Taiwan Government Grants, Loans and Subsidies
The Taiwan Government, at both national and local levels, are very active source of grants, subsidies and incentives. We want to support innovation and job creation, so if you have some new and great, take a look. It’s highly suggested you carefully read up on all the rules, ask around to get valuable tips from experienced bidders, and call the contact people of each project to get answers to your questions.
Explanation of terms:
Grant – A financial award given by the government to an eligible grantee. Government grants are not expected to be repaid by the recipient.
Subsidy – A benefit given by the government in the form of a cash payment or tax reduction to help pay for an expense like for example hiring new employees.
Loan – An amount of money that has to be paid back after an agreed upon period of time.
Most government grants are matching grants. This means that you are supposed to invest money alongside with the government. The exact support programs vary from year to year but let us give you an overview of some national and Taipei City programs.
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
The purpose of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Jīngjì bù xiǎoxíng qǐyè chuàngxīn yánfā jì huà 經濟部小型企業創新研發計畫 grants are to “encourage Taiwanese SMEs to step up their development of innovative new technologies and new products”. Types of research encouraged by the program:
- Developing a brand new idea, concept or new technology.
- Applying an existing technology to a new application.
- Applying a new technology or business model to an existing application.
- Improving an existing technology or product.
SBIR has three phases, described officially as:
Phase I: Feasibility Study
xiānqí yánjiū 先期研究 – NT $1,000,000 total governmental subsidy for 6 months. A small-scale experiment or statistical analysis of the creative concept that can potentially benefit industries so as to validate that concept as being viable. Applicants must describe the key problems addressed, the creative concept they intend to use, anticipated benefits to industries, as well as relative R&D track records and implementation plans.
Phase II: Principal R&D
yánjiū kāifā 研究開發 – NT $10,000,000 total governmental subsidy for 2 years. R&D of a product, production method or service mechanism based on a tangible and feasible creative concept expected to benefit industries. The R&D of a production method can extend to the trial production or ramp-up stage. Applicants must describe the key problems addressed, the creative concept they intend to use, anticipated benefits to industries, as well as relative R&D track records and implementation plans.
Phase II+: Commercialization
jiā zhí yìngyòng 加值應用 – NT $5,000,000 total governmental subsidy for 1 year. This involves the implementation and wide application of R&D results in Phase 2 so as to meet market and customer demand. The focus of R&D extends from the emphasis on the design of technical innovations to the production of the technical application. They may include engineering techniques, moulding development techniques, product design, trial production and ramp-up techniques, or primary market surveys. Applicants must describe the application of the developed technique, feasible implementation, commercialization target and expected benefits.
zhōngxiǎo qǐyè chuàngxīn yánjiū jiǎng 中小企業創新研究獎 – It is always nice to be recognized. Every year for the last 22 years, the Executive Yuan has recognized outstanding SMEs that have invented innovative products, skills or services within the same year as they are applying. Only companies whose research budget is lower than 2% of their annual turnover are eligible.
zhōngxiǎo qǐyè chuàngxīn fāzhǎn zhuān’àn dàikuǎn 中小企業創新發展專案貸款 – For legally registered companies in Taiwan, if they fit in any of these requirements they are eligible to apply for this loan:
- The responsible person of the company is aged between 20-45 years old.
- Company has won an innovation prize from the government.
- Company has received subsidies for research purposes from the government.
- Company has cooperated with overseas companies, governments or academic institutions or has been commissioned by overseas, or has provide development services for research purpose.
- Company has won enhanced investment SMEs project from the government.
- Company has research or production center in a national science park.
- Company has registered at the Taipei exchange center.
- Company has registered as social innovation enterprise or received B Lab certification by B Lab.
wénhuà chuàngyì chǎnyè yōuhuì dàikuǎn 文化創意產業優惠貸款 – This loan is available for companies registered as “cultural creativity” companies, for example advertising, architecture, artifact, art, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts and publishing.
qǐyè xiǎo tóu jiā dàikuǎn 企業小頭家貸款 – This loan is targeting legally registered companies with less than 10 employees and is provided from private banks.
xíngzhèng yuàn guójiā fāzhǎn jījīn chuàngyè tiānshǐ jì huà 行政院國家發展基金 創業天使投資方案is to support entrepreneurs with innovative capacities and global potential could grow rapidly.
fúwù yè chuàngxīn yánfā jì huà (SIIR) 服務業創新研發計畫(SIIR) – Research grant for companies legally registered in Taiwan, not including branch offices, with positive equity in the retail, logistics, restaurants, advertising, e-commerce industries.
chǎnyè shēngjí chuàngxīn píngtái fǔdǎo jì huà-yánfā dàikuǎn jì huà 產業升級創新平臺輔導計畫-研發貸款計畫 – This grant is for companies in the internet, manufacturing, and cultural creative industries conducting innovation or development projects to increase the added value of products or services.
yùnyòng guó fā jījīn tóuzī zhōngxiǎo qǐyè 運用國發基金投資中小企業 – This investment is aimed for domestic SMEs with potential but not yet go public, and need money for new investments, cooperations, international technology transfers.
táiběi shì chǎnyè fāzhǎn jiǎnglì bǔzhù jì huà 臺北市產業發展獎勵補助計畫 has been launched by Taipei City Government. In order to encourage technology development, Taipei City is the first city government that provides R&D, brands establishment incubation, new startups, and competitive industries to develop key industries.
Companies registered in Taipei or SMEs are eligible to apply.
Most cities have a some business support. Check with the city hall in your city to find out what they can do for you.
Grants can be a great way to leverage other investment into your company. While there might feel like a lot of paperwork, also keep in mind that you are not giving up any equity or even interest payments.
Don’t take our word for it. Here are a couple of international entrepreneurs that has received government grants.