sunset in JiuFen, Taiwan
© Xing Zhu

Open Access Government write about Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Council and their important and ambitious targets

The Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan (MOST) was reorganised to become the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in July 2022. NSTC recently announced that Tsung-Tsong Wu will be its first Minister. In assuming this new role, Tsung-Tsong Wu stated that the establishment of NSTC means even greater responsibility for those involved.

“Through unlocking the fullest potential of the Executive Yuan’s science and technology policies, integrating budget reviews, and coordinating across agencies, NSTC will create new comprehensive national strategies for science and technology by prioritising national development and societal needs,” he added.

International cooperation

Scientific and technological innovation are necessary steps to moving forward in the 21st century. As our interconnected economy evolves, international cooperation becomes crucially important for maximising the impact of research and innovation, and for effectively addressing challenges derived from global, regional, and societal circumstances.

To cultivate scientific research talents and increase international influence

It is an important policy goal of the NSTC to cultivate scientific research talents and increase international influence. They have signed over 126 international cooperation agreements and MoUs with over 42 countries and three international organisations. This international cooperation takes the form of joint research projects, joint conferences, sharing of major research facilities, reciprocal visits of researchers and scientists, and the exchange of information.

Science & Technology Innovation: A key driver of economic growth & national progress

As well as international cooperation, NSTC plans to usher in a new era of comprehensive technological strategy in Taiwan by promoting more efficient cross-government collaboration from a broader perspective. Taiwan’s national S&T policies are formulated mainly through four mechanisms:

• Executive Yuan’s major policies and programmes.
• Resolutions of Executive Yuan’s Board of Science and Technology.
• “National Science and Technology Conference” held every four years by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
• The planning and implementation by all ministries and councils according to their functions as defined by law.

The drastic changes in the global economy, rapid science and technology development, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on daily life have accelerated the restructuring of global supply chains and changed the world economy and technological development trends. Major countries are responding to these global changes by actively investing in future key industries and implementing new technological development policies to improve the country’s competitiveness.

As part of the 2021-2024 National Science and Technology Development Plan which focuses on the future needs of Taiwan, NSTC has adopted multiple channels, virtual and physical, to collect the opinions of various sectors, evaluated the actions that should be taken, and consulted different sectors’ representatives, and consolidated comments to reach a consensus on Science and Technology development. Ministries and agencies across the government have worked together to establish key strategies and measures, which encompass the following four primary goals:

• Refine talent cultivation and create competitive advantages for talent recruitment.
• Improve Taiwan’s research and development ecosystem and allocate resources for the development of pioneering technologies.
• Co-create economic momentum and build a solid ground for innovation.
• Enhance smart living capacity and realise a secure society.

How can NSTC foster an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as encourage creativity in science & technology?

Fostering industry-academia research ties and forging relationships between schools and enterprises is extremely important to accelerate S&T. It is extremely valuable to facilitate interaction and collaboration between start-ups, research institutes and industry, forging deeper industry–academia–research ties.

Through the Taiwan Science Exploration Fair, which uses the resources of national museums, science bases, schools, local governments, and private sectors, the “Taiwan Science Festival” is held every year to foster interest among young people in science, improve affinity for science, and enhance the well-being of Taiwanese citizens.

Competitions, science markets, science demonstrations, and a series of other popular science activities are organised to foster scientific narrative capability and creativity and enhance the scientific knowledge and research capabilities of citizens.

Memorable science experiences for the public

NSTC continues to promote a wide range of popular science activities, including educational material R&D, DIY, exhibitions, and lectures in the hope to create vivid and memorable science experiences for the public.

While journeying through major events in the history of science and the culturally rich background and characters involved, the public is prompted to think about the past and present and recognise the power of science and its profound influence on every critical moment of history.

NSTC also promotes open data by strengthening the government’s open data release and reuse mechanisms, maximising the amount of open data, and improving the value and quality of released datasets. By cooperating with business service providers to establish diverse verification sites and adopt smart applications, the government will continue to accelerate the digital transformation of industries. Simultaneously, the government assists technology companies to accumulate practical experiences and benefit-related data and create opportunities for domestic and overseas business expansion.


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