Taiwan announces IC Taiwan Grand Challenge Competition to attract innovative teams and talent

Judy Lin, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


Taiwan's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) announced the launch of the "IC Taiwan Grand Challenge" on May 14 to attract global IC-related teams to Taiwan to propose research, development, and commercialization plans and leverage the semiconductor ecosystem and capabilities.

Tsung-tsong Wu, Minister without portfolio and Minister of NSTC, said the IC Taiwan Grand Challenge competition is aimed to focus on "IC design innovations" and "Chip-based innovative applications."

Since semiconductors play pivotal roles in technological innovations sparked by Generative AI, and Taiwan is the world's semiconductor manufacturing hub, Wu said Taiwan has a lot to offer to help realize semiconductor-related innovative designs and research results. "We also hope, in the process of the collaboration, the project will also benefit various local industries and bring in talent and capital to Taiwan."

Wu emphasized that the IC Taiwan Grand Challenge is built upon the Taiwan Chip-based Industrial Innovation Program (Taiwan CbI), which focuses on IC design and semiconductor-related applications.

"The Challenge and its pilot program target not only startups, but also corporations, research institutes, and even individuals globally, who are interested in collaborating with Taiwan's semiconductor industry," said Wu.

The criteria for the competition will focus on three aspects: local connectivity (40%), value creation (40%) and technological innovation (20%).

By "local connectivity", teams joining the challenge need to clarify how they plan to leverage Taiwan's industry (not just one or two companies), while providing concrete development plans in Taiwan in the proposals, according to Andrea Hsu, director general of NSTC. "The most attractive part for startups is that they will get the opportunity to leverage the semiconductor supply chain here in Taiwan."

The first round of applications starts from now to June 30, 2024, and the second round starts from September 4, 2024, to January 31, 2025.

The winner will receive US$30,000 and mentorship from industry experts in Taiwan. They will also get industry support from semiconductor companies in Taiwan to realize their innovations. The NSTC will also provide resources to help the team commercialize and implement their projects.