A sustainable future shines through Taiwan Innotech Expo 2023
Asia Research News was a media partner for the recently concluded Taiwan Innotech Expo (tie) 2023. The Expo’s return to a fully in-person event this year is their biggest one yet with almost 1,200 booths by 500 exhibitors from 23 countries. Running for almost 20 years, the expo provides a venue for showcasing the latest technological developments. This year's event provided a glimpse into a healthy and sustainable future for our planet.
At the Opening Ceremony, Taiwan Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua emphasised the importance of collaborations and inter-ministerial efforts for the future, and Minister of National Science and Technology Council Wu Tsung-tsong spoke of the influence of artificial intelligence and Taiwan’s role in an AI-powered future.
There were 3 main pavilions representing collaborations in research and development and industry advancements: Future Tech Pavilion, Innovation Pilot Pavilion, and Sustainability Pavilion.
Future Tech Pavilion
The Future Tech (FUTEX) pavilion allowed visitors to experience forward-looking designs, which included a themed section for semiconductor and materials research to power new green technologies. The Taiwan Space Agency's (TASA) booth celebrated Taiwan's space initiatives especially with the launch of the country’s first domestic weather satellite TRITON a week earlier.
The biotechnology section showcased devices and approaches in medicine using new technology and research. Some notable exhibits were a rapid on-site cancer diagnosis system and a nerve stimulation therapy integrating virtual reality.
The crowds especially loved the futuristic artificial intelligence booths on medical diagnostics and on educational experiences, including conversations with chat algorithms dedicated to art and agriculture.
The life design exhibits were popular with visitors too, as they allowed interactions with smart and precision-tracking technologies for analysing and improving physical activities and sports like cycling and boxing.
Innovation Pilot Pavilion
In this pavilion, key Taiwan industries and research institutes took center stage. The pavilion featured cutting-edge designs and applications in smart transportation systems, health and medical informatics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and net-zero systems.
Exhibits featured demonstrations for visitors to experience virtual and augmented reality, the metaverse, advanced medical facilities, new textile designs, and more. Improvements for the manufacturing industry, especially in semiconductors, were exemplified by new robotics and industrial systems designs. Immersive experiences included a multi-tech kinematics booth for golf, an augmented reality stage, an AI aquarium, and free fast textile printing.
Green technology research dominated the Sustainability pavilion. Green energy and net-zero systems were demonstrated through new approaches to clean, low-emission, and renewable energy technologies. Hydrogen energy use was of great interest as Taiwan prepares for this emerging source of power.
As the world moves into a more circular economy, innovations in recycling waste will be crucial for manufacturers and waste management systems.
Demonstrations of a circular bio-economy included new recycling methods and recycled products. An example was the reuse of slag waste from the metals industry in producing sturdier concrete materials for roads, which also involved a circular materials verification and matchmaking (CMVM) platform integrating blockchain. Recycled products were also on display, including oyster shells that were converted to antifungal footwear and polyester recycled into high-quality textile threads.
Low-energy and low-emission equipment and processes for the agricultural sector were also highlighted, from fruit harvesters to parasite and pest control.
Academic and industry collaborations
Aside from the featured university research in the three main pavilions, Taiwan Innotech Expo also designated an area for more of Taiwan’s educational institutions as well as representatives from other countries like Thailand and Indonesia. Universities from across Taiwan had dedicated booths exhibiting research works from professors and students alike. The research works ran the spectrum of fields, from materials, engineering, electronics, robotics and automation, and medical devices.
Bridging the gap between research and industry adoption, the expo also set up a Patented Merchandise Area that featured market-ready inventions.and matchmaking events that provided opportunities for researchers and start-ups to meet potential funders, investors, and buyers.
Throughout the three-day event, there were several talks by government officials, industry leaders, and experts. The talks covered pioneering innovative applications in the semiconductor industry, net-zero future, space technology developments, sustainable agriculture, and research collaborations.
One of the talks was on “Innovating Our Future” by Qualcomm-Taiwan University Research Collaboration Program. Qualcomm is a key company in semiconductors, software, and wireless technology and has been fostering research from Taiwan universities with the support of Taiwan’s government institutions. The program in Taiwan is the largest, having yielded 131 projects and resulting in 600 papers published in international journals. During the talk, partner universities presented their best projects resulting from the collaboration program. Representatives from National Taiwan University, National Tsing-Hua University, and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University shared their research projects in AI hardware design, AI for wireless communications, 6G and generative AI, among other fields.
The Invention Competition Area had 530 exhibits by teams from Taiwan and countries like South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Ecuador, and India who displayed their innovations for the Taiwan Innotech Expo Awards.
Platinum Awards, the highest for the competition, were given to inventions from Cheng Shiu University, Chung Yuan Christian University, National Chung Hsing University, and Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology. The full list of winners can be found here.
Taiwan Innotech Expo 2023 brought together stakeholders from across industries and fields and even across ages, cementing Taiwan’s place as an international research hub. It was an insightful and fun event that allowed attendees a look into technologies and research that will shape the future.