How does technology make lives faster and easier?

19:01 | 16/09/2018
Technology is becoming increasingly prevalent day by day, with people growing ever more reliant on it to do away with daily tasks. With the experience of organising the international campaign Taiwan Excellence in Vietnam for eight times, Richard R. C. Shih, representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vietnam, shared with Nguyen Huong what Vietnam needs to do to catch up to the trend of Industry 4.0.
how does technology make lives faster and easier
Richard R. C. Shih speaking at Taiwan Excellence 2018

In the 4.0 era, how important are smart technology applications in our day-to-day lives? Are these applications suitable for use in Vietnam?

We have various emerging technologies that impact our lives in different ways today.

Take smart technology for example, it makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) to enable a level of cognitive awareness. The technology employs machine learning and Big Data analysis to perform functions that have traditionally been done by humans. This boosts the efficiency, productivity, and functionality of almost anything it is applied to, hence creating a smarter and more comfortable life for us.

Vietnam is both qualified and motivated to take the lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Smart applications can be applied in various fields in Vietnam, ranging from manufacturing and healthcare to education or home appliances. It also attracts great attention from users in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, real estate developers are now more proactive in integrating smart home technology into their development projects. The adoption of smart home applications has received positive feedbacks from Vietnamese consumers about the economic benefits and efficiency that it brings. Although consumers are still familiarising themselves with smart home applications, we believe that they will embrace more advanced and specialised solutions in the near future.

Vietnam has been doing its utmost to make use of Industry 4.0. Could you share some of your or Taiwan’s experiences in catching up to this trend?

Taiwan is in a very good position to join the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Success in Industry 4.0 requires expertise in sophisticated machinery development and information and communications technology, two fields that are among Taiwan’s greatest strengths.

Apart from our strong supply chain, Taiwan is also one of the most important production hub for industrial computers, which can be a stepping stone to developing Industry 4.0.

Moreover, the manufacturing sector has always been at the centre of Taiwan’s economic development. Machine tool makers in Taiwan are ramping up efforts to utilise smart manufacturing technologies in their production processes and product development so as to boost their international competitiveness. We have also established a committee consisting of representatives from the industry, research institutes, and the academia to guide the development of intelligent machines. Through this hard work, our aim is to equip young talents with the skill sets and competencies required to succeed in the Industry 4.0 era.

TAMI (Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry) has been promoting Industry 4.0 as the main axis of the machinery industry by holding forums to keep manufacturers abreast of the latest technologies and trends, hence successfully attracting many companies to join and follow.

What investments did Taiwan make to prepare for Industry 4.0? How did Taiwanese firms receive and use government assistance?

Industry 4.0 has attracted enormous attention from governments and businesses around the world in recent years. The Taiwanese government has long been urging the industry to boost spending on research and development to create “an innovation-driven economy.”

Policymakers and business leaders are now pinning their hopes of industrial transformation on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT). As part of the government’s plan to stimulate the economy, one of the preeminent applications for IoT devices is “smart cities”—cities that are able to make use of big data to improve their living environment.

In addition, the Taiwanese government has also committed to invest a huge amount of resources in the so-called “5+2 Industrial Transformation Plan” to promote the development of several industrial 4.0 sectors, such as IoT, biomedicince, green energy, smart machinery, defence, high value-added agriculture, and circular economy.

However, the government has also realised that most Taiwanese firms are small and medium-sized enterprises and may lack the funds to adjust and follow this emerging trend of Industry 4.0. Take smart machinery for instance, most firms use machines that are rather traditional and outdated, not to mention lacking the capacity for more advanced functions like collecting Big Data.

In order to solve this problem, our Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs works with industries to develop and provide Smart Machine Box (SMB) services to our firms. By connecting this device to existing machines, SMB can collect data from all the machines in the factory and produce useful information that are helpful for business owners, thereby helping firms to make a big leap towards achieving full-scale smart machinery. This year the government’s goal is to assist firms to install 1,000 SMB devices in total.

Therefore, Taiwanese firms are in a very good position to profit from this opportunity, particularly in the IT industry. Under this trend, a lot of Taiwanese firms can obtain new overseas orders, not to mention securing existing ones, thereby gradually gaining good reputation and recognition around the world.

how does technology make lives faster and easier

What do you think about the opportunities for co-operation between Vietnamese and Taiwanese businesses after Taiwan Excellence 2018?

By facilitating networking and exchange, TAITRA hopes for co-operation in talent cultivation as well as brand building between the two sides, in addition to boosting trade opportunities. After Taiwan Excellence 2018, there will definitely be more partnerships between the two sides’ businesses, but they need to seize this opportunity and make good use of it ‘smartly.’

Furthermore, Vietnam and Taiwan have become major trading partners to each other throughout the years. In addition, Taiwan stands ready to adopt measures to promote two-way exchange in the areas of investment, agriculture, education, technology, and tourism. I do believe that the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Taiwan will continue to flourish and generate more benefits for the two sides in the upcoming years.

The international campaign, Taiwan Excellence, has been held for the eighth time in Vietnam. How was Taiwan Excellence 2018 different from the previous ones?

As Taiwan Excellence’s core strategy is to increase focus on product development, our products have indeed achieved remarkable improvements in recent years, not only just following but also leading the latest technological trends in the world. In this sense, this year we want to honour the results that these brands have achieved throughout their years of development. Hence, all of our events in Taiwan Excellence 2018 are product-centric, showcasing a wide range of cutting-edge products and solutions.

What is really special about this year’s products is that we focus on the aspect of innovation, which is represented through three key product characteristics, including innovative function, premium quality, and high accessibility. As such, all of our products from 57 brands this year are focused on smart technological fields, highlighting outstanding and breakthrough technology, but also cater directly to the daily lives of consumers.

Vietnamese consumers have long been familiar with the innovative and trustworthy image of Taiwan Excellence. By returning to Vietnam this year, we aim to further reaffirm our image in the hearts and minds of Vietnamese consumers by enhancing the living standards of our friends here.

By Nguyen Huong

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