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Asian Silicon Valley: Taiwan’s dream team leading the way in IoT

Following eight separate meetings, 21 Taiwanese companies have been selected to participate in the government’s Asian Silicon Valley project. Spread across seven segments, these industry leaders will spearhead the project’s Internet of Things (IoT) division.

The Asian Silicon Valley project is at the heart of the current administration’s economic reform efforts, which aim to diversify the island nation’s economy. Besides investments into local infrastructure, the project aims at positioning Taiwanese businesses favorably within the global high tech economy.

Stan Shih: Time for a united show of strength

Caption: Stan Shih
Industrial Technology Research Institute

The project’s IoT division is headed by Acer founder and chairman Stan Shih, himself a veteran of the tech industry. Shih points out that whereas Taiwanese companies are already experiencing global success, the time is ripe for a united show of strength to establish the country as an IoT leader.

Similar to the NBA’s 1992 Dream Team, which for the first time united the world’s best basketball players in a single team, the government-led initiative brings together the most – skilled players from Taiwan’s IoT scene, the division’s honorary president says.

In the past, Taiwanese manufacturers would compete individually within the global market’s supply-chains, yet Shih warns that such a strategy is no longer applicable. The confluence of software, hardware, and service industries calls for a concerted effort if the nation’s economy is to successfully transform itself.

Seven core segments

This IoT dream team will be made up of leading companies such as Chunghwa Telecom, FHnet, Lite-On, or KPMG. Separated into seven core segments, these industry leaders will develop innovative ideas and feasible strategies to push IoT tech at home and on a global scale.

The seven designated segments are smart traffic, smart production, smart energy, smart commerce, smart home, smart agriculture, and smart medicine. Besides cooperating with each
other, the selected companies will also work on specific projects within these categories.

For instance, Asia Pacific Telecom is in charge of the Smart Medicine Project, while Taiwan Secom will develop solutions for refitting old buildings with smart technologies.

In the smart agriculture category, KSI will develop an IoT platform tailored to the specific needs of the industry. Nexcom International, on the other hand, will focus on bringing Industry 4.0 standards into production facilities.

Assistance and guidance

Besides the prestige and the opportunity to promote their products, the chosen companies are also set to benefit from their mutual cooperation.

According to the National Development Council’s deputy minister Kung Ming-Hsin, the project will allow its participants to learn more about technological developments and market trends in other sectors.

Kung further points out that the individual projects will also be connected to some of the local model manifestations of the Asian Silicon Valley project in the future. Established in 49 urban locations all over the island, these small-scale investments aim to encourage startups and young entrepreneurs.

The NDC’s project is further designed to assist companies in developing innovative and competitive products, as well as help them obtain the funding necessary for competing on the global market. For instance, prior to being selected, AR startup iStaging had to rely on its own resources to secure investments and cooperation with Google’s AR division, Kung says.

Kung also hopes that the union will enable international business partners to conveniently find partners from Taiwan’s IoT elite. By gathering these outstanding companies within a national team, Kung is confident that Taiwan’s IoT sector will shape up to occupy a position on the global vanguard of technology.