Sat, May 12, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Academia Sinica breaks ground for southern campus

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in Tainan

President Tsai Ing-wen participates in the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Academia Sinica’s southern campus yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Academia Sinica yesterday broke ground on its southern campus as part of its ongoing effort to improve its ability to conduct cutting-edge research and promote more balanced development in Taiwan.

The southern campus is to focus on the research and development of agricultural biotechnology and circular energy, as well as Taiwan’s history and culture, Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) said at the ceremony.

Academia Sinica in 2012 unveiled plans to build a southern campus near the Tainan high-speed rail station.

The project is to cost NT$4 billion (US$134.3 million) and should create more than 1,000 job opportunities, according to the plans.

“This campus will help southern Taiwan develop distinct and unique areas of research and expertise while serving as a center for pooling local talent, research capacity and other resources,” Liao said.

The facility would build on Academia Sinica’s existing research capacity, while accentuating the special characteristics of southern Taiwan, he said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who also attended the event, said the southern campus is intended to promote scientific research and innovation, as well as balance development between northern and southern Taiwan.

Southern Taiwan has long been known for having a diverse agriculture industry, as well as a rich archeological and cultural heritage, Tsai said.

Today, it is also a strategic center of green energy technology and a model circular economy, she said.

Tsai said she hopes that collaboration between the government, industries and academic institutions will foster innovation, as well as research and development, in southern Taiwan and benefit the whole nation.

The southern campus is to be built in stages on 7.3 hectares of land, Academia Sinica said.

It is to feature three main research buildings with precision greenhouses, which should be completed by 2021, it said adding that the three research buildings would have 66,363m2 of floor space.

The remaining space would be designated as “green space” and reserved for future expansion, it said.

The southern campus would also lend support to the establishment of the adjacent Shalun Smart Energy Science City (沙崙智慧綠能科學城), helping the government to develop a sustainable economy, Academia Sinica said.

Toward that end, the institute would attract talent from Taiwan and abroad, it said.

Former Acadmia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) first conceived the idea of creating a southern campus.

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