President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday pledged to promote an innovation-based economy as the Presidential Office introduced the first presidential innovation award.
Citing the recent example of Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, Ma said that while the sale is shocking news for the print media sector, it is widely expected that Bezos will bring innovation to the 70-year-old newspaper.
He also called on the government to learn from the example of New York City, where former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani had set up a mechanism to monitor police units and crime data to reduce the city’s crime rate.
“We hope the award will make innovation a national campaign, and turn the results of innovative ideas, be they inventions or designs, into profitable businesses, so that innovation can benefit the public,” he said in the Presidential Office.
Accompanying Ma at the launch of the award, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said that as Taiwan has limited natural resources, it must take advantage of its human resources.
The aim of the award is to facilitate the development of innovative industries in the near future, he said.
The award is presented as recognition of individuals or teams that have contributed to science and technology, culture, service and talent-nurturing.
The award was proposed by Ma last year to promote an innovation-based economy.
A committee organized by Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) will start accepting recommendation for each category until Nov. 30.
Five winners will be selected in March next year and Ma will present the awards in June. According to the ministry, each winner will be given a monetary award of NT$2 million (US$66,858).