assistance resources, including becoming a trade partner with Buying Power (Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement), receiving exclusive consultation and assistance from professionals for social innovation organizations, and becoming qualified to apply to entering into the Social Innovation Lab. Moreover, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is simultaneously consolidating, identifying, and designating the awards and grants offered by the various ministries, policies and measures in respect of investment, and financing and assistance, as resources made available to registered entities.
As of 25 May 2021, there were 658 registered social innovation organizations and 96 Social Innovation Partners (enterprises with CSR or ESG resources that recognize the cooperation with social innovation under the social innovation thinking model may be registered as a “Social Innovation Partner”). The public and enterprises can search for organizations registered in the Social Innovation Database through the above-said Social Innovation Platform, the search ability of which advances the exposure of and the opportunities for cooperation with social innovation organizations.
Figure 6: Numbers of registered social innovation organizations and accumulated value of purchases under Buying Power
Reference: Social Innovation Platform(https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/)
iii. Buying Power - Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement
In order to continue increasing the awareness on social innovation organizations and related issues and promote responsible consumption and production in Taiwan, as well as to raise the attention of the commercial sector to the sustainability-driven procurement models, the Ministry of Economic Affairs held the first “Buying Power - Social Innovation Products and Services Procurement” event in 2017. Through the award system under the Buying Power, it continues to encourage the governments, state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, and organizations to take the lead in purchasing products or services from social innovation organizations, to provide the relevant resources so as to assist social innovation organizations to obtain resources and to explore business opportunities in the markets, to practice responsible consumption and production, and to promote innovative cooperation between all industries and commerce and social innovation organizations.
The aim of the implementation of the Buying Power is to encourage the central and local governments, state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, and non-governmental organizations to purchase products or services from organizations registered in the Social Innovation Database, while prizes will be awarded based on the purchase amounts accumulated during the calculation period. The winners can obtain priority in applying for membership in the Social Innovation Partner Group, with corresponding member services, in the future.
Under the Social Innovation Platform, both the amount of purchase awards and the number of applicants for special awards continue to increase. So far, purchases have accumulated to a value of more than NT$1.1 billion (see Figure 6), and more than 300 organizations have proactively participated.
iv. Social Innovation Mark
In order to promote public awareness of social innovation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been charged with the commissioned task of promoting the Social Innovation Mark, and issued “ The Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Directions for Authorization of the Social Innovation Mark” as the standard for the authorization of the Social Innovation Mark. Social innovation organizations can use the Mark, through obtaining authorization, to hold Social Innovation Summits or other social innovation activities for promoting social innovation concepts.
In order to build the Mark as a conceptual symbol of social innovation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been using the Social Innovation Mark in connection with various social innovation activities, such as the Social Innovation Platform, the Buying Power, and the annual Social Innovation Summit. Taking the selection of sponsors of the Social Innovation Summit in 2022 as an example, only organizations that have obtained authorization of the Social Innovation Mark can use the Mark to hold the Social Innovation Summit.
Figure 7: The Social Innovation Mark of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs
The “Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development” (OECD) regards social innovation as a new strategy for solving future social problems and as an important method for youth entrepreneurship and social enterprise development. Taiwan’s social innovation energy has entered a stage of expansion and development. Through the promotion of the “Social Innovation Action Plan,” the resources from the central and local governments are integrated to establish the Social Innovation Platform, the Social Innovation Database, the Social Innovation Lab, and the Social Innovation Mark. In addition, incentives such as the Buying Power have been created, manifesting the positive influence of Taiwan’s social innovation.
 MDGs are put forward by the United Nations in 2000, and are also the goals requiring all the 191 member states and at least 22 international organizations of the United Nations to be committed to on their best endeavors, including: 1. eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, 2. applying universal primary education, 3. promoting gender equality and empowering women, 4. reducing child mortality rates, 5. improving maternal health, 6. combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, 7. ensuring environmental sustainability, and 8. establishing a global partnership for development.
