Taiwan and China might work together to develop common standards for functional textiles and wind turbines, after having already launched a similar initiative for LED street lights, a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) official said yesterday.
Chen Jay-san (陳介山), director-general of the ministry’s Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, said Taiwan is pushing for joint standards to help Taiwanese suppliers capitalize on opportunities created by China’s latest five-year development plan.
The plan has identified LED lighting, functional textiles and vertical axis wind turbines as some of the products scheduled to receive special government support from China in the coming five years.
Taiwan’s development and manufacturing of functional textiles, such as fire-proof fabrics and nanofabrics, are strongly competitive and well-known worldwide, Chen said, but no international standards currently exist for such products.
Officials from the Standardization Administration of China who visited Taiwan in August last year assured the bureau that functional textiles, wind turbines and the cross-strait usage of terminology would be the focus of cross-strait efforts to build commonly recognized standards, Chen said.
However, progress in building common standards would hinge on whether the two sides trust the inspection and testing abilities of each other’s laboratories, he said.
Currently 62 labs in Taiwan and China are comparing electronic and electrical products and technologies, another 10 are devoted to assessing LED lighting and two are comparing TV sets, he added.
Meanwhile, Chen said the bureau has notified China’s Standardization Administration of 312 products from China, many of them toys, that should be banned for export to Taiwan since the two sides signed an agreement on industrial product standards, inspection and certification on Dec. 25, 2009.
So far, 117 of the products have been banned or put under tight supervision, Chen said.
Separately, the state-financed Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) helped forge a partnership yesterday among local companies to use LED makers’ applications to improve the quality and quantity of Taiwan’s agricultural and livestock products.
The cross-industry partnership is expected to draw participation of over 70 LED companies and the farming sector to help nurture technology application capabilities in old-economy industries, according to the institute.
“Many innovations have come from cross-field cooperation,” Ian Chan (詹益仁), general director of the institute’s Electronics and Optoelectronic Research Laboratories, said at a press conference.
He said that LED technology could help improve some agricultural applications, such as lighting control, which would have a positive impact on animals and plants.