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Agricultural Biotechnology

The Establishment of National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology Aims to Assist Promoting Taiwan's Agricultural Innovative Value Chain


In order to actively develop a market-oriented, high added-value agriculture industry supported by advanced technology, the Council of Agriculture officially announced the establishment of National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (NIAST) on Jan. 2 after a four-year preparation. The institute will serve as a platform for the application of the advanced agricultural technology in order to create a more competitive agricultural industry as well as speed up the commercialization and internationalization of agricultural R&D achievement, which will in turn help us reach the objective of globalizing Taiwan's agriculture.

The COA stated that in order to reduce the direct impact of trade liberalization has on Taiwan's agriculture, the industry must change its former conservative defense strategy. Therefore, the COA proposed innovative concepts aimed to transform the current production policies to "new value chain agriculture" as its strategic objective. It will further strengthen innovative value and interdisciplinary integration and expand agricultural industry's jurisdiction. The COA will also take advantage of this new NIAST's flexible organizational operation to encourage innovation in order to increase agricultural productivity and business opportunities. Furthermore, industrial cluster also can be formed solidly.

According to the COA, there are over 100 innovation cases of technology transferred annually to the commercial sector from its branch research institutions and laboratories. The revenue created by these licensing and technology transfers grew from NT$1 million in 2002 to NT$80 million in 2013. It is expected that after the NIAST commences its full operation, the revenue created by relevant intellectual property and new venture outputs will increase dramatically.

The COA also suggested that the NIAST will bridge the gap between the academic and the industrial sector by offering solutions to the problems of the industry. Besides improving complementary policy by analyzing market information and technology development, the institute will also provide training services such as industry analysis and marketing for agricultural research institutions, in order to strengthen their human resources and give support to new start-up ventures. In the meantime, the NIAST will also assist enterprises in international marketing by setting up successful business models of technological agriculture as well as increasing their products' value and their international markets' competitiveness. Eventually, Taiwan's agriculture will possess vigorous and competitive advantages which provide stable income to farmers. The ultimate goal would be for local farmers as well as the whole nation both to be able to share the fruits of economic achievement through agricultural technological development.