Hard Law or Soft Law?
–Global AI Regulation Developments and Regulatory Considerations
Since the launch of ChatGPT on November 30, 2022, the technology has been disrupting industries, shifting the way things used to work, bringing benefits but also problems. Several law suits were filed by artists, writers and voice actors in the US, claiming that the usage of copyright materials in training generative AI violates their copyright. AI deepfake, hallucination and bias has also become the center of discussion, as the generation of fake news, false information, and biased decisions could deeply affect human rights and the society as a whole.
To retain the benefits of AI without causing damage to the society, regulators around the world have been accelerating their pace in establishing AI regulations. However, with the technology evolving at such speed and uncertainty, there is a lack of consensus on which regulation approach can effectively safeguard human rights while promoting innovation. This article will provide an overview of current AI regulation developments around the world, a preliminary analysis of the pros and cons of different regulation approaches, and point out some other elements that regulators should consider.
I. An overview of the current AI regulation landscape around the world
The EU has its lead in legislation, with its parliament adopting its position on the AI ACT in June 2023, heading into trilogue meetings that aim to reach an agreement by the end of this year. China has also announced its draft National AI ACT, scheduled to enter its National People's Congress before the end of 2023. It already has several administration rules in place, such as the 2021 regulation on recommendation algorithms, the 2022 rules for deep synthesis, and the 2023 draft rules on generative AI.
Some other countries have been taking a softer approach, preferring voluntary guidelines and testing schemes. The UK published its AI regulation plans in March, seeking views on its sectoral guideline-based pro-innovation regulation approach. To minimize uncertainty for companies, it proposed a set of regulatory principles to ensure that government bodies develop guidelines in a consistent manner. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released the AI Risk Management Framework in January, with a non-binding Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights published in October 2022, providing guidance on the design and use of AI with a set of principles. It is important to take note that some States have drafted regulations on specific subjects, such as New York City’s Final Regulations on Use of AI in Hiring and Promotion came into force in July 2023. Singapore launched the world’s first AI testing framework and toolkit international pilot in May 2022, with the assistance of AWS, DBS Bank, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Singapore Airlines, etc. After a year of testing, it open-sourced the software toolkit in July 2023, to better develop the system.
There are also some countries still undecided on their regulation approach. Australia commenced a public consultation on its AI regulatory framework proposal in June, seeking views on its draft AI risk management approach. Taiwan’s government announced in July 2023 to propose a draft AI basic law by September 2023, covering topics such as AI-related definition, privacy protections, data governance, risk management, ethical principles, and industrial promotion. However, the plan was recently postponed, indicating a possible shift towards voluntary or mandatory government principles and guidance, before establishing the law.
II. Hard law or soft law? The pros and cons of different regulatory approaches
One of the key advantages of hard law in AI regulation is its ability to provide binding legal obligations and legal enforcement mechanisms that ensure accountability and compliance. Hard law also provides greater legal certainty, transparency and remedies for consumers and companies, which is especially important for smaller companies that do not have as many resources to influence and comply with fast-changing soft law. However, the legislative process can be time-consuming, slower to update, and less agile. This poses the risk of stifling innovation, as hard law inevitably cannot keep pace with the rapidly evolving AI technology.
In contrast, soft law represents a more flexible and adaptive approach to AI regulation. As the potential of AI still remains largely mysterious, government bodies can formulate principles and guidelines tailored to the regulatory needs of different industry sectors. In addition, if there are adequate incentives in place for actors to comply, the cost of enforcement could be much lower than hard laws. Governments can also experiment with several different soft law approaches to test their effectiveness. However, the voluntary nature of soft law and the lack of legal enforcement mechanisms could lead to inconsistent adoption and undermine the effectiveness of these guidelines, potentially leaving critical gaps in addressing AI's risks. Additionally, in cases of AI-related harms, soft law could not offer effective protection on consumer rights and human rights, as there is no clear legal obligation to facilitate accountability and remedies.
Carlos Ignacio Gutierrez and Gary Marchant, faculty members at Arizona State University (ASU), analyzed 634 AI soft law programs against 100 criteria and found that two-thirds of the program lack enforcement mechanisms to deliver its anticipated AI governance goals. He pointed out that credible indirect enforcement mechanisms and a perception of legitimacy are two critical elements that could strengthen soft law’s effectiveness. For example, to publish stem cell research in top academic journals, the author needs to demonstrate that the research complies with related research standards. In addition, companies usually have a greater incentive to comply with private standards to avoid regulatory shifts towards hard laws with higher costs and constraints.
III. Other considerations
Apart from understanding the strengths and limitations of soft law and hard law, it is important for governments to consider each country’s unique differences. For example, Singapore has always focused on voluntary approaches as it acknowledges that being a small country, close cooperation with the industry, research organizations, and other governments to formulate a strong AI governance practice is much more important than rushing into legislation. For them, the flexibility and lower cost of soft regulation provide time to learn from industries to prevent forming rules that aren’t addressing real-world issues. This process allows preparation for better legislation at a later stage.
