Is Taiwan's Famed Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival an Environmental Plague?
Jun 15, 2018

This article is a reader’s contribution to Crossing. It explores the environmental pollution caused by the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, one of Taiwan’s most famous tourist attractions. What can be done to create a win-win situation for the environment and the tourism industry?

Sky Lanterns Have Put Taiwan on the Global Tourism Map

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival counts among a handful of events that have truly become world famous festivities, making Taiwan an international travel destination. The scene of these floating lanterns filling the sky might be the first impression many foreigners have of Taiwan.

There is a reason for this. Taiwan has long used sky lanterns, released into the sky to wish for good luck and blessings, in international image campaigns such as for the Taiwan Pavilion at Expo 2010, in the 2011 movie You're the Apple of My Eye, or the Tourism Bureau's promotional video Meet Colors of 2016. The faint glow, hopefulness, unity and grandeur featured in these images have become a strong advertisement for our country.

As a stark cultural image, sky lanterns represent the collective memory and generational scars on Taiwanese soil. On the other hand, Pingxi District has dedicated great efforts to Taiwanese tourism in a more substantive manner. During the period from 2010 to 2016, for instance, Pingxi District saw a total of 6,41 million visitors. In 2016, it was picked as the third most popular sightseeing spot in Taiwan by international travelers, beating the Taipei 101 skyscraper.

Moreover, the Sky Lantern Festival, which takes place once a year, has not only been voted as the world’s second-biggest New Year’s Eve celebration by the Discovery Channel, the American cable TV network CNN has included it on its list of 52 Things to do Around the World, while National Geographic Magazine and the travel guide publisher Fodor’s have both listed the festival as a must-see event.

Sky Lanterns, while no doubt beautiful, have triggered controversy over the environmental hazard they pose.

Looking back, many Taiwanese people haves experienced releasing sky lanterns to some extent. I sent my first sky lantern into the air when I was in fifth grade. Back then, my parents and I, each of us holding a brush, very cautiously wrote our deepest wishes on the thin, translucent rice paper. After finishing, we stood on both sides of the railway track, and once we let go, the sky lantern, containing a gently flickering flame, slowly rose up into the sky. At this moment, my face glowing as red as the lantern, we prayed for all our wishes to be fulfilled once they were high enough to be heard in heaven.

However, in the past few years, these sky lantern memories have begun to make me feel guilty since the environmental controversy regarding sky lanterns came to light. Many groups have come forward, charging that the lanterns, after falling from the sky, are generating an endless amount of waste for mountain towns, and that residual dyes and heavy metals could endanger the lives of animals in the mountains. Each year, when the Lantern Festival draws to a close, the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival triggers an avalanche of criticism and dismay, and never-ending calls for a ban on the release of sky lanterns or even the abolishment of the festival itself.

Each time I see the deluge of comments left by readers under news articles, such as: “Why don’t we abolish such a bad custom?” or “I hope that the government prohibits their release sooner rather than later!” I can’t help but feel extremely sad. The sadness comes from the fact that I understand that all these people deeply love this piece of land and that their motivation is to make Taiwan a better country. Sky lanterns do have some bad effects. However, can it be that one side must be sacrificed if culture and progressive values clash with each other?

Sky Lantern Culture and Environmental Protection Should not be a Zero-Sum Game

I believe that in this day and age we don’t have to accept a “choose one or the other” zero sum game scenario when we face new challenges and value conflicts. More and more examples show that we can find compromises when facing these problems, as long as we are willing to use creative thinking in combination with modern technology – this is probably not a perfect or sufficiently thorough approach, but it is more hopeful than just maintaining the status quo forever.

Take for example the thorny issue of the “million square meter garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean” – How can several hundred thousand tons to several million tons of plastic waste and other garbage floating in the oceans be cleaned up? When everyone said this was impossible, a 19-year-old Dutch man, Boyan Slat, decided in 2013 to courageously tackle the challenge, proposing the concept of an “ocean vacuum cleaner” which was projected to clean up the great Pacific garbage patch in five years.

Another problem that has received widespread attention over the past decade is the “surplus food problem,” which German youngsters sought to solve with the help of the convenience of the Internet. In 2012 they founded the platform, setting up a food saving map and food sharing model that have meanwhile been expanded to Switzerland and Austria. By 2016, the site had reportedly gotten 2,500 supermarkets and restaurants onboard to provide surplus food, as well as 15,000 registered users. Altogether, 4,000 tons of food have been saved from being thrown away, an astonishing result.

Getting back to Taiwan, we are facing environmental challenges regarding the sky lantern culture. Fortunately, we also have a bunch of young people who are willing to work to solve the problem. From 2016, a group of students at National Chiao Tung University formed a team to try to develop biodegradable, environmentally friendly sky lanterns to upgrade this Taiwanese cultural tradition and make it sustainable.

Expert Team Develops Zero Carbon Sky Lantern

Simply speaking, the environmentally friendly sky lantern developed by that team burns up completely in the air without leaving any waste. This means it will not become an environmental burden for the mountain towns, and flora and fauna in the mountains won’t be threatened by pollution as a result.