 Please refer to the guidelines for the selection of sponsors of the 2022 Social Innovation Summit: https://www.moeasmea.gov.tw/files/6221/4753E497-B422-4303-A8D4-35AE0B4043A9
The recent important regulation for supporting the biopharmaceutical industry in Taiwan has been the 「Statute for Upgrading Industries」 (hereinafter referred to as 「the Statute」).The main purpose of the Statue is for upgrading all industry for future economic development, so it applies to various industries, ranging from agriculture, industrial and service businesses. In other words, the Statute does not offer incentive measures to biopharmaceutical industry in particular, but focuses on promoting the industry development in general. Statute for Upgrading Industry and Related Regulations Generally speaking, the Statute has a widespread influence on industry development in Taiwan. The incentive measures provided in the Statute is complicated and covered other related regulations under its legal framework. Thus, the article will be taking a multi-facet perspective in discussing the how Statute relates to the biopharmaceutical industry. 1 、 Scope of Application According to Article 1 of the Statute, the term 「industries」 refers to agricultural, industrial and service businesses. Consequently, nearly all kinds of industries fall under this definition, and the Statute is applicable to all of them. Moreover, in order to promote the development and application of emerging technology as well as cultivating the recognized industry, the Statute provides much more favorable terms to these industries. These emerging and major strategic industries includes computer, communication and consumer electronics (3C), precise mechanics and automation, aerospace, biomedical and chemical production, green technology, material science, nanotechnology, security and other product or service recognized by the Executive Yuan. 2 、 Tax Benefits The Statute offers several types of tax benefits, so the industry could receive sufficient reward in every way it could, and promote a sound cycle in creating new values through these benefits. (1) Benefits for the purchase of automation equipment The said procured equipment and technology over NTD600, 000 may credit a certain percentage of the investment against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. For the purchase of production technology, 5% may be credited. For the purchase of equipment, 7% may be credited. And any investment plan that includes the purchasing of equipment for automation can qualify for a low-interest preferential loan. Besides, for science-based industrial company imported overseas equipment that is not manufacture by local manufactures, from January 1, 2002, the imported equipment shall be exempted from import and business tax. And if the company is a bonded factory, the raw materials to be imported from abroad by it shall also be exempt from import duties and business tax. (2) Benefits for R&D expenditure Expenditure concurred for developing new products, improving production technology, or improving label-providing technology may credit 30%of the investment against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. Research expenditures of the current year exceeding the average research expenditure for the past two years, the excess in research expenditure shall be 50% deductible. Instruments and equipments purchased by for exclusive R&D purpose, experimentation, or quality inspection may be accelerated to two years. At last, Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company engages in R&D activities, such as Contract research Organization (CRO), may credit 30% of the investment against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable. (3) Personnel Training When a company trained staff and registered for business-related course, may credit 30% of the training cost against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. Where training expenses for the current year exceeds the two-year average, 50% of the excess portion may be credited. (4) Benefit for Newly Emerging Strategic Industries Corporate shareholders invest in newly emerging strategic industries are entitled to select one of the following tax benefits: A profit seeking enterprise may credit up to 20% of the price paid for acquisition of such stock against the profit seeking enterprise income tax. An individual may credit up to 10%. As of January and once every year, there will be a 1% reduction of the price paid for acquisition of such stock against the consolidated income tax payable in the then current year. A company, within two years from the beginning date for payment of the stock price by its shareholders, selects, with the approval of its shareholder meeting, the application of an exemption from profit-seeking enterprise income tax and waives the shareholders investment credit against payable income tax as mentioned above. However, that once the selection is made, no changes shall be allowed. (5) Benefits for Investment in Equipment or Technology Used for Pollution Control To prevent our environment from further pollution, the Government offers tax benefits to reward companies in making improvements. Investment in equipment or technology used for pollution control may credit 7% of the equipment expenditure, and 5% of the expenditure on technology against the amount of profit-seeking enterprise income tax payable for the then current year. For any equipment that has been verified in use and specialized in air pollution control, noise pollution control, vibration control, water pollution