The mobile communications business has been good to Oulu, and the mobile business has become a threat to its future.
This former industrial city located 200 km south of the Arctic Circle built a tech-based economy in the Eighties around the Nokia Research Center and numerous small-to-midsize enterprises (SMEs) specializing in mobile technologies, many located at the Oulu Technology Park.
The “Nokia risk” as Oulu’s leaders called it, materialized in the new century as the company failed to adapt to the rise of the smartphone and began to downsize its operations. Yet Oulu has created 18,000 new high-tech jobs since 2007, thanks to a decades-old culture of public-private collaboration and its many high-quality educational institutions, including the University of Oulu with its 16,000 students.
The city has built ICT assets such as the PanOULU free wireless network – created by merging Wi-Fi infrastructure from 17 organizations to serve 25,000 users per month – and an e-government Web portal for citizens.
In collaboration with the university and business, it has fostered multiple R&D institutes from the Center for Internet Excellence to Oulu Living Labs, where a broad range of technologies are researched and developed before being tested by residents who volunteer their time and expertise.
The city’s 2007-13 Innovation Strategy stresses the importance of human enthusiasm as a source of innovation. The strategy rests on several key assumptions: that the region has ambitious businesses, that opportunities will arise from connecting them with the potential of the global market, and that services will gain an increasing role in economic growth. But there is another assumption that distinguishes Oulu from many other places. It is that citizens of all ages should be involved in business and institutional innovation.
Whatever the fortunes of its biggest mobile technology employer, Oulu is determined to be a quiet leader in the technologies that will shape our century.
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Labor Force: 90,000
Smart21 2012 | 2013
Top7 2012 | 2013
Estonia saw a major boom from 2004 to 2007, as loan capital poured in from Scandinavian countries.
The country’s rise from Soviet occupation, beginning in 1991, had been miraculous, but the wave of investment was more than the market could usefully absorb. When the financial crisis came, it hit Estonia and its principal city of Tallinn very hard. Several thousand companies went bankrupt and layoffs, particularly of the low-skilled, rose into the tens of thousands.
Yet beneath the froth, Tallinn has put into place the foundations of ICT-based growth that is generating a strong comeback.
Tallinn’s first wave of IT industry growth was driven by national government spending on an amazing range of e-government applications. Its return to growth has a more sustainable basis in education and entrepreneurship. With 23 universities and technical schools, Tallinn has the resources for a knowledge workforce; it has focused now on expanding access and filling demand for ICT and digital content skills.
From 2007 to 2011, Tallinn Technical University doubled participation in lifelong learning programs. The city is expanding public access computer sites and training programs for the disconnected, while a public-private project called EstWin will extend 100 Mbps broadband throughout Estonia by 2015.
Beginning in 2018, Tallinn has hosted an annual festival of education: iduEDU. At the festival, schools, kindergartens and hobby schools in region share innovations and new study methods they have developed with each other and with their students' parents. Private companies often attend the festival, where they introduce new technologies that may be useful to schools and give advice on their success stories and startup challenges. These companies provide contacts in the private sector for future collaboration with the local school systems and sharing ideas on what skills will be most valuable to the future workforce. iduEDU also includes a showcase of new adult learning solutions.
Based on the success of iduEDU, Tallinn has introduced #EduInnoLab ICT Innovation Laboratories into area schools. These competence centers focus on particular areas of ICT innovation in education, seeking new ways for the government to support schools, encourage testing and implementation of innovative learning methods and share particularly innovative schools’ methods with others.
Fostering Innovation at Home
To support local startups and attract talent from beyond Estonia’s borders, Tallinn and its educational and business partners have launched multiple incubators targeting creative services, medical and biotech, mechatronics, and ICT. Europe’s first gaming accelerator opened in Tallinn this year, and its Ülemiste City industrial estate is expanding 50% to house 250 companies, making it the Baltics’ biggest knowledge-based development.
Established in 2012, Tallinn's Prototron competition aims to help new startups grow and thrive through prototype financing. Competition applicants include individuals and businesses with projects from all fields, including green tech, digitalization of industry, new materials, health-tech and fintech. Each year's winner receives 35,000€ funding for their prototype in addition to the valuable training, advice and useful contacts they make at the event. Since its founding, Prototron has hosted a total of 64 teams with over 700,000€ awarded for prototypes.
