2019successstories

2019 Success Stories

Innova

Innova Solutions Taiwan, is one of the worldwide subsidiaries of Innova Solutions Inc., US. The Taipei Development Center (TDC) is built as a premier software R&D center for Change Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare IT companies in the US. There are a number of critical reasons why Innova Solutions chose Taipei to set up a R&D center.

The most important reason is the rich talent pool in Taipei. Taiwan is a beacon of freedom in Asia that warmly welcomes people and integrates cultures from across the world. Taiwan also has one of the world's most highly educated labor forces among OECD countries. Robert Liu, the General Manager of Innova Solutions Taiwan, mentioned that Taipei has sufficient diversity to attract talents from all over the world, and their colleagues here could communicate in English easily. Besides, there are many education resources for foreign expats to learn Chinese in Taipei. Currently, Innova Solutions Taiwan has recruited over 200 employees within 3 years, representing more than 10 countries. As Robert said, “We started 3 years ago from zero employee to 200 employees. This is not an easy achievement. It’s due to the fact that we are in a resource rich environment to attract talents from all over the world.”

Another important reason, which is often taken for granted, is the sound infrastructure. Taipei has comprehensive transportation and communications infrastructure. In terms of transportation, Taipei is Taiwan's largest transport hub with three forms of railway (trains, HSR, and the Metro). Robert noted that all of their visitors from the US marvel at the efficiency of transportation and the quality of life they are able to enjoy in Taipei, which exceeded their expectations. They really enjoy visiting Taiwan. With regards to Taipei's Internet infrastructure, the city has the country's first "seamless network." Fiber optic coverage has already reached 80%, with free Wi-Fi services for residents in many public areas. The accessibility of high-speed internet enables Innova’s software engineers to work alongside the medical giant's (Change Healthcare) 7,000+ engineering team on a variety of technical domains.

Other reason which Robert stated for example was the variety of international cuisines their colleagues could find in Taipei. In fact, compare with other cities in the world, the cost of living and the convenience in Taipei is very competitive. In addition, the time zone in Taiwan is also an advantage when their colleagues work primary with teams in the US. “It is important to have some hours of overlap when we work together. Software development need close collaboration, sometimes we need to communicate in real time,” Robert said.

Before Innova came to Taiwan, they did not know the labor law and regulation requirements in Taipei. Robert stated that Innova Solutions could feel the support from the Taipei City Government, “We have received a lot of information help from the Invest Taipei Office (ITO), that is already sufficient, we are able to grow with all the information and resources provided to us.” Robert also pointed out that Taipei has excellent regulations related to office safety such as the fire code. These requirements are important in their industry. The completeness of law and regulations in Taipei are also one of the key reasons why Innova Solutions choose Taipei.

GEAR8

GEAR8 is a website planning and production team established in Sapporo, Hokkaido in 2009. GEAR8’s first branch office was established in Bangkok, Thailand in 2016, and its second branch office was set up in Taipei in 2018. The Invest Taipei Office (ITO) interviewed Mr. Yuta Umeki, the General Manager of GEAR8 Taiwan, to further explore why GEAR8 has chosen Taipei to set up a branch office.

With the popularization of globalization, websites and marketing are no longer used only by people in that country, and products are not only sold to local people. As in Japan, the ability to plan the most suitable design from different cultural perspectives is a prime requisite. With this context, Mr. Umeki mentioned that one of the main reasons for GEAR8's overseas deployment is to bring diversity to the team. The planning and creativity from different perspectives are intertwined to provide value and services that other companies do not have. GEAR8 is more than just designing a website, it attaches more importance to discover customers’ real necessities during the communication to enhance the value of services and products.

Mr. Umeki further pointed out five major reasons why GEAR8 has chosen Taipei City for its overseas deployment. One reason is “advanced design capacity”. There are many talents with skilled design capacity in Taipei City which makes the recruitment process smoother; the second reason is “high brand awareness", compared to other countries, GEAR8 feels that Taiwan has a strong awareness of its own company's brand. GEAR8's technology and knowledge are very helpful when assisting companies to build their brands; the third reason is "laxer foreign investment regulations", the regulations on business types and capital in Taipei are laxer than other cities in the world, therefore it’s much easier for small and medium-sized overseas enterprises such as GEAR8 to enter the market; the fourth reason is "complete assistance system for startups", led by the ITO and the Center for Innovation Taipei (CIT) where GEAR8 Taiwan is currently located, provide a very good environment and assistance for startups; the fifth reason is "integrated infrastructure", Taipei has a profound infrastructure such as IT and transportation, and it’s easy to find accommodation. Whether you are living or doing business in Taipei, you can easily make use of the infrastructure here.

At the end of the interview, Mr. Umeki gave a few words for foreign companies who are interested in investing Taipei, "Taiwan, which is close to Japan in terms of geography or psychology, is one of the hubs for Asia's expansion. As the foreign investment regulations are more relaxed in Taipei than other cities, so the difficulty for overseas SMEs to expand in Taipei is relatively low. In addition, ITO offers complete service for startups, assisting companies to remove barriers for entering Taipei and reduce costs."

