Wed, Nov 17, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Science council to launch new division in India

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's relations with India will be further strengthened early next year through the launch of a new science and technology division in New Delhi, the Taipei Times learned from the National Science Council (NSC) yesterday. Council staff and other scientists will collaborate on projects with Indian researchers in promising fields such as energy, aerospace, information technology and communications.

In the last few years, the council has carried out collaborative projects with India in diverse fields, including seismology, nanotechnology, information education and social science. Several memorandums of understanding have been signed by universities and national research institutes from both sides, and more than 140 post-doctorate research fellowships have been given out by the Taiwan government to researchers from India.

But the new division will formalize the collaboration between the two countries and include council staff members who will be posted to India, and can share Taiwan's high-tech expertise.

"Taiwan's experience in building technology clusters [science parks] might interest India," NSC Deputy Minister Shieh Ching-jyh (謝清志) told the Taipei Times.

Taiwan is similar to India in that national policies serve as the driving forces behind the development of science and technology.

According to the council's evaluation, in collaborative projects with India Taiwan might particularly benefit from India's research in seismology, high-performance computing and sustainable development.

Shieh said the council's 14 science and technology divisions in major cities in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Japan, Russia, Australia and Vietnam have been thriving. For example, the council signed a contract with the Russian Foundation for Basic Research early this month to secure a NT$52.5 million (US$1.6 million) investment in the next three years for more than 30 bilateral collaborative projects.

In addition, the most recent division, launched in Hanoi in July, has been promoting exchange of opinions in fields such as marine sciences between Taiwanese scientists and their counterparts in Vietnam, as well as neighboring countries such as Thailand and the Philippines.

Shieh said that the next science and technology division the council plans to set up -- which will happen next year -- will be in either Central America or South America.

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