Japan has also shifted towards a softer approach to minimize legal compliance costs, as it recognizes its slower position in the AI race. For them, the EU AI Act is aiming at regulating Giant Tech companies, rather than promoting innovation. That is why Japan considers that hard law does not suit the industry development stage they’re currently in. Therefore, they seek to address legal issues with current laws and draft relevant guidance.
As the global AI regulatory landscape continues to evolve, it is important for governments to consider the pros and cons of hard law and soft law, and also country-specific conditions in deciding what’s suitable for the country. Additionally, a regular review on the effectiveness and impact of their chosen regulatory approach on AI’s development and the society is recommended.
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Research on Policies for building a digital nation in Recent Years (2016-2017) Recent years, the government has already made some proactive actions, including some policies and initiatives, to enable development in the digital economy and fulfill the vision of Digital Nation. Those actions are as follows: 1. CREATING THE “FOOD CLOUD” FOR FOOD SAFETY CONTROLS Government agencies have joined forces to create an integrated “food cloud” application that quickly alerts authorities to food safety risks and allows for faster tracing of products and ingredients. The effort to create the cloud was spearheaded by the Executive Yuan’s Office of Food Safety under the leadership of Vice Premier Chang San-cheng on January 12, 2016. The “food cloud” application links five core systems (registration, tracing, reporting, testing, and inspection) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) with eight systems from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education (MOE), Council of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Administration. The application gathers shares and analyzes information in a methodical and systematic manner by employing big data technology. To ensure the data can flow properly across different agencies, the Office of Food Safety came up with several products not intended for human consumption and had the MOHW simulate the flow of those products under import, sale and supply chain distribution scenarios. The interministerial interface successfully analyzed the data and generated lists of food risks to help investigators focus on suspicious companies. Based on these simulation results, the MOHW on September 2, 2015, established a food and drug intelligence center as a mechanism for managing food safety risks and crises on the national level. The technologies for big data management and mega data analysis will enable authorities to better manage food sources and protect consumer health. In addition, food cloud systems established by individual government agencies are producing early results. The MOE, for instance, rolled out a school food ingredient registration platform in 2014, and by 2015 had implemented the system across 22 countries and cities at 6,000 schools supplying lunches for 4.5 million students. This platform, which made school lunch ingredients completely transparent, received the 2015 eAsia Award as international recognition for the use of information technology in ensuring food safety. 2. REVISING DIGITAL CONVERGENCE ACTS On 2016 May 5th, the Executive Yuan Council approved the National Communications Commission's (NCC) proposals, drafts of “Broadcasting Terrestrial and Channel Service Suppliers Administration Act”, “Multichannel Cable Platform Service Administration Act”, “Telecommunications Service Suppliers Act”, “Telecommunications Infrastructure and Resources Administration Act”, “Electronic Communications Act”, also the five digital convergence laws. They will be sent to the Legislature for deliberation. But in the end, this version of five digital convergence bills did not pass by the Legislature. However, later on, November 16, 2017, The Executive Yuan approved the new drafts of “Digital Communication Act” and the “Telecommunication Service Management Act”. The “Digital Communication Act” and the “Telecommunication Service Management Act” focused summaries as follows: 1. The digital communication bill A. Public consultation and participation. B. The digital communication service provider ought to use internet resource reasonability and reveal network traffic control measures. C. The digital communication service provider ought to reveal business information and Terms of Service. D. The responsibility of the digital communication service provider. 2. The telecommunication service management bill A. The telecommunication service management bill change to use registration system. B. The general obligation of telecommunications to provide telecommunication service and the special obligation of Specific telecommunications. C. Investment, giving, receiving and merging rules of the telecommunication service. Telecommunications are optimism of relaxing rules and regulations, and wish it would infuse new life and energy into the market. Premier Lai instructed the National Communications Commission and other agencies to elucidate the contents of the two communication bills to all sectors of society, and communicate closely with lawmakers of all parties to build support for a quick passage of the bills. 3. FOCUSING ON ICT SECURITY TO BUILD DIGITAL COUNTRIES Ｔhe development of ICT has brought convenience to life but often accompanied by the threat of illegal use, especially the crimes with the use of new technologies such as Internet techniques and has gradually become social security worries. Minor impacts may cause inconvenience to life while major impacts may lead to a breakdown of government functions and effects on national security. To enhance the capability of national security protection and to avoid the gap of national security, the Executive Yuan on August 1st 2016 has upgraded the Office of Information and Communication Security into the Agency of Information and Communication Security, a strategic center of R.O.C security work, integrating the mechanism of the whole government governance of information security, through specific responsibility, professionalism, designated persons and permanent organization to establish the security system, together with the relevant provisions of the law so that the country's information and communication security protection mechanism will become more complete. The efforts to the direction could be divided into three parts: First, strengthening the cooperation of government and private sectors of information security: In a sound basis of legal system, the government plans to strengthen the government and some private sectors’ information security protection abilities ,continue to study and modify the relevant amendments to the relevant provisions, strengthen public-private collaborative mechanism, deepen the training of human resources and enhance the protection of key information infrastructure of our country. Second, improving the information and communication security