NSC, companies to launch entrepreneurial program

POSITIVE EFFECTS::The council hopes the program will create a ripple effect which would encourage more young innovators to start their own businesses

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 4

National Science Council (NSC) Minister Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) yesterday announced a new entrepreneurial program that is to combine resources from the business sector and government — with a entrepreneurship bonus of up NT$2 million (US$67,400) for winning research teams, to assist them in realizing their ideas and creating output in their respective industries.

In recent years, young Taiwanese researchers have won an average of more than 200 awards in international innovation competitions each year.

However, the council discovered that these young innovators rarely start their own companies or create industrial output after graduating, which is a regrettable situation, Chu said.

Citing data from a global entrepreneurship monitoring survey, Chu said that many young innovators in Taiwan are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, but decide not to for fear of the financial risks that start-ups and new enterprises face.

To lessen these risks and assist young research teams in starting up their companies, the council will start a new program next month called “From IP [Intellectual Property] To IPO [Initial Public Offerings]” at a cost of about NT$70 million a year, Chu said.

At present, chairpersons of 13 large enterprises, including Acer Inc founder Stan Shih (施振榮), have agreed to participate and sponsor the program, providing advice to the promising teams, the council said.

The National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) and the science parks managed by the Council can lend equipment or rent office spaces to the participating teams to help them in their business start-up periods, the council added.

The council said it would accept submissions starting early next month and choose 30 to 40 teams to participate in the six-month program.

The program includes several stages.

A cash bonus of NT$300,000 would be given to 20 teams that survive the first stage of elimination, a NT$600,000 bonus to 10 teams that make it to the next stage and a NT$2 million bonus to the four teams that make it to the final stage.

NARL director Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said that government agencies would assist the research teams in realizing their technological innovations, but it hopes that eventually the program would create a ripple effect.