Introduction to Taiwan’s Guidelines for Implementing Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials

Introduction to Taiwan’s Guidelines for Implementing Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials

2023/12/15

The development of digital tools such as the internet, apps, and wearable devices have meant major breakthroughs for clinical trials. These advances have the potential to reduce the frequency of trial subject visits, accelerate research timelines, and lower the costs of drug development. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the use of digital tools, prompting many countries to adopt decentralized measures that enable trial subjects to participate in clinical trials regardless of their physical location. In step with the transition into the post-pandemic era, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) issued the Guidelines for Implementing Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials in June, 2023[1]. The Guidelines are intended to cover a wide array of decentralized measures; they aim to increase trial subjects’ willingness to participate in trials, reduce the need for in-person visits to clinical trial sites, enhance real-time data acquisition during trials, and enable clinic sponsors and contract research organizations to process data remotely.

I. Key Points of Taiwan’s Guidelines for Implementing Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials

The Guidelines cover primarily the following matters: General considerations for implementing decentralized measures; trial subject recruitment and electronic informed consent; delivery and provision of investigational medicinal products; remote monitoring of trial subject safety; trial subject reporting of adverse events; remote data monitoring; and information systems and electronic data collection/processing/storage.

1. General Considerations for Implementing Decentralized Measures

(1) During clinical trial execution, a reduction in trial subject in-person visits may present challenges to medical observation. It is recommended that home visits for any given trial subject be conducted by the principal investigator, sub-investigator, or a single, consistent delegated study nurse.
(2) Sponsors must carefully evaluate all of the trial design’s decentralization measures to ensure data integrity.
(3) Sponsors must conduct risk assessments for each individual trial, and must confirm the rationality of choosing decentralized measures. These decentralized measures must also be incorporated into the protocol.
(4) When electronically collecting data, sponsors must ensure information system reliability and data security. Artificial intelligence may be considered for use in decentralized clinical trials; sponsors must carefully evaluate such systems, especially when they touch on determinations for critical data or strategies.
(5) As the design of decentralized clinical trials is to ensure equal access to healthcare services, it must provide patients with a variety of ways to participate in clinical trials.
(6) When implementing any decentralized measures, it is essential to ensure that the principal investigator and sponsor adhere to the Regulations for Good Clinical Practice and bear their respective responsibilities for the trial.
(7) The use of decentralized measures must be stated in the regulatory application, and the Checklist of Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials must be included in the submission.

2. Subject Recruitment and Electronic Informed Consent

(1) Trial subject recruitment through social media or established databases may only be implemented after the Institutional Review Board reviews and approves of the recruitment methods and content.
(2) Must comply with the Principles for Recruiting Clinical Trial Subjects in medicinal product trials, the Personal Data Protection Act, and other regulations.
(3) Regarding clinical trial subject informed consent done through digital software or devices, if it complies with Article 4, Paragraph 2 of the Electronic Signatures Act, that is, if the content can be displayed in its entirety and continues to be accessible for subsequent reference, then so long as the trial subject agrees to do so, the signature may be done via a tablet or other electronic device. The storage of signed electronic Informed Consent Forms (eICF) must align with the aforementioned Principles and meet the competent authority’s access requirements.

3. Delivery and Provision of Investigational Medicinal Products

(1) The method of delivering and providing investigational medicinal products and whether trial subjects can use them on their own at home depends to a high degree on the investigational medicinal product’s administration route and safety profile.
(2) When investigational medicinal products are delivered and provided through decentralized measures to trial subjects, this must be documented in the protocol. The process of delivering and providing said products must also be clearly stated in the informed consent form; only after being explained to a trial subject by the trial team, and after the trial subject’s consent is obtained, may such decentralized measures be used.
(3) Investigational products prescribed by the principal investigator/sub-investigator must be reviewed by a delegated pharmacist to confirm that the investigational products’ specific items, dosage, duration, total quantity, and labeling align with the trial design. The pharmacist must also review each trial subject’s medication history, to ensure there are no medication-related issues; only then, and only in a manner that ensures the investigational product’s quality and the subject’s privacy, may delegated and specifically-trained trial personnel provide the investigational product to the subject.
(4) Compliance with relevant regulations such as the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, Pharmacists Act, Regulations on Good Practices for Drug Dispensation, and Regulations for Good Clinical Practice is required.

