Science, Technology and Education News from Taiwan
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Cette revue est rédigée par le Trade Office of Swiss Industries (TOSI).
|N° 12||December 2011||9 p.||226 kb|
|“2010 National Science Council Review” now available online
The National Science Council (NSC) has compiled the ROC White Paper on Science and Technology (2011-2014) to give overall account of Taiwan’s technology policies, technology rese arch achievement of the industrial, governmental and academic sectors, and S&T development me asures to help the government formulate policies and stay abreast of the trend of tec hnology advancement and familiarize international and local communities with Taiwan’s technology progress.
The Paper formulates eight development strategies addressi ng such aspects as academic research, the economy, human welfare, and the environment, and seeks to achieve the vision of transforming Taiwan into an “innovative global pioneer in green energy technology and intelligent living” by 2020. Moreover, cabinet has embarked on organizational re-engineering work in order to streamline the government’s organization. According to the revised Organic Act, NSC will be merged with the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction and the Atomic Energy Council’s nuclear safety control mission, establishing a Ministry of Science and Technology, which will bear responsibility for promotion of scientific and technological development, mid-stream basic academic research, and applied research.
For more information regarding details of the White Paper please click:
|N° 11||November 2011||7 p.||88 kb|
|Taiwan [Swiss] researchers score breakthrough in solar cell technology (Central News Agency, 16 11 2011)
A research team composed of Taiwanese and Swiss chemists has developed new dye components that can highly enhance the solar conversion efficiency of dye-sensitized photovoltaic (PV) cells, the National Science Council (NSC) said. The success marks a significant step toward the creation of very cheap solar cells, which would greatly contribute to the development of the photovoltaic industry, according to council. The NSC-funded research team used porphyrin and cobalt to replace ruthenium and iodine as dye components, which increased the absorption of sunlight and resulted in a more efficient electron exchange and a solar conversion efficiency ratio of 13.1 percent, the council said. The previous cell design achieved a conversion efficiency of 10 to 11 percent, it said. The achievement has attracted attention in the global academic community and an article detailing the research results has appeared in the latest issue of the prestigious « Science » magazine. Other U.S. journals such as Chemical & Engineering News and Scientific American have also published articles on the major breakthrough in dye-sensitized solar cell technology, hailing it as yet another milestone in the global development of renewable energy. The research team , led by Yeh Chen-yu of National Chung Hsing University, Eric Diau of National Chiao Tung University, and Michael Gratzel, a professor at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, said the new invention can be easily commercialized at low cost. Yeh said at a news conference that the porphyrin-sensitized solar cells with cobalt-based redox electrolyte can be widely used in consumer electronics gadgets. Porphyrin is an artificial chlorophyll that plays the same role in dye-sensitized solar cells as chlorophyll in plant photosynthesis, Yeh said. The newly developed solar cells take the imitation even closer as the new chemical combination gives them a greenish tint, he added. « This new color increases the efficiency of the process that converts light energy into electricity, » Yeh explained. Noting that solar cells with the new combination of chemicals can be used to create flexible, transparent solar panels, Yeh said they are a promising alternative for certain applications in which traditional rigid, silicon-based panels cannot be used. In addition, he added, this new efficiency benchmark brings them well within the efficiency range of more expensive silicon solar cells.