professional capability: information and communication security business is divided into policy and technical aspects. While the government takes the responsibility for policy planning and coordination, the technical service lies in an outsourcing way. Based on a sound legal system, the government will establish institutionalized and long-term operation modes and plan appropriate organizational structures through the discussion of experts and scholars from all walks of life. Third, formulating Information and Communication Safety Management Act and planning of the Fifth National Development Program for Information and Communication Security: The government is now actively promoting the Information and Communication Safety Management Act as the cornerstone for the development of the national digital security and information security industry. The main content of the Act provides that the applicable authorities should set up security protection plan at the core of risk management and the procedures of notification and contingency measures, and accept the relevant administrative check. Besides the vision of the Fifth National Development Program for Information and Communication Security which the government is planning now is to build a safe and reliable digital economy and establish a safe information and communication environment by completing the legal system of information and communication security environment, constructing joint defense system of the national Information and Communication security, pushing up the self-energy of the industries of information security and nurture high-quality human resources for elite talents for information security. 4. THE DIGITAL NATION AND INNOVATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN The Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Plan (2017-2025) known as “DIGI+” plan, approved by the Executive Yuan on November 24, 2016. The plan wants to grow nation’s digital economy to NT $ 6.5 trillion (US$205.9 billion), improve the digital lifestyle services penetration rate to 80 %, increase broadband connections to 2 Gbps, ensure citizens’ basic rights to have 25 Mbps broadband access, and put our nation among the top 10 information technology nations worldwide by 2025. The plan contains several important development strategies: DIGI+ Infrastructure: Build infrastructure conducive to digital innovation. DIGI+ Talent: Cultivate digital innovation talent. DIGI+ Industry: Support cross-industry transformation through digital innovation. DIGI+ Rights: Make R.O.C. an advanced society that respects digital rights and supports open online communities. DIGI+ Cities: Build smart cities through cooperation among central and local governments and the industrial, academic and research sectors. DIGI+ Globalization: Boost nation’s standing in the global digital service economy. The plan also highlights few efforts: First is to enrich “soft” factors and workforce to create an innovative environment for digital development. To construct this environment, the government will construct an innovation-friendly legal framework, cultivate interdisciplinary digital talent, strengthen research and develop advanced digital technologies. Second is to enhance digital economy development. The government will incentivize innovative applications and optimize the environment for digital commerce. Third, the government will develop an open application programming interface for government data and create demand-oriented, one-stop smart government cloud services. Fourth, the government will ensure broadband access for the disadvantaged and citizens of the rural area, implement the participatory process, enhance different kinds of international cooperation, and construct a comprehensive humanitarian legal framework with digital development. Five is to build a sustainable smart country. The government will use smart network technology to build a better living environment, promote smart urban and rural area connective governance and construction and use on-site research and industries innovation ecosystem to assist local government plan and promote construction of the smart country. In order to achieve the overall effectiveness of the DIGI + program, interdisciplinary, inter-ministerial, inter-departmental and inter-departmental efforts will be required to collaborate with the newly launched Digital National Innovation Economy (DIGI +) Promotion Team. 5. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH STRATEGY The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) reported strategy plan for artificial intelligence (AI) scientific research at Cabinet meeting on August 24, 2017. Artificial intelligence is a powerful and inevitable trend, and it will be critical to R.O.C.’s competitiveness for the next 30 years. The ministry will devote NT$16 billion over the next five years to building an AI innovation ecosystem in R.O.C. According to MOST, the plan will promote five strategies: 1. Creating an AI platform to provide R&D services MOST will devote NT$5 billion over the next four years to build a platform, integrating the resources, providing a shared high-speed computing environment and nurturing emerging AI industries and applications. 2. Establishing an AI innovative research center MOST will four artificial intelligence innovation research centers across R.O.C. as part of government efforts to enhance the nation’s competitiveness in AI technology. The centers will support the development of new AI in the realms of financial technology, smart manufacturing, smart healthcare and intelligent transportation systems. 3. Setting up AI robot maker spaces An NT$2 billion, four-year project assisting industry to develop the hardware-software integration of robots and innovative applications was announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology. 4. Subsidizing a semiconductor “moonshot” program to explore ambitious and groundbreaking smart technologies This program will invest NT$4 billion from 2018 through 2021 into developing semiconductors and chip systems for edge devices as well as integrating the academic sector’s R&D capabilities and resources. the project encompasses cognitive computing and AI processor chips; next-generation memory designs; process technologies and materials for key components of sensing devices; unmanned vehicles, AR and VR; IoT systems and security. 5. Organizing Formosa Grand Challenge competitions The program is held in competitions to engage young people in the development of AI applications. The government hopes to extend R.O.C.’s industrial advantages and bolster the country’s international competitiveness, giving R.O.C. the confidence to usher in the era of AI applications. All of these efforts will weave people, technologies, facilities, and businesses into a broader AI innovation ecosystem. 6. