The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has loosened certain regulations to encourage researchers to propose more collaborative projects with other countries, while some academics said it would be more beneficial to identify mutually complementary partners.
The ministry on Monday launched its MOST Add-on Grant for International Cooperation (MAGIC) project, which encourages researchers working on ministry-funded projects to apply to join additional international projects.
Unternational projects used to be conducted in accordance with the bilateral agreements between Taiwan and other countries, but the restriction would be lifted from Aug. 1, Department of International Cooperation and Science Education Director-General Huang Hsin-ya (黃心雅) said.
The ministry would give project heads an additional monthly grant of NT$5,000 and subsidize their research trips abroad, as well as their invitations of foreign academics to Taiwan, she said.
To give researchers more flexibility, the ministry would review proposed projects as they arrive, and the process would be completed within two months, she said.
The significance of the institutions to which foreign academics are affiliated would be a key factor for reviