KAOHSIUNG – The “SMEs Cluster Development through STI and Supplier Value Chain Integration” (科技創新暨價值鏈整合,帶動中小企業聚落創新轉型) international forum welcomed experts from APEC economies to discuss and exchange ideas on bringing value-added transformation to SEMs through science and technology innovation (STI) from Oct. 17 to 18.

The event was sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and conducted by the Department of Industrial Technology of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (經濟部技術處).

The organizer, the Metal Industries Research & Development Centre (MIRDC), invited representatives of APEC economies and a nearly one hundred domestic and international experts from the industry, government and academic and research institutes to discuss new trends in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the globe in the STI field.

During the discussions, APEC economies shared their experience in promoting a platform for STI within the SMEs cluster value chain from two major perspectives: metal technology and green vehicles, while idea exchanges were also conducted regarding the modes of industry promotion and policy suggestions regarding SMEs’ STI.

STI plays an important role in the transformation and upgrading of APEC developing economies; SMEs, which are very numerous, constitute the driving force behind this development. The MIRDC pointed out that SME clusters have long provided a competitive advantage to Taiwanese industries. Also, the initial results gained regarding the dechnology (design + technology) have been introduced into SME clusters. For instance, linking the metal industry with the cultural and creative sectors not only improves SME clusters’ capability but also brings more value into the clusters.

After two days of discussions and exchanges, the forum garnered consensus on the two important topics. First, the strengthening SMEs’ competitiveness and innovation capability. In addition to providing STI to improve the industrial environment and quality, assistance is to be offered to create a cluster value chain, so that STI-related industrial policies can be implemented to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Second, in terms of the platform for metal technology and green vehicles, it is expected that through the promotion of STI policies in relevant industries, SEMs can keep abreast of the trend of the shared economy in the future, and employ the cluster-based cross-ownership strategy to address the issue of intelligent traffic systems with a vehicle integration solution.

This solution combines the benefits from the dechnology-oriented production, a culture that focuses on smart life, the experience economy, and the support of related regulations in order to achieve comprehensive development for users, the environment, and industry while bringing ICT into full play by cross-disciplinarily integrating the auto industry and non-auto businesses.

The forum held by MIRDC successfully brought together domestic and international experts to achieve the integration of relevant resources and offer innovative services so that government agencies, academic institutes, and private enterprises among APEC members can formulate more effective policies and suggestions on technology development through the closer partnership they have established through experience sharing and idea exchanges at the forum.  

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