4. Remote Monitoring of Subject Safety

(1) Decentralized trial designs involve trial subjects performing relatively large numbers of trial-related procedures at home. The principal investigator must delegate trained, qualified personnel to perform tasks such as collecting blood samples, administering investigational products, conducting safety monitoring, doing adverse event tracking, etc.
(2) If trial subjects receive protocol-prescribed testing at nearby medical facilities or laboratories rather than at the original trial site, these locations must be authorized by the trial sponsor and must have relevant laboratory certification; only then may they collect or analyze samples. Such locations must provide detailed records to the principal investigator, to be archived in the trial master file.
(3) The trial protocol and schedule must clearly specify which visits must be conducted at the trial site; which can be conducted via phone calls, video calls, or home visits; which tests must be performed at nearby laboratories; and whether trial subjects have multiple or single options at each visit.

5. Subject Reporting of Adverse Events

(1) If the trial uses a digital platform to enhance adverse event reporting, trial subjects must be able to report adverse events through the digital platform, such as via a mobile phone app; that is, the principal investigator must be able to immediately access such adverse event information.
(2) The principal investigator must handle such reports using risk-based assessment methods. The principal investigator must validate the adverse event reporting platform’s effectiveness, and must develop procedures to identify potential duplicate reports.

6. Remote Data Monitoring

(1) If a sponsor chooses to implement remote monitoring, it must perform a reasonability assessment to confirm the appropriateness of such monitoring and establish a remote monitoring plan.
(2) The monitoring plan must include monitoring strategies, monitoring personnel responsibilities, monitoring methods, rationale for such implementation, and critical data and processes that must be monitored. It must also generate comprehensive monitoring reports for audit purposes.
(3) The sponsor is responsible for ensuring the implementation of remote monitoring, and must conduct risk assessments regarding the implementation process’ data protection and information confidentiality.

7. Information Systems and Electronic Data Collection, Processing, and Storage

(1) In accordance with the Regulations for Good Clinical Practice, data recorded in clinical trials must be trustworthy, reliable, and verifiable.
(2) It must be ensured that all organizations participating in the clinical trial have a full picture of the data flow. It is recommended that the trial protocol and trial-related documents include data flow diagrams and additional explanations.
(3) Define the types and scopes of subject personal data that will be collected, and ensure that every step in the process properly protects their data in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act.

II. A Comparison with Decentralized Trial Regulations in Other Countries

Denmark became the first country in the world to release regulatory measures on decentralized trials, issuing the “Danish Medicines Agency’s Guidance on the Implementation of Decentralized Elements in Clinical Trials with Medicinal Products” in September 2021[2]. In December 2022, the European Union as a whole released its “Recommendation Paper on Decentralized Elements in Clinical Trials”[3]. The United States issued the draft “Decentralized Clinical Trials for Drugs, Biological Products, and Devices” document in May 2023[4]. The comparison in Table 1 shows that Taiwan’s guidelines a relatively similar in structure to those of Denmark and the EU; the US guidelines also cover medical device clinical trials.

Table 1: Summary of Decentralized Clinical Trial Guidelines in Taiwan, Denmark, the European Union as a whole, and the United States

 

Taiwan

Denmark

European Union as a whole

United States

What do the guidelines apply to?

Medicinal products

Medicinal products

Medicinal products

Medicinal products and medical devices

Trial subject recruitment and electronic informed consent

Covers informed consent process; informed consent interview; digital information sheet; trial subject consent form signing; etc.

Covers informed consent process; informed consent interview; trial subject consent form signing; etc.

Covers informed consent process; informed consent interview; digital information sheet; trial subject consent form signing; etc.

Covers informed consent process; informed consent interview; etc.

Delivery and provision of investigational medicinal products

Delegated, specifically-trained trial personnel deliver and provide investigational medicinal products.

