EU and Taiwan initiate scientific research cooperation
As one of the four Asian Tiger economies (namely Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea), Taiwan has much to share in the fields of science and technology and is currently engaging with the EU in a constructive dialogue to the mutual benefit of both sides. The Taiwanese National Science Council (NSC) and the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) recently announced the start of the first EU-Taiwan science cooperation workshop in Taipei. The workshop will invite top Taiwanese research programmes to take part in the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), according to EETO Head of Office Guy Ledoux. The EETO also intend to identify ways in which EU researchers can participate in Taiwanese research programmes.
Taiwan is invited to take part in FP7. Pictured above are Taiwanese shopping in the capital city of Taipei.
The FP7 is the EU's largest ever research programme, with a budget of EUR 53 billion and it's projected to last until 2013. The areas of research it will cover include energy, biotechnology, nanotechnology, transportation, humanities, security and space, information and communication technologies (ICT), environment and health. Researchers from Taiwan are also invited to apply for the Marie Curie fellowship, an exchange programme which enables scientists to cooperate closely and spend time in each other’s countries.
'Taiwan’s expenditure on research and development is an impressive 3 percent of GDP; correspondingly it has cultivated many top-notch science and technology developments in fields such as ICT. The EU’s current figure is 2 percent, but we aspire to catch up with Taiwan,' says Guy Ledoux.
According to NSC Deputy Minister Yang Hung-Duen, Taiwan has signed collaboration agreements with 17 EU Member States that will help improve the quality of Taiwanese research. 'The Framework Programme involves only Europe’s best and pioneering researchers. Whilst the EU comes to Taiwan looking for collaboration with our top researchers, it is also a premium opportunity for Taiwanese researchers to learn and enter the elite society of science,' says Yang.
Taiwan’s main interests in collaboration with EU researchers lie in the fields of biotechnology and energy, with a particular focus on energy conservation and renewable fuels. Lin Kwang-Lung, the Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation, says: 'Since Taiwan’s participation in the Fifth Framework Programme in 2005 the NSC has sponsored 11 participating projects for a total of TWD 70 million (USD 2.16 million). The council will continue to sponsor each participating programme up to TWD 3 million per year.'
Lin underlines, 'Although we have identified focused areas of research, we are open to any programme of good quality. So far, we have not set a cap for the amount of sponsorship; we encourage all top researchers to apply to FP7.'