Fri, Dec 24, 2004 - Page 2 News List

EU officials to seek input of Taiwanese research experts

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's recent vigorous development of its service industry by using competitive communication technologies has drawn attention from the EU, which will send political, academic and economic representatives to Taiwan in April to encourage Taiwanese to participate in the EU's research and development projects, the National Science Council said yesterday.

Wang Wei-chung (王偉中), director-general of the council's Department of International Co-operation, said that Taiwan late last year signed its first official scientific collaboration agreement with the European Commission (EC).

The agreement encourages Taiwanese researchers to participate in collaborative projects involving the EU's "Sixth Framework Program," which sets out research priorities for the period from 2002 to 2006.

"Several European countries have a lack of understanding of Asia and have expressed their willingness to incorporate leading Asian research and development centers into their projects in the field of information and communication technologies," Wang told a press conference yesterday.

According to Wang, the EC's Information Society Technologies (IST) program has financially supported the GAPFILL Project, which is aimed at contributing to the development of scientific and technological cooperation between Europe and Asia in the information and communication technology field.

About 40 high-ranking repre-sentatives of EU governments and academic and economic circles will visit Taiwan in April to map out details of future collaborations in the GAPFILL Project.

"To show its resolution and sincerity, the EU has deposited about NT$1.5 million in Taiwan for preparation," Wang said.

Council officials said yesterday that universities, small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies are welcome to make proposals about the role Taiwanese participants should play.

"For example, Taiwan might play a key role in defining standards for 4G [fourth-generation wireless technology,]" said Chen Sin-horng (陳信宏), chief executive officer for the National Telecommunication Development Program.

It is expected that, when the Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park is completed in 2006, Taiwan will be able to export its advanced medical and biotechnology services involving progressive communication technologies.

"Undoubtedly, homecare will become one of the must-have services in not only Taiwan but also the EU. Taiwan's experience in upgrading service industries will be crucial to EU members," said Hsu Su-ming (許世明), chief executive officer of the park's preparatory office.

According to Lee Chih-kung (李世光), director general of the council's Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, several European countries hold Taiwan in high regard for its prefect combination of information technology and its improved textile industry.

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