Taiwan's AI Ecosystem growing, driving major investments in Taiwan

Kenneth Thomas, Startup City | Monday, April 05, 2021

Taiwan has a dynamic AI ecosystem, which is attracting investments from major firms across the world. This is going to enable faster development of Taiwanese AI ecosystems.

Fremont, CA: The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all parts of the world. Though the effects have largely been negative, many startups are utilizing AI to modify and optimize their business operations, which in turn leads to the overall development of the AI industry. 

As per a report by IDC, the worldwide AI market is expected to grow by 12.3%. For AI technology to thrive, there is a need for well-developed data centers that could support data storage, training models, and cloud services. Data in various fields such as manufacturing and finance can only be used effectively if the AI for cloud services are advanced enough. 

Major cloud computing players such as Google and Microsoft are increasing their investments in Taiwan’s AI infrastructure. Last year’s September, Google inaugurated its third data center in Yunlin, while Microsoft announced that it would establish Azure data centers in Taiwan. Developers will no longer depend upon overseas data centers for building the services. This will accelerate innovation by local firms and bring about economic growth.

Major investment in Healthcare AI

The pandemic has caused a surge in the innovation in AI for healthcare services. AetherAI, a medical imaging AI development and digital pathology firm, secured almost US$6 million in series A round led by Quanta Computing. Deep01, another firm developing AI for the healthcare industry, raised US$2.7 million in seed funding led by ASUS Capital. Heroic-Faith, which manufactures AI stethoscope and other smart respiratory devices, raised US$4 million series A funding. The Taiwanese AI industry is planning to go global. The US, Japan, and Europe still dominate the medical AI-related products, but Taiwan’s AI development along with such investment will put Taiwan on the map.

Companies looking for collaborations

Commonwealth Magazine and Europe's IMD mutually released the first digital transformation survey between Taiwan and Europe which indicated that almost 52% of Taiwanese companies have not transformed digitally, and a mere 4% have reached their digital transformation goals. Hence it is evident why digital transformation has become a new goal for them. Along with major investments, Taiwanese companies are also seeking collaboration with the world’s leading tech manufacturers.

The success of the Taiwanese government and citizens in fighting the coronavirus pandemic has helped the AI ecosystems flourish in the second half of 2020. Community partners such as Microsoft for Startups, Taiwan AI x Robotics Accelerator and SparkLabs Taipei, have been recruiting a large number of startups to boost the AI ecosystem of Taiwan. The mitigation of the coronavirus also enabled them to host the largest startup event 2020 Meet Taipei where several startups showcased their AI services. 

Several institutions are fostering AI research and education and promoting innovation and the development of AI. Some great examples are Taiwan AI Academy and Taiwan AI Labs. These institutions are also getting support from the Taiwanese government which is enabling the overall development of the AI ecosystems. The opportunities provided to the startups to utilize the resources that Taiwan is offering will upgrade Taiwan’s AI ecosystem’s capabilities.

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