Intellectual Property (IP) constitutes the foundation in protecting an enterprise’s R&D and innovation. It is also an important mechanism in safeguarding business opportunities. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and an intensifying US-China trade war in 2020, IP is the core driver in enabling enterprises to stand out amid the rapidly changing and unpredictable global situation. In light of this, the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), together with the world-renowned IP magazine Intellectual Asset Management (IAM), held the third edition of IPBC Taiwan at the 2020 Taiwan Innotech Forum. This year’s event was held as a webinar, in which over 300 IP strategists from Taiwan and overseas, R&D heads, and government officials engaged with each other online. They shared practical experiences in managing IP business strategies, thereby assisting Taiwan industry in seizing growth opportunities and enhancing their IP competitiveness.
MOEA Minister Wang Mei-Hua said building a robust IP environment is the keystone for the development of Taiwanese technologies and manufacturing. Under the impact of the current US-China conflict and COVID-19 pandemic, the establishment of a long-term intellectual property environment and looking into the strategies of intellectual property deployment from a more comprehensive perspective can help industries for their advanced responses to every challenge. MOEA has started planning three major programs for investing in Taiwan at the very early stage of the US-China conflict and successfully attracted many Taiwanese companies to relocate and extend their domestic production lines in Taiwan. By the end of August 2020, the total amount of investment has reached US$ 36.8 billion from more than 600 companies. It is expected that with the vast investment capacity, the industrial clusters in Taiwan would be hugely upgraded. And to facilitate the smartization, digital transformation and innovative application of industries, Taiwan will become the high-end manufacturing center for the Asia region. In the post-pandemic era, seizing the opportunities for remote applications, accelerating digitization and reorganizing supply chains are all key issues for industrial development. Therefore, the forum of this year focused on how to link intellectual property rights, capital and application for maximizing the values of intellectual property, to help industries dynamically adjust their IP strategies and make the best deployment of R&D resources to maintain the competitive advantages.
ITRI President Edwin Liu said “Innovation” is a key element in industry transformation, which is what we need today in Taiwan. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Taiwan ranks number 3 on technology innovations including IP applications. However, our venture capital availability ranks 25th. It shows that there is a gap between the capital market and technology market in Taiwan; in other words, the money in the capital market did not flow into the technology market to support important innovations. In 2019 with the support of MOEA, ITRI worked with Taiwan Business Bank and the Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan and established successful cases on intangible asset financing. This is the first time that companies can receive funds from banks based on their IPs. Earlier this year, ITRI again worked with the Credit Guarantee Funds of Taiwan and developed the Technology Value-added Financing Guarantee Program. While ITRI provides technology assessment, Credit Guarantee Funds offers credit reviews and the 26 financial institutions provide funding opportunities. This new program allows small-and medium- sized technology companies to receive necessary financial support from major banks in Taiwan. “We would like to continue our efforts in connecting the capital market and technology market especially after the COVID-19. We believe, the future of the technology development will be towards digitalization and many human-oriented, sustainable solutions. The focuses are smart living, quality health, and sustainable environment, supported by ICT enabling technologies,” said Dr. Liu.
Since 2009, global investment in intangible assets, such as international IP, has exceeded that of tangible assets. A 2017 research report by the World Intellectual Property Organization indicated that intangible assets have brought double value to products compared with tangible assets, highlighting the importance of intangible assets. Aiming to enable Taiwan enterprises to better understand how to best use their company’s intangible assets, the forum was hosted by ITRI’s Industry, Science and Technology International Strategy Center General Director Stephen Su and ITRI’s Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories General Director Chih-I Wu. In addition, AUO IP Senior Director Spencer Yu, internationally renowned Dolby Laboratories Patent Licensing Director Ting-Mao Chao and other experts were invited to share intangible asset financing models and international examples. This strengthened the connection between Taiwan’s technology and capital markets. Meanwhile, authorities in technology cooperation and transfer, such as MediaTek IP Director Steven Liu, Uber Head of Patent Transactions Kurt Brasch, and Hitachi IP Business Platform General Manager Satoshi Matsuo, also gathered to share innovative methods of technology cooperation and transfer in a variety of fields. These individuals have generated new ways of thinking in IP management to create higher value for enterprises.
The 2020 Taiwan Innotech Forum is one series of activities held under the Taiwan Innotech Expo. This year’s core themes focused on enhancing the commercial value of intangible assets and capital market strategies, as well as innovative management models in technology transfers and cooperation among businesses. Organizers hoped to highlight the government’s efforts in promoting the 5+2 Innovative Industries Plan and other major national policies, while at the same time maximizing Taiwan’s strengths in technology integration to boost cross-border IP technology cooperation opportunities. This would help create Taiwan into an important hub for international technology transactions.