control, environmental surveillance and waste disposal, shall be exempt from import duties and business tax. And for investment plans that planned implementation of energy saving systems can apply for a low interest loan. (6) Incentive for Operation Headquarter To encourage companies to utilize worldwide resources and set up international operation network, if they established operation headquarters within the territory of the Republic of China reaching a specific size and bringing about significant economic benefit, their following incomes shall be exempted from profit-seeking enterprise income tax: The income derived from provision of management services or R&D services. The royalty payment received under its investments to its affiliates abroad. The investment return and asset disposal received under its investment to its affiliates abroad. (7) Exchange of Technology for Stock Option The emerging-industrycompany recognized by government, upon adoption of a resolution by a majority voting of the directors present at a meeting of its board of directors attended by two-thirds of the directors of the company, may issue stock options to corporation or individual in exchange for authorization or transfer of patent and technologies. (8) Deferral of Taxes on the Exchange of Technology for Shares Taxes on income earned by investors from the acquisition of shares in emerging-industry companies in exchange for technology will be deferred for five years, on condition that the shares exchanged for technology amount to more than 20% of the company's total stock equity and that the number of persons who obtain shares in exchange for technology does not exceed five. 3 、 Technical Assistance and Capital Investment The rapid industry development has been closely tied to the infusion of funds. In addition to tax benefits, the Statute incorporates regulations especially for technical assistance and capital investment as below: (1) In order to introduce or transfer advanced technologies, technical organization formed with the contribution of government shall provide appropriate technical assistance as required. (2) In order to advance technologies, enhance R&D activities and further upgrade industries, the relevant central government authorities in charge of end enterprises may promote the implementation of industrial and technological projects by providing subsidies to such R&D projects. (3) In order to assist the start-up of domestic small-medium technological enterprises and the overall upgrading of the entire industries, guidance and assistance shall be provided for the development of venture capital enterprises.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 Planed Major Promoting Program for Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry
Taiwan Government Lauched the “Biotechnology Action Plan” The Taiwan Government has planned to boost the support and develop local industries across the following six major sectors: biotechnology, tourism, health care, green energy, innovative culture and post-modern agriculture. As the biotechnology industry has reached its maturity by the promulgation of "Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Development Act" in July, 2007, it will be the first to take the lead among the above sectors. Thus, the Executive Yuan has launched the Biotechnology Action Plan as the first project in building the leading industry sectors, to upgrade local industries and stimulate future economic growth. Taiwan Government Planed to Promote the Biotechnology and Other newly Industries by Investing Two Hundred Billion To expand every industrial scale, enhance industrial value, increase the value around the main industrial field, and to encourage the industrial development by government investments for creating the civil working opportunities to reach the goal of continuous economic development, the Executive Yuan Economic Establishment commission has expressed that, the government has selected six newly industrials including "Biotechnology", "Green Energy", "Refined Agriculture", "Tourism", "Medicare", and "Culture Originality" on November 19, 2009 to promote our national economic growth. The government will invest two hundred billion NT dollars to support the industrial development aggressively and to enhance the social investments from year 2009 to 2012. According to a Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research report, the future growth rate will reach 8.16% after the evaluation, Hence, the future of the industries seems to be quite bright. Currently, the government plans to put money into six newly industries through the existing ways for investment. For instance, firstly, in accordance with the "Act For The Development Of Biotech And New Pharmaceuticals Industry" article 5 provision 1 ",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 corporate income tax, enjoy a reduction in its corporate income tax payable for up to thirty-five percent (35%) of the total funds invested in research and development ("R&D") and personnel training each year; provided, however, 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 previous two years, fifty percent (50%) of the amount in excess of the average may be used to credit against the amount of corporate income tax payable. Secondly, according to same act of the article 6 provision 1 ", in order to encourage the establishment or expansion of Bio tech and New Pharmaceuticals Companies, a profit-seeking enterprise that (i) subscribes for the stock issued by a Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company