When the crisis struck, Tallinn moved fast to launch aid packages to get residents and companies through the bad times with their skills and ambitions intact. The value of the city’s short-term response and its long-term strategy will be proven in coming years.
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Tallinn was featured in the Intelligent Community Forum book Brain Gain.
Labor Force: 230,000
Smart21 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2013 | 2020
Top7 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2013 | 2020
On Christmas Day of 2014, Taiwan lost a county and gained a city, when the county of Taoyuan changed to municipal status. Its proximity to the Taipei Metropolitan Area has led to major investments in such public utilities as Taiwan’s largest international airport and the 2017 Taoyuan MRT Airport Line, which speeds connections between the city’s high-speed rail station and the airport. These, in turn, have driven rapid development in Taoyuan City, which has attracted a large number of new residents from other cities and countries.
Taoyuan is the largest industrial science and technology city in Taiwan. More than one-third of Taiwan’s top 500 manufacturing industries have set up factories in Taoyuan. The industrial output value of about 2.87 trillion NTD has led all Taiwanese cities for 14 consecutive years. The population is a fusion of many ethnic groups such as Minnan, Hakka and Aboriginal people. Because of the industrial development, Taoyuan is also the municipality with the largest number of foreign workers from Southeast Asia and the largest number of Vietnamese new residents.
Broadband Services for All
Taoyuan initiated the i-Taoyuan Free Wi-Fi 2.0 project in 2016 to optimize the city’s existing wireless network services and expand the city’s free network environment of hotspots. As of 2019, the project has established 5,000 free wireless hotspots throughout the city with plans in place to expand four high-traffic areas into hot zones with wider coverage. Chunghwa Telecom has set up its own network of 5,236 CHT Wi-Fi hotspots with 400 access points as well, distributed in all public areas for use by the general populace. In addition to setting up hotspots, Taoyuan has worked with local providers Taoyuan City Telefirst Cable Communication Co., Ltd., North Taoyuan Cable TV Co., Ltd. and South Taoyuan Cable TV Co., Ltd. to ensure that broadband service is available across the entire city.
With Internet access available so widely in the city, Taoyuan has developed the Smart District and Village System. The system connects 13 districts and 495 villages and neighborhoods in Taoyuan City with the city’s many government departments, allowing citizens to access up-to-date transit information and providing local businesses with an online platform to offer their mobile services. Taoyuan is also introducing smart parking and location systems to car parks in those districts and has deployed a dynamic information system for the city’s buses. Taoyuan Metro now provides free 4G and WiFi coverage and smart services as well.
Taoyuan is also currently working on an Internet of Things demonstration site for Taiwan. Asia Pacific Telecom has established 90 LoRa hotspots in the city to support Taiwan’s first Internet of Things dual network. The network is expected to cover all of Taiwan in the near future.
Youth Entrepreneurship in Qingpu
To further develop its youth talent, Taoyuan has created the Youth Entrepreneurship Headquarters in Qingpu. The Headquarters hosts a series of innovation- and entrepreneurship-themed courses for local youth as well as courses in the application of technology in new industry. As of 2016, the Headquarters has reached 441 members, 933 stationed members, and 17 teams of instructors.
The Taoyuan city government has established another entrepreneurship headquarters in the Taoyuan Youth Commander, which is the city’s first co-working maker space. As a startup hub, the Taoyuan Youth Commander provides clients with professional consultation and other services to help new ventures get off the ground and learn the fundamentals of business and marketing. The maker space also aids entrepreneurs in finding partners for their projects both within Taiwan and overseas. As of 2017, Taoyuan has planned an additional three national-level bases for young entrepreneurs: Hotuoshan IoT New Venture Hub, Chung Yuan Entrepreneurship Village and Young Maker Co-working Park.
The city has also partnered with local colleges to add more entrepreneurial courses. National Central University in Taoyuan has established the Foreign Language Talent and Smart Industry Incubation Center to connect local students with international students and entrepreneurs.
Creating an Innovation Hub
With its location between Taipei and Hsinchu, Taoyuan is perfectly placed to be an innovation and business hub in Taiwan. The city is home to the largest cluster of logistics companies in Taiwan, including many supermarkets, hypermarkets, retailers and fresh food suppliers. To provide broader logistical support to new industries, Taoyuan has developed the Taoyuan Aerotropolis and has established the only airport free trade zone in Taiwan. The city has also created an Innovation and R&D Centre to provide further resources and services to new and established companies.
