The arrival of high-ranking EU political, academic and economic representatives next month will mark the start of intensive scientific research between both sides, increasing Taiwan's influence in the sector of information and communication technologies (ICT), according to the National Science Council yesterday.
The 2005 Euro-Taiwan ICT Cooperation Event will be held at the end of next month in Taipei and Hsinchu.
The event is the result of Taiwan's first official scientific collaboration agreement, which was signed by the council and the Directorate-General Information Society of the European Commission in 2003.
The agreement encourages Taiwanese researchers to participate in collaborative projects involving EU's Sixth Framework Program, which sets out the priorities for the years 2002 to 2006, including the information society technologies (IST).
According to the council, the Information Society Technologies (IST) Program of the European Commission has supported the GAPFILL Project, which is aimed at boosting scientific and technological cooperation between Europe and Asia in the ICT field.
According to the council's deputy minister, Shieh Ching-jyh (謝清志), Taiwan was designated one of four main collaborative targets in Asia this year by the EU's Euro-Asia project. The other three are Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
"Among these countries, we are confident that Taiwan might be the most helpful to EU because of our recent vigorous development of the service industry for communication technologies," Shieh told a press conference yesterday.
Shieh said that the April 28-29 event will serve as a platform for researchers from local universities, research institutes and private companies to make useful European connections.
Since last December, there have been 110 research proposals involving ICT in the fields of health, biotechnology, and cyber technologies filed to the council for the GAPFILL Project.
Meanwhile, research centers and private companies in the EU have proposed about 50 possible projects linked to Taiwan.
According to Lin Kwang-lung (
"Taiwan having a strong high-tech development background makes it an ideal collaborative partner for certain smaller EU members, whose basic IT infrastructures are just began to take shape," Lin said.
Lin said that next month's event is more about networking and matchmaking than a conference or workshop.
NSC officials said that networking has been crucial for scientific research in an era focusing on strategic alliances. The council is promoting the participation in GAPFILL Project to help gradually increase Taiwan's influence upon the EU.
Since late last year, the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan has made an effort to promote GAPFILL with Taiwanese branches of top European firms. More information on Euro-Taiwan collaboration is expected to be discussed on Monday by s representatives and council officials.