Thu, Dec 06, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Overcoming the cultural barriers to improvement

ROADMAP TO SUCCESS:Increased cooperation between government, academia and industry could pave the way to improvement in ICT, the founder of Acer said yesterday

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese need to break through three prevailing cultural barriers in order to improve its position in the information and communication technology sector, Acer founder Stan Shih (施振榮) told a pre-meeting symposium of the ninth National Science and Technology Conference yesterday.

The symposium on technology transformation was held by the National Science Council yesterday as a warm-up to the conference to be held on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18.

Responding to a report by Academia Sinica’s Hu Cheng-ming (胡正明) on how to improve Taiwan’s information and communications technology innovative capacity and competitiveness, Shih said that a problem for Taiwan was that while innovative capacity is sufficient, the link between knowledge and innovative energy is still lacking.

Another phenomenon is that both the academic field and industry sectors still have a “subcontracting” state of mind, but Taiwan needs independent thinking and direction to make breakthroughs, he said.

Shih said he agreed with Hu that the government’s science and technology budget should be gradually increased and that goals be set through cooperation between government and industry, and that long-term integrated projects engaging government, industry and academic cooperation across industries are needed.

In addition, he regretted having brought up the concept of a “technology island” many years ago, and said the term should be modified to be a “humanity and technology island.”

He also stressed the importance of human innovation, to provide good service mechanisms and improve people’s quality of life.

He said that democracy tends to make people put more emphasis on things that are “at present, tangible and direct,” but that leaders should try to find solutions to break through three existing cultural barriers in order to improve society.

The three barriers are “half-blind value” — being interested only in tangible benefits — “resource impartiality” — splitting resources but not in the right places, and “cheat prevention,” he said, adding that it could take up to a decade to shed these cultural principles.

Also participating in the symposium, major machine-tool manufacturer Hiwin Technologies Corp chairman Eric Chuo (卓永財) stressed the importance of long-term research and development, saying that a common issue in the industry is that there are very few development managers that can invest in long-term continuous research projects.

In addition, he said that a problem is that most academics are more concerned about publishing research papers in academic journals rather than obtaining patents, and the economic benefits from patents are considered low by universities and research facilities.

He suggested that researchers from both academia and industry should invest in long-term participation and understanding of global research and development trends.

This could be done via methods such as attending important international exhibitions, in order to expand the scope and depth required in planning technology roadmaps, he said.

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