Taiwan has officially kicked off its open data initiative in late 2012, and government departments have begun to release its data since Q2, 2013. This initiative builds upon an existing Act of “Open Government Information” enacted years ago. Each government Ministry is required to identify a minimum of 5 data categories in the first trial phase (Mar. 2013), and 50 categories in the second phase, which ends in Dec. 2013.
Through this initiative, it is hoped that the government may achieve a level of improved transparency in its operation, and more importantly stimulate creativities from the private sector in applying these open datasets. A matching subsidizing program has also been established in aiding the private sector to develop creative applications that either promote the convenience of citizens’ daily life, or create business values which could yield economic gains for the society as a whole. In all, this open data initiative would not only put Taiwan neck-to-neck with other countries of early movers, but also establish Taiwan as a global milestone in stimulating good applications from the private sector.