With a soft launch at the January 2012 Strategic Review Board meeting and Cabinet approval of the rollout plan that November, the open data initiative officially kicked off in Taiwan, commencing new actions for improved transparency and private sector creativity.
On the supply side, the National Development Council (NDC) set up the coordination and management portal “data.gov.tw” in early 2013 with direct and targeted policy support from the Board of Science and Technology (BOST). The NDC urged every government agency to identify and release a minimum of 5 data categories in the first trial phase and 50 categories in the second phase by end of 2013. As of August of 2015, more than 10,000 datasets were available on data.gov.tw.
On the demand side, a matching promotion and subsidy program for the private sector has been established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) to support creative applications that have potential commercial or social value. Another series of campaigns and competitions also has been held to raise awareness and encourage innovative application development ideas and entrepreneurship by students and citizens.
With the support of the IDB, in 2013 over 300 private sector volunteers formed the Open Data Alliance, serving as a major industry voice and contact windows for domestic open-data communities.
On the international front, we worked collaboratively with the global open data community and cemented alliances through bilateral MOUs with the Open Data Institute of the United Kingdom, the Open Data Center of South Korea, the GovLab of the United States, the Electronic Government Agency of Thailand, and others. We also committed to share insights and experiences with Japan, Ireland and France over the past two years.
As Premier Mao announced that 2015 is Taiwan’s Open Data Year for pervasive adoption and engagement, our next move has been steering towards big data and crowd sourcing innovation as well as striving to make Taiwan the open data hub of the Asia-Pacific.