The investigator or delegated personnel deliver and provide investigational medicinal products.

The investigator, delegated personnel, or a third-party, Good Distribution Practice-compliant logistics provider deliver and provide investigational medicinal products.

The principal investigator, delegated personnel, or a distributor deliver and provide investigational products.

Remote monitoring of trial subject safety

Trial subjects may do return visits at trial sites, via phone calls, via video calls, or via home visits, and may undergo testing at nearby laboratories.

Trial subjects may do return visits at trial sites, via phone calls, via video calls, or via home visits, and may undergo testing at nearby laboratories.

Trial subjects may do return visits at trial sites, via phone calls, via video calls, or via home visits.

Trial subjects may do return visits at trial sites, via phone calls, via video calls, or via home visits, and may undergo testing at nearby laboratories.

Trial subject reporting of adverse events

Trial subjects may self-report adverse events through a digital platform.

Trial subjects may self-report adverse events through a digital platform.

Trial subjects may self-report adverse events through a digital platform.

Trial subjects may self-report adverse events through a digital platform.

Remote data monitoring

The sponsor may conduct remote data monitoring.

The sponsor may conduct remote data monitoring.

The sponsor may conduct remote data monitoring (not permitted in some countries).

The sponsor may conduct remote data monitoring.

Information systems and electronic data collection, processing, and storage

The recorded data must be credible, reliable, and verifiable.

Requires an information system that is validated, secure, and user-friendly.

The recorded data must be credible, reliable, and verifiable.

Must ensure data reliability, security, privacy, and confidentiality.

 

III. Conclusion

The implementation of decentralized clinical trials must be approached with careful assessment of risks and rationality, with trial subject safety, rights, and well-being as top priorities. Since Taiwan’s Guidelines for Implementing Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials were just announced in June of this year, the status of decentralized clinical trial implementation is still pending industry feedback to confirm feasibility. The overall goal is to enhance and optimize the clinical trial environment in Taiwan.

 

[1] 衛生福利部食品藥物管理署,〈藥品臨床試驗執行分散式措施指引〉,2023/6/12,https://www.fda.gov.tw/TC/siteListContent.aspx?sid=9354&id=43548(最後瀏覽日:2023/11/2)。

[2] [DMA] DANISH MEDICINES AGENCY, The Danish Medicines Agency’s guidance on the Implementation of decentralised elements in clinical trials with medicinal products (2021), https://laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/en/news/2021/guidance-on-the-implementation-of-decentralised-elements-in-clinical-trials-with-medicinal-products-is-now-available/ (last visited Nov. 2, 2023).

[3] [HMA] HEADS OF MEDICINES AGENCIES, [EC] EUROPEAN COMMISSION & [EMA] EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY, Recommendation paper on decentralised elements in clinical trials (2022), https://health.ec.europa.eu/latest-updates/recommendation-paper-decentralised-elements-clinical-trials-2022-12-14_en (last visited Nov. 2, 2023).

[4] [US FDA] US FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, Decentralized Clinical Trials for Drugs, Biological Products, and Devices (draft, 2023), https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/decentralized-clinical-trials-drugs-biological-products-and-devices (last visited Nov. 2, 2023).

※Introduction to Taiwan’s Guidelines for Implementing Decentralized Elements in Medicinal Product Clinical Trials,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=168&d=9100 (Date:2024/04/15)
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Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan’s Biological Resources

