2021 BTC Meeting Closes

Delivering Precision Health through Public-Private Partnership

The 2021 Bio Taiwan Committee (BTC) Meeting came to a close today (1), where Deputy Convener Tsung-Tsong Wu of the Board of Science and Technology (BOST), Executive Yuan, listened to the 2021 BTC Recommendations reported by committee representative Yun Yen.

The recommendations made in the final report by Yun Yen cover four major aspects: 1) Improvement of ecosystem, 2) Establishment of health data infrastructure, 3) Promotion of interdisciplinary/pandemic-prevention technological innovation, and 4) Enhancement of international networking, which suggest that the government should proactively build an environment for industrial development, improving the ecosystem in the areas of talent, regulation, site, and system. The government should continually promote the integration of human biodata and establish a health big data platform, which introduces models of commercial utilization as well as strikes a balance between personal data protection and industrial development; the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated medical digital transformation, and in addition to fostering key technologies of smart healthcare to provide more convenient and safe health services, the government should also strengthen epidemic product development and establish an international CDMO platform. Moreover, in response to changing international situations and the U.S.-China competition, Taiwan should also leverage its strengths in BioICT and explore niche markets to promote international strategic alliance or M&A, connecting globally for a greater voice.

In his closing remark, Deputy Convener Tsung-Tsong Wu pointed out that, although the scale of this year’s physical meeting had to be reduced due to the pandemic, there were still over 1,500 enthusiastic online participants from all sectors, showing how much people are concerned with biomedical policy. He also stressed that the global supply chain is undergoing reorganization due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, turning the world upside down, and Taiwan’s biomedical sector should cooperate with its leading ICT industry to quickly and effectively introduce technologies like AI, 5G/6G, IoT, and blockchain, for practical applications in the areas of smart hospital environment that integrates healthcare and digital technologies and remote healthcare system, facilitating innovative development of the precision health industry. Moreover, in response to the post-pandemic age, Taiwan should focus on three major themes: “smart healthcare,” “pandemic-prevention technology,” and “health data governance,” and take concrete actions like utilizing the sandbox mechanism of the “Bill of Smart Healthcare Innovation and Experiment Act” to facilitate technological innovation, bringing together the industry to jointly invest resources to nurture Taiwan’s own R&D capability of innovative bio-manufacturing, and enhancing public-private partnership to establish the framework of data governance and application, and mechanism of compliant commercial application and feedback, to explore new business opportunities and create value-added of data economy. Deputy Convener Wu believed that Taiwan can accelerate and gain leading position in the global competition of recovery, realizing our targets of digital country and smart island.

Through discussion and compilation by BTC members and specially invited experts of the industry, academia, research, and healthcare, the meeting concluded 27 suggestions, which will serve as important references for the administrative goals of national technology policy and strategic directions of the technological development of industries, including utilization of the sandbox mechanism to provide sites, facilitating clinical validation and commercial service models of smart/digital healthcare, promoting the application of AI in forward-looking data analysis and forecast, accelerating government’s investment in pandemic-prevention technology for capacity building of COVID-19 vaccine related technical platforms and introduction to key raw material supply chain and basic manufacturing facilities, and devising expansion strategy in emerging markets.

The Office of Science and Technology will invite relevant government agencies to discuss and formulate concrete action plans and promotion strategy, consolidating and integrating resources for maximum synergy, and work in unity to build infrastructures to optimize the development environment of the industry and accelerate the digital transition of Taiwan’s biomedical sector, enhancing industry resilience and keeping pace with the new world in the post-pandemic age.

Date: 2021-09-01
Source: BOST News