The French government’s office in Taipei and Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology are looking for new ways to work together on fostering high-tech startups.
Taiwan science and technology minister Chen Liang-gee told a news conference March 28 in Taipei that the Taiwanese capital and Paris&Co, the economic development and innovation agency for Paris, had set up potentially productive city-to-city relations. Taiwan also helped foster two French startups last year.
Taichung city in central Taiwan might build the same relations with the French city Toulouse, a European aviation industry hub, Chen said.
Chen’s ministry is further working with Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture to help Taiwanese startups gain more visibility in global markets. The Ministry of Culture partners with a French accelerator in Avignon, Taiwanese startups can now join accelerator programs.
Chen said his government’s past work with France had helped companies on both sides before and that those relations should improve going forward.
French officials have already extended a public-private effort called La French Tech to Taiwan. La French Tech aims to build connections between startups and other companies, accelerate the growth of new companies and promote them internationally. This program would help the next level of tech ties between the two sides.
Taiwan is the 23rd international hub under La French Tech, which the French government has supported since 2013. Since then, Taiwan has seen at least 50 French entrepreneurs create startups in Taiwan. Taiwanese startups are also joining French government-supported programs to go to France. Those initiatives include French Tech Ticket and the Young Enterprise Initiative. Chen expects the French Tech connection to spawn more possibilities for ties between startups on the two sides.
French officials are eager to work more with Taiwan because of its pool of talent in multiple fields. Taiwan and France have already linked up to work together on cultural events, Guidee noted.
Taiwanese startups commonly try to emulate peers in the Silicon Valley of California. But since Emmanuel Macron became French president last year with plans to improve the French startup ecosystem.
The latest cooperation between Taiwan and France is the French digital healthcare startup DIABNEXT. It formed a joint venture with Show Chwan Hospital in Taiwan. Separately, Paris-based incubator Schoolab got clearance to join Taiwan Tech Arena in June as the first French startup incubator based in Taiwan.
Taiwan Tech Arena is the Taiwan ministry’s space for startup development.