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In Taiwan, in the bio-technology industry, Agri-biotech, Medical, or Chinese Herb Research & Development are the key fields of development. However, the biological resources they use for the researches are mainly supplied from abroad. Hence, the likelihood of violating international bio-piracy is higher. On the contrary, the incidence of international research houses searching for the biological resources from Taiwan is comparatively lower, so the possibility for them to violate Taiwan's bio-piracy is very low. To look at this issue from a different angle, if Taiwan establishes a separate management system for the access of biological resources, it is likely to add more restrictions to Taiwan's bio-tech R&D activities and impact the development of bio-industry. Also, under the new management system, international R&D teams will also be confined, if they wish to explore the biological resources, or conduct R&D and seek for co-operation activities in Taiwan. Not to mention that it is not a usual practice for international R&D teams to look for Taiwan's biological resources. A new management system will further reduce their level of interest in doing so. In the end, the international teams will then shift their focus of obtaining resources from other countries where the regulation on access is relatively less strict. Before Taiwan establishes the regulations on the legal and effective access to bio-research resources, the government should consider not only the practical elements of the principal on the fair and impartial sharing of the derived interests from bio-research resources, but also take account of its positive and negative impacts on the development of related bio-technological industries. Even if a country's regulation on the access and benefit sharing is thorough and comprehensive enough to protect the interests of bio-resource provider, it will, on the contrary, reduce the industry's interest in accessing the bio-resources. 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In addition to the industrial economy, the program can jump off bottlenecks in the past industrial development, and promote the current Internet of things, intelligent machinery, green energy, medical care and other key national industries, but also attaches great importance to strengthening the digital infrastructure construction, the development of equal active, as well as the creation of a service-oriented digital government. It is also hoped that through the construction of a sustainable and intelligent urban and rural area, the quality of life will be improved and the people will enjoy a wealthy and healthy life. Over the next 8 years, the government will spend more than NT $ 150 billion.   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 R.O.C.’s standing in the global digital service economy.   The program aims to build a favorable environment for digital innovation and to create a friendly legal environment to complete the draft amendments to the Digital Communications Law and the Telecommunications Act as soon as possible, foster cross-domain digital talents and develop advanced digital technologies, To create a digital economy, digital government, network society, smart urban and rural and other national innovation ecological environment in order to achieve "the development of active network society, promote high value innovation economy, open up rich countries of the policy vision.    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. 7. “NEW AGRICULTURE” PROMOTION PROJECT    At a Cabinet meeting On December 08, 2016, Premier Lin Chuan underscored the importance of a new agricultural paradigm for Taiwan’s economic development, adding that new agriculture is an integral part of the “five plus two” industrial innovation projects proposed by President Tsai Ing-wen. The “new agriculture” promotion project uses innovation technology to bring value to agricultural, and build new agricultural paradigm, agricultural safety systems and promote agricultural marketing. This project also takes resources recycling and environmental sustainability into consideration to promote agricultural transformation, and build a robust new agricultural system.   This agricultural project is expected to increase food self-sufficiency rate to 40%, level up agricultural industry value by NT$43.4 billion, create 370,000 jobs and increase portion of total agricultural exports to new overseas markets to 57% by 2020.   This project contains three aspects:   First is “building new agricultural paradigm”: to protect farmers, agricultural development and ensure sustainability of the environment.   Second is “building agricultural safety systems”: Ensuring product safety and quality, and building a certification system which can be trust by the consumers and is consistent with international standards.   Last but not least is “leveling up agricultural marketing and promotions”: enhancing promotion, making the agricultural industry become profitable and sustainable.   Council of Agriculture’s initiatives also proposed 10 policies to leverage agricultural industry, not only just use the passive subsidies measure of the past. These policies including promoting environmentally friendly farming practices; giving farmers that are beneficial(green) to the land payments; stabilizing farmers’ incomes; increasing the competitiveness of the livestock and poultry industries; using agricultural resources sustainably; ensuring the safety of agricultural products; developing technological innovation; leveling up food security; increasing diversification of domestic and external marketing channels; and increasing agriculture industry added value.    In this statutes report, Council of Agriculture said this project will accelerate reforms, create new agricultural models and safety systems, but also build a new sustainable paradigm of agricultural. Premier Lin Chuan also backed this “five plus two innovative industries” program and “new agriculture” project, and asked Council of Agriculture to reviewing the possible legal changes or amendment that may help to enhance the transformation of agricultural sector.

