Bits + chips
Taiwan to increase support for basic research
Bryan Chuang, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

The government will move to strengthen Taiwan's basic research by appropriating specific budgets and soliciting international and private-sector resources to support projects, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

MOST cited a recent research report as indicating that Taiwan's total tech R&D expenses came to NT$616 billion (US$20.26 billion) in 2018, up 7.2% from 2017 and commanding 3.46% of the nation's GDP, a record high.

But over the past decade, the ratio of expenditures on basic research to the nation's total tech R&D expenses has declined from 10% to 7.28%, lower than those in advanced economies and the other "Asian Tigers," with annual spending reaching only half of TSMC's yearly R&D cost of NT$84.9 billion.

MOST attributed the low ratio to Taiwan enterprises devoting the vast majority of their R&D expenses on developing new products and technologies, while heavily relying on the government to support basic research.

The ministry has decided to inject more resources into the basic research domain by providing stable funding support for academic research units and introducing related resources from abroad and private sectors.

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