EU – Taiwan Cluster Matchmaking Event 2018 In the context of the European Innovation Week and COMPUTEX TAIPEI Taipei (Taiwan), 4-6 June 2018
The European Innovation Week and COMPUTEX TAIPEI were the perfect context to hold the EU-Taiwan Cluster Matchmaking Event 2018, jointly organised by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) in cooperation with the Chinese National Federation of Industries and TAITRA, among other European and Taiwanese authorities. This EU-Taiwan event built on the successful results of the previous two editions (Taipei, June 2016; and Brussels, June 2017).
In this context, 16 representatives of European cluster organisations in different fields (circular economy, smart manufacturing, smart cities & smart mobility, ICT and renewable energy) participated in the different activities, which included technical seminars, matchmaking meetings, site visits and more. The European cluster delegates had some 60 formal meetings in addition to less formal interactions that took place through various networking activities included in the agenda. Preliminary feedback has been very positive with cluster delegates expecting to achieve some tangible results from their participation in this event.
The event focus areas encompassed circular economy, ICT, smart cities & smart mobility, smart manufacturing and renewable energy (with special focus on offshore wind energy). It featured seminars on these fields as well as a matchmaking session, where the European cluster delegates had cluster-to-cluster (C2C) and cluster-to-business (C2B) meetings. In fact, the agenda was designed to boost contacts and partnership agreements with Taiwanese organisations through the exploration of possible areas of interest for cooperation and complementarities in terms of sectoral, value chain and market focus.
The European cluster delegation was comprised of 16 cluster organisations from 10 COSME countries, namely Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Spain and United Kingdom.
Activities started on Monday the 4th of June with the Opening Ceremony of the European Innovation Week (EIW), which included the opening remarks of Mr. Antti PELTOMÄKI (Deputy Director General of DG GROW, European Commission), Dr. SHIH Jun-ji (Vice Premier of Executive Yuan), Mr. SHEN Jong-Chin (Ministry of Economic Affairs) and Mr. LEE Ying-Yuan (Minister of Environment Protection Administration, Executive Yuan).
After the Opening of the EIW, one conference and three technical seminars on circular economy, smart manufacturing, smart mobility and off-shore wind energy took place on the 4th of June, allowing the European cluster delegates to participate in the activities that were of primary interest to their focus areas.
The 2018 EU-Taiwan Circular Economy International Conference allowed the European cluster delegates to better know the policy priorities and actions of the Taiwan government in relation to circular economy, recycling technologies and the optimal utilisation of energy and resources. The conference mainly focused on the application of circular economy principles to the utilisation of plastics, to waste electrical and electronic equipment and to construction and demolition waste management.
The Smart Manufacturing Seminar included interventions of leading companies and experts from Taiwan and Europe to share their views on latest trends, opportunities, challenges and successful cases for smart factories and factories of the future. Similarly, the Smart Mobility Seminar brought together experts from Europe and Taiwan, who presented the latest trends and opportunities in the smart mobility industry, with special focus on autonomous drive, mobility as a service and connected vehicle.
Finally, the Wind Power Cluster Seminar was a great opportunity for the European clusters to get to know better the business potential and opportunities for European companies in Taiwan, as the policy and promotion of offshore wind power in Taiwan was presented. Moreover, the European clusters targeting wind energy had the chance to present their strengths and capabilities to cooperate in the development of the offshore wind energy in Taiwan. In that regard, the following European clusters were presented: Aerospace Valley (France), Basque Energy Cluster (Spain), Inteligentna Energija (Croatia), Merinova (Finland) and TENERRDIS (France, represented by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Entreprises). Three clusters in Taiwan were also presented in the seminar: Taiwan Wind Industry Association, Taiwan Wind Energy Association and Taiwan Offshore Wind Turbine Foundation and Marine Engineering Association. The seminar finished with pitches from several companies from Europe and Taiwan.
Activities on the 5th of June included the EU-Taiwan Cluster Cooperation Seminar and the matchmaking session. The EU-Taiwan Cluster Cooperation Seminar encompassed the participation of 16 European clusters and 16 Taiwanese clusters, as well as other attendees from different organisations interested in getting to know the participant cluster organisations. The seminar started with the welcome and introductory remarks from Mr. Fred HUANG (Advisor of the Chinese National Federation of Industries) and Mr. Christophe GUICHARD (Team leader of cluster internationalisation, DG GROW). Following, Ms. Noelia DOSIL (team member of the ECCP) gave a presentation on the services and tools that the ECCP provides, with a special focus on international clusters. After this presentation, the 16 clusters in Taiwan and the 16 clusters from Europe presented themselves, including their number of members, focus areas and interests for EU-Taiwan cooperation. The seminar finished with a panel on “Success stories in promoting EU-Taiwan cooperation”, where Mr. Vesselin VASSILEV (CASTRA) presented his views on what can be the role of a cluster organisation in fostering EU-Taiwan cooperation in innovation, and Mr. Chia-Feng CHANG (Taiwan Offshore Wind Turbine Foundation and Marine Engineering Association) presented the opportunities for EU-Taiwan cooperation in offshore wind energy and how this association achieved a formal cluster-to-cluster cooperation with the UK in the offshore wind energy field.
After the Cluster Cooperation Seminar, the European cluster delegation participated in a VIP tour to COMPUTEX Taipei fair.
In the afternoon of the 5th of June, the European cluster delegation participated in the C2C and C2B matchmaking session, where they had meetings with Taiwanese clusters and companies. Over 60 formal meetings were held between the 16 European cluster delegates and clusters and companies from Taiwan. The first impressions and feedback received indicate that some interesting achievements may result from these initial contacts.
“Attending the EU-Taiwan Cluster Matchmaking Event 2018 and the European Innovation Week has been very beneficial to understand the Taiwanese legal and policy framework targeting business opportunities and understanding the future trends in Taiwan. I have been able to develop very interesting business contacts for developing projects in the future of both our cluster and members, including the prospect of concluding a collaboration agreement with the Green Trade Project Office of TAITRA.” Ramón Vivanco (ARCHENERG Cluster)
At the end of the 5th of June, the cluster delegates had the opportunity to further interact with Taiwanese representatives through informal networking as part of the EIW Welcome Reception and COMPUTEX Welcome Networking event.
On the 6th of June several activities were organised in parallel, which provided different options to the European delegation based on their interests. This included a Circular Economy site visit in Tainan, as well as a site visit to the Hsinchu Science Park. As part of the Circular Economy site visit in Tainan, the participant clusters gave short pitches about their organisations as part of a cluster seminar in the morning, where they also had the chance to meet some Taiwanese companies working in circular economy. In the afternoon, the cluster delegates visited the Tainan Refuse Incineration Plant and the company Solar Applied Materials Technology Corp. In this last case, the European delegation visited the company facilities and learnt about the processes that the company applies to recycling waste electrical and electronic equipment materials. During the Hsinchu Science Park visit, the participant European cluster delegates had the opportunity to better understand Taiwan competences in high-tech industries, as well as to network with some companies located in this Science Park.
Finally, although it was not initially planned in the mission agenda, some European cluster delegates had the opportunity to attend the Signing Ceremony of the Administrative Arrangement on Cluster Cooperation between the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and DG GROW of the European Commission, which took place in the morning of the 6th of June. This is a great achievement to boost the cooperation activities between clusters in Europe and Taiwan, which will also help to ensure the continuation of cooperation actions.