Selling Taiwan's science and technology to developing countries has become a practical strategy to not only help strengthen their national capacities but also reinforce diplomatic relations, National Science Council officials said yesterday.
In the last few years, the council has worked hard to maintain existing technological ties with advanced countries such as the US, France, the UK and Sweden. However, several agreements and collaborative projects were also signed between Taiwan and a number of developing countries which have realized the need for science and technology in the development process.
Last year, the council signed agreements with Kazakhstan's National Academy of Sciences and Directorate General Information Society under the European Commission.
"Collaborative projects have been carried out in other countries, such as Poland, New Zealand, and a number of Southeast Asian countries," council Deputy Minister Shieh Ching-jyh (謝清志) said yesterday at a press conference.
Shieh said that Taiwan, a newly-industrialized country, has found its unique position is beneficial to countries which desperately want to learn more about the integration of science and technology in national and regional development plans.
"Taiwan's experience in building science parks remains one of fascinating things that is attractive to those Southeast Asian countries undergoing similar economic transitions," Shieh said.
Taking Vietnam as an example, council officials said that Taiwan has become the largest foreign investor there and its rapid industrial development needs experience from Taiwan.
Wang Wei-chung (王偉中), director general of the council's Department of International Cooperation, said that the council had noticed abundant knowledge resources in neighboring Southeast Asian countries.
"We will create opportunities for outstanding foreign researchers to work with Taiwanese scientists here. This is also a way to promote the nation's influence in developing talent from different countries," Wang said.
Wang also said that the council had taken advantage of international science and technology organizations, such as the Association for Science Cooperation in Asia to sell Taiwan's achievement in the region.
This year, the council is planning several training programs for junior researchers, promising professors and governmental officials from Southeast Asian countries to learn up-to-date knowledge in diverse areas, including seismology, precision instrument research, disaster prevention, environmental engineering, and sustainable development.
Next week, a workshop on greenhouse gas emissions measurement and modeling will be held for researchers from neighboring countries, including Brunei, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines. The workshop is co-organized by Southeast Asia Regional Committee, a regional research network of the Global Change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START) program.
"The region has been seen as one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases due to its fast-paced industrialization. Taiwan can offer useful information to help other countries improve their methods in measuring and modeling greenhouse gases," said Wang Jough-tai (