NSTC outlines plans for space, experimental schools in 2023 budget

11/09/2022 07:21 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (third left) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (third right) unveil the reorganized National Science and Technology Council on July 27. CNA file photo
President Tsai Ing-wen (third left) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (third right) unveil the reorganized National Science and Technology Council on July 27. CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) outlined its 2023 spending plans Wednesday, with funding for Taiwan's national space agency and experimental schools affiliated with the country's science parks included in the proposed NT$54.54 billion (US$1.72 billion) budget.

The NSTC, formerly the Ministry of Science and Technology, said it plans to increase spending next year by NT$7.06 billion to boost Taiwan's development of leading-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), advanced semiconductors, and 6G.

NSTC chief Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) outlined the ministry's 2023 spending plans at a hearing of the Legislature's Education and Culture Committee Wednesday.

According to Wu, the extra NT$7.06 billion in next year's budget will go to the National Science and Technology Development Fund (NT$2.24 billion), subsidies for the planned National Space Organization (NSO) (NT$2.76 billion) and funding for establishing and maintaining experimental secondary schools in the nation's four science parks.

Wu said that the NSTC had decreased the National Science and Technology Development Fund's allocation by NT$1.6 billion to NT$43.1 billion due to the completion of projects.

Meanwhile, the ministry has earmarked NT$16.2 billion of its Operation Fund for the Science Park Bureau, in addition to a rolling budget for maintaining fixed assets totaling NT$40 billion, Wu said.

Wu added that the Operation Fund would acquire land for establishing and expanding science parks and maintaining affiliated experimental schools.

The NSO, soon to become a directly affiliated agency of the NTSC, is in the final stages of testing the country's first domestically built weather satellite, TRITON, with a launch planned for early next year, Wu said.

According to Wu, the ministry has tasked those working on the TRITON project with testing 10 domestically developed key technologies and components.

Wu added that the NSTC would put forward a plan by the end of this year for achieving net-zero carbon emissions in Taiwan by 2050.

The NSTC also plans to establish a national AI center and an information-security technology research center, Wu said.

(By Cheng Hung-ta and Sean Lin)

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