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'I See Taiwan, IC Taiwan Grand Challenge' launched

2024-05-16
Focus Taiwan
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Photo courtesy of National Science and Technology Council May 14, 2024
Photo courtesy of National Science and Technology Council May 14, 2024

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has launched a global competition with a US$30,000 prize focused on "IC design innovations" and "chip-based innovative applications."

The competition, called the IC Taiwan Grand Challenge, is being held to promote the upgrading of various industrial sectors by "attracting startup teams to Taiwan to propose research, development, and commercialization plans," the council said Tuesday.

The competition is one of the talent-attracting strategies of the NT$300 billion (US$9.27 billion)-Taiwan Chip-based Industrial Innovation Program (Taiwan Cbl), according to the NSTC.

Taiwan Cbl was approved by the government in 2023 to boost innovation through the use of Taiwan's generative AI in industries across the board and continue the country's IC development on the basis of its edge in chipmaking.

Andrea T. J. Hsu (許增如), head of the council's Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs, said the competition has two areas of focus.

"One is the category of IC design innovations, which calls for teams with proprietary IC design technology, who if selected will be able to tap into Taiwan's semiconductor industry," Hsu said.

"The chip-based innovative applications, on the other hand, call for teams with domain knowledge in various industries and planning to combine existing chip technologies for implementation," she said.

Among the domains that competitors can tackle are smart data security, smart mobility, smart manufacturing, smart Medtech, and sustainability, according to Hsu.

Proposals will be evaluated based on technological innovation, local connectivity, and value creation.

Technological innovation is, without saying, a crucial factor, Hsu said, "but what counts more to win the prize is connectivity with Taiwan's local industries rather than with one single company."

Also important, she said, were innovations that created value, including by promoting industrial upgrading.

There will be two deadlines for project submissions: June 30, 2024 and Jan. 31, 2025. The winning teams must participate in the 2024 or 2025 Taiwan Innotech Expo (TIE), depending on which deadline they met, but will be given travel and accommodation grants to take part.

The prize for each winning team is US$30,000, and "we will offer them world-class mentors and partners from the industrial sector and research institutes, and a platform to turn prototypes into production," Hsu said.

For those interested, visit https://ictaiwanchallenge.org/

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