Fri, May 20, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan, Israel identify areas of future cooperation in science and technology

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan and Israel on Wednesday identified areas of future cooperation in science and technology, from marine sciences to algorithms for application in robotics, a visiting Israeli official said yesterday.

Daniel Weihs, chief scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, said Taiwan was the best among the 15 countries that had signed a Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement with Israel in terms of the success of relationships built and papers published in several areas.

Since the agreement was signed in 2006, scientists and academics from Taiwan and Israel have jointly worked in the areas of neuroscience and medical engineering in the first two-year program that started in 2007 and nanotechnology and medical devices in the second-stage program.

Research in marine sciences will cover a wide range of issues facing the two countries, including water shortages, ocean pollution, marine agriculture, marine -archeology and the effects of human activity on marine life and marine ecology Weihs said.

“Both countries have water as the only free border. Taiwan is an island and in Israel, we have land borders closed because of political issues, [and thus our] water border is the only way out through the ocean, the same way you have the same thing,” he said.

Taiwan and Israel also plan to develop machine learning algorithms and apply them to robots, which will help robots learn how to respond to a situation when something unusual happens, Weihs said.

“The idea of [our] joint research is to look at the problems facing the two countries that are actually driving scientists, and try to find out how to deal with them. This is the major part of the collaboration,” Israeli Representative to Taiwan Simon Halperin said.

Halperin cited an example of desalination and marine agriculture.

“Just like Israel, water shortage is a serious problem. Desalination has not yet been introduced in Taiwan. In this regard, Israel is a pioneer in the world. Not only was the original technology for desalination developed by Israel, Israel also has the largest desalination plant in the world,” Halperin said.

“Israel is interested in learning and cooperating with Taiwan in researching grouper breading and [their] hatching process since Taiwan is a world leader in marine agriculture in certain areas,” she added.

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