Tech center converts research

JOINT EFFORT: The government and academia, in an effort to boost the domestic software industry, opened the center to turn research into applicable technology

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Mar 17, 2004 - Page 11

The government-funded Institute for Information Industry (資策會) and National Central University announced yesterday their co-founding of the Advanced Software Technology Center, in an attempt to convert universities' research and development (R&D) capability into applicable technology.

"As universities are usually the source of newly developed technology, we hope the two parties' cooperation would help boost the domestic software industry," Ke Jyh-sheng (柯志昇), the institute's president, said at the signing ceremony yesterday.

Both parties would initially invest NT$7 million to NT$8 million in the center and plan to to recruit up to 50 research staff in the first year, said Walter Lo (羅德和), the institute's executive vice president.

This collaboration forms part of the government's plans to help transform the R&D fruits of universities and research institutes into applicable technologies.

Earlier this year, the institute signed up with two other universities, National Tsinghua University and National Chao Tung University, to establish similar software research centers.

The academia circle's research and development expenditure grew at an average 8.48 percent annually for the past five years, which was higher than the average 7.08 percent increase of domestic R&D expenditure over the same period, according to figures by Department of Industrial Technology under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

As a result, the ministry placed great emphasis on whether academic circles' output could assist with the prosperity of the nation's industries and encouraged organizations and universities to co-establish research and development centers, helping development of the nation's high-tech sector.

"The center's research and development areas covers service-oriented software technology, e-learning and education programs in the future," said Victor Tsan (詹文男), director of the institute's Market Intelligence Center (MIC, 市場情報中心).

The detailed plans for the center's first year include development of third-generation information service platform for automobiles as well as a digital-learning center.

The third-generation software technology enables the state of the drivers and cars to be recorded by the platform and transmitted wirelessly to information or control centers, said Jonathan Lee (李允中), director of the university's Software Research Center.

The advanced software can for instance help with traffic congestion by reporting the formation of traffic jams automatically to the information center, Lee said.

The technology can also be applied to the taxi industry's fleet control and management.

Lee said his center is in talks to one local software company about developing the new technology. However, he declined to reveal the name of the company.

National Central University last month teamed up with Sun Microsystems Inc to set up the nation's first grid-computing laboratory.