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLANS Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) launched plans to develop intelligent transportation systems at March 7th in 2017. MOTC integrates transportation and information and communications technology through these plans to improve the convenience and reduce the congestion of the transportation. These plans combine traffic management systems for highways, freeways and urban roads, a multi-lane free-flow electronic toll collection system, bus information system that provides timely integrated traffic information services, and public transportation fare card readers to reduce transport accidence losses, inconvenience of rural area, congestion of main traffic arteries and improve accessibility of public transportation. There are six plans are included: 1. Intelligent transportation safety plan; 2. Relieve congestion on major traffic arteries; 3. Make transportation more convenient in Eastern Taiwan and remote areas; 4. Integrate and share transportation resources; 5. Develop “internet-of-vehicles” technology applications; and 6. Fundamental R&D for smart transportation technology. These plans promote research and development of smart vehicles and safety intersections, develop timely bus and traffic information tracking system, build a safe system of shared, safe and green-energy smart system, and subsidize the large vehicles to install the vision enhancement cameras to improve the safety of transportation. These plans also use eTag readers, vehicle sensors and info communication technologies to gather the traffic information and provide timely traffic guidance, reduce the congestion of the traffic flow. These plans try to use demand-responsive transit system with some measures such as combine public transportation and taxi, to improve the flexibility of the public traffic service and help the basic transportation needs of residents in eastern Taiwan and rural areas to be fulfilled. A mobile transport service interface and a platform that integrating booking and payment processes are also expected to be established to provide door-to-door transportation services and to integrate transportation resources. And develop demonstration projects of speed coordination of passenger coach fleets, vehicle-road interaction technology, and self-driving car to investigate and verify the issues in technological, operational, industrial, legal environments of internet-of-vehicles applications in our country. Last but not least, research and development on signal control systems that can be used in both two and four-wheeled vehicles, and deploy an internet-of-vehicles prototype platform and develop drones traffic applications. These plans are expected to reduce 25% traffic congestion, 20% of motor vehicle incidence, leverage 10% using rate of public transportation, raise 20% public transportation service accessibility of rural area and create NT$30 billion production value. After accomplishing these targets, the government can establish a comprehensive transportation system and guide industry development of relating technology areas. Through the aforementioned initiatives, programs, and plans, the government wants to construct the robust legal framework and policy environment for digital innovation development, and facilitate the quality of citizens in our society.Observing Recent Foreign Developments upon Bio-medicine、 Marketing Medical Devices、Technology Development Project and the Newest Litigation Trend Concerning the Joint Infringement of Method/Process Patents
1、Chinese REACH has put into shape, how about Taiwan REACH? - A Perspective of Chinese Measures on Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances Taiwan food industry has been struck by the government agency's disclosure that certain unfaithful manufacturers have mixed toxic chemicals into the food additives for the past 30 years, and the chemicals may seriously threaten public health. This event has not only shocked the confidence of the customers to the industry, but also drew public attention on the well-management and the safe use of chemicals. In order to manage the fast advancing and widely applicable chemical substance appropriately, the laws and regulations among the international jurisprudences in recent years tend to regulate unfamiliar chemicals as “new chemical substances” and leverage registration systems to follow their use and import. REACH is one the most successful models which has been implemented by European Union since 2006. China, one of our most important business partners, has also learned from the EU experience and implemented its amended " Measures on Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances" (also known as "Chinese REACH") last year. It is not only a necessity for our industry which has invested or is running a business in China to realize how this new regulation may influence their business as differently , but also for our authority concerned to observe how can our domestic law and regulation may connect to this international trend. Therefore, except for briefing the content of Chinese REACH, this article may also review those existing law and regulations in Taiwan and observe the law making movement taken by our authority. We expect that the comparison and observation in this article may be a reference for our authorities concerned to map out a better environment for new chemical management. 2、The study on Taiwanese businessmen Join the Bid Invitation and Bidding of Science and Technology Project China government invests great funds in their Science and Technology Project management system, containing most of innovated technology. It also creates the great business opportunity for domestic industry. China government builds up a Bid Invitation and Bidding Procedure in the original Science and Technology Project Regime recent years, in order to make the regime become more open and full of transparency. It also improves Regime to become more fairness and efficiency. Taiwan industry may try to apply for those Science and Technology Project, due to this attractive opportunity, but they should understand china's legal system before they really do that. This Article will introduce the "Bid Invitation and Bidding Law of the Peoples Republic of China", and the "Provisional Regulation on Bid Invitation and Bidding of Science and Technology Project", then clarify applied relationship between the "Bid Invitation and Bidding Law of the Peoples Republic of China", and "Government Procurement Law of the Peoples Republic of China". It also analyzes "Bid Invitation and Bidding Procedure", "Administration of Contract Performance Procedure", "Inspection and Acceptance Procedure", and "Protest and Complaint Procedure, providing complete legal observation and opinion for Taiwan industry finally. Keyword Bid Invitation and Bidding Law of the Peoples Republic of China; Government Procurement Law of the Peoples Republic of China; Provisional Regulation on Bid Invitation and Bidding of Science and Technology Project; Applying for Science and Technology Project Regime; Bid Invitation and Bidding Procedure; Administration of Contract Performance Procedure; Inspection and Acceptance Procedure; Protest and Complaint Procedure. 