Brief Introduction to Taiwan Social Innovation Policies

Brief Introduction to Taiwan Social Innovation Policies 2021/09/13 1. Introduction   The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)[1] 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”.[2] 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[3] 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[4], 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 IV. Conclusion   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. [1] 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. [2] Please refer to the Social Innovation Platform: https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/. [3] Please refer to the Social Innovation Database: https://si.taiwan.gov.tw/Home/Org_list. [4] 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

Research on Policies for building a digital nation in Recent Years (2016-2017)

Research on Policies for building a digital nation in Recent Years (2016-2017)   Recent years, the government has already made some proactive actions, including some policies and initiatives, to enable development in the digital economy and fulfill the vision of Digital Nation. Those actions are as follows: 1. CREATING THE “FOOD CLOUD” FOR FOOD SAFETY CONTROLS   Government agencies have joined forces to create an integrated “food cloud” application that quickly alerts authorities to food safety risks and allows for faster tracing of products and ingredients. The effort to create the cloud was spearheaded by the Executive Yuan’s Office of Food Safety under the leadership of Vice Premier Chang San-cheng on January 12, 2016.   The “food cloud” application links five core systems (registration, tracing, reporting, testing, and inspection) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) with eight systems from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Education (MOE), Council of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Administration.   The application gathers shares and analyzes information in a methodical and systematic manner by employing big data technology. To ensure the data can flow properly across different agencies, the Office of Food Safety came up with several products not intended for human consumption and had the MOHW simulate the flow of those products under import, sale and supply chain distribution scenarios. The interministerial interface successfully analyzed the data and generated lists of food risks to help investigators focus on suspicious companies.   Based on these simulation results, the MOHW on September 2, 2015, established a food and drug intelligence center as a mechanism for managing food safety risks and crises on the national level. The technologies for big data management and mega data analysis will enable authorities to better manage food sources and protect consumer health.   In addition, food cloud systems established by individual government agencies are producing early results. The MOE, for instance, rolled out a school food ingredient registration platform in 2014, and by 2015 had implemented the system across 22 countries and cities at 6,000 schools supplying lunches for 4.5 million students. This platform, which made school lunch ingredients completely transparent, received the 2015 eAsia Award as international recognition for the use of information technology in ensuring food safety. 2. REVISING DIGITAL CONVERGENCE ACTS   On 2016 May 5th, the Executive Yuan Council approved the National Communications Commission's (NCC) proposals, drafts of “Broadcasting Terrestrial and Channel Service Suppliers Administration Act”, “Multichannel Cable Platform Service Administration Act”, “Telecommunications Service Suppliers Act”, “Telecommunications Infrastructure and Resources Administration Act”, “Electronic Communications Act”, also the five digital convergence laws. They will be sent to the Legislature for deliberation. But in the end, this version of five digital convergence bills did not pass by the Legislature.   However, later on, November 16, 2017, The Executive Yuan approved the new drafts of “Digital Communication Act” and the “Telecommunication Service Management Act”.   The “Digital Communication Act” and the “Telecommunication Service Management Act” focused summaries as follows:   1. The digital communication bill   A. Public consultation and participation.   B. The digital communication service provider ought to use internet resource reasonability and reveal network traffic control measures.   C. The digital communication service provider ought to reveal business information and Terms of Service.   D. The responsibility of the digital communication service provider.   2. The telecommunication service management bill   A. The telecommunication service management bill change to use registration system.   B. The general obligation of telecommunications to provide telecommunication service and the special obligation of Specific telecommunications.   C. Investment, giving, receiving and merging rules of the telecommunication service.   Telecommunications are optimism of relaxing rules and regulations, and wish it would infuse new life and energy into the market. Premier Lai instructed the National Communications Commission and other agencies to elucidate the contents of the two communication bills to all sectors of society, and communicate closely with lawmakers of all parties to build support for a quick passage of the bills. 