|N° 10||October 2011||10 p.||109 kb|
|With the first phase of the reorganization of the structure of the executive branch under way, the mechanisms for Taiwan’s science and technology policymaking and management will change significantly next year. As science and technology are crucial to Taiwan’s industrial transformation and competitiveness, remodeling the decision-making structure is a key process. Under the existing framework, an unofficial task force, the Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG), helps ministers without portfolio map out Taiwan’s science and technology policy goals, while the National Science Council (NSC) is responsible for planning development strategies, evaluating research proposals and distributing resources, mainly concerning the promotion of upstream, basic research. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Council of Agriculture and other Cabinet-level agencies related to R&D are in charge of managing the industrial application of research results. To close the gap between policymaking and the needs of industry the allocation of money and resources is a key factor. For example, the NSC’s budget for science and technology far exceeds that of any other agency, but the lion’s share goes to basic academic research, with only 7 % dedicated to applied work and the development of industrial technologies. Other agencies such as the MOEA have substantial budgets for applied and technical research, but their funds are often redirected as market conditions change, and the necessity of budgeting a year in advance leaves no flexibility for supporting timely R&D. In the new framework following government restructuring, according to the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan, STAG will become an official committee—tentatively known as the Science and Technology Policy Board (STPB), and the NSC will be converted into a Ministry of Science and Technology. The STPB will be responsible for planning overall policy and distributing relevant resources, as well as evaluating and administering major development projects. The new ministry will implement policy and promote both basic and applied research. This revamping is to improve cross-agency collaboration, increase connections between fundamental research and commercial applications, and consolidate policymaking.|
|N° 9||September 2011||8 p.||89 kb|
|As science and technology are crucial to Taiwan’s industrial transformation and competitiveness, remodeling the decision-making structure is a key process. The mechanisms for Taiwan’s science and technology policymaking and management are likely change radically next year with the first phase of the reorganization of the Executive Yuan under way. The government will use this opportunity to ensure clear lines of authority, especially in relation to the allocation of resources. Under the existing framework, an unofficial task force, the Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG), helps ministers without portfolio map out Taiwan’s science and technology policy goals, while the National Science Council is responsible for planning development strategies, evaluating research proposals and distributing resources, mainly concerning the promotion of upstream, basic research. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Council of Agriculture and other Cabinet-level agencies related to R&D are in charge of managing the industrial application of research results. Within this two-tier, multiple-agency structure, the effectiveness of cross-agency coordination affects the entire direction of policy and the degree to which economic and industrial views are integrated. The functions and efficacy of STAG, however, have changed with different premiers and ministers without portfolio. In the new framework following government restructuring, according to the Organic Act of the Executive Yuan, STAG will become an official committee—tentatively known as the Science and Technology Policy Board—and the NSC will be converted into a Ministry of Science and Technology. The STPB will be responsible for planning overall policy and distributing relevant resources, as well as evaluating and administering major development projects. The new ministry will implement policy and promote both basic and applied research. This revamping will improve cross-agency collaboration, increase connections between fundamental research and commercial applications, and consolidate policymaking.
R&D 100 Awards, selected by an independent judging panel and editors of R&D Magazine published in the U.S. are believed the ultimate technological and innovative achievement by most of Tech-fans. The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), generally seen as the hotbed of technological invention and innovation in Taiwan, again proved it’s in the same league as Intel, Dell, 3M and Hitachi, who are also R&D 100 Award winners, by entering two eco-friendly technologies that defeated many rivals worldwide: the rewritable i2R e-Paper and polarizer protective film HyTAC. Other Taiwan’s research instates such as the Institute for Information Industry (III) and Taiwan Textile Research Institute also received the rewards.
|N° 8||August 2011||6 p.||85 kb|
|Academia Sinica, the island’s highest research institute, released a statement on 14 August, saying that Taiwan is faced with a brain drain crisis and should revise current laws and regulations immediately to prevent more talented individuals from leaving the nation. Endorsed by 18 leaders from the academic, business and arts sectors, the Academia Sinica statement said factors such as stiff regulations and institutional inflexibility have resulted in “a net exodus of Taiwanese talents.” To retain talented individuals, Academia Sinica called on government officials to abolish the current wage system, according to which educators and researchers are treated in the same way as blue-collar workers. Taiwan’s pay scale for academics and specialists, already far below international standards, discourages talented researchers from working in Taiwan, it said. In addition to changing laws and regulations, Taiwan should rethink its immigration policy and work to create a comprehensive knowledge economy “that will help support the long-term development of talents and education.”
To retain excellent talents, the cabinet passed draft revision of the “basic law for science and technology,” greatly relaxing restrictions on cooperation between academicians or researchers at public institutions and domestic enterprises. According to the draft revision, professors at public universities or researchers at government-sponsored research organizations will be able to serve as directors or supervisors of domestic enterprises. In addition, they will be able to own more than 10% stake in domestic enterprises using their technologies for investment. Meanwhile, public universities and government-sponsored research organizations will be able to manage, dispose, or transfer their technologies and intellectual properties, free from the restrictions of “national property law.” The draft revision is the largest reform of the “basic law for science and technology” since its enactment 12 years ago and has been made in response to the suggestion of a number of leading academic institutions, calling for the provision of flexibility to their talents for business ventures, so as to retain domestic scientific and technological talents. It is hoped that the removal on the restrictions on domestic talents and commercialization of R&D results will be indispensable for a new wave of startups and the development of emerging industries in Taiwan.