3、Comparing the Decisions of the United States Supreme Court regarding Preempting Marketing Medical Devices and Drugs from State Tort Litigations with the Decision of a Hypothetical Case in Taiwan The investment costs of complying with pertinent laws and regulations for manufacturing, marketing, and profiting from drugs and medical devices (abbreviated as MD) are far higher than the costs necessary for securing a market permit. The usage of MD products contains the risk of harming their users or the patients, who might sue the manufacturer for damages in the court based on tort law. To help reduce the risk of such litigation, the industry should be aware of the laws governing the state tort litigations and the preemption doctrine of the federal laws of the United States. This article collected four critical decisions by the United States Supreme Court to analyze the requirements of federal preemption from the state tort litigations in these cases. The article also analyzed the issues of preemption in our law system in a hypothetical case. These issues include the competing regulatory requirements of the laws and regulations on the drugs and MDs and the Drug Injury Relief Act versus the Civil Code and the Consumer Protection Law. The article concluded: 1. The pre-market-approval of MD in the United States is exempted from the state tort litigations; 2. Brand-name-drug manufacturers must proactively update the drug label regarding severe risks evidenced by the latest findings; 3. Generic-drug manufacturers are exempted from the product liability litigations and not required to comply with the aforementioned brand-name-drug manufacturers' obligation; 4. No preemption issues are involved in these kinds of product liability litigations in our country; 5. The judge of general court is not bound by the approval of marketing of drug and MD; 6. The judge of general court is not bound by the determination and verdict of the Drug Injury Relief Act. 4、Through Computer-Aided Detection Software, Comparing by Discussing and Analyzing the Regulatory Requirements for Marketing Medical Devices in the United States and in Taiwan Computer-Aided Detection (CADe) software systematically assists medical doctors to detect suspicious diseased site(s) inside patients' bodies, and it would help patients receive proper medical treatments as soon as possible. Only few of this type of medical device (MD) have been legally marketed either in the United States of America (USA) or in Taiwan. This is a novel MD, and the rules regulating it are still under development. Thus, it is valuable to investigate and discuss its regulations. To clarify the requirements of legally marketing the MD, this article not only collects and summarizes the latest draft guidance announced by the USA, but also compares and analyzes the similarities and differences between USA and Taiwan, and further explains the logics that USA applies to clarify and qualify CADe for marketing, so that the Department of Health (DOH) in Taiwan could use them as references. Meanwhile, the article collects the related requirements by the Administrative Procedure Act and by the Freedom of Government Information Law of our nation, and makes the following suggestions on MD regulations to the DOH: creating product code in the system of categorization, providing clearer definition of classification, and actively announcing the (abbreviated) marketing route that secures legal permission for each individual product. 5、A Discussion on the Recent Cases Concerning the Joint Infringement of Method/Process Patents in the U.S. and Japan In the era of internet and mobile communication, practices of a method patent concerning innovative service might often involve several entities, and sometimes the method patent can only be infringed jointly. Joint infringement of method/process patents is an issue needed to be addressed by patent law, since it is assumed that a method patent can only be directly infringed by one entity to perform all the steps disclosed in the patent. In the U.S., CAFC has established the "control or direction" standard to address the issue, but the standard has been criticized and it is under revision now. In Japan, there is no clearly-established standard to address the issue of joint infringement, but it seems that the entity that controls and benefits from the joint infringement might be held liable. Based on its discussion about the recent development in the U.S. and Japan, this article attempts to provide some suggestions for inventors of innovative service models to use patents to protect their inventions properly: they should try to avoid describing their inventions in the way of being practiced by multi-entities, they should try to claim both method and system/apparatus inventions, and they should try to predict the potential infringement of their patents in order to address the problem of how to prove the infringement.Israel’s Technological Innovation System
I.Introduction Recently, many countries have attracted by Israel’s technology innovation, and wonder how Israel, resource-deficiency and enemies-around, has the capacity to enrich the environment for innovative startups, innovative R&D and other innovative activities. At the same time, several cross-border enterprises hungers to establish research centers in Israel, and positively recruits Israel high-tech engineers to make more innovative products or researches. However, there is no doubt that Israel is under the spotlight in the era of innovation because of its well-shaped national technology system framework, innovative policies of development and a high level of R&D expenditure, and there must be something to learn from. Also, Taiwanese government has already commenced re-organization lately, how to tightly connect related public technology sectors, and make the cooperation more closely and smoothly, is a critical issue for Taiwanese government to focus on. Consequently, by the observation of Israel’s national technology system framework and technology regulations, Israel’s experience shall be a valuable reference for Taiwanese government to build a better model for public technology sectors for future cooperation. Following harsh international competition, each country around the world is trying to find out the way to improve its ability to upgrade international competitiveness and to put in more power to promote technology innovation skills. Though, while governments are wondering how to strengthen their countries’ superiority, because of the differences on culture and economy, those will influence governments’ points of view to form an appropriate national innovative system, and will come with a different outcome. Israel, as a result of the fact that its short natural resources, recently, its stunning performance on technology innovation system makes others think about whether Israel has any characteristics or advantages to learn from. According to Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D in 2013 amounted to NIS 44.2 billion, and shared 4.2% of the GDP. Compared to 2012 and 2011, the national expenditure on civilian R&D in 2013, at Israel’s constant price, increased by 1.3%, following an increase of 4.5% in 2012 and of 4.1% in 2011. Owing to a