The Office of the President announced the winners of the 4th Presidential Innovation Award today, which include Taiwan Design Research Institute in the group award category. The Presidential Innovation Award was established to commend individuals or groups who have achieved innovation in the diverse fields of product, technology, management, service, or culture that contributes to the country’s economic development. The winners shall utilize innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and energy to accelerate industrial structure transformation, set examples for innovative economic development in Taiwan, and establish a comprehensive national system of innovation to boost Taiwan’s competitive edge in economic development. The award is awarded biennially and is the country’s highest presidential honor on innovation after the Presidential Culture Award, Presidential Science Award, and Presidential Education Award.
Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI), formerly Taiwan Design Center, was founded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2003 to promote design aesthetics, provide industry guidance, and establish international connections. Over the past sixteen years, TDRI has successfully enhanced aesthetic awareness in the population, resulting in an increasing number of Taiwanese designers winning international awards. TDRI also organizes international design events to showcase Taiwan’s world-class design capability. With support from the public, industrial, and academic sectors, TDRI was officially promoted from Taiwan Design Center in 2020, which was designated as Taiwan’s first year in combining design with industrial innovation. Moving forward, TDRI shall actively participate in interdepartmental and inter-county/inter-municipal collaborations to incorporate design thinking into the common administrative values of the central and local governments, turning Taiwan’s design capability into a major national strategy and boosting the international reputation of products Designed in Taiwan (DIT).
It was a tremendous honor for TDRI and the design industry to receive this year’s Presidential Innovation Award. TDRI continues to uphold its values in finding innovative solutions for the various projects it launched, including the Taiwan Railway Aesthetic Makeover Project, the Taipei-to-Hualien Shuttle Bus Makeover Project, the Design Movement on Campus Project, and the Public Fire Safety Equipment Redesign Project, all of which have set new standards for Taiwanese aesthetics through innovative, subtractive design. Design is no longer simply about aesthetic appearance, but a strategy for social transformation. TDRI aims to introduce Taiwanese society to the functionality and value of design and how human-centered service design can inject wonder into people’s lives, be it in the form of products or services.
TDRI has received wide acclaim and was awarded the Presidential Innovation Award for achieving the challenging task of incorporating design thinking into the fields of social and public services. As TDRI President Chi-Yi Chang once said, “To us, design is like a lighter that we use to light up the darkest corner; we use it to illuminate the various areas that we’re needed, wherever that may be.” President Chi-Yi Chang shall represent TDRI in receiving the 4th Presidential Innovation Award, which shall be personally awarded by President Tsai Ing-wen in a public ceremony.