What you need to know
Directed by the Office of Science & Technology, Executive Yuan and hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the 2018 Innovation Sandbox Exchange Forum was hosted at NEO Studio, Taipei on October 3rd. Audrey Tang, Minister without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan, Zse-hong Tsai, Executive Secretary of the Office of Science & Technology, and Wellington L. Koo, Chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission were all invited to attend. The Forum hopes to make innovation sandbox an important mechanism amid a comprehensive innovation entrepreneurship environment, as well as a driving force for innovation development in Taiwan.
After the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK came out with a Regulatory Sandbox, the term “sandbox” became rather trendy among many nations, and internationally, there was a sense that the sandbox experimental mechanism could perhaps become a new tool for “innovation industry regulatory adjustment and easing of restrictions”. Therefore, to respond to the expectations of industrial investment in innovative application experiments, the Board of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan began promoting “Digital Nation & Innovative Economic Development Program (DIGI+)” in 2016, to facilitate government departments to promote Innovative Sandbox. It was hoped that an experimental mechanism for comprehensive and effective innovative application services would be established to encourage people from all emerging industries and fields to innovate boldly.
The Forum especially invited Wellington L. Koo, Chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission, Te-Sheng Lin, Deputy Director General of the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT), MOEA, and Ming-Ji Wu, Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA), MOEA to give respective keynote addresses regarding our government’s developments and promotion proceedings with regard to financial innovations and unmanned vehicles, amongst other fields of innovation sandbox. Towards the end of 2017, Taiwan promulgated the “Financial Technology Development and Innovative Experimentation Act”, becoming the first country to ever legislate financial supervision sandboxes. In 2018, the government continued to push forward the legislation of a second sandbox, the “Unmanned Vehicle Technology Development and Innovative Experimentation Act (Draft)”. In the future, terrestrial, marine and aerial unmanned vehicles could be speedily incorporated into innovation experiments.
In addition, with the purpose to learn from global sandbox promotion proceedings and experiences of sandbox implementation from developed countries, as well as to promote exchanges between domestic and foreign industry, government and academia, the Forum also invited Mr. Yoshifumi Yamaguchi, Director of the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, Japan (SMRJ), and Ms. Stephanie Magnus, senior leading partner from Baker McKenzie Asia-Pacific Financial Services to talk about innovation sandbox promotion proceedings in Japan and in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand respectively. Audrey Pon, head of Expedia Group’s Asia-Pacific Tax Department and Yi Hsieh, CEO of Mediot Co., Ltd. shared how innovative entrepreneurs face regulatory challenges. Amid cross-field exchanges between lecturers, we have found inspiration and assistance for pushing forward innovation sandboxes in the future in Taiwan.
This Innovation Sandbox Exchange Forum demonstrates how the government assists innovation businesses to escape restrictions from dated regulations, speeding up the determination of new technology development. With the promotion of innovation sandboxes, SMEA Director General Ming-Ji Wu hopes to provide comprehensive support services for first-line innovative experiments. It is also expected for more small and medium enterprises, and new entrepreneurs to participate and realize innovation in the future, to allow innovative ideas to quickly bud in Taiwan, and to propel national development while facilitating establishment of a more comprehensive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.