Connecting all of these developments to the rest of Taiwan is essential for the innovation hub. The Taoyuan city government has established a comprehensive network of buses in the city with a total of 261 routes, many of which now sport dynamic information systems that provide useful data to travelers. In addition to the bus system, Taoyuan is connected to Taipei and Hsinchu via high speed rail, MRT, highways and the Taoyuan International Airport MRT. The city has outfitted all of these routs with 4G wireless coverage to allow travelers to work, research or relax while in transit.
Providing Knowledge and Access to Services through the Citizen Identity Card
Taoyuan launched a citizen identity card called the Taoyuan City Card in 2015 as a means of connecting its residents with a wide variety of public services and information. The card is integrated with many of the city’s transportation systems, serving as a ticket for busses, MRT, the Taiwan Railway, and even as a means to rent a bicycle. It may also be used to pay parking and most other government fees, as a municipal library card and even as a meeting attendance card for citizens to better keep track of their schedules.
In addition to city services, the Taoyuan City Card also provides citizens with discounts at over 700 stores offering hospitality and tourism services as well as local sports and fitness centers, youth centers and public halls and the Taoyuan Municipal Swimming Pool. The card is linked to a holder’s sports history for the sake of providing doctors with additional information during medical exams, and the city plans to integrate with cards with the national health insurance system in the future to provide citizens with easy access to their medical records in the future.
Taoyuan has issued roughly 1 million cards to citizens as of 2019. The cards grant discounts in more than 1,000 locations, including 742 stores participating in the program. In the future, the city plans to expand services to include banking, mobile payment services, telecommunication, and electronic tickets.
Alternative Energy in Taoyuan
To build a sustainable future, Taoyuan City has been heavily investing in solar energy. The city leases roof space of public houses to establish solar generation systems, with 132 government-owned buildings outfitted as of 2017, generating a total of 12 million kwh of electricity annually. With the assistance of the Tatung Company, Taoyuan will be building 200 public housing developments with solar generation capacity, aiming to produce 20 million kwh of electricity per year.
The city is working with businesses to improve solar energy production as well. The Department of Environmental Projects in Taoyuan has introduced an energy service company to provide free installation of solar generation equipment on the rooftops of factories as well as public housing.
In addition to solar energy, Taoyuan is also focusing on wind power generation. Since 2011, 57 wind power plants have been installed in Guanyin and Luzhu. The city is also planning a number of offshore wind plants in the coming years.
By nourishing local innovation, attracting international entrepreneurs, and building an ever-growing infrastructure for clean energy production, Taoyuan is preparing its people, organizations and environment for global competition.
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Taoyuan City was featured in the Intelligent Community Forum book Brain Gain.
Intelligent Community of the Year 2019
Smart21 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019
Top7 2013 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019
Taipei is no stranger to technology-based development. This city of 2.6 million people is the world's largest producer of laptop and notebook computers and computer motherboards. The Taipei Technology Corridor consists of two major science and technology parks, with a third one in development, that currently employ more than 85,000 knowledge workers in 2,200 companies with combined annual revenues in 2004 of nearly US$53 billion. Taipei is also one of the world's top three cities for broadband deployment, with PCs in 88% of homes and 77% of households connected to ADSL service. Where hardware and infrastructure is concerned, Taipei is justly proud of being a global leader.
For Taipei, the challenge of the 21st Century is to run faster in a fast world. It is to maintain and increase its competitive edge while preparing for a demanding future. As Taipei Metropolitan Government wrote in its application to ICF, "In the past Taipei tended to follow examples from developed countries. Now, Taipei is looking for its own paradigm and value."
Taipei's development as an Intelligent Community began with the election of Mayor Ying-jeou Ma in 1998. Mayor Ma challenged Taipei to become what he called a CyberCity. The first phase of the project (1999-2002) focused on building broadband infrastructure and using the Internet to improve public services. The city invested an average of US$75 million per year to install PCs on the desks of all employees at leading government agencies, deploy a city-wide electronic document system that saved US$7.5 million per year, and create hundreds of online applications ranging from requests for service to complaints about parking violations. An e-schools effort placed at least one PC with broadband connectivity in every classroom, created computer labs in 250 schools and trained teachers in PC and Internet skills. An e-communities project provided free PC and Internet training to 240,000 people and established 800 public Internet kiosks throughout the city. An online Intelligent Transportation System was developed to monitor traffic flow, guide drivers to available parking and improve taxi safety, and an EasyCard multi-function pass for Taipei's Mass Rapid Transit System attracted new riders. To date, the system has issued over 5.7 million cards.
