The 2017 Smart City Summit and Expo kicked off Feb. 21 at Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, facilitating interactions among professionals from around the world in the emerging smart technology sector while highlighting local expertise in forging cutting-edge digital solutions.
Running through Feb. 24, this year’s edition focuses on the Internet of Things and features a record 900 booths by about 200 domestic and foreign enterprises. Fifty-six mayors and municipal officials from Taiwan and 29 other countries are scheduled to attend the event’s two main summits, while more than 10,000 industry specialists are expected to take part in some 40 forums on topics ranging from smart architecture to health care.
President Tsai Ing-wen said at the opening ceremony that the government recognizes the great potential of big data and smart city technologies, and is making every effort to boost quality of life throughout Taiwan by applying intelligent solutions in such areas as long-term care, disaster prevention and energy efficiency. “It is time to use our strength in information and communication technology to bolster domestic development,” she said.
The president pointed to the nine-year DIGI plus program unveiled by the Executive Yuan in November 2016 to build a modern digital infrastructure. Running 2017-2025 with a budget of NT$170 billion (US$5.5 billion), the initiative seeks to enhance the country’s digital economy through such measures as creating an innovation-friendly environment, fostering new talent in the field and increasing access to online resources.
First held in 2014, the annual Smart City Summit and Expo aims to boost the development of smart city technologies by promoting professional exchanges and providing a platform to showcase the latest advances in the field. The 2017 edition features two new meetings: the Sustainable City Forum and World Telecom Smart City Conference.
In addition, medical industry executives from Southeast Asia attended the event’s smart health care seminar for the first time this year, a development in line with the New Southbound Policy. A key component of the government’s national development strategy, the peoplecentric initiative seeks to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, educational, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
Taiwan has been recognized as a global leader in smart city solutions. A total 13 of the nation’s cities and counties have been recognized by Intelligent Community Forum as smart communities, while Taipei and central Taiwan’s Taichung City were named Intelligent Community of the Year by the New York-based nongovernmental organization in 2006 and 2013, respectively. (OC-E)
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