National Taiwan University (NTU) ranked in the 102-150 category of the top universities in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World University (ARWU), released by Shanghai Jiaotong University. Other rankings of Taiwan universities: 201-300 category: National Cheng Kung University; 301-400 category: National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University; 401-500 category: National Central University; National Yang Ming University.
|N° 7||July 2011||5 p.||74 kb|
|BioBusiness Asia 2011 was held in Taipei from 19-20 July. The forum, sponsored by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Taiwan, became one of the most important biotech information platforms in Asia, devoted to the exchange of biotechnology business opportunities. The theme of this year’s forum was the New Asian Paradigm for creating biotechnology businesses. More than 300 venture capitalists, biotechnology experts in the medical science and pharmaceutical professionals took part in the event. Taiwan would like to play one of the key roles in driving the Asian biomedical industry as a gateway to the Chinese market. Its ‘Biotechnology Take Off Diamond Action Plan’ is composed of four parts, including translational research in pharmaceuticals and medical device, Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) establishment, Biotech Venture Capital Fund (BVC) establishment, and Supra Incubation Center (SIC) establishment. From 2009-2013, the government is to invest US$ 1.2 bio. into the program. One objective is to strengthen the commercialization process and bolster the industrial value chain. The first case sponsored by BVC fund is called Taiwan Medtech Fund (TMF) and it will focus on medical device product investment. SIC has been created to provide pharmaceutical and medical devices and equipment businesses with comprehensive services that include fund raising, legal consultation, and technology and management support.
Wong Chi-huey, head of Academia Sinica (Taiwan’s top research institution), expects research and development efforts backed by the institution to help upgrade Taiwan’s biotechnology industry. Academia Sinica has been an incubator for advanced studies in areas ranging from stem cells, DNA sequencing and atomic sciences to history, literature and linguistics. It is in the vanguard of promoting Taiwan’s biotechnology sector. According to Wong, at least 60 new drugs developed by Taiwanese companies are undergoing clinical testing, with 30 complying with U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards. These efforts include an antibody for HIV by TaiMed Biologics Inc. and antibiotics targeting cancer by TaiGen Biotechnology Co. Ltd. Numerous new drugs coming from Taiwan should appear on the market in the next few years, he said. Wong believes such drug development efforts will enjoy better resources as the government moves to provide a more encouraging environment, a key part of which will be a biotech park proposed by Academia Sinica. To facilitate a cluster effect for drug development, which typically consists of drug discovery, preclinical research and clinical trials on humans, the biotech park, adjacent to the institute in Taipei’s Nangang District is set to become headquarters for key participants in drug discovery and testing. Slated to open in 2017, it will be home to Taiwan’s leading research in translational medicine. Representative offices of the National Science Council, Ministry of Economic Affairs, National Laboratory Animal Center and TFDA, under the Department of Health, will provide on-site support for the NT$ 22.5 bio. initiative.
|N° 6||Juin 2011||8 p.||115 kb|
|According to Wong Chi-huey, president of Academia Sinica (Taiwan’s foremast academic research body), the establishment of Nangang biotech research center in five years will give a strong boost to the development of Taiwan’s biotech industry, whose annual output value may top NT$1 trillion, five times the existing level. The biotech research center will be able to break ground on its construction soon, which will entail an investment of NT$22.5 billion and is scheduled for completion in five years, capable of accommodating 2,000 researchers. Wong noted that Taiwan’s biotech industry has strong R&D capability, but lacks the mechanism for the integration and commercialization of its R&D results. In Taiwan, there are at least 50 new drugs under development now, of which 30 have obtained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical test. The biotech research center can help the 30 drugs pass the clinical test and hit the market. The research center will play a role of integration, pinpointing R&D results with market potential and passing them to enterprises via the mediation of industrial incubation centers. It will also coordinate the resources of the biotech center of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan Food & Drug Administration, and the animal center of the National Science Council to assist the enterprises in commercializing the transferred technologies.
The goal of the Global Partnership Programs (GPP) – National Priority S&T is to promote international collaboration related to National Science and Technology Programs as follows:
National S&T Program for Networked Communications
National S&T Program for Energy
National S&T Program for Biopharmaceuticals
National S&T Program for Intelligent Electronics
Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program
National S&T Program for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
EU FP National Contact Point Taiwan – The National Contact Point-Taiwan Office (NCP-Taiwan) seeks to facilitate the engagement of Taiwanese industry, universities, research institutes and their researchers with the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and other related EU opportunities for mutual collaboration between the European Union and Taiwan. The aim of NCP-Taiwan is to increase the quality, quantity, profile and impact of Taiwan-EU research cooperation under FP7 by developing and executing a suite of activities such as info-days, seminars, exchange visits, technical assistance, workshops and other activities designed to increase the awareness of, and involvement in, new collaborative opportunities.
With the help of the NCP-Taiwan office and its website, research institutes and scholars can obtain the latest information about FP7 and open calls for research proposals, can access details about these calls via the NCP-Taiwan website CORDIS connection, can receive assistance in connecting with other Taiwanese specialists, scholars and entrepreneurs who share similar research interests, and can receive support in establishing academic research exchanges with the European Union.
