Premier Jiang Yi-huah today lauded the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for supporting innovation research at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), saying the efforts have led to international technological cooperation opportunities, produced more patents, generated follow-up investments and created new jobs, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said at the Cabinet meeting today. “Innovation research is an important driving force behind the competitiveness of SMEs,” noted the premier. He directed the MOEA to keep up its efforts and hoped that local governments would also strengthen their support to the many SMEs that dominate Taiwan’s industrial landscape. In the premier’s talks with young entrepreneurs across Taiwan, he often hears calls for the government to subsidize innovation research and attract more foreign professionals to Taiwan. Reiterating the administration’s commitment to easing regulations, the premier asked agencies to adopt more open policies to help SMEs recruit foreign professionals. Mechanisms for reviewing subsidy applications should also be improved. And given the government’s limited budget, agencies can bring in more private-sector resources from venture capital companies or other civilian organizations to help sustain the development of SME startups. The MOEA’s objectives in supporting SME innovation research are to create new value and promote industrial transformation. Under the ministry’s Small Business Innovation Research program, government subsidies are available for SMEs for developing innovative technologies and products that give them a competitive edge. The funding reduces the risks companies assume when taking on highly uncertain projects that might fail. Policies tools are also used to guide innovation and help companies through the stages of preliminary research, product development, and creation of value-added applications. All of these mechanisms provide guidance in business operation and R&D management, which is intended to reinforce SMEs’ foundation for innovation research. Among the SME innovation research projects completed from 2010 to 2012, the MOEA injected subsidies of NT$1.81 billion (US$61 million) while the companies invested NT$3.14 billion (US$106 million) themselves—that is, every NT$1 provided by the government yielded direct business investments of NT$1.73. In technological cooperation with other countries, 455 joint projects generated total value of NT$380 million (US$12.8 million). In terms of intellectual property, the companies filed for 1,013 patents, earned 729 patents, developed 356 applications, received 116 certifications and 65 awards, and generated NT$4 billion (US$135 million) in commercial value. Looking ahead, these projects are expected to attract an additional NT$3 billion (US$101 million) in follow-up investments and create 1,503 new jobs.