The rapid development of emerging technologies activate the change of industrial structure, and opens the indefinite possibility of the future life of all human beings. High technology industry is the strength of Taiwan. The government has been proactively promoting the industrial innovation programs such as Asia Silicon Valley, green energy technology, and biomedical technology in recent years, and encouraging the business providers to innovate. However, facing the impacts that technological innovation might bring on the industries, how should the government coordinate among the existing business owners, new players, and the consumers, update the current laws, and create a three-way win? What kind of “warm power” does Taiwan have to build a better and more convenient life for its people, and raise the international publicity at the same time?

Digital Minister of the Executive Yuan, Audrey Tang, who has been dedicated in promoting the innovative regulatory sandbox (hereinafter referred to as the “Innovative Sandbox”) in Taiwan, said that the government understands that pain points of the business owners, especially when an innovative player wants to carry out a new business model, it is usually unclear whether such business would conform to the current law, or drift along the ambiguities in law enforcement, sometimes, the law even provides unclear rules.

Consolidate for a consensus from various areas. Drive the revolution of current regulations

“Innovation is always associated with risks. The spirit of Innovative Sandbox is to control the risks within a certain scope, and provide a field that is temporarily released from the regulatory restrictions. The applying business owners would be enabled to try and experiment their innovative products and services as they wish,” said Audrey Tang. Experiments are conducted under the supervision of the Innovative Sandbox workforce and the competent authority, and the support of experts. After having some initial experience, the discussion about how to resolve the issues of legal compliance or amendment would become more substantial. “If the innovative model proposed by the business owner is beneficial to the consumers and the society, then we should look into how to loosen [the restrictions].”

The government consolidates the mutual value and reinforces the consensus.” Audrey Tang explained the role of the Innovative Sandbox. When the business owner of a so-called “destructive innovation” enters the market, impacts on existing industries are inevitable. Even though both sides may hold different positions, there will always be a mutual value. “The point is any further discussion has to be carried out after some experiments.” He emphasized. To accelerate industrial innovation, the initial plans will be proposed based on the current consensus in a way acceptable to everyone, subject to continuing improvement and adjustment.

After seeing the practices of Innovative Sandbox in many other countries, Audrey Tang also recognized the features of the Innovative Sandbox in Taiwan. “U.K. was the first country proposing the financial sandbox in the international society. Their practices focus more on raising GDP and maintaining the leading position in international finance. Taiwan, on the other hand, should focus more on sustainable development, and think about the benefits of next generations when fighting for economic achievements.”

For example, Gogoro not only acts as the researcher and developer of green energy but also allows people to implement environmental friendliness and resolve environmental problems in their life. Even the financial supervisory sandbox in Taiwan emphasizes the development of “inclusive finance”. Such as allowing small phone bills to be paid through mobile, and accelerating the approval of credit loan for youth start-ups. More groups of people will be able to enjoy the convenience of financial services.

Step into the global society with reference to the UN indicators of sustainable development

Audrey Tang stated that many industries in Taiwan have strong the technical strengths. But to further increase the international competitiveness, they need to “ensure that we can not only resolve the problems in Taiwan but the problems around the world.” He mentioned the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) issued by the UN in 2015, including reducing ocean plastics, affordable renewable energy, people’s participation in decision transparency.


Photo Credit : United Nations Official Website

“Taiwan’s niche markets are in biomedical technology, green energy, and circular economy.” Audrey Tang used the example of how circular economy developed the internet of things in civil life. Many civil associations in Taiwan are highly aware of the issues of environmental sustainability, and even created the micro detectors such as “water box and air box”. “There are some areas to which the civil associations have no access. If the government can carry out the coordination, the development of public interests can extend to every corner of this society.”

After assisting Taiwan Water Corporation in detecting the leakage, the AI technical team of the winner of 2018 Presidential Hackathon visited New Zealand to assist in the leakage detection there, letting the international society know that Taiwan is capable of assisting in resolving the mutual sustainable development goals, and using the international language to find Taiwan’s future business opportunities.

Taiwan has the great energy to assist in the field of remote medical care. However, the process of making laws in the past has left many unclear and ambiguous definitions, which become the difficulties in later development. Therefore, the room for innovative development can be expanded by promoting sandbox experiments. Through the experiments, we can understand the principles and regulations of remote medical treatment and consultation. This medical model would help not only the people less mobile or from rural areas in this country, but help foreigners, even the countries with similar philosophy or the states of diplomatic relations.

Audrey Tang also mentioned his experience of joining the launch conference of Uber Air in Japan recently. The VR (virtual reality) simulation of the take-off and landing of an Uber air taxi made him imagine that “Maybe, in the future, the innovative sandbox can be demonstrated and experienced through VR technology, and the discussion quality of public policies can be improved.”

In the future, Audrey Tang expects that the Innovative Sandbox can become the backup force of the civil innovative energy, continue gathering the consensus from multiple societies, and inject the initiatives of smart technology into the industries in Taiwan. Moreover, realize the value of “Taiwan can Help” when participating in the process of global sustainable development, and lighten up Taiwan with our warm power!

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