Studio5

Studio Five Co., Ltd. (Studio5) is a branch company that was established in Taiwan by the Japanese Company Limited 5 and employs many exceptional Taiwanese creators, which is different to simply establishing an offshore company. Makoto Honda, the CEO of the company who holds over 10 years of experience and achievements in Japan, is adopting long-term residence in Taiwan to direct projects such as producing the opening animation of games, short commercials including the Commercial Movie, film, and TV animation, and other extended animations including computer Graphics (CG) animation. The Invest Taipei Office (ITO) specially interviewed the CEO of Studio5, Makoto Honda, in Taiwan and further discovered why Studio5 chose Taipei to establish its branch company.

Studio5 holds over 10 years of experience and achievements in the industry and has made use of 3D Computer Graphics (3DCG) technology to create world-class CG animation. As described by CEO Makoto Honda, 3DCGs culture in Taipei is well developed so it has a high affinity with that of Japanese animation. Also, since the production technology of Japanese-style CG animation developed in Japan can be easily implemented by Taiwanese employees, the company has chosen Taiwan as their center to participate in worldwide corporate projects from Japan and China.

Studio5 supports the production of various CG models such as characters, backgrounds, and props since it can facilitate 3DCG modeling, the production of various texture materials, settings and the control of skeleton, photography, blending, and others. The company can also develop pre-production support services for CG animation and provide various proposed-based concept settings, outlines, scripts, designs, performance, storyboards, and relevant production technology for pre-production engineering tasks.

Studio5 can also support the preparation of designs for roles and concepts. Based on the drafts and concepts provided by customers, the process begins with informal essays so that the role and concept settings align with the project is gradually expanded and designed while creating its formation. The company is also in possession of the intellectual property rights developed from its own original IP and has worked with agents, manufacturers, and other rights executors that are interested in videos, games, publishing, and commercialization. CEO Honda stated: "I think the most attractive part about Taipei is its talent since the educational level of CG is very high". Overall, Taiwan has a lot of outstanding talent and many professionals can speak Japanese and English. IT culture is also flourishing, so the country has the advantage of expanding overseas business.

At the end of the interview, CEO Honda spoke about how he can provide Studio5's experience by starting a business in Taiwan since he offers services to companies from Japan that enjoy developing designs in Taiwan. He also said that the one-stop service offered by ITPO has assisted foreign businessmen, which helps Studio5 to understand every kind of the customized service provided by the Taipei City Government so that it can make further use of these efficient and attentive services.

Taiwan Drone Service

Geosat Aerospace & Technology was established in 2004 by Dr. Cheng-Fang Lo based on the former Satellite Information Center of the National Cheng Kung University. Through 3S technology imbedded in satellite positioning technology, telemetry technology, and geospatial information technology as its core, the company has engaged in satellite information analysis and relevant map data processing services. In 2008, a corporate transformation was completed since the company gradually geared towards the upper-stream development for independent vehicle platforms while participating in the field of unmanned aircraft research and development, and has finally become a service provider of holistic drone solutions with vertical integration proficiencies. In 2015, the company also achieved recognition and affirmation with the honor of the "National Industrial Innovation Award" from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

To expand the field of applications using drones, Geosat conducts itself through The Invest Taipei Office (ITO) to provide customized consulting services. In 2019, the Taiwan Drone Service Company Inc. successfully started in Daan District, Taipei City. Thereafter, ITO interviewed Dr. Cheng-Fang Lo, the chairman of Taiwan Drone Service Inc., to further discover why the company chose to invest in Taipei.

Chairman Lo described that the main farming household in Taiwan is 276,000, with 28,000 households experiencing a shortage of labor. In 2016, the population in agricultural employment accounted for 557,000 people and approximately 110,000 people are expected to leave the farming industry in the next 10 years. As observed, since farming practices in Taiwan experience short agricultural periods, as well as crops rotating with seasons so it cannot provide a constant routine of work throughout the year, the labor shortage problem persists, even with the introduction of foreign agricultural workers. As a result of the shortage of agricultural labor in Taiwan, the serious aging of the population, and 17% of the agricultural population being over 65-years-old, this is why current farming households are more reliant on smart agriculture as a consistent farming model. However, since Taipei possesses high-tech professionals, it has established the professional team (aircraft) in Taipei because it will make use of drones in agricultural spraying so that farmers can recover their health and their time spent with families.

To support the 5+2 innovative industry plan, the employment of agricultural spray drones and smart agricultural technology can assist in increasing farmers' income, encourage young people to return to their hometowns, assist young farmers to start businesses, and improve agricultural competitiveness in Taiwan. Overall, chairman Lo considers, as he later added, that it will be a project that is most meaningful to agriculture in Taiwan.

At the end of the interview, Lo stated that the above-mentioned business model can be beneficial in both Taiwan's agriculture and also the neighboring Southeast Asian countries, therefore, Taiwan's drone products and application services can be internationalized and marketed to the world. Presently, these services have already entered into smart agriculture, forestry, and green energy markets and the company has cooperated with suppliers from Southeast Asia, Japan, China, and other areas to facilitate the relevant industries. With smart agriculture as the focus, the company has expanded its services to the cultivation and management of high-value crops such as palm oil forests in Malaysia, which has significantly improved the prospects for the development of drones. Most importantly, the company indicated that the one-stop service provided by ITO helped it a lot and that it can appreciate the many resources provided by the Taipei City Government.