Phase Two Brings Second Top7 Ranking
For these efforts, Taipei was named one of ICF's Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2003. In 2006, ICF recognizes Taipei for taking its CyberCity program to the next level by making broadband connectivity an essential component of life for its citizens and businesses, and using it to transform the economy of the city.
The second phase of the CyberCity program (2003-2006) has focused on several priorities. The first was to better integrate broadband and online services into citizens' lives. By May 2005, 84% of the government's total document traffic was moving through its electronic document exchange. Its Internet portal was offering over 400 services used by an average of 3,500 citizens per day, and over 5,200 small-to-midsize companies had created Web sites on a free Taipei Business Net portal. In the longer term, Taipei aims to encourage development of better Chinese computer interfaces and expand content and applications suited to Chinese tradition. These advances will not only foster broadband use by citizens but will provide an opportunity for Taipei's companies to more easily access business opportunities in greater China.
A second priority was to shorten the time and resources needed to turn students into productive knowledge workers. The most crucial challenge faced by Taipei's companies is the "last mile" between school and industry. To that end, every four years, over US$93 million is earmarked to fund IT education in Taipei. IT skills are widely taught in elementary schools, high schools and universities as well as business incubators. Microsoft selected Taipei as the world's first location for its Future School Program. Cisco is implementing its Network Academy in Taiwan, which has attracted participation from 79 Taiwanese companies and provided training to 16,000 students. The government has also created Taipei e-University to provide online training in academic theory and hands-on practice, leading to professional certification.
The third priority was to provide an IT-based platform for innovation. In the CyberCity program's second phase, the government deployed a municipal wireless network to mass transit stations and all elementary and middle school campuses, where each class was equipped with its own Web site to facilitate teacher-student communications. Plans call for extending the network to 90% of the city.
The fourth priority was to use broadband to ensure digital equality. With the encouragement of the government, nonprofit organizations have established 13 community universities that have offered technology and other classes to nearly 220,000 people. Internet kiosks were established at 800 convenience stores and other locations to give citizens access to online services. An e-healthcare initiative has integrated the data systems of 300 municipal hospitals and clinics and provides safety monitoring of elderly and disabled citizens via wristbands.
On New Year's Eve 2004, Mayor Ma and Taiwan's President Chen Shui-ban led the celebration of the opening of Taipei 101, the world's tallest skyscraper and one of the most technologically advanced buildings on earth. It was a fitting symbol for this city of almost limitless ambition, which aims to number among the select few leaders of the Broadband Economy.
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Labor Force: 1,183,000
Intelligent Community of the Year 2006
Top7 2004 | 2006
When the city and county of Taichung merged in 2010, it created a huge metropolis uniting completely different economies: a major seaport city where 70% of employees work in services, and a rural county where 50% work in industry and agriculture is a significant source of income.
The city’s leadership, under Mayor Chih-Chiang (Jason) Hu, was determined to create a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.
The city and telecom companies partnered to create thousands of WiFi hotspots, fiber-based broadband and 4G WiMAX now reaching more than 90% of the population. Through imaginative applications developed by public-private partnership, ICT has become a driver of greater global competitiveness.
The backbone of Taichung’s manufacturing economy is a network of 1,500 precision machinery makers and tens of thousands of SME suppliers. Smaller companies now benefit from a shared, cloud-based ERP system that reduces their purchasing costs and time-to-market. An RFID system at the port automates the clearing of shipping containers for exit, slashing the time trucks spend idling at the gate.
Taichung is also helping farmers apply ICT to improve yields and profitability while expanding their international markets.
To power this new economy, the city and its 17 colleges have created a truly lifelong learning system ranging from basic digital education and vocational training to advanced study and continuous skills improvement. And Taichung is aggressively pursuing industrial clustering through development of the Central Taiwan Technology Corridor combining science parks, precision manufacturing parks and software parks to give physical shape to its global ambitions.
