Gov’t offers sneak peek at Asia Silicon Valley

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

The central government on Wednesday unveiled its first list of 21 “priority” projects in its development program for internet of things at Asia Silicon Valley. The Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency chose 21 proposals after collecting 52 during eight discussion sessions with special interest groups over two weeks. The government will help to promote these priority projects, connecting them with foreign and domestic investors. At an agency press event on Wednesday, leaders of each session took turns onstage explaining priority proposals and project goals. Many of these proposals are smart solutions to everyday problems that the public can use. One group said it wanted to tackle car parking solutions, which are becoming increasingly popular in Taiwan and overseas due to the difficulty of finding parking spots in congested cities.

Another team said it was collaborating with local community leaders, in Hsinchu and Keelung in particular, to provide telecommunication products to residents.

iStaging, an augmented and virtual reality platform business, presented its virtual reality technology project, another priority project. The company’s technology uses a one-to-one ratio to virtually input furniture into a room to give their users a sense of what a fully furnished room looks like. The technology can be used in interior design and property openings, developers said. Smart Projects, Dream Team Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), chief executive officer of the agency, said he hoped that the teams behind the 21 proposals would work closely with one another, as well as with the government to build Asia Silicon Valley for the internet of things. Each discussion session had focused on one of the eight themes, which also shaped the project proposals: smart transportation, smart exchange, smart manufacturing, smart energy, smart industry, smart homes, smart agriculture, and smart medicine.

Excluding the session focusing on smart exchange, all sessions generated at least five project proposals, and three from each session were chosen to make up the final 21 priority proposals, the agency said. Agency officials said they wanted to put together a “dream team” of industry leaders who can propel Taiwan further into the global development of internet of things.

Acer Founder Stan Shih (施振榮), honorary president of the agency, said he saw it as his “personal social responsibility” to participate and contribute to the development of the Asia Silicon Valley for internet of things.

Kung said he hoped a number of these 21 proposals would connect with the government’s 49 internet of things-related initiatives to take advantage of the available funding and Taiwan’s technical talent. Open Invitation Kung also invited more businesses to join the effort to build up internet of things in Asia Silicon Valley, which has grown from some 80 businesses at its conception last December to more than 130.

Businesses whose proposals did not make the priority list this time can resubmit during another session in the latter half of the year for the chance to receive more government guidance and aid, the agency said.