Science, Technology and Education News from Taiwan
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Cette revue est rédigée par le Trade Office of Swiss Industries (TOSI).
|N° 18||December 2009||5 p.||177 kb|
|Taiwan is the second-most innovative economy in Asia, next to Singapore, and ranked 13th among 131 countries globally, according to the 2009-2010 Innovation for Development Index Report released by the European Business School. Taiwan did best in the R&D category with the first position worldwide in “patents and trademarks” and No. 4 in R&D infrastructure. In terms of human capital, training & social inclusion, Taiwan was ranked 6th in “education”, 5th in usage of ICT such as “telephone communication” and 16th in “internet, computers and TV.” It ranked 29th in “social inclusion and equity policies” and did poorly in the Regulatory & legal framework, where “doing business” it came in at No. 39; while the scores of “country policy assessment (47th)”, and “good governance (31st) under the category of Institutional environment were also low. It lagged behind in the “rule of law” factor and the “corruption perception” index. Other areas in which Taiwan needs to catch up include budget and finance management, public administration and the density of medical workers, according to the report. “In less than half a century Taiwan has transformed itself from a simple agricultural society in the earliest stage of development into a global technology powerhouse, a world leader in the production of ICT equipment with a supporting infrastructure of science parks and public-private research institutions and think tanks that have played a critical role in turning Taiwan into one of the most prolific innovators in the world, the report’s editor, Augusto Lopez-Claros, formerly a chief economist and director of the World Economic Forums’ Global Competitiveness Program, said in a statement. He attributed Taiwan’s success to two factors: doing many of the good thing that have also been critical to high growth elsewhere in the world – including taking full advantage of the benefits of international trade and investment and acquiring new technologies – and avoiding the errors that have been such a drag on development in many other countries. Taiwan’s challenges in the coming years will be to find creative ways to cooperate with China – an emerging technology power in her own right, with a much lower cost structure – and to move closer to the best performers in the innovative capacity index, Lopez-Claros said.
Highlights of major news from the scientific world in Taiwan in December 2009: NTUT developed a “wire-free recharging desk” – IOT and NCTU jointly developed traffic surveillance devices – scientist uses rice husks for battery research – phase 1 clinical trial for HBV/HCV drug candidate – NARL developed a new 16-nanometer static random access memory device – Hsinchu Science Park focuses on green energy and biomedical tech development – ITRI introduces world’s first USB3.0 memory card – ITRI kicks off operation of cloud computing research center – Taiwan ranks 3rd in papers chosen for 2010 ISSCC.
|N° 17||November 2009||5 p.||149 kb|
|Taiwan is the second-most innovative economy in Asia, next to Singapore, and ranked 13th among 131 countries globally, a report by the World Economic Forum. “In less than half a century Taiwan has transformed itself from a simple agricultural society in the earliest stage of development into a global technology powerhouse, a world leader in the production of ICT equipment with a supporting infrastructure of science parks and public-private research institutions and think tanks that have played a critical role in turning Taiwan into one of the most prolific innovators in the world,” the report said. WEF attributed Taiwan’s success to two factors: doing many of the good things that have also been critical to high growth elsewhere in the world — including taking full advantage of the benefits of international trade and investment and acquiring new technologies — and avoiding the errors that have been such a drag on development in many other countries. Taiwan’s challenge in the coming years will be to find creative ways to cooperate with China — an emerging technology power in her own right, with a much lower cost structure — and to move closer to the best performers in the innovative capacity index.
Highlights of major news from the scientific world in Taiwan in November 2009: Taiwan’s creativity has won global acclaim after a project, Shadow Guide, by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) South finished second in the 2009 European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC). – Taiwan has emerged as the top winner at the 2009 Nuremberg Invention Exhibition, capturing 26 gold medals, 26 silvers and 15 bronzes. – Taiwan visual designer Lin Horng-jer has won a « best of the best » prize in the communication design category of the 2009 red dot design awards — the world’s largest and most prestigious design competition. – NCTU developed a new lead-free piezoelectric material, called BiFe03, that will be able to produce clean energy very efficiently. – The government plans to develop Chung Hsing New Village in Nantou County into a research base for the knowledge economy and industrial upgrading, with particular emphasis on green-energy efforts such as research on hydrogen energy and the application of information technology in energy management. – A Taiwanese research team has developed a special microchip that can be implanted in the human body to control or relieve low back pain.
|N° 16||October 2009||8 p.||220 kb|
|Highlights of major news from the scientific world in Taiwan in October 2009
|N° 15||September 2009||5 p.||153 kb|
|N° 14||August||5 p.||153 kb|
|The “Diamond Action Plan for Biotech Takeoff” is one of the six emerging industries (which also includes green energy, medical care, quality agriculture, cultural creative, and tourism) selected by the Cabinet for intensive development. Biotechnology will help to support the development of the quality agriculture and medical care industries, which in turn are closely related to the tourism industry. Meanwhile, the tourism sector is related to cultural creativity, which in many cases includes digital content that comes from ICT. The development of all six of these industries will look to ICT and will be very inter-dependent. This is the key logic in designing this vertical and horizontal framework that encompasses the six major industries.