While the waste problem is solved, what about the carbon emissions caused by the burning of the sky lanterns?

Data show that one tree can absorb the CO2 emissions of about 8.6 sky lanterns in a year. Should mass production of the environmental sky lanterns go according to plan, a certain ratio of income per every sky lantern sold will be paid into a tree planting fund. The team plans to cooperate with the Wutong Foundation, entrusting experts with the selection of tree planting sites and looking after the newly planted saplings for over three years. It is hoped that the carbon emissions caused by the burning of sky lanterns can be balanced and absorbed as much as possible.

In the long term, they expect to collaborate with environmental technology engineering to conduct a complete carbon footprint calculation and assessment to truly understand the environmental impact of sky lanterns. Furthermore, they will invite expert consultants and a certification body to develop a carbon footprint management plan to achieve carbon neutrality under the international specification PAS 2060. Finally, they will allocate a certain amount of funds to buy enough carbon units to reach carbon neutrality by offsetting all of the greenhouse gas emissions caused during the entire sky lantern lifecycle, from procurement of raw materials to its release into the sky. They hope to keep promoting sky lantern culture and environmental sustainability from a professional, scientific perspective.

Environmental Sky Lanterns not Mere Fundraising Tool but Opportunity to Take Taiwanese Culture to a Higher Level

The late film director Chi Po-lin once said: “Why do so many people love sky lanterns? Seeing a wish lantern brings hope to people’s hearts. Sky lanterns are very comforting, and important for passing on our cultural heritage, too. I really don’t think that this event should be completely eradicated.”

Establishing a culture and developing it is definitely a lengthy and arduous process. Any progress constitutes precious and important national assets. As times change, a growing number of customs and cultural traditions will probably be challenged by modern values. When we face such situations, we should not wantonly abolish or discard them, but rather seek to find sustainable possibilities for harmonious coexistence. We should take advantage of emerging technologies and use creative thinking to find balanced approaches to improvement – We should seek a new high ground with regard to many similar controversies, imagining more possibilities.

We should lead this land forward while at the same time preserving our precious traditional culture.

By Hsin-rung Teng/Contributing Reader

Translated from the Chinese Article by Susanne Ganz

Edited by Shawn Chou

Photo / Shutterstock

Taiwan's Education Ministry Launches Online Learning Initiative, Huayu 101
Jun 13, 2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced the launch of an online learning initiative called “Huayu 101”, a brand new online Mandarin learning material, at the end of May in Taipei, Taiwan.

Professor Chang Yuhsin from the University of Taipei, the designer of “Huayu 101”, has more than 20 years Mandarin teaching experience. In order to provide easier learning experience, he and his team collect key phrases that people should learn for basic survival. The contents of “Huayu 101” include accommodation, shopping, food ordering, traffic, emergency help, etc. It’s useful for foreign students and travelers those stay in Taiwan, and can be applied to other Mandarin-speaking regions.

To attract and motivate young people to learn Mandarin in Taiwan, MOE works with Logan D. Beck, a hotshot youtuber, to produce 2 videos of promoting Mandarin learning and Taiwan’s culture. The first video, “Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage” had reached 50,000 views within a night and it's over 150,000 hits now. In the press conference, Beck and Mr. Liu, a known rice cake seller, have shown the usage of “Huayu 101” with living drama of night market.

In response to the global demand for Chinese language education, Taiwan’s Chinese language education sector is vigorously looking outward and international marketing. This led to planning and implementing the Eight-year Chinese Language Education Promotion Plan (2013–2020). Under this plan the Office of Global Mandarin Education was set up to integrate the resources and results of Chinese language education in Taiwan. In order to promote Mandarin learning in Taiwan, MOE invited the Ministry of Transportation and Communication's Tourism Bureau and the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to be co-organizers, and integrated tourism and Chinese-learning resources to create a brand new study-tour model, "Mandarin On-the-Go" in Taiwan. Anyone who is interested in programs above is welcomed to check the information on the official website.(

OGME (Office of Global Mandarin Education)
Kuo-Ning Chi, +886-2-2391-1368 ext.1360

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

SMART ASIA Taiwan 2018 to showcase smart city solutions and urban development technology
Jun 11, 2018

Supported by Taichung City Government and co-organized by ECCT Low Carbon Initiative (LCI), SMART ASIA Taiwan 2018 hosted by TAITRA will open with over 100 exhibitors and 200 some booths on 26 - 28 July at Taichung International Exhibition Center.

The main features of SMART ASIA Taiwan 2018 are

  • Smart City Solutions
  • Smart Technology Applications
  • City Development Products / Services

    The exhibition will display key themes for smart city solutions which include AI, IoT, Big Data Analysis, and other technologies that help cities manage their project and services more effectively.