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Intelligent Community of the Year 2013
Smart21 2012 | 2013
Top7 2012 | 2013
People have lived along the Tamsui River in what is now New Taipei City (NTC) for 5,000 years, yet the city is only four years old. It was created in 2010 from the county surrounding Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei, and its founding Mayor Eric Chu set out to transform a loose collection of suburban cities and rural land into a unified metropolis.
NTC had been shaped by its relationship with Taipei: it was a residential district and location for traditional and often highly polluting industries, and its transport network was oriented to move people and goods into and out of the capital. Many of those industries, like ceramics and glass-making, had been under severe competitive pressure for decades from China and lower-cost countries. NTC faced the need to develop a knowledge-based economy to power its future.
The Future is Broadband
Massive investment went into high-speed roads and rails to unite the doughnut-shaped city, but the real focus has been on broadband. Partnering with the private sector, NTC has boosted network deployment and promoted cloud-based services for government and business. The household penetration rate is at 91% with 87% on 100 Mbps service. With education the single largest budget line, NTC has connected more than 300 schools, put tablets and computers into classrooms and retrained teaching staffs. Taking advantage of the density of convenience stores, NTC has facilitated the installation of more than 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
Still, one million citizens are on the wrong side of the digital divide. To help them, the city offers training classes, mobile computer classrooms and Digital Opportunity Centers where visitors can try the latest technologies. More than 420,000 people have received digital inclusion services and household computer ownership has grown from 89% to 92% over five years.
Knowledge Drives Growth
The city applies digital technology to reimagine the delivery of services to citizens. The city’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission has introduced a system called Hot Spots Analysis. It draws on posts to the city’s Web portals, the logs of the emergency response center, and traffic on social networks to identify issues raised frequently by citizens that are not being properly addressed. Monthly meetings of the heads of all city departments review known and new Hot Spots and determine what actions the city should take to solve them. Going one step beyond, the decision-makers examine why the problem was not being addressed: whether a single agency was at fault or the issue was one that crossed over the boundaries of multiple agencies. Each Hot Spot is developed as a case, from identification of the problem to solution to the lessons learned, and each case becomes an online reference document accessible to both government officials and citizens.
In one example, citizens repeatedly flagged a problem on express buses bringing commuters into the city: the lack of enough capacity to handle rush hour passenger traffic. Investigating the issue, the city found that its own regulations prevented the buses from loading more passengers than they had seats for when the buses would be traveling on freeways at high speed. The city was unwilling to relax this safety regulation, so it instead negotiated with the bus companies to offer a different service: shuttle buses operating on routes that connected outlying areas to train stations. This encouraged more passengers to take the train, which in turn reduced rush-hour wait times on the express bus routes from an average of 20 minutes down to less than 10.
The city also noted a high level of complaints from its indigenous citizens about receiving education subsidies for their children on time. It did not take long to identify the responsible agency. The Commission ordered the agency to standardize its processes, eliminate unnecessary paperwork and establish deadlines for turnaround. Processing time quickly dropped from an average of 35 days to only 15 days.
New and Renewed Economy
Executives and employees are an equal focus. A Knowledge-Bridge project has driven industry-university collaboration projects and provided talent and job matchmaking. It is credited with lowering the unemployment rate by a full percentage point. NTC has identified seven strategic industries – from green tech and bio tech to optoelectronics and culture – for development, and its SME Service Group offers counseling, support for business development and R&D subsidies. Just three of NTC’s business parks, each focused on a different industry cluster, have attracted US$1.5 billion in investment, added US$2.5 bn in economic value and created 22,400 jobs. In the Xizhi District, a cloud-computing development called U-Town has attracted 2,300 businesses, created 80,000 jobs and generated more than US $30 billion in economic activity.
Even traditional industries have found new life. Factories that once manufactured commodity ceramics and glassware are now producing art pieces that are marketed globally by city government. What was once a modest cultural event in the mountainous district of Pinxi is now the Sky Lantern Festival that has been rated one of the 14 must-see cultural events in the world. Meanwhile, NTC has moved hundreds of public services into the cloud to break the constraints of bureaucracy and realize the Mayor’s vision of “One Government” where dozens once operated.
