AIT offers suggestions to advance local innovation culture

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Acting Director Raymond Greene offered suggestions for helping to kick Taiwan's innovation culture into a higher gear at a startup community interaction event that began Thursday. (Courtesy of AIT)
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Acting Director Raymond Greene offered suggestions for helping to kick Taiwan's innovation culture into a higher gear at a startup community interaction event that began Thursday. (Courtesy of AIT)

TAIPEI (CNA) — American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Acting Director Raymond Greene offered suggestions for helping to kick Taiwan’s innovation culture into a higher gear at a startup community interaction event that began Thursday.

Taiwan should forge closer ties between the startup community, academia and research institutions, and pursue international exchange opportunities, Greene said at the opening ceremony of Meet Taipei 2019.

“Virtually all innovation clusters in the United States emerged out of anchor universities,” he said, citing Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle in North Carolina, among others.

Much of Taiwan’s technology industry, he said, was established by people who studied in the United States, especially in the semiconductor industry, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) and Etron’s Nicky Lu (盧超群).

“When Taiwanese talent studies or works in the United States, they return equipped not only with the skills and vision to succeed in Taiwan, but also the personal connections that form the glue of U.S.-Taiwan technology cooperation,” Greene said.

Greene, once a researcher at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, said Taiwan’s future depends upon moving up the value chain to become a fully fledged innovation-based economy, and this depends almost entirely upon cultivating a vibrant startup ecosystem.

Meet Taipei 2019 is being held from Nov. 14-16 at the Taipei Expo Dome for startups to exhibit ideas to the market and network with key partners from the Taiwanese startup ecosystem.

Over 400 startups from such fields as artificial intelligence (AI), mobile applications, connecting devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud platform and blockchain, will participate in the event, jointly organized by Business Next Media, the Taipei Expo Foundation and the Taipei City Department of Economic Development.

Greene said U.S.-Taiwan startup cooperation is robust, as demonstrated by the cooperation between the two sides under the auspices of the U.S.-Taiwan Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Work Plan over the last three years, and the co-organization of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress on using AI and IoT for social good last year and the first Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit this April.

Next year, AIT looks forward to expanded opportunities for social entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs, and continued integration of the startup ecosystems of the United States, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, he said.