    Main exhibition areas include

  • Smart Buildings
  • Smart Transportation
  • Smart Long-Term Care
  • Smart Manufacturing
  • Smart Energy

    Exhibition Categories

  • Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors / Control / Platforms / Modelingfor Manufacturing, Machine Vision (MV), Smart Machinery, 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing(AM), Industrial Robot, Industrial Automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Cyber-Physical System (CPS), System of Systems (SoS), Smart Storage, and more.

  • Smart Transportation: Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Advanced Traffic Management Services (ATMS), Advanced Traveler Information Service (ATIS), Electronic Payment System & Electronic Toll Collection (EPS & ETC), Emergency Management Services (EMS), Commercial Vehicle Operation Services (CVOS), Information Management Services (IMS), Advanced Vehicle Control and Safety Services (AVCSS), Smart Parking Solution, Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), Public Bike Sharing, and more.

  • Smart Long-Term Care: Telemedicine, Telecare, Healthcare / Hospital Information System (HIS), Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Photo Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), Clinical Information Management Systems (CIMS), Automated Medication Management System, Wearable Medical Device-Service System, Medical Robotics, Smart Mattress, RFID Technology, and more.

  • Smart Buildings: Smart Lighting Solutions, Solar Power System, Access Control System, Energy Management, Door & Window Sensors, Smart IR Remote Control, Thermostat Control System, Indoor Camera Monitoring, Appliance Control, Smoke Sensor, Door Access, Motion Detection, and more.

  • Smart Energy: Smart Solar Power Solutions, Smart Street LED Lighting, Smart Industrial Lighting, Smart Grid, Smart Water / Electric Metering, Green Energy Commodities, Smart Motor, Energy Efficiency Management, Smart Energy Management System (EMS), and more.

  • Others: Demonstration of Cities / Institute / Start-up / Industry-Academic Cooperation Achievements in Smart City.

    Potential buyers and exhibitors from 18 countries have registered to attend this event.

    Potential exhibitors include Taichung city government, Shuinan economic and trade park, Taoyuan city government, H.P.B. Optoelectronics, SkyEyes GPS Technologym, ADAS Mobile Tech, Taiwan Secom, National Chiao Tung University-System on Chip, National Taiwan University-Advanced Public Transportation, Tron-e Technology, E-lead Electronics, Mobiletron, XING Mobility, System Integrators (such as Dassault Systèmes, SIEMENS, Philips, Honeywell), THALES, 7Starlake, ENERCON Taiwan, Grundfos Taiwan, etc.

    Government officials and contractors of government projects from various countries such as Russia, Brazil and Nicaragua have expressed strong interest in visiting the trade show.

    Press Contact
    Show Manager: Ms. Helen Wu Ext. 2780
    Press Coordinator: Ms. Joanna Liang Ext. 2767
    E-mail :
    Website :

    COMPUTEX 2018 Ends with Great Success
    Jun 10, 2018

    COMPUTEX 2018, organized by TAITRA, Taiwan External Trade Development Council and TCA, Taipei Computer Association, concluded in great success today, as the five-day event attracted 42,284 international visitors from 168 countries, up almost 1% from last year. According to TRITRA, the top 10 countries or regions with the highest turnout, in order, are: the USA, Japan, China, Hong Kong, S. Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, India, Philippines. COMPUTEX 2018 featured six themes, including “AI”, “5G”, “Blockchain”, “IoT”, “Innovations & Startups”, and “Gaming & VR”. Through a series of exhibitions, forums and procurement meetings, the event connected industry value chains by providing technology companies and startups the best platform for promotion and interaction. Moreover, InnoVEX attracted 17,687 visitors in a short 3-day period, an increase of over 18% from last year.

    Key AIoT technologies realizes the smart application roadmaps

    As AI technology matures and IoT applications proliferate, two technologies converge and become the rapidly emerging AIoT, and COMPUTEX 2018 responded to this trend. In addition to servers designed for AI computing and big data storage, Gigabyte leveraged software resources of its partners and rolled out a hybrid cloud for AI and data analytics, carrying out the company’s AIoT roadmap into practice. Compal introduced an all-round solution that combines professional advanced design and cloud computing. The company also demonstrated various product lines for smart homes and smart healthcare, offering users a brand new sensory experience that is more personalized. VIVOTEK’s next-generation smart camera with image analysis capabilities and built-in deep learning algorithms can generate added value for the retail sectors, as it can accurately calculate the number of people and the length of time they stay in a shop.

    At the COMPUTEX Forum, leading companies shared the latest trends and insights on AIoT as technology propels the global technology industry into a smarter future. Deepu Talla, Vice President and General Manager of Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, said as AI is adopted in more scenarios, GPU is not just about speeding up supercomputers, but it can also be used in the development of AI to make big changes in the technology industry. In particular, NVIDIA sees great potential for GPU in the manufacturing market. Allan Yang, Chief Technology Officer at Advantech, said since the manufacturing sectors account for an average 30% of GDP in most countries, introducing IoT or AI into smart factories or other smart manufacturing scenarios will increase the world’s overall output value.

