National Science Council Minister Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) yesterday said the Executive Yuan had approved plans to transform the fourth-phase expansion project of the Central Taiwan Science Park’s (CTSP) Erlin Township (二林) campus in Changhua County into a campus focusing on precision machinery.
The original project, centered on the photonics industry, would have required large amounts of water and faced several protests by local farmers and environmental protection groups who said the science park would take irrigation water from farmers.
The council proposed three water sourcing options to the Executive Yuan in early June.
Chu said the decision had been made to relocate the water diversion from upriver to the middle part of the Cizaipijun River (莿仔埤圳), at its 12km mark.
In addition, the mid-term water supply of the Erlin campus between 2015 and 2019 has been reduced from the original plan of diverting 66,500 tonnes of water per day to 12,200 tonnes per day, Chu said, adding that the planned long-term total water usage of the park had been reduced from 160,000 tonnes per day to only 20,000 tonnes per day.
The change in total water usage mainly resulted from the decision to increase the proportion of the project occupied by the precision machinery industry from 10 percent to 35 percent, while reducing the photonics industry from 60 percent to 20 percent, he said.
He added that “the solution is the best we can do, with the most effort at making an environmentally friendly decision.”
Chu said the council would launch a high-tech equipment research and development project, allocating NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) a year for four years to between 10 and 15 joint research projects between industries and universities, especially in the key industries related to precision machinery.
National Science Council Deputy Minister Hocheng Hong (賀陳弘) said that the Erlin campus would be included among the “little league of cooperation between industries and universities” project, which will support the use of key technologies from academic research as the core, to propel and elevate the development of the industry sector — in this case, precision machinery, including robots, machine tools and automation.
Chu said the council would hold business invitation fairs and form a delegation to go overseas to attract business and investment from the US and Japan.
CTSP administration director-general Yang Wen-ke (楊文科) said rough surveys on the precision machinery companies showed a high willingness to move into the campus, and that the first investment symposium would be held tomorrow in central Taiwan, with Hon Hai Group and machine tool manufacturer Hiwin Technologies Corp planning to participate.