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Wed, Nov 21, 2001 - Page 4 News List

Science gurus to discuss Taiwan's high-tech future


The annual five-day meeting next week of the government's top science and technology advisors will only address issues affecting Taiwan's five most promising high-tech sectors, a government minister said yesterday.

The aim is to discuss the policies and strategies required to take advantage of Taiwan's particular strengths in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology services (including software design and related management services), electronics and communications.

Minister Without Portfolio Tsay Ching-yen (蔡清彥) said yesterday that all 17 domestic and foreign members of the cabinet's Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG, 行政院科技顧問組) would attend the meetings, as would several distinguished foreign experts.

Tsay also said that Taiwan would launch a national project next year to facilitate the development of nanotechnology by integrating the work of research centers, universities and the nanotechnology industry.

"In the following five years, we estimate that Taiwan will invest about NT$15 billion to NT$20 billion in nanotechnology R&D fields," Tsai said at a press conference yesterday.

Research by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) suggests that the value of output from Taiwanese industries using nanotechnology will be between NT$200 billion and NT$300 billion in 2005.

Tsai said that the government's research budget for biotechnology will be increased to NT$50 billion over the next five years.

Future strategies for information technology services, Tsay said, would seek to expand the market in Taiwan for applied information technologies. "Policies to meet the needs of information technology services will focus on three areas -- the government, society and industry," Tsai said.

STAG, made up of senior science and technology experts from Taiwan and abroad, was established in 1979 to point the direction for the nation's scientific research and to evaluate existing science-related schemes.

The advisory group also offers recommendations on projects essential for the development of science and technology.

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