Achievement of the First Year of the Amendment of The Fundamental Science and Technology Act –
A Breakthrough in Academic Start-ups Performance
Research and development is the driving force of Taiwan’s economic development, and it is also the key policy that the government continues to promote. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) held a press conference today (Jun 13, 2019) to reveal its achievement derived from the revised Fundamental Science and Technology Act (the Act) and related regulations in the past year. Revealing a record-high growth rate in academic startups. Increase the economic impact of government-funded research and development by accelerating and improving the transfer of new technologies from the academy to the commercial marketplace.
Breakthrough in S&T regulations, highly promoted Industrial-academic Collaboration
Since 2016, the Ministry of Science and Technology has pushed forward the amendment of scientific research regulations, gradually implementing deregulation and complementing with supporting measures. Following the revision of the Act on June 14, 2016, there were the amendment of the "Government Scientific and Technological Research and Development Results Ownership and Utilization Regulation", " Regulations on Researchers’ Dual Positions and Contribution of Technology as an Equity Investment ", and " Ministry of Science and Technology’s Scientific and Technological Research and Development Results Ownership and Utilization Regulation ". The most important goal for the amendments were to further encourage the commercialization of government-funded research:
For researcher who holds an administrative position now may also serve as a director of startups (established within 8 years) and may acquire more than 40% of total shares of startups.
In the past, the technical shares allocated due to the transfer of technology were taxed immediately. After the revision, there is more option for them, like paying tax when the shares are sold, which consolidates the will to commercialize R&D results and drives researchers to enter new era. At the same time, the revision has drawn a red line and built management mechanisms as the guidance for conflicts of interest.
For academic institutions: derestricting limit of manufacturing or usage in areas under Taiwan's jurisdictions and related requirements, it is beneficial to expand overseas markets and international layout of scientific research outcomes; on the other hand, after implementing reduction of the obligatory payment to the government for technology transfer, academic institutions may keep more resources to invest in scientific research and development relevant management.
For technical transfer personnel: Academic institutions are required to share revenue with to technical transfer personnel. Meanwhile, due to the complicate process of technology transfer, there is often a lot of uncertainties forpricing research results. After the revision, relevant personnel are able to conduct technology transfer and pricing withoutconcerns to be held accountable.
Major Growth in Academic Startups
Driven by the revision of scientific research regulations, in the past year, the achievements of startups breakthrough derived from projects of MOST, including the number of scientist-entrepreneurs has grown by 8 times, and the amount of funds raised by startups grew from 250 million to 900 million NTD, the growth rate is 263%, technology stock income from 125,000 jumped to 200 million NTD, a growth of 1,600 times, technology transfer income jumped from 330 million to 530 million NTD. It’s shown that the revised act effectively promoted the commercialization of scientific research results and enhanced the value of innovative technologies.
Minister Liang-Gee Chen further stated: "For a S&T research project, from the initial concept and R&D stage, the research institutes and personnel had to establish characteristics and differentiation, and then passed through technical verification and entered the market. The process is time-consuming and there are many uncertainties. MOST actively promoted the revision of Fundamental Science and Technology Act and related sub-laws, enabling researchers to utilize and promote their techniques under more complete and reasonable regulations and better supporting mechanisms, pushing to the market, then crossing the "Valley of Death" and also increased the application value of scientific research results. "
Through the provision and revision of relevant scientific research regulations, we have built a friendly environment for the development of scientific research in Taiwan, thereby guiding the cooperation between industry and academia, and achieve the goal to enhance growth in industry and economy.