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Smart City and IoT Present Unlimited Business Opportunities as Okinawa ISCO, TCA, GO SMART Sign Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Industrial Strategic Cooperation

Okinawa     In order to enhance the opportunities for cooperation between the Special Economic Zone of Okinawa, Japan and Taiwan's IT industry, the IT Innovation and Strategy Center Okinawa (ISCO) and the Taipei Computer Association (TCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Industrial Strategic Cooperation on January 16, 2019. On the same occasion, ISCO also signed an MOU in cooperation with GO SMART, the global smart cities alliance initiated by Taipei.

The Invest Taipei Office to provide trade advisory services

     In September 2016, the Taipei City Government's Department of Economic Development (DED) set up the Invest Taipei Office (ITO) in response to worldwide competition among cities to attract investment and the local need to draw more domestic and foreign companies to set up shop in Taipei. ITO officially opened its doors in the first quarter of 2017. To facilitate investment, ITO’s dedicated staff integrates information and processes across city government departments, and serves as a one-stop window for potential investors that seek information or assistance with market surveys, business registration, zoning and construction, fire safety, and legal advice. ITO helps to quickly sort out issues and obstacles that may pop up during the investment process. 
From its establishment through to December 2018, the ITO has handled 217 investment consulting cases. 186 industrial investment cases took up the lion’s share (85.7%), followed by 13 technical cooperation cases (6.0%), 10 talent exchange cases (4.6%) and 8 other cases (3.7%). 33 cases reached the investment stage with a total of USD 337 million.
     Lin Chung-chieh, Commissioner of Taipei’s Department of Economic Development, noted that Okinawa is Japan's closest city to Taiwan. He invited Japanese companies to find and work with Taiwanese counterparts using the new GO SMART platform. Government agencies and industrial start-ups are also welcome to avail themselves of ITO’s investment consulting services to forge links with other cities and countries while saving costs and time.

Helping start-ups leverage the Okinawa platform to develop overseas markets

     Under the freshly signed MOU framework, TCA will bring a delegation of four Taiwanese start-up companies (Astra, USPACE, XMind, and MIND & IDEA FLY, the latter two spawned from National Chiao Tung University’s IAPS incubator) to participate in the Okinawa Start-Up Conference on January 25, while in May ISCO will head a delegation of Japanese start-ups to visit COMPUTEX and its featured startup exhibition Innovex. These exchanges are expected to take collaboration between Taiwanese and Japanese companies to the next level.

Smart Cities Gain Prominence in National Policies: Microbusiness and Startup Entrepreneurs are the Main Source of Urban Creative Technology Applications

     Taipei City has made great strides as a smart city, and its collaboration with cities around the globe is booming. In 2018, Taipei launched GO SMART (Global Organization of Smart Cities), a platform to connect local governments, industry, universities, and NGOs around the world to share experiences, best practices, and promote Inter-City PoC’s (Proof-of-Concept). This effort is intended to helping them jointly develop solutions for the urban challenges of transportation, education, and healthcare, and to indirectly increase entrepreneurial opportunities for young people. The MOU facilitates increased collaboration between smart cities and industries in Okinawa and Taiwan. 
     Companies considering investing in Taipei are welcome to check out: www.startup.taipei, the Invest Taipei Office’s website, or call their investment officers at +886-2-2757-4518, 2757-4519.