    With a focus on the latest innovations, InnoVEX sets trends for startup technologies

    Exciting visions of smart living were everywhere at InnoVEX this year, as one third of the event’s 388 startup exhibitors from 21 countries demonstrated AI-related technologies or applications. And in response to the rise of “girl power”, the InnoVEX Forum added the theme of “women entrepreneurship” for the first time this year. Adriana Gascoigne, Founder & CEO of Girls in Tech— the world’s first non-profit organization that focuses on millennial women’s roles in technology and as business founders— spoke at the forum and shared her decade-long experience in the technology industry. She said gender diversity at workplace can help teams or companies create better products and services. As only 25% of the workers in the U.S. technology industry are women, she hoped to introduce different resources to support women entrepreneurs in the technology industry, and at the same time increase diversity and possibilities for the industry.

    To incubate unicorn companies of world-class caliber and the industry’s next new stars, COMPUTEX 2018 teamed up with private companies and the government to raise a prize pool of US$350,000 for the InnoVEX Pitch Contest. This year’s grand prize was awarded to Bioinspira.

    “Since 1981, COMPUTEX has been an important platform of business matchmaking, brand awareness building and product marketing for companies in Taiwan and abroad. A top-choice for companies to launch epoch-making products, the event continues to lead industry trends as it seeks to build a boarder global technology ecosystem. This year, 1,602 exhibitors from 30 countries showcase a total of 5,015 booths. When the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2 is open next year, the scale of this event will be able to increase to accommodate more companies to show the world their best. It will bring more innovative momentum to COMPUTEX as we join companies around the world to demonstrate technology power to disrupt businesses and reinvent lifestyles,” said Ms. Leonor Lin, TAITRA Executive Vice President.

    Designers Talk for a Full Capacity Audience
    Jun 05, 2018

    Designers Talk for a Full Capacity Audience at the Premier Design Forum in Southeast Asia Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon

    3 Design Gurus: Peter Tay, Kimming Yap, and Mark Stocker at the National Design Centre

    Taipei, TAIWAN --( ASIA TODAY )-- The first-ever Singapore Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon sold out a whole four-days before the event was set to take place. Among the eager attendees were local designers, design-related companies, marketing professionals, and design students.

    Deputy CEO of Taiwan Design Center, Nina Ay gave the opening remarks. In the past three years, the Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon has toured 19 cities in Asia. She noted, this is the Golden Pin Design Award’s first time in Singapore, and thanked Design Business Chamber Singapore for its hand in organizing the event. President of Design Business Chamber Singapore, Andrew Pang welcomed Nina Ay and her team to Singapore, and expressed his hopes for further collaboration into the future.

    Design Thinking to Culture Thinking

    First on stage was Kimming Yap, who gave the example of Chinese tea in his talk on Design Thinking to Culture Thinking. He explained how Chinese tea drinking habits have changed over time, so design thinking for a Chinese tea brand would need to take into account the past, present, and future. He believes it is important for designers to negotiate this temporal notion of culture.

    “Design thinking is a human-centered approach. We are always putting the user first,” says Yap. “When we think about people, they have identities — the way they behave, the way they dress. All these things around us form our identity, and when an identity is shared collectively then it becomes culture. Essentially, culture is identity, values, ideals, and social norms that are shared collectively. What we need to be aware of is that culture is constantly changing.”

    He went on to say, “The thing about culture is, there is an element of time. Culture can be created and it can also die off. There are three types of culture, the first is the past like the art of drinking Chinese tea. Not many of us know how to drink Chinese tea in terms of the ceremonial process. It is part of our culture, but it is not something we practice now. The present is what we see and hear around us. At coffee shops, I like to observe what people eat, how they dress, and what they carry around with them. Then, of course we can talk about future. Culture is always evolving, changing, moving. New cultures can be born as rapidly as cultures die. Robots, AI, biotech — all that could become the norm.”

    Observations at the Crossroads of Culture, Design, and Brand

    For 23 years, Mark Stocker’s branding agency (DDG) has been helping Taiwanese clients build their brands overseas. DDG helps them look more Western, but according to Stocker this has become a problem. For example, he pointed out that Taiwanese bicycle brands are successful at exporting bicycle products, however, they are not exporting bicycle culture. He believes the biggest obstacle to Taiwanese brands is culture.

    “The obstacle that is causing most Taiwanese firms to not succeed at branding is culture,” says Stocker. “Culture can be a dangerous word. I am not referring to hereditary, history-related culture, nor am I referring to corporate culture.”

    He went on to explain, “Taiwan is capable of making the highest level of [cycling] clothing that you can purchase today, the clothing that people want to own. And yet, it does not have one successful cycling clothing brand. The reason — Taiwanese companies for the most part, are not involved in the creation of cycling culture; they are merely focused on making the product. There are a couple of brands who have been successful. One is Giant. How did Giant succeed? They were smart enough to understand the value of culture. Because they weren’t one of the inventors of the culture, they decided to join the culture. They sponsored bike racers and races. Like the European brands, they got involved in the sport of cycling. Over the past twenty years, they have slowly managed to make themselves part of that culture. They don’t lead it, but they are in it. Because of that, they have some success.”