high level of national expenditure poured in, those, directly and indirectly, makes the outputs of Israel’s intellectual property and technology transfer have an eye-catching development and performance. Based on Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, in 2012-2013, approximately 1,438 IP invention disclosure reports were submitted by the researchers of various universities and R&D institutions for examination by the commercialization companies. About 1,019 of the reports were by companies at the universities, an increase of 2.2% compared to 2010-2011, and a 1% increase in 2010-2011 compared to 2008-2009. The dominant fields of the original patent applicants were medicines (24%), bio-technology (17%), and medical equipment (13%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties amounted to NIS 1,881 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,680 million in 2011, and increase of 11.9%. The dominant field of the received revenues was medicines (94%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties in university in 2012 amounted to NIS 1,853 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,658 million in 2011, an increase of 11.8%. Therefore, by the observation of these records, even though Israel only has 7 million population, compared to other large economies in the world, it is still hard to ignore Israel’s high quality of population and the energy of technical innovation within enterprises. II.The Recent Situation of Israel’s Technology Innovation System A.The Determination of Israel’s Technology Policy The direction and the decision of national technology policy get involved in a country’s economy growth and future technology development. As for a government sector deciding technology policy, it would be different because of each country’s government and administrative system. Compared to other democratic countries, Israel is a cabinet government; the president is the head of the country, but he/she does not have real political power, and is elected by the parliament members in every five years. At the same time, the parliament is re-elected in every four years, and the Israeli prime minister, taking charge of national policies, is elected from the parliament members by the citizens. The decision of Israel’s technology policy is primarily made by the Israeli Ministers Committee for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology. The chairman of the Israeli Ministry Committee for Science and Technology is the Minister of Science and Technology, and takes charge of making the guideline of Israel’s national technology development policy and is responsible for coordinating R&D activities in Ministries. The primary function of the Ministry of Science and Technology is to make Israel’s national technology policies and to plan the guideline of national technology development; the scope includes academic research and applied scientific research. In addition, since Israel’s technology R&D was quite dispersed, it means that the Ministries only took responsibilities for their R&D, this phenomenon caused the waste of resources and inefficiency; therefore, Israel government gave a new role and responsibility for the Chief Scientists Forum under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2000, and wished it can take the responsibility for coordinating R&D between the government’s sectors and non-government enterprises. The determination of technology policy, however, tends to rely on counseling units to provide helpful suggestions to make technology policies more intact. In the system of Israel government, the units playing a role for counseling include National Council for Research and Development (NCRD), the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the National Council for Civil Research and Development (MOLMOP), and the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries. Among the aforementioned units, NCRD and the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure not only provide policy counseling, but also play a role in coordinating R&D among Ministries. NCRD is composed by the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries, the chairman of Planning and Budgeting Committee, the financial officers, entrepreneurs, senior scientists and the Dean of Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. NCRD’s duties include providing suggestions regarding the setup of R&D organizations and related legal system, and advices concerning how to distribute budgets more effectively; making yearly and long-term guidelines for Israel’s R&D activities; suggesting the priority area of R&D; suggesting the formation of necessary basic infrastructures and executing the priority R&D plans; recommending the candidates of the Offices of Chief Scientists in Ministries and government research institutes. As for the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the role it plays includes providing advices concerning budgets and the development framework of technology basic infrastructures; providing counsel for Ministries; setting up the priority scientific plans and items, and coordinating activities of R&D between academic institutes and national research committee. At last, as for MOLMOP, it was founded by the Israeli parliament in 2002, and its primary role is be a counseling unit regarding technology R&D issues for Israel government and related technology Ministries. As for MOLMOP’s responsibilities, which include providing advices regarding the government’s yearly and long-term national technology R&D policies, providing the priority development suggestion, and providing the suggestions for the execution of R&D basic infrastructure and research plans. B.The Management and Subsidy of Israel’s Technology plans Regarding the institute for the management and the subsidy of Israel’s technology plans, it will be different because of grantee. Israel Science Foundation (ISF) takes responsibility for the subsidy and the management of fundamental research plans in colleges, and its grantees are mainly focused on Israel’s colleges, high education institutes, medical centers and research institutes or researchers whose areas are in science and technical, life science and medicine, and humanity and social science. As for the budget of ISF, it mainly comes from the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) in Israel Council for Higher Education. In addition, the units, taking charge of the management and the subsidy of technology plans in the government, are the Offices of the Chief Scientist in Ministries. Israel individually forms the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy. The function of the Office of the Chief Scientist not only promotes and inspires R&D innovation in high technology industries that the Office the Chief Scientist takes charge, but also executes Israel’s national plans and takes a responsibility for industrial R&D. Also, the Office of the Chief Scientist has to provide aid supports for those industries or researches, which can assist Israel’s R&D to upgrade; besides, the Office of the Chief Scientists has to provide