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Smart21 2012 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016
Top7 2014 | 2015 | 2016
The first science park in Taiwan, Hsinchu Science Park, was established in 1980 in Hsinchu County by the National Science Council. Its purpose was to attract international technology talent, drive traditional industrial transformation, encourage industry update, enhance international competitiveness of products and stimulate economic growth. Today, its 520 companies employ over 150,000 people and generate US$30 billion in total revenue. They specialize in fields ranging from IC design, LCDs and solar cells to the Internet of Things, Big Data, cloud and 4G wireless technologies. In addition to driving the overall economic development of Taiwan, Hsinchu Science Park has improved Taiwan’s education direction, attracted many international companies to invest in Taiwan and aided in the development of the Hsinchu County region. Other Science parks in the region include Tai Yuen High-Tech Industrial Park, Taiwan's first private industrial park, which is home to 250 companies with a combined annual output of US$15 billion. Zhudong Anime Park opened in 2015 to host exhibitions of art from Taiwanese comic artists as a tourist attraction and to help stimulate a cluster of artists and animators that were originally formed after the movie, Life of Pi was developed in Taiwan by Taiwanese born American director, Ang Lee.
Fighting Back from the Financial Crisis
The financial crisis that began in 2008 hit the Park hard as demand slackened for the semiconductors its companies produced. Leading companies like TSMC, UMS, Acer and Chimei Innolux shifted investment into higher-value products and services; the integrated circuit design business grew 9 percent from 2008 to 2009. These steps led to employment growth of 11% and production growth of 25% from 2006 to 2011.
Nor is Hsinchu Science Park the county's only such asset. Tai Yuen High-Tech Industrial Park, located in Zhubei, is Taiwan's first private industrial park. It is now home to 250 companies with a combined annual output of US$15 billion. Zhudong Anime Park opened in 2015 to host exhibitions of art from Taiwanese comic artists as a tourist attraction.
Today, the county’s challenge is to continue translating economic success into civic success: to make Hsinchu a sustainable Intelligent Community with a high quality of life, where innovation is a part of people’s daily lives. The challenge is increased by the broad geographic area the county covers: from the urban coast, home of Hsinchu County, to the sparsely populated mountainous region to the east. Government and business are pursuing the goal on multiple fronts.
Broadband and E-Learning
Hsinchu County has used grants from the national M-Taiwan Plan to develop a 433km broadband network connecting public offices and facilities across the county. A total of more than 230 iTaiwan free wireless hotspots provide service in public facilities to more than 24,000 registered users. Private-sector providers include Global Mobile and Chungwha Telecom, which provide 4G wireless and 100 Mbps fiber service in Hsinchu City and beyond. Digital education has gone mainstream. The county was the first in Taiwan to implement e-learning platforms – the e-Book Schoolbag and e-Book Reader – which now reach nearly 60 schools. A new cloud-based English teaching platform was launched in 2012 to help students learn the international language of business in school and at home. An online tutoring program engages undergraduate students in helping elementary and junior high school students in rural areas of the county.
The county actively leverages its higher education assets for economic growth. There are four universities, with a total of 27,000 students, in Hsinchu County offering work-study programs, and three additional universities are planning new R&D centers to link their researchers with the companies of the science and industrial parks. For the county's indigenous population, the Zhudong Community College specializes in Hakka culture and creativity, community services and life concerns.
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Read the latest updates about Hsinchu County.
In 1980, Taiwan’s National Science Council set up the nation’s first science park in Hsinchu City, as a means to create a domestic high-tech industry. Today, the 500 companies in Hsinchu Science Park employ 150,000 people and generate US$16.6 billion in total revenue. More than 10 percent of those companies are spin-outs from one of Hsinchu’s many universities and research institutes. The 2008-09 financial crisis hit the Park hard as demand slackened for the semiconductors its companies produced. Leading companies like TSMC, UMS, Acer and Chimei Innolux shifted investment into higher-value products and services; the integrated circuit design business grew 9 percent from 2008 to 2009. These steps led to employment growth of 11% and production growth of 25% from 2006 to 2011, leaving Hsinchu with a 2012 unemployment rate of just 4.2 percent.