    The Power of Design

    Peter Tay recalled an interview that has weighed on his mind for many years, where he was asked a question about the Singapore identity in his work. He laments that he could not think of an answer. He believes interior design is about reevaluation, so by looking back on his design process he found his cultural identity. Singapore was his childhood playground, and Singaporean culture has become an embodiment of his happiness.

    “I could not see any Singapore identity in my work, or any cultural identity,” Tay says. “How can see interior design work in terms of cultural identity? I did not know how to answer. It took me about ten minutes to explain the thinking behind my work, because interior design is all about reevaluation.”

    Tay went on to explain, “On an afternoon at Venice Biennale, I was walking along the street and the first thing that stopped me was an Ai Wei Wei exhibition. It was beautiful. The city was a city of design, and it was cultured. In Singapore, I had not see that kind of art and culture, which is built over many years. When I was in London studying, my school was in Bedford Square. Every night, I walked past Central Saint Martin’s and I would see a new hotel designed by Philippe Starck. This five-minute journey was the best that I have ever experienced in my life. I see fashion, I see a city, I see culture, and this culture is beautiful.” He concluded, “Design to me is an embodiment of happiness, life, fashion, and all the beautiful things around you.”

    Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon

    Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon is organized by the Golden Pin Design Award and Taiwan Design Center. This year, the Executive Organizer for the Singapore event was Design Business Chamber Singapore, supported by DesignSingapore Council. The host venue was the National Design Centre and the official media partner was Portfolio magazine.

    So far, the Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon series has toured at total of 20 cities in Asia, including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei. To date, the Salon has brought more than 80 of Asia’s most celebrated design professionals onto its stage. The Salon series supports the remit of Design Perspectives, sponsored by the Golden Pin Design Award.

    Taipei 2018 Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon

    The next stop for the Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon is Taipei on Wednesday, June 13. Not Just Library at Songyan Court in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park plays host to the event. The headline speakers include Wang Yao-Pang, Wei-Hsiang Chan, and Ho Chia-Hsing. Their talks will be given in Mandarin Chinese. Sign-up now via Accupass:

    National Design Centre Singapore Hosts the Premier Forum of Designers in Southeast Asia
    May 21, 2018

    3 Design Gurus from Singapore and Taiwan in the Spotlight: Peter Tay, Kimming Yap, and Mark Stocker

    Taipei, TAIWAN --( ASIA TODAY )-- Heading to Singapore for the very first time, Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon stages hard talks in English with three design gurus from Singapore and Taiwan. The headline speakers include celebrity interior designer Peter Tay, Creativeans’ Kimming Yap, and DDG’s Mark Stocker. The event takes place at the National Design Centre on the evening of May 31. Entry is free, but seating is limited so be quick to register!

    The 27th Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon executive organizer is Design Business Chamber Singapore, supported by DesignSingapore Council. Between 2015 and 2017, the Salon series toured Kuala Lumpur as well as 18 cities in China and the surrounding region including Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei. To date, the Salon has brought more than 80 of Asia’s most celebrated design professionals onto its stage. The Salon series supports the remit of Design Perspectives, an archive of opinions from design professionals in the Chinese-speaking world. Like the Salon series, the archive is also sponsored by the Golden Pin Design Award.

    Introduction to the Speakers
    Managing Director of Creativeans, Kimming Yap refers to his interdisciplinary creative consultancy as the Charlie’s Chocolate Factory of creativity. Yap’s talk on Design Thinking to Culture Thinking reflects his company’s cross-cultural base in Singapore, Milan, and Jakarta. His works have been widely published and exhibited at international platforms including Salone del Mobile, London Design Festival, and Singapore Design Week. He serves on the judging panel of Singapore Prestige Brand Award, and in 2017 he co-authored the book ‘Are You Brand Dead?’

    Mark Stocker delivers a talk on Observations at the Crossroads of Culture, Design, and Brand. He is Managing Director of DDG, a Taipei and Shanghai-based brand consultancy that combines insightful strategy with inspiring design and communications. DDG has been recognized for its work across a variety of industries, and it is known as a pioneer in the field of rebrand; winner of the 2018 REBRAND 100® Global Award. Over the past twenty years, Stocker has crafted brand strategies for clients in consumer electronics, hospitality, retail, and sporting goods sectors. He also leads the DDG team responsible for public relations and marketing of the Golden Pin Design Award. Consultant for Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Industrial Development Bureau, the Taiwan External Trade and Development Council, and the National Palace Museum, in addition he often serves as a judge at leading international design competitions, including the 2017 iF Taipei Cycle Design and Innovation Award.

    Celebrity interior designer Peter Tay speaks about the Power of Design that has propelled his career. Upon his graduation from the prestigious Architectural Association School of Architecture in 2000, he worked with several leading contemporary architects before starting his own practice in 2001. In 2014, he participated in the ‘Time-Space-Existence’ exhibition at Palazzo Bembo in the Venice Biennale, and in the same year he won Designer of the Year at the President's Design Awards. His portfolio of high-profiled residential and commercial projects boasts a star-studded patronage of A-list clients including Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, Singaporean singer-songwriter Stephanie Sun, Singaporean actress Zoe Tay, and singer-songwriter Wang Leehom. He has worked on boutiques and showrooms for Richard Mille, Manolo Blahnik, Armani Casa, Louis Poulsen, Maxalto (Space Showroom), as well as show flats for SC Global.