Thematic NCPs Taiwan
Taiwan Tech Trek – TTT provides a unique opportunity for overseas and domestic Taiwanese youths to gain
hands-on internship or research experiences. Summer internships are available all across Taiwan at top research
institutes, high-tech companies, fine universities, and the world-famous science parks
|N° 5||Mai 2011||7 p.||105 kb|
|The biomedical technology and product R&D center was inaugurated at the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park on 18 May. The research center, to be managed by the National Science Council (NSC), is the first of the park’s three facilities to begin operations. The other two centers — a hospital set up by the Department of Health that will be responsible for clinical experiments and serious disease care, and an incubation center set up by the Ministry of Economic Affairs — have yet to be completed. Constructed on 38.1 hectares of land in northern Taiwan’s Hsinchu County, the park is expected to become fully operational by 2015. Working in conjunction with Taiwan’s information and communication technology sector, the three centers will coordinate public and private resources to create a biotechnology cluster for Taiwan. “Focus will be placed on product development, clinical trials, patent transfers and business incubation,” NSC pointed out, adding that the concerted efforts will help sharpen the local R&D capability and fast track product commercialization. According to government plans, the biotech industry is to become Taiwan’s next high-tech industry.|
|N° 4||Avril 2011||6 p.||95 kb|
“ITRI Today” is a quarterly English publication reporting news from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), including R&D results, cooperative agreements, and organizational developments, with the intent to familiarize international business, academic, and government communities with ITRI’s organizational mission and accomplishments:
|N° 3||Mars 2011||7 p.||102 kb|
|N° 2||Février 2011||6 p.||95 kb|
|A total of 24,305 scientific research papers from Taiwan were listed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) in 2009, ranking 16th in the world and representing growth of 7.8 % over the previous year. Taiwan also published a total of 18,869 research papers that were cited by major engineering publications in 2009, a rise of 7.9 % from a year earlier and ranking 9th in terms of the global engineering index (EI), according to Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) officials. Meanwhile, a total of 6,642 patent application cases filed by Taiwanese institutions or individuals in the United States were approved in 2009, making Taiwan the 5th-largest recipient of U.S patents for that year, according to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). IPO officials said Taiwan ranked behind only the United States, Japan, Germany and South Korea in patent right claims in the United States in 2009, marking growth of 4.8 % over the previous year. The DGBAS officials said that research and development powers creativity and innovation technology and that the volume of scientific research papers published in Taiwan shows the country’s concrete results in the field of research.
|N° 1||Janvier 2011||6 p.||90 kb|
The ministers of science and technology of Taiwan and China reached a consensus to establish a regular platform for science exchanges. The two (the first time on this level between the two sides) exchanged views on the prospects of cross-strait cooperation in the fields of neo-energy, disaster prevention, bio-resources and biomedical sciences. In terms of science park management, the National Science Council in Taiwan will try to improve exchanges between Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park and China’s 84 high-technology parks. Members of the Taiwan delegation at the cross-Taiwan Strait forum in Beijing on 13-14 January participated in four panel sessions on science resources, management of the science industry, neo-energy, and bio-resources and biomedical sciences.Contents
A pioneering technique to protect printed materials from copyright infringement (making digital watermarks with hybrid halftone dots) has been developed – the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) partners with US-file-sharing provider BitTorrent – scientists developed a grouper fish vaccine – Taiwan’s first zero-carbon building was completed – Taiwan’s first heavy particle radiation therapy equipment for cancer treatment is to be introduced – the National Health Research Institute transfers enterovirus vaccine technology – Researchers identified a number of key factors governing protein aggregation, a process thought to play an important role in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases – the National Taiwan University unveiled a portable device capable of detecting cancer in 12 minutes – the National University Hospital and GlaxoSmithKline partner with a new cancer research project – the National Taipei University of Technology unveiled software for gesture recognition – Computer students design a surveillance drone – Specialists found micorRNA-141 was key in regulating EV-71, a breakthrough in the understanding of the enteroviral infection model – Researchers developed the island’s fastest supercomputer to be used for a range of scientific and academic projects including climate studies and biotechnology – Researchers made significant progress in creating an all-optical waveform synthesizer that can be used for the further development in nanoelectronics, nanomaterials and terahertz electronics – German medical scientist Juergen Hennig won the 2010 Tsungming Tu Award – the National Cheng Kung University unveiled a world-leading cancer treatment technology and device that comines the use of nano-magnetic particles and antibodies to identify tumors and kill cancer cells using heat technology – Intel and the National Taiwan University establish a M2M research center – two other Taiwanese universities team up with US research centers in the fields of molecular, cellular and integrative bioengineering.