The Challenge of Sustainability
Today, under Mayor Hsu Ming-Tsai, the city’s challenge is to translate economic success into civic success: to make Hsinchu City a sustainable Intelligent Community with a high quality of life, where innovation is a part of people’s daily lives. Government and business are pursuing the goal on multiple fronts. Global Mobile Corp, the dominant wireless provider, has extended 4G wireless to 97% of the city, while Chungwha Telecom has made 100 Mbps fiber service available to 64% of residents as part of the national M-Taiwan program. Digital education has gone mainstream. The city was the first in Taiwan to implement e-learning platforms – the e-Book Schoolbag and e-Book Reader – which now reach nearly 60 schools. A new cloud-based English teaching platform was launched in 2012 to help students learn the international language of business in school and at home. Hsinchu City government has put a smart card into the hands of 120,000 residents that lets them take the bus, pay parking fees, borrow library books, shop and receive discounts from more than 30 participating vendors. Data collected from users is helping the city adjust bus schedules and measure how efficiently services are delivered across Hsinchu. City government has also launched an Intelligent City Project Office, which is promoting initiatives like the smart card to involve citizens closely in the city’s continued transformation. In December 2013, the city squeezed past the capital of Taipei to take the top rank in a “Better Life Index” published by Kainan University based on economic, social educational and citizen participation measures.
Smart21 2013 | 2014
Singapore is a city-state of 685 sq km (264 sq miles) at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula with a population of 4 million. ICF named Singapore as its first Intelligent Community of the Year in 1999 for its ambitious plan for – and then to its 2002 Top seven list for its successful deployment of – the Singapore One project beginning in 1998. The aim was to provide every citizen and business with a high-speed Internet connection, and to foster the development of an online economy benefiting all of its citizens. In April 2002, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore’s government announced that broadband was available via ADSL or cable modem to 98% of homes, and that one in three residents was a subscriber. An annual survey of Internet activities revealed that Singapore’s B2B e-commerce revenues grew from US$23 billion in 1998 to US$51 billion in 2000. Online procurement by business alone rose from US$3 billion in 1998 to US$10 billion in 2000. Not content with this level of growth, Singapore’s government began announcing a series of programs and incentives starting in January 2002 to promote applications development and greater usage, including a “Connected Homes” test bed for home networking and community services and a MySingapore Web site giving citizens access to a broad array of services.
Digital Age Trading Hub
Singapore rejoins the Top Seven in 2005 because of the outstanding progress it has continued to achieve and for its ambitious new vision for creating a Digital Age trading hub for the Asia-Pacific region. Progress has come in many areas, thanks to IDA’s unrelenting focus, strong funding and a emphasis on collaboration with private-sector partners. In 2003, PC ownership had risen to 74%, Internet connectivity to 65% and broadband subscribers to 40% of the total population. About 600 wireless hotspots have been deployed across the island (125 at McDonald’s restaurants), providing one wireless hub per square kilometer, and a standards-based integrated roaming and billing service gives users access to the entire wireless network. An alliance between IDA and Microsoft has made Singapore’s schools a test bed for digital textbooks, Tablet PCs and other innovative technology, as well as for in-depth technology training for both teachers and students. The World Economic Forum has ranked Singapore as one of the world’s most network-ready nations, and a 2004 report by Accenture ranked the country as second in the world for e-government leadership.
The Intelligent Island
Becoming an “Intelligent Island,” as Singapore calls itself, is only one step in a process. IDA’s latest vision, Connected Singapore, positions the nation as a Digital Age trading hub, echoing its leadership role as a trade port for physical goods. IDA’s plans call for Singapore to become a center for the secure creation, management and distribution of digital content, from TV programs to images, movies to online games. Piracy of intellectual property is a major problem in much of Asia. It stunts the market by reducing incentives for content owners to create or distribute content in the region. IDA will work with local and global companies to develop technological and other means to ensure security in all forms of digital commerce, with the potential of unlocking high growth. As one example, IDA recently facilitated a pilot project for the distribution of new Indian films via satellite to secure servers in Indian movie theaters. The theaters reported a sharp increase in attendance, because local pirates were prevented from stealing the 35mm film reels, digitizing them and selling DVDs on the street. If Singapore can fulfill this vision, it will indeed become one of the world’s great digital commerce centers.
Intelligent Community of the Year 1999
Top7 2002 | 2005
Top photo, “Singapore, Marina Bay” is copyright (c) 2014 Leonid Yaitskiy and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license. The image was cropped for use. The original image can be found here: https://flic.kr/p/oa6sWm
ICF's Lou Zacharilla interviews Harout Chitilian about Top7 Intelligent Community Montreal.Read more