2024 IC Taiwan Grand Challenge Pilot Program

I.  Introduction

The Taiwan Chip-based Industrial Innovation Program (Taiwan CbI) is a collaborative effort by various Taiwanese government ministries. It aims to make the most of Taiwan's expertise in semiconductor technology by combining chips with important innovations like generative AI. It focuses on attracting global startups and investment, using generative AI and chips for industry-wide innovation, attracting global talent, and advancing heterogeneous integration for overall industry growth.

To boost Taiwan's position as a leading IC startup cluster, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) organizes the IC Taiwan Grand Challenge. It offers local incentives such as chip tape-out, masks, and IP services, collaborates with leading semiconductor companies for investment, and establishes public-private venture capital funds. These efforts aim to attract global talent and investment, with the goal of making Taiwan a hub for innovative chip technologies.

In 2024, the IC Taiwan Grand Challenge will debut, aiming to discover promising teams early and connect them with Taiwan. It will spotlight global startups and academic groups focusing on IC design innovations and Chip-based innovative applications. Top selections will be invited to establish bases in Taiwan, linking them with funding to advance chip innovations, leveraging the world's most comprehensive semiconductor industry ecosystem to support creative endeavors.

The Taiwan government hopes to integrate local IC design, manufacturing, packaging, testing, and product processes through this award. It seeks to attract global talent to Taiwan, driving business opportunities and fostering industry development.


II.  Categories

Advanced technologies or solutions for the following areas of development:

--Category 1 - IC design innovations: Academic research or startup with proprietary IC design technology and core IP, planning and developing innovative chips.

--Category 2 - Chip-based innovative applications: Academic research or startup with domain knowledge in various industries and planning to combine existing chip technologies for implementation, such as the following topics:

*Smart Data & Security (cyber-security, quantum computing, digital economy)

*Smart Mobility (electric vehicles, autonomous driving, smart cities)

*Smart Manufacturing (intelligent manufacturing, IC process, robots)

*Smart Medtech (biometrics, smart monitoring)

*Sustainability (sustainable manufacturing, energy-saving innovation)


III.  Eligibility

1.  Startups, legal entities, academic research institutions and persons that plan to collaborate with Taiwan’s semiconductor chip design and manufacturing industry. Qualified proposals must meet specific criteria.

  (1) Must be a startup set up after January 1, 2016

  (2) It shall not be a startup/legal entity/academic research institution/person from China or a startup established by people, legal entities or other institutions in China from a third place to invest in Taiwan.

  (3) The source of funds shall not include funds from a third-area enterprise, which refers to a person, juristic person or institution in China that directly or indirectly holds more than 30% of the shares or total capital contribution of the third-area enterprise; or having the ability to control the third-area enterprise.

2.  The participant must own the intellectual property rights of the product, technology or solution or have obtained legal licensing access.

3.  The participant must provide concept paper (for initial review) and deliver a presentation (for secondary review) within the designated time. The content of the concept paper includes the core technology, situations that have been solved or verified so far, the business model to be developed, market expansion plans, etc.


IV.  Competition process

The award selection process is through online competitions. Teams can participate with no entry limits.

  1. There are two rounds of registration. The first round ends on June 30, 2024, and the second round runs from September 4, 2024, to January 31, 2025. Teams have a two-week grace period after each deadline to complete their application materials.
  2. Online registration: Interested participants can fill in the registration form online at any time and upload required documents.

Please download the file through IC Taiwan Grand Challenge official website: https://ictaiwanchallenge.org

  1. Qualification review: The organizer will conduct a qualification review and confirm the competition category in accordance with the regulations.
  2. Initial review: The content of the concept paper will be reviewed. Based on the review results, candidates will be notified whether to proceed to secondary review. Candidates that pass the initial review must submit the “IC Innovation Acceleration Platform Resource Requirement Application Form” (please refer to Attachment 1).
  3. Secondary review: The presentation and Q&A will be conducted online. The entire process (including presentation and Q&A) will be conducted in English. The total time is 20 minutes.
  4. Result Announcement: The organizer will arrange the review schedules based on the amount of applications, and the team will be notified of the results two weeks after the review.


V.   Judging Criteria

The number of cooperative competitions will be announced respectively. The proceedings of each competition will be handled in accordance with the regulations of the competition, including the composition of the judges and the scoring items.

1.  Jury composition: Experts from Taiwan’s industry, venture capital, government departments in relevant fields are invited to form a committee to select the winning team via initial review and secondary review.