the guide and training for enterprises to assist them in developing new technology applications or broadening an aspect of innovation for industries. Further, the Office of the Chief Scientists takes charge of cross-country R&D collaboration, and wishes to upgrade Israel’s technical ability and potential in the area of technology R&D and industry innovation by knowledge-sharing and collaboration. III.The Recent Situation of the Management and the Distribution of Israel’s Technology Budget A.The Distribution of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets By observing Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D occupied high share of GDP, Israel’s government wants to promote the ability of innovation in enterprises, research institutes or universities by providing national resources and supports, and directly or indirectly helps the growth of industry development and enhances international competitiveness. However, how to distribute budgets appropriately to different Ministries, and make budgets can match national policies, it is a key point for Israel government to think about. Following the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to some Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education and other Ministries. As for the share of R&D budgets, the Ministry of Science and Technology occupies the share of 1.7%, the Ministry of Economy is 35%, the Israel Council for Higher Education is 45.5%, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is 8.15%, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources is 1.1%, and other Ministries are 7.8% From observing that Israel R&D budgets mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, Israel government not only pours in lot of budgets to encourage civilian technology R&D, to attract more foreign capitals to invest Israel’s industries, and to promote the cooperation between international and domestic technology R&D, but also plans to provide higher education institutes with more R&D budgets to promote their abilities of creativity and innovation in different industries. In addition, by putting R&D budgets into higher education institutes, it also can indirectly inspire students’ potential innovation thinking in technology, develop their abilities to observe the trend of international technology R&D and the need of Israel’s domestic industries, and further appropriately enhance students in higher education institutes to transfer their knowledge into the society. B.The Management of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets Since Israel is a cabinet government, the cabinet takes responsibility for making all national technology R&D policies. The Ministers Committee for Science and Technology not only has a duty to coordinate Ministries’ technology policies, but also has a responsibility for making a guideline of Israel’s national technology development. The determination of Israel’s national technology development guideline is made by the cabinet conference lead by the Prime Minister, other Ministries does not have any authority to make national technology development guideline. Aforementioned, Israel’s national technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education, and etc. As for the plan management units and plan execution units in Ministries, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Regional Research and Development Centers is the plan execution unit; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Economy, and its plan execution unit is different industries; the ISF is the plan management units in the Israel Council for Higher Education; also, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, and its plan execution units include the Institute of Field and Garden Corps, the Institute of Horticulture, the Institute of Animal, the Institute of Plan Protection, the Institute of Soil, Water & Environmental Sciences, the Institute for Technology and Storage of Agriculture Products, the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Research Center; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, and its plan execution units are the Geological Survey of Israel, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research and the Institute of Earth and Physical. As for other Ministries, the Offices of the Chief Scientist are the plan management units for Ministries, and the plan execution unit can take Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research or medical centers for example.The Status of Taiwan's Regulations Concerning with Access to Biological Resources
Preface In actual practice, the research and development of biotech medicine, food, and environmental products cannot be done by in-lab researches. This is a unique character of the biotechnology industry. To get the research going, the researchers need to search for and exploit new biological materials and, samples outside the lab. Therefore, the access to and management of biological resources have significant impact on the stimulation and development of national biotech industry. Ever since the enforcement of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 by 172 countries, a general principal about conserving biological diversity and using biological resources has been set. According to CBD, States have sovereign rights over their own biological resources. CBD also encourages each State to access to and manage the biological resources conformed with the principals of conservation, sustainability, NOEL environment friendly, and adequate sharing of benefit arising from biological resources. Therefore, issues such as environmental protection and sustainability have become political issues internationally. If the ABS system for the access to biological resources is designed too strictly, the establishment of the system will make the research and development staffs and related institutions hang back with hesitation both domestically and internationally. Their intention of bioprospecting in the designated country will then be reduced. On the other hand, if the system is designed too loosely, it will not be able to protect the rights of the owner of the resources. As a result, currently, every country holds a cautious attitude in setting up the regulations of managing the access to biological resources. Currently, many countries and regional international organizations already set up ABS system, such as Andean Community, African Union, Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Australia, South Africa, and India, all are enthusiastic with the establishment of the regulations regarding the access management of biological resources and genetic resources. On the other hand, there are still many countries only use traditional and existing conservation-related regulations to manage the access of biological resources. Since it has been more than 10 years that the regulation of access to biological resources and benefit sharing has been developed in some countries, how is Taiwan's current situation regarding this issue? Taiwan's Existing Regulations on the Access to Bioloical Resources In terms of regulations, Taiwan's existing management style of the access to biological resources is similar to that of the US and the EU. It refers to the existing regulations on environmental protection and conservation, and evaluates from the perspective of environmental protection to control and manage the exploitation and application of the related biological resources. These regulations include the Wildlife Conservation Act, theNational Park Law, the Forestry Act, the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and the Aboriginal Basic Act. The paragraphs below describe the contents of the acts mentioned that are related to the access to biological resources. 