The Ministry of Economic Affairs has allocated NT$150 million (US$4.57 million) to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) upgrade their technology, officials said yesterday.
Officials from the ministry's Industrial Development Bureau said they hoped the program would be able to help more than 650 SMEs upgrade their technology within a year, with benefits in terms of increased productivity reaching NT$2 billion.
A total of 685 companies have shown interest in participating in the program, with two-thirds of them located in central and southern Taiwan, they said.
The nation has more than 1.2 million SMEs, accounting for 98 percent of all local businesses.
Bureau officials said that manufacturing companies with capital of less than NT$80 million or fewer than 200 workers, as well as service companies with annual turnover of less than NT$100 million or fewer than 50 employees can apply for the short-term technological assistance offered by the ministry's 16 R&D organizations, including the Industrial Technology Research Institute.
Companies that had already applied to join the technological assistance program were mainly from the textile, machinery, plastics and metal industries, they said.
If the program works well, the ministry is expected to double the technological assistance budget to NT$300 million next year, they said.