The guideline for the New Southbound Policy (NSP) was set out at a meeting on international economic and trade strategy hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen on August 16, 2016. The NSP is aimed at strengthening Taiwan's partnership with 18 neighboring countries, including ten ASEAN countries, six South Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand. Taiwan intends to foster links with the NSP-target countries in technology, economic and trade, and culture, as well as to share resources, talent, and markets. The goal is to create models of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has been enhancing the effectiveness of NSP, exploring potential NSP markets, developing cutting-edge technologies, and cultivating top talent. Such endeavors resonate with the spirit of "achieving growth through stability, and seizing opportunity amid changes" proposed in President Tsai's 2020 inaugural address.
To create an "innovative, inclusive, and sustainable" society, NSTC's main missions are to seek and deepen international S&T cooperation, focus on frontier biomedical sciences, semiconductors, and ICT industries, as well as to promote the development of humanities and social sciences.
Strategies in Progress
NSTC's NSP subsidizes international cooperative research, promotes industry-academia collaboration, and encourages talent exchange and cultivation. Since 2017, twelve overseas Science and Technology Innovation Centers have been established under government subsidy across ten countries. In 2018, with "solving common problems, creating mutual benefit, and encouraging top talent exchange" as the main axis, NSTC aims to strengthen substantial relations between Taiwan and South and Southeast countries by consolidating scientific research capacities of Taiwan and tackling common challenges of the regions. In 2019, with a "people-oriented" focus, NSTC highlighted basic science research and facilitated international flow of research professionals. In 2020, with a vision for "innovation, inclusiveness, and sustainability," NSTC intensified the promotion of industry innovation and global communication. The Ministry has made an effort to understand the need of the target countries and Taiwan's relative advantage through bilateral exchange and extended on-site research, as a means to consolidate NSP partnership in scientific research.
Long-term Vision and Objective
Based on existing results, NSTC intends to align with the national development plan in promoting six core strategic industries, especially biotech and medical technology industries, information and digital industries, national defense and strategic industries, and green energy and renewable energy industries. NSTC will concentrate on biomedical innovations, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, while integrating industrial, academic, and government capacities. NSTC will also open dialogues on regional affairs and create mutual benefit with NSP partner countries.
Objectives and Role
The New Southbound Science & Technology Cooperation Project Office Subsidized by NSTC (Below: Project Office) was established in October, 2016. The preliminary tasks of the Project Office were to analyze the technology policies of New Southbound partner countries, assist NSTC in formulating policy and determine research issues of regional scientific importance. Subsequently, the Project Office continued to assist NSTC in tracking the effectiveness of NSP policies and engaging in bigger picture tasks such as adjusting policy orientation to track the implementation of various initiatives, hosting seminars and other opportunities for exchange, and establishing scientific research platforms at home and abroad. The following are the NSP’s overarching objectives:
1. Compile and promote policy results.
2. Track the progress of NSP policies.
3. Analyze the research capabilities of NSP partner countries.
4. Perform NSTC tasks relevant to the NSP.
5. Perform administrative tasks for STICs.