1 、 Wildlife Conservation Act According to the Wildlife Conservation Act, the Protected Species and the products made of cannot be hunted, traded, owned, imported, exported, raised, bred, and processed unless the number of protected wildlife has exceeded the amount the environment permits, or carry the objectives of academic research and education with the permits of central or regional authorities. As for the hunting of General Wildlife, pre-application and approval is needed with the exception of projects based on the objectives of academic research or education. In addition, the import and export of the living wildlife and the products of Protected Wildlife are restricted to the condition of being permitted by management authority. With respect to the import and export of living Protected Wildlife, Academic research institutions and colleagues are the only person who can seek for the approval of management authority before they proceed. 2 、 National Park Law The design and management of Taiwan's national parks are based on the regulations listed in the National Park Law with the purpose of protecting our country's exclusive natural scenery, wildlife and historical spots. Based on the properties and the nature of resources, the national park management structures the preserved area into general control area, playground and resting area, spot of historical interest, special landmark area, and ecological protection area. Ecological protection area refers to the areas where the natural surroundings, creatures, the society they live and propagate are strictly protected only for the research of ecology. According to the regulation of National Park Law, inside the national park area, it is prohibited to hunt animals, fish, take off flowers or trees, not to mention the behaviours that are prohibited by the management authority. Exceptions are made based on the conditions of preserved areas and for the research purposes. In the general control area or resting area, the national park authority allows fishing or other activities agreed by the authority. However, these activities are prohibited in the preserved area of historical interest, special landmark area, and ecological protection area. To suit special purposes, in the special landmark area or ecological protection area, collection of specimens is allowed subject to the approval of authority. Under the purpose of academic research, better management of public safety, and special management of national park, the Ministry of the Interior will permit the collection of specimen. However, to enter the ecological protection area, one must obtain the permission of authority. 3 、 Forestry Act To protect the forest resources and to maximize the public welfare and economic effectiveness, some of the properties are classified as forestry land and being managed by authority. Based on the Forestry Act, management authority has to restrict the area of cutting timber and to identify the area or period of restricted digging of greensward, tree roots, and grass roots, based on the condition of the forest. In addition, to maintain the current ecological environment in the forest, and to preserve the diversity of species, identification of natural preserved area is needed inside the forestland. The entrance and exit of human and vehicles are controlled based on the nature of the resources inside the preserve area. Unless obtaining the approval from the management authority, not a single activity of damaging, logging or digging soil, stones, greensward and roots is allowed. Furthermore, any unauthorized activity of collecting specimen inside the forest recreation area and natural reserve will be fined. Collecting flowers and plants in these areas, or trespassing the natural reserve will also be fined. Only the activities taken by the aborigines to sustain their living or accommodate their customs are not restricted. 4 、 Cultural Heritage Preservation Act The objectives of setting up the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act are to preserve and apply the cultural resources, to enrich the spiritual lives of citizens, and to add glory to the existing diverse cultures. The Cultural Heritage Preservation Act classifies the natural landscape and scenery as cultural assets. Vistas of Natural Culture refer to the natural areas, landforms, plants and mineral which contain the values of preservation. It can be further grouped into natural preserved area and natural monuments. Since the natural monuments include the unusual plants and mineral, it is connected to the management of biological resources. According to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, unless approved by the management authority, it is prohibited to collect, log, destroy the plants or bio resources classified as natural monuments or trespass into the area of natural preserve. For the purposes of academic research, or for the memorial ceremony of aboriginal custom, research institute and the aborigines can collect the natural monuments without the approval of authority. 5 、 Aboriginal Basic Act To protect the basic rights of the aborigines, and to sustain and develop the aboriginal society, the Aboriginal Basic Act was designed and enacted. The government not only admits the aborigine's rights in lands and natural resources, but also permits the non-profit behaviour such as hunting of wildlife, colleting of wild plants and fungi for the objective of complying with traditional culture, ceremony or private uses. In addition, the Aboriginal Basic Act provides the requirement of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) to require government or private individual to inform the aborigines before they proceed with land development, resource exploitation, ecological preservation, and academic research in the land where the aborigines live. They need to consult and obtain the aborigines' agreement or participation, and to share the related interests derived from this project. In the case of restricting the aborigine's right of the use of land or natural resources by law, the government,shall consult with the aborigines or the tribe and reach the agreement. When the government wish to design and establish national park, national scenic area, forestry area, ecological protection area, recreational area, or other resource management authorities, the government should obtain the agreement from the local aborigines and to build up the co-management mechanism.