    Design Perspectives x Golden Pin Salon is organized by the Golden Pin Design Award and Taiwan Design Center. The Executive Organizer for this event is Design Business Chamber Singapore, supported by DesignSingapore Council. The host venue is the National Design Centre and the official media partner is Portfolio magazine.

    Event Info
    Date: May 31, 2018 (Thursday)
    Time: 7pm - 9pm (Registration begins at 6.30pm, light refreshments will be served)
    Venue: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Level 2 Auditorium, Singapore 188969
    Admission: Free
    Telephone: +65 6909 2717

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    Golden Pin Concept Design Award 2018 Partners with Backer-Founder
    May 10, 2018

    May 10, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- This year, the Golden Pin Concept Design Award (GPCDA) increases its quota for Design Mark recipients, and raises the Best Design cash prize to over US$13,000. In addition, GPCDA partners with Taiwanese crowdfunding consultancy Backer-Founder. The partnership aims to help winning designers bring their design concepts to market via crowdfund-ing.

    Thanks to Backer-Founder, all Design Mark recipients can join a free crowdfunding workshop where they will learn how to execute a successful crowdfunding campaign. Furthermore, GPCDA Best Design winners will receive one-on-one crowdfunding campaign services to help make their dreams come true. So many young designers look to crowd-funding as a route to market. Through crowdfunding, designers can connect with consumers and gain vital feedback from the marketplace. For example, GPCDA 2016 Best Design winner, Lai Zi Na Li is a moveable type stamp that suc-cessfully crowdfunded over US$95,000 after winning the award, which was 1707% of its crowdfunding goal. The 2015 Best Design winner, Memento also successfully crowdfunded after winning the award.

    Backer-Founder is Taiwan’s first crowdfunding consultant company, established in 2014. The company consults for over 100 clients in Taiwan and overseas, helping to fulfill creative concepts and execute crowdfunding campaigns. Its clients come from various sectors including design, film, new media, social impact, and technology. The company boasts a 90% success rate at crowdfunding. In partnership with Backer-Founder, GPCDA aims to discover new design concepts and realize their potential on the market. Design Mark winners will learn step-by-step how to make their prod-ucts more attractive for consumers, set meaningful goals, and how to build a powerful social media marketing strategy. Best Design winners receive tailored, one-on-one crowdfunding services, working directly with the consultancy.

    In partnership with Backer-Founder, the GPCDA offers a chance for international designers to bring their design con-cepts to market in the Greater China region. The global Chinese-speaking community is the world’s largest diaspora and around 1.2 billion people, which is 16 percent of the world’s population, speak Chinese as a first language (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 2012).

    Call for Entries
    The GPCDA 2018 Call for Entries opened in March and so far it has received entries from designers in Hungary, Indo-nesia, Poland, USA, UK, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and China. Entry is free of charge, and the deadline is June 21 at 5pm (GMT+8). Seize the moment and send in your design concepts!

    Products and projects entered into the GPCDA must not be available on the market within the year of the award. There is no restriction on the nationality or occupation of entrants, students and professionals are all welcome to enter. There is no entry fee. The four categories are Product Design, Visual Communication Design, Packaging Design, and Spatial Design. There is no restriction on the number of entries an individual can make. The judging procedure begins from Preliminary Selection in July, Secondary Selection in August, and Final Selection in September. The Design Mark win-ners will be announced at the end of September, and Best Design winners at the end of November. For more infor-mation, please visit the official Golden Pin Design Award website:

    Event #概念成真
    On May 20 at Not Just Library, three GPCDA Best Design winners share their stories of challenge and success.
    • 2015 Best Design winner, Memento by Bryan S.P. Leung
    • 2016 Best Design winner, Lai Zi Na Li by Wang Chieh-Ying and Wang Man-Lin
    • 2017 Best Design winner, Cream Mincho by Shih Bo-Han

    Memento and Lai Zi Na Li both executed successful crowdfunding campaigns after winning GPCDA, while Cream Mincho is currently in the planning stage. Each designer will share their step-by-step experience of crowdfunding, and ultimately how they brought their design concepts to life.

    The title of the event is #概念成真 (gainian chengzhen) “make your dreams come true”. The event will be held at Not Just Library in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park on May 20 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. To register for the event, please signup on Accupass:

    About the Golden Pin Design Award Group
    The annual Golden Pin Design Award is the longest-running international design award that celebrates products or pro-jects expressly created for and within huaren (Chinese-speaking) communities, offering entrants an unprecedented opportunity to prove their prowess in the world’s largest market.