2.  Scoring items (100%):

  (1) Local connectivity (40%)

    i. Have resource needs and specific development plans in Taiwan

    ii. Can provide broader development space for Taiwan’s industry

  (2) Value Creativity (40%)

    i.  Can drive technological innovation potential and create social welfare

    ii. Contribution to promoting new industrial links or promoting industrial upgrading

    iii.The effectiveness of introducing derivative investments or creating high economic value

  (3) Technological innovation (20%)

    i.  Innovation in emerging application fields

    ii. Pioneering in the fields of manufacturing process, design, and application of new materials

    iii.Able to integrate the advantages of diversified innovation and integrated cross-domain thinking


VI.  Awards

  1. IC Innovation Acceleration Platform Industry Links and Guidance of Chip Development in Taiwan: An initial funding of USD 30,000 will be provided for teams coming to Taiwan. Based on actual needs, teams will be offered in chip development during the project execution period, including access to EDA tools, silicon intellectual property licensing services, IC professional design services, and shuttle services for multi-project wafer (MPW) runs, with a total cap of USD 3 million. This will primarily be conducted through a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) model for equity exchange. If the SAFE is not applicable under the regulations of the respective country, alternative equity exchange methods will be negotiated.
  2. Industry Expert Review and Mentorship: A review committee will be formed by senior technical experts from Taiwan's semiconductor industry and venture capitalists. The committee will review the resource requirements proposed by startups on the platform. Based on the identified needs, mentors will be arranged to provide professional guidance and consultation to the selected startups.
  3. Other landing resources: Provide the winning team with the access for office space rental at Taiwan International Start-up Base - Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) and TTA South (https://www.taiwanarena.tech/) and related business development. The coaching manager serves as a bridge between selected teams and consultants/industry mentors, helping entrepreneurs connect with the necessary resources.


VII.   Obligations

  1. After passing the initial review, teams must submit Attachment 1 application form. The provided resources will be converted into equity shares, held by the National Science and Technology Development Fund of the Executive Yuan.
  2. The winning team must finalize the signing of the SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) within 3 months after the announcement. The organizer reserves the right to extend the event or to negotiate alternative equity exchange methods if the SAFE is not applicable. Awarded winning team must be a company. If the selected party is a startups and academic groups, they must establish a company before signing the agreement to qualify for the investment.
  3. The winners must come to Taiwan for physical link development. For example, those who passed before August 31, 2024 need to physically display at the 2024 Taiwan Innotech Expo (TIE); those who pass after August 31 will be displayed at the 2025 Taiwan Innotech Expo (TIE).
  4. Winners must assist in publicity activities by submitting relevant information or participating in publicity, and cooperate with the organizer’s arrangements for local itinerary activities and management assessment reviews, etc.


VIII.  Do’s and Don’ts

1.  Plagiarism, translation, rewriting, infringement of intellectual property rights and other illegal infringements are strictly prohibited in the content of the competition. Violation of the above matters may revoke its qualification. If it causes loss of rights and interests of the organizer or any other third party, the violator shall bear legal responsibility.

2.  Participating teams must ensure that all information filled in or submitted is factual and correct, and cannot fraudulently use any third party’s information. If there is any false or incorrect information, the organizer has the right to disqualify the team.

3.  Participating teams shall respect the decision of the review committee and shall not have any other objections to the review results unless they can specifically prove that other participating teams have violated the relevant provisions of these regulations.

4.  The organizer may collect and process personal information of contestants or other members for the purpose of contestant management, registration management, identity confirmation during the event, event contact, competition-related information contact and related administrative operations. For those who do not agree to the collection and processing of their personal information, the organizer may disqualify the contestant from being shortlisted or winning the prize.

5.  According to the Income Tax Law of the Republic of China, the reward to the winner of this competition must withhold income tax in accordance with the relevant provisions of the tax law. Winners should provide their identity documents for tax filing purposes.

6.  For non-profit publicity purposes, the organizer has the right to use the product technical information provided by the contestants to publish, author, publicly display, and distribute various types of media for publicity.

7.  Anyone who registers to participate in this competition is deemed to have fully understood the terms of these rules and is willing to fully abide by the provisions stated in these rules.

8.  The organizer reserves the right to modify these pilot protocol, which will be revised on a rolling basis and announced immediately. If there are any outstanding matters, they will be handled in accordance with the relevant regulations or explanations of NSTC.


IX.    Contact

   About Competition: Taipei Computer Association

   Contact person: Ms. Annett Wu

   Contact number: +886 2 25774249 Ext. 312

   Email: annett@mail.tca.org.tw


Attached File(s)

Last Modified : 2024/05/17