The award ceremony for the Presidential Innovation Award, the highest national honor for innovative businesses, was held today (September 1) at the assembly hall of the Presidential Office Building. President Tsai Ing-wen personally awarded a plaque, trophy, certificate, and award money of NT$2 million to each of the three (individual and group) winners.
The three winners are the Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) in the group category, Taipei City Hospital Superintendent Huang Sheng-Jean in the individual category, and Gogolook CEO Jeff Kuo in the youth category. President Chi-Yi Chang attended the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of TDRI.
At the behest of the Presidential Office, the Ministry of Economic Affairs established the biannual Presidential Innovation Award in 2013. The award is given to those who have made long-term investment across a broad spectrum of innovation and value creation in the public, industrial, academic, and institutional sectors, and who have made significant contributions to Taiwan’s economic development. The 4th Presidential Innovation Award began its call for candidates in August 2019 to great response and received a total of 223 applications. After a four-month selection process involving a preliminary selection, secondary selection, and final selection, the three winners were chosen to receive the award. All three winners are exemplary models of the use of innovative thinking to challenge traditional values.
▲ President Tsai Ing-wen gave a speech at the 4th Presidential Innovation Award Ceremony.
The winner in the Group Category, the Taiwan Design Research Institute, is the only Taiwanese organization devoted to using design-centric approaches to facilitate innovation in industries, public services, and society. Originally named Taiwan Design Center, it was upgraded and renamed as Taiwan Design Research Institute in February of this year to serve as both an intermediary platform between the public, industrial, and academic sectors and an important national platform for cultural export and exchange. TDRI has had many successes in organizing large-scale international design exhibitions which have garnered international attention for Taiwanese design and given Taiwan an authoritative voice in Eastern design. TDRI spares no effort in talent development. Through its exhibitions and awards, including the Young Designers’ Exhibition (YODEX), the YODEX Industry-Academia Collaboration Program, and the Golden Pin Design Award, TDRI nurtures up-and-coming designers and discovers innovative design created by a variety of communities and ethnic groups. The TDRI uses Taiwan’s design capabilities to help businesses revamp their image and transform local industries. TDRI has also adopted sustainable design and promoted circular design to guide Taiwanese industries to keep abreast of global trends in sustainable development.
▲ The president awarded Chi-Yi Chang, the president of Taiwan Design Research Institute.
The winner in the Individual Category, Mr. Huang Sheng-Jean, is the Superintendent of Taipei City Hospital. To advance “from saving lives to caring for life,” Huang promoted the Long-term Care Plan 2.0, and he is committed to achieving Aging in Place. Huang and his medical team have gone into communities to provide a wide range of healthcare services that support family-centered care, home care, community care, and residential care. Huang was also a major advocate for the Patient Right to Autonomy Act, which is the first special law in Asia created to protect patients’ right to autonomy, thus ensuring patients autonomy and right to a peaceful death. Huang also spearheaded the nationwide adoption of Advance Care Planning (ACP), which has been piloted at 77 hospitals (including National Taiwan University Hospital and Taipei Veterans General Hospital) and has been signed onto by 10,116 patients. Through the adoption of ACP, Taiwan has been able to reduce the duration of incapacitation from 7.3 years to less than a year and saved more than NT$ 100 billion in medical expenditures, social costs, and long-term care costs. Huang is truly a major driving force for hospice and palliative care in Taiwan’s aging society.
The winner in the Youth Category, Gogolook founder Jeff Kuo, led his team to create the Whoscall app, which has helped over 80 million users in more than 30 countries block millions of scam calls. The company maintains a database of over a billion phone numbers, making Whoscall the largest anti-fraud platform in East Asia. Gogolook has received recognition from major international companies such as Google, Apple, and LINE, and has attracted domestic and international investment totaling over NT$1 billion. Led by CEO Jeff Kuo, the company is dedicated to carrying out innovative research and development, and possesses over 25 patents. Kuo continues to lead the company in launching a variety of innovative anti-fraud services, improving the international visibility of Taiwanese start-ups; he and his company serve as a benchmark for domestic start-ups to strengthen their research and development capabilities and move onto the international stage.
This year’s Presidential Innovation Award winners have brought together different industries in the areas of design, long-term care, and entrepreneurship through innovative thinking, creating new value, and thinking outside the box. They have had a major, positive impact on society and aided the development of industry and the welfare of the people of Taiwan. They serve as models of innovation in the public, industrial, academic, and institutional sectors of Taiwan, and have transformed innovation into a national movement and generated momentum for innovation throughout the country.