    The Golden Pin Award Group is comprised of two international awards — the Golden Pin Design Award, the Golden Pin Concept Design Award — and the Young Pin Design Award for students in Taiwan. The Golden Pin Design Award Group is executed by the Taiwan Design Center and organized by the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs. The Ministry of Economic Affairs acts in an advisory capacity.

    For more insight into what it means to design for huaren communities,

    For the latest news on the Golden Pin Concept Design Award, visit:
    WeChat: 金点设计奖

    International Media Enquiries
    Daniel Cunningham
    International Project & PR Marketing Manager, DDG
    +886 2 23117007 x 402

    Registration Enquiries
    Janice Cheng
    Project Manager, Taiwan Design Center
    +886 2 27458199 x 335

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

    2018 MEDICARE TAIWAN & SenCARE Three New Themes Synchronizing the Latest Medical Trends
    May 09, 2018

    The 2018 MEDICARE TAIWAN (Taiwan International Medical & Healthcare Exhibition) and SenCARE (Taiwan International Senior Lifestyle and Health Care Show) create an international platform for traders in medical industry in Taiwan.

    To take place from June 21 to 24 at Taiwan World Trade Center, Hall 1(TWTC), these two trade shows will gather 400 key exhibitors in the medical industry to demonstrate their latest products in the categories of electro-medical equipment, diagnostic equipment, medical disposables, rehabilitation equipment, and mobility aids.

    With Taiwan's mature ICT and high-tech industries, many key industrial players have been keen to explore the medical and healthcare markets. The trend encourages the development of medical services, as well as increases medical tourism in Taiwan.

    Some new themes are set for 2018:

    Medical Technology & IoT Applications

    Taiwan's smart healthcare companies such as AVALUE, Manifold Health Tech, and SOMNICS will showcase intelligent systems, medical solutions and medical monitors.

    Factory of Intelligent Additive Manufacturing Medical Devices (FoiAM)

    Taiwan's first demonstration area focusing on 3D-printed implantable medical devices was established by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

    Taiwan Medical Specialty Alliance

    Hospitals and clinics form partnerships to impress international visitors with high quality service and the first-class healthcare facilities, which attract overseas tourists to experience Taiwan's customized medical treatments.

    Several events will run simultaneously at the venue, including professional seminars, procurement meetings, and new product launches. These events are arranged to help our buyers discover more about our exceptional exhibitors and provide them with the opportunity to access the latest of the medical industry.

    COMPUTEX Advancing to Israel Looking to Build Global Technology Ecosystems with Israeli Hi-Tech and Startup Companies
    May 09, 2018

    In order to establish the Taiwan-Israel bilateral economic and trade promotion, Mr. James Huang, Chairman of TAITRA, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, led a delegation of 14 representatives to visit Israeli hi-tech and startup companies from April 27 to May 4, hoping to develop concrete cooperation opportunities. Delegation representatives included Mr. Walter Yeh, President & CEO of TAITRA and other TAITRA representatives as well as high-level representatives from Lite-On Technology, Hotung International Company, Global Monte Jade Science & Technology Association, Epoch Foundation (Garage+), and CDIB Capital Innovation Advisors.

    In addition to visiting Israeli companies, TAITRA also held a Seminar on Taiwan AIoT Industry & COMPUTEX 2018 at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv on April 30th. The seminar attracted 85 participants in the field of IoT, AI, startups, and media. After the seminar, TAITRA delegates and Israeli entrepreneurs networked and exchanged ideas. Media that attended the seminar included more than 10 mainstream and technology media such as Forbes Israel, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, Yedioth and Israel Hayom.

    Taking advantage of the occasion, Mr. Walter Yeh, President & CEO of TAITRA and Mr. Gadi Ariely, Director General of the Israel Export Institute, signed an MOU. TAITRA Chairman, Mr. James Huang stated that through this memorandum of understanding, the two parties would assist each other in promoting trade activities, exchange market information, and assist Taiwan small and medium enterprises to strengthen collaboration and connect with Israeli companies.

    Mr. Paul Kuoboug Chang, Representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv, Ms. Talia Goshen, Manager of Asia Pacific International Collaboration Division, Israel Innovation Authority, Mr. Miky Admon, Director of Hi-Tech Department of Israel Export Institute, and Ms. Daniela Kandel, Director of Global Finder Network, Start-Up Nation Central were invited to the seminar as distinguished guests to deliver remarks. The Israeli guests shared their views on of how Israel and Taiwan complement each other in the high-tech industry. Taiwan's strengths lie in the production of ICT and IoT related hardware products while high-tech companies in Israel specialize in IoT and AI software application development. Business cooperation between these two countries will create a win-win situation for both.

    At the seminar, invited speakers, Mr. Vincent Chang, Director of Industrial IoT, Advantech, Mr. Bruce Bateman, Chief Technology Advisor of Lite-On Technology, and Ms. Josephine Chao, President of Epoch Foundation, shared their views on Taiwan smart manufacturing, smart city IoT solutions and the development of Taiwan's startup ecosystem. The seminar led to great responses from the country's high-tech and start-up companies.