3. FOCUSING ON ICT SECURITY TO BUILD DIGITAL COUNTRIES   The development of ICT has brought convenience to life but often accompanied by the threat of illegal use, especially the crimes with the use of new technologies such as Internet techniques and has gradually become social security worries. Minor impacts may cause inconvenience to life while major impacts may lead to a breakdown of government functions and effects on national security. To enhance the capability of national security protection and to avoid the gap of national security, the Executive Yuan on August 1st 2016 has upgraded the Office of Information and Communication Security into the Agency of Information and Communication Security, a strategic center of R.O.C security work, integrating the mechanism of the whole government governance of information security, through specific responsibility, professionalism, designated persons and permanent organization to establish the security system, together with the relevant provisions of the law so that the country's information and communication security protection mechanism will become more complete. The efforts to the direction could be divided into three parts:   First, strengthening the cooperation of government and private sectors of information security: In a sound basis of legal system, the government plans to strengthen the government and some private sectors’ information security protection abilities ,continue to study and modify the relevant amendments to the relevant provisions, strengthen public-private collaborative mechanism, deepen the training of human resources and enhance the protection of key information infrastructure of our country.   Second, improving the information and communication security professional capability: information and communication security business is divided into policy and technical aspects. While the government takes the responsibility for policy planning and coordination, the technical service lies in an outsourcing way. Based on a sound legal system, the government will establish institutionalized and long-term operation modes and plan appropriate organizational structures through the discussion of experts and scholars from all walks of life.   Third, formulating Information and Communication Safety Management Act and planning of the Fifth National Development Program for Information and Communication Security: The government is now actively promoting the Information and Communication Safety Management Act as the cornerstone for the development of the national digital security and information security industry. The main content of the Act provides that the applicable authorities should set up security protection plan at the core of risk management and the procedures of notification and contingency measures, and accept the relevant administrative check. Besides the vision of the Fifth National Development Program for Information and Communication Security which the government is planning now is to build a safe and reliable digital economy and establish a safe information and communication environment by completing the legal system of information and communication security environment, constructing joint defense system of the national Information and Communication security, pushing up the self-energy of the industries of information security and nurture high-quality human resources for elite talents for information security. 4. THE DIGITAL NATION AND INNOVATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN   The Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Plan (2017-2025) known as “DIGI+” plan, approved by the Executive Yuan on November 24, 2016. The plan wants to grow nation’s digital economy to NT $ 6.5 trillion (US$205.9 billion), improve the digital lifestyle services penetration rate to 80 %, increase broadband connections to 2 Gbps, ensure citizens’ basic rights to have 25 Mbps broadband access, and put our nation among the top 10 information technology nations worldwide by 2025.   The plan contains several important development strategies: DIGI+ Infrastructure: Build infrastructure conducive to digital innovation. DIGI+ Talent: Cultivate digital innovation talent. DIGI+ Industry: Support cross-industry transformation through digital innovation. DIGI+ Rights: Make R.O.C. an advanced society that respects digital rights and supports open online communities. DIGI+ Cities: Build smart cities through cooperation among central and local governments and the industrial, academic and research sectors. DIGI+ Globalization: Boost nation’s standing in the global digital service economy.   The plan also highlights few efforts:   First is to enrich “soft” factors and workforce to create an innovative environment for digital development. To construct this environment, the government will construct an innovation-friendly legal framework, cultivate interdisciplinary digital talent, strengthen research and develop advanced digital technologies.   Second is to enhance digital economy development. The government will incentivize innovative applications and optimize the environment for digital commerce.   Third, the government will develop an open application programming interface for government data and create demand-oriented, one-stop smart government cloud services.   Fourth, the government will ensure broadband access for the disadvantaged and citizens of the rural area, implement the participatory process, enhance different kinds of international cooperation, and construct a comprehensive humanitarian legal framework with digital development.   Five is to build a sustainable smart country. The government will use smart network technology to build a better living environment, promote smart urban and rural area connective governance and construction and use on-site research and industries innovation ecosystem to assist local government plan and promote construction of the smart country.   In order to achieve the overall effectiveness of the DIGI + program, interdisciplinary, inter-ministerial, inter-departmental and inter-departmental efforts will be required to collaborate with the newly launched Digital National Innovation Economy (DIGI +) Promotion Team. 5. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH STRATEGY   The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) reported strategy plan for artificial intelligence (AI) scientific research at Cabinet meeting on August 24, 2017. Artificial intelligence is a powerful and inevitable trend, and it will be critical to R.O.C.’s competitiveness for the next 30 years.   The ministry will devote NT$16 billion over the next five years to building an AI innovation ecosystem in R.O.C. According to MOST, the plan will promote five strategies:   1. Creating an AI platform to provide R&D services   MOST will devote NT$5 billion over the next four years to build a platform, integrating the resources, providing a shared high-speed computing environment and nurturing emerging AI industries and applications.   2. Establishing an AI innovative research center   MOST will four artificial intelligence innovation research centers across R.O.C. as part of government efforts to enhance the nation’s competitiveness in AI technology. The centers will support the development of new AI in the realms of financial technology, smart manufacturing, smart healthcare and intelligent transportation systems.   3. Setting up AI robot maker spaces   An NT$2 billion, four-year project assisting industry to develop the hardware-software integration of robots and innovative applications was announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology.   4. Subsidizing a semiconductor “moonshot” program to explore ambitious and groundbreaking smart technologies   This program will invest NT$4 billion from 2018 through 2021 into developing semiconductors and chip systems for edge devices as well as integrating the academic sector’s R&D capabilities and resources. the project encompasses cognitive computing and AI processor chips; next-generation memory designs; process technologies and materials for key components of sensing devices; unmanned vehicles, AR and VR; IoT systems and security.   5. Organizing Formosa Grand Challenge competitions   The program is held in competitions to engage young people in the development of AI applications.   The government hopes to extend R.O.C.’s industrial advantages and bolster the country’s international competitiveness, giving R.O.C. the confidence to usher in the era of AI applications. All of these efforts will weave people, technologies, facilities, and businesses into a broader AI innovation ecosystem. 6. INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM PLANS   Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) launched plans to develop intelligent transportation systems at March 7th in 2017. MOTC integrates transportation and information and communications technology through these plans to improve the convenience and reduce the congestion of the transportation. These plans combine traffic management systems for highways, freeways and urban roads, a multi-lane free-flow electronic toll collection system, bus information system that provides timely integrated traffic information services, and public transportation fare card readers to reduce transport accidence losses, inconvenience of rural area, congestion of main traffic arteries and improve accessibility of public transportation.   There are six plans are included: 1. Intelligent transportation safety plan; 2. Relieve congestion on major traffic arteries; 3. Make transportation more convenient in Eastern Taiwan and remote areas; 4. Integrate and share transportation resources; 5. Develop “internet-of-vehicles” technology applications; and 6. Fundamental R&D for smart transportation technology.   These plans promote research and development of smart vehicles and safety intersections, develop timely bus and traffic information tracking system, build a safe system of shared, safe and green-energy smart system, and subsidize the large vehicles to install the vision enhancement cameras to improve the safety of transportation. These plans also use eTag readers, vehicle sensors and info communication technologies to gather the traffic information and provide timely traffic guidance, reduce the congestion of the traffic flow. These plans try to use demand-responsive transit system with some measures such as combine public transportation and taxi, to improve the flexibility of the public traffic service and help the basic transportation needs of residents in eastern Taiwan and rural areas to be fulfilled. A mobile transport service interface and a platform that integrating booking and payment processes are also expected to be established to provide door-to-door transportation services and to integrate transportation resources. And develop demonstration projects of speed coordination of passenger coach fleets, vehicle-road interaction technology, and self-driving car to investigate and verify the issues in technological, operational, industrial, legal environments of internet-of-vehicles applications in our country. Last but not least, research and development on signal control systems that can be used in both two and four-wheeled vehicles, and deploy an internet-of-vehicles prototype platform and develop drones traffic applications.   These plans are expected to reduce 25% traffic congestion, 20% of motor vehicle incidence, leverage 10% using rate of public transportation, raise 20% public transportation service accessibility of rural area and create NT$30 billion production value. After accomplishing these targets, the government can establish a comprehensive transportation system and guide industry development of relating technology areas.   Through the aforementioned initiatives, programs, and plans, the government wants to construct the robust legal framework and policy environment for digital innovation development, and facilitate the quality of citizens in our society.

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