Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Minister in US to lead delegation on tech diplomacy tour

Staff writer, with CNA, NEW YORK

Minister Without Portfolio Simon Chang (張善政) flew to New York on Saturday to embark on a three-day tour aimed at reviving high-level science and technology exchanges with the US that have not been conducted for several years.

Starting yesterday, Chang and more than 20 local senior academics and experts are to hold talks with leading US research institutes in Washington, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Chang said.

The talks are to focus on a proposal to establish a platform for exchanges between Taiwanese and US research institutes, he said, adding that the two sides are to exchange views on issues in the fields of natural and earth sciences, as well as healthcare and medicine.

Chang said the two countries have maintained close cooperative ties in the field of climate research, which have helped make Taiwan an important platform for typhoon research in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, bilateral academic exchanges in some other fields “have turned cold,” the minister said.

“We have not tried to reheat them until recently,” Chang said, referring to a proposal to establish a platform for joint bilateral technology research.

Among the Taiwanese academics and experts set to attend the meetings in Washington are National Taiwan University President Yang Pan-chyr and Academia Sinica academicians Andrew Wang (王惠鈞) and Ho Ing-Kang (何英剛).

After the meetings, Chang and his delegation are to head to Silicon Valley in California, where they are to meet venture capitalists to try and raise funds for a proposed US$100 million Taiwan-US Silicon Valley Investment Fund.

Chang said the government in Taipei may put up as much as half of the capital for the fund in the hope of reconnecting the nation with the US technology hub.

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