Sun, Oct 03, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Former vice premier to take the helm at research institute

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet has nominated former vice premier Lin Hsi-yi (林信義) to take over as head of the semi-official Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院).

"Lin's nomination to take over the research body's chairmanship has been approved," Cabinet spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) confirmed yesterday.

"Once the paperwork has been completed, the appointment will be made official," he said.

Lin, who is currently convener of the president's eight-member economic advisory panel, will replace outgoing ITRI chairman Weng Cheng-i (翁政義) after the institute's board of directors and supervisors endorses the Cabinet's appointment, which it is expected to do at its annual meeting later this month.

Weng is expected to remain on the board of directors at the ITRI after Lin takes over.

Chen said that the government hopes to take advantage of Lin's experience of industrial affairs, as well as his ties to the private sector, to enhance the ITRI's capabilities in high-tech and applied science research. Lin will also be the driving force behind the government's industrial policy-making.

According to the Commercial Times, Lin said that he hopes to re-engineer the ITRI's research focus on applied sciences to match the industrial sector's technological needs.

He added that he would prioritize the commercialization of the institute's industrial research results while developing research into the nation's emerging industries, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and telecommunications.

Founded in 1973 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs as a non-profit research and development organization, the ITRI has grown into a 6,000-member operation which has played a pivotal role in the nation's industrial development and transformation from an agricultural-based economy to an industrial one.

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