at the time of the latter's establishment or subsequent expansion; and (ii) has been a registered shareholder of the Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company for a period of three (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 corporate income tax payable for up to twenty percent (20%) of the total amount of price paid for the subscription of shares in such Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company; provided that such Biotech and New Pharmaceuticals Company has not applied for exemption from corporate income tax or shareholders investment credit based on the subscription price under other applicable laws and regulations. Thirdly, to promote the entire biotechnological industry development, the government has drafted the "Biotechnology Takeoff Package" for subsidizing the startup´s social investment companies which can satisfy the conditions to invest in "Drug discovery", "Medical Device" or other related biotech industries up to 5 billion with the capital invest in domestic industry over 50%, , with operating experience of multinational biotech investment companies with capital over 150 million in related industrial fields, and with the working experiences of doctor accumulated up to 60 years. Additionally, the refined agriculture industry field has not only discovered the gene selected products, but also combined the tourism with farming business for new business model creation. According to the "Guidelines for Preferential Loans for the Upgrading of Tourism Enterprises" point 4 provision 1, the expenditure for spending on machine, instruments, land or repairing can be granted a preferential loan in accordance with the rule of point 6, and government will provide a subsidy of interest for loaning Tourism Enterprises with timely payments. At last, Council for Economic Planning and Development also points out because most of technology industry has been impacted seriously by fluctuation of international prosperity due to conducting the export trade oriented strategy. Furthermore, the aspects of our export trade of technology industry have been impacted by the U.S. financial crisis and the economic decay in EU and US; and the industrial development seems to face the problem caused by over centralization in Taiwan. Hence, the current framework of domestic industry should be rearranged and to make it better by promoting the developmental project of six newly industries. Taiwan Government Had Modifies Rules to Accelerate NDA Process and Facilitate Development of Clinical Studies in Taiwan In July 2007, the "Biotech and New Pharmaceutical Development Act" modified many regulations related to pharmaceutical administration, taxes, and professionals in Taiwan. In addition, in order to facilitate the development of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, the government has attempted to create a friendly environment for research and development by setting up appropriate regulations and application systems. These measures show that the Taiwanese government is keenly aware that these industries have huge potential value. To operate in coordination with the above Act and to better deal with the increasing productivity of pharmaceutical R&D programs in Taiwan, the Executive Yuan simplified the New Drug Application (NDA) process to facilitate the submission that required Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CPP) for drugs with new ingredients. The current NDA process requires sponsors to submit documentation as specified by one of the following four options: (1) three CPPs from three of "ten medically-advanced countries," including Germany, the U.S., England, France, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Belgium, and Sweden; (2) one CPP from the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, or England and one CPP from Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, or Belgium; (3) a Free Sale Certificate (FSC) from one of ten medically-advanced countries where the pharmaceuticals are originally produced and one CPP from one of the other nine countries; or (4) a CPP from the European Medicines Agency. Thus, the current NDA process requires sponsors to spend inordinate amounts of time and incur significant costs to acquire two or three FSCs or CPPs from ten medically-advanced countries in order to submit an NDA in Taiwan. According to the new rules, sponsors will not have to submit above CPPs if (1) Phase I clinical studies have been conducted in Taiwan, and Phase III Pivotal Trial clinical studies have been simultaneously conducted both in Taiwan and in another country or (2) Phase II and Phase III Pivotal Trial clinical studies have been simultaneously conducted both in Taiwan and in another country. Besides, the required minimum numbers of patients were evaluated during each above phase. Therefore, sponsors who conduct clinical studies in Taiwan and in another country simultaneously could reduce their costs and shorten the NDA process in Taiwan. The new rules aim to encourage international pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical studies in Taiwan or to conduct such studies cooperatively with Taiwanese pharmaceutical companies. Such interactions will allow Taiwanese pharmaceutical companies to participate in development and implementation of international clinical studies in addition to benefiting from the shortened NDA process. Therefore, the R&D abilities and the internationalization of the Taiwanese pharmaceutical industry will be improved.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.」