The takeoff package consists of four major areas, namely strengthening the pre-clinical development in the industrial value chain, establishing a biotechnology venture capital fund (BVC), promoting an integrated incubation mechanism, and creating the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA). The number of university undergraduate and graduate students obtaining degrees in biotech-related fields in Taiwan has grown steadily, reaching 36,352 in 2008, with 10,413 having obtained masters or PhD degrees. This is providing a constant pool of highly trained talent to the industry. In addition, recruitment groups and several elite projects provide channels through which Taiwan’s biotech sector recruits high-end talent from overseas and train individuals versed in multiple disciplines. In the area of clinical research and trials, Taiwan has established 18 clinical trial centres for new drugs (including four centres of excellence for clinical trials and 14 clinical trial centres for new drugs and Chinese herbal medicines). Statistics show that the clinical trials primarily focus on five areas, specifically tumours, metabolic diseases, central nervous system diseases, hepatitis, and cardiovascular diseases. Taiwan leads Asia in the number of clinical trials being carried out at each stage, with the average in recent years being over 300. The National Development Fund will invest NT$24 bio. in the biotech sector over several stages based on a risk diversification approach to upgrade the output of the industry.
|N° 13||July 2009||10 p.||210 kb|
|A new film series on national TV featuring Taiwan’s scientific accomplishments over the past half-century will be part of the government’s efforts to attract students to enter the world of scientific study. The 13-part documentary, funded by the National Science Council, focuses on 26 major research projects. One part of the series is dedicated to FORMOSAT-2, an Earth observation satellite operated by Taiwan, a high-resolution photographic surveillance satellite with a daily revisit capability that produces high-resolution images that are especially useful in rescue and relief operations. A segment features Taiwanese medical researchers who successfully helped fight hepatitis B, which used to be known as “ Taiwan’s national disease « .
Another part introduces the achievements of a Taiwan Chelungpu-Fault drilling project that aims to obtain a physical sample of the fault where large displacements occurred during the devastating earthquake on 21 September 1999, to measure the physical properties and mechanical behavior of the rocks above and below the fault zone and to thoroughly document the state of stress that exists in these rocks following such a large slip event. Another segment includes a research team headed by National Chiao Tung University President Peter Wu that has developed a microchip that can help restore sight to the visually impaired The microchips can replace retinal cells damaged by disease and have passed clinical trial in the United States.
|N° 12||June 2009||6 p.||182 kb|
|N° 11||May 2009||6 p.||160 kb|
|The first European Union Center (EU Center) opened in Taiwan on 22 May in a collaborative effort by seven Taiwan universities led by National Taiwan University (NTU) to promote exchanges and mutual understanding between Taiwan and the European economic bloc. The program in Taiwan will help create a foothold for EU studies in Taiwan’s higher education circles and serve as an information resource for a broad Taiwan audience.
The European Commission is providing a grant of 1.1 mio. euros over the next four years for the project, while the rest of 1.5 mio. budget will be covered by the participating institutes: NTU and National Chengchi, National Chung Hsing, National Sun Yat-sen, National Dong Hwa, Tamkang and Fu Jen Catholic universities.
The main activities of the EU Center, which is located on the NTU campus, will include regular workshops and seminars on EU policies as well as summer school for high school teachers that will allow them learn more about the EU. The seven participating universities will also launch their own EU study programs, whether at undergraduate or graduate levels.
The EU Center network in the Asia-Pacific region includes South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Taiwan is the third East Asian country to join the network, which was launched in 1998 and is funded by the European Commission.
|N° 10||Avril 2009||6 p.||171 kb|
|N° 9||Mars 2009||7 p.||173 kb|
A “biotech takeoff plan” calls for the setup of a mega NT$ 60 bio. biotech venture-capital fund, with the aim of doubling the annual output of Taiwan’s biotech industry to NT$ 300 bio. in four years. The plan is part of development strategies for six emerging industries, namely tourism and travel, medical care, green energy, cultural innovation and sophisticated agriculture. The national development fund will contribute 40 % and the private sector 60 % of the fund (initial scale set at NT$ 7-10 bio.) and it is designed to be in operation for 10 years. At first the focus will be on strengthening research on newly-developed medicines and medical instruments and push them toward clinical trials. An investment evaluation team will be in charge for selecting investment targets (local and foreign). The plan also envisions the setup of a national biotech incubation center to introduce technologies of biotech firms invested by the biotech fund. A new-medicine selection committee (domestic and overseas experts) will be responsible for the allocation of bio-medicine research projects.
Universities in Taiwan have been encouraged to work closer with other institutes to promote R&D in various areas. For this purpose, the Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to invest NT$ 2 bio.
Swiss company Novartis joined with National Taiwan University Hospital to set up a clinical research and development center.
|N° 8||Février 2009||5 p.||179 kb|
|Introduction – ITRI (www.itri.org.tw)
Since its establishment in 1973 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Hsinchu has developed into one of Taiwan’s most important key players in the field of applied science research.
The campus houses 6 core laboratories (biomedical engineering; electronics and optoelectronics; energy and environment; information and communications; material and chemical; mechanical and systems), 5 focus centers (display; medical electronics and device; photovoltaics; identification and security; SOC technologies) and 5 linkage centers (center for measurement standards; creativity lab; industrial economics and knowledge center; nano technology research center; technology center for service industries), conducting applied research and development. The scope of ITRI’s research covers industries such as: information and communications technologies; advanced manufacturing and systems; biomedical technology; nanotechnology; material and chemicals; and energy and environment. Within these industries, ITRI centre on three goals: to expedite the development of new industrial technology; to aid in the process of upgrading industrial technology techniques; to establish future industrial technology.
ITRI’s main claim to fame comes from its two most famous spin-off companies, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microcontrollers (UMC), the world’s largest semiconductor contract manufacturers. The management at ITRI is committed to creating a breeding-ground for future success stories similar to TSMC and UMC.
The institute has grown to a 6’000 people operation and maintains overseas offices in USA, Japan, Russia and Germany.
|N° 7||Janvier 2009||3 p.||148 kb|