    The 2018 COMPUTEX will be exhibited at the Taipei World Trade Center Halls 1 and 3, Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1, and Taipei International Convention Center from June 5 to 9. It has attracted more than 1,600 exhibitors from 28 countries to participate. During the seminar, Ms. Emilia Shih, Deputy Executive Director of TAITRA, introduced the development of IoT and AI in Taiwan and the preview of COMPUTEX 2018 highlights to the Israeli media and attendees.

    As one of the world’s leading ICT, IoT and startup show, COMPUTEX, will continue its transformational momentum from the past two years while adding new elements to the exhibition. This year, COMPUTEX will focus on six themes: AI, 5G, Blockchain, IoT, and Innovations & Startups and Gaming & VR. The fifth-generation mobile communications and blockchain are the new themes this year. 5G giants Qualcomm and Ericsson, and IBM, the leader of blockchain application technology, will participate in the COMPUTEX FORUM organized by TAITRA as keynote speakers to share the latest trends in global 5G and blockchain.

    The InnoVEX exhibit at COMPUTEX, going into the third year, is offering a startup lineup better than the previous years. More than 300 startups from 19 countries are participating, a 10% exhibitor growth compared to 2017. The proportion of international teams is 40% of which one-third are startups in the field of artificial intelligence, including five startups from Israel. In addition, 13 country pavilions organized by the European Union, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Poland, Malaysia, Mexico and South Korea will also be displayed in this exhibition area, which is a threefold increase over last year.

    GES Secured Long-term Financing of US$ 38 Million from FMO and DEG for Monte Plata Solar Project in Dominican Republic
    Apr 25, 2018

    Neo Solar Power Corporation ("NSP", publicly listed on Taiwan Stock Exchange, Ticker: 3576 TT), today announced that its subsidiary, General Energy Solutions Inc. ("GES"), has secured a 16-year US$38 million long-term financing from Netherlands Development Finance Company ("FMO") and German Investment and Development Corporation ("DEG") for its SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) named Electronic J.R.C. S.R.L. on April, 10th.

    As the largest photovoltaic system in the Central Caribbean areas, the total installed capacity of this "Monte Plata" project phase I reached 34MW. The project not only passed stringently financial review by European banks but also the environmental and social responsibility requirements to ensure the project will not cause adverse impact to local community and environment. At the meantime, it meets the common principle of reducing thermal power generation and increasing renewable energy.

    FMO and DEG are both AAA rated international development and investment financial institutes. Their common goal is to serve as a financial provider for those projects with positive contribution to the environmental protection and the society. By securing the loan from famous European banks, GES again presents its capability of global developing and global financing.

    The solar modules for Month Plate project are sourced from NSP and 132,000 pieces modules have been installed into project phase I with an output of approximately 50,470 MWh per year. It will not only create electricity revenue of US$7.4 million per year, but also cut greenhouse gas emission for more than 35,729 tons of CO2 per year. This project was also recognized with the "Atabey Environmental Award" in the Business category for its distinguished contribution to the development of sustainable energy and the protection of the environment. So far, the project phase II of 35 MW keeps moving on and NSP together with GES will become the largest single investor in Dominican Republic upon the completion of phase II project. As a result, this investment both increases local employment rate and the percentage of renewable energy for the Dominican Republic.

    So far, the accumulated Taiwan solar portfolio of GES has reached 118 projects with around 40MW in operating. GES' worldwide projects are located in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, and Dominican Republic. The accumulated projects in operating are reaching 145MW and the project pipelines (including awarded and under construction projects) of this year will reach around 400MW in worldwide.

    About General Energy Solutions Inc. (GES)
    General Energy Solutions Inc. (GES) is a company based in Hukou, Taiwan and founded in 2009. GES is one of the leading solar energy companies with the expertise to provide customized solutions across the globe: to develop, engineer, construct and operate projects to provide a low-carbon, sustainable future. The team consists of experienced project developers, financial advisors, and specialists, who all have an extensive track record in this industry. Through the team's experience and knowledge, the projects from GES can increase performance, reduce operational costs and maximize project yields. GES focuses on five core activities: Investments, Project Development, Project Management, EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), and Operation and Maintenance (O&M). For more information, please visit GES website

    About Neo Solar Power Corporation (3576 TT) (NSP)
    Founded in 2005 by Dr. Quincy Lin (former Senior VP of TSMC) and Dr. Sam Hong (former Director of ITRI Research Division), Neo Solar Power Corporation (NSP) is a leading manufacturer of high performance and high quality solar cells and modules. With core competitive advantages in quality, technology and customer service, NSP became the world's largest merchant solar cell manufacturer by volume in 2013. After selling DelSolar to NSP, Delta Electronics (2308, TT) became the biggest shareholder of NSP with a 19% holding. Leveraging current leading position in solar cell technology, NSP will further expand into the global solar systems businesses, aiming to become the leading solar system integrator in the world. For more information, please visit the company's website

    For further information, please contact:
    Ms. Shirley Chen
    Investor Relations Dept.
    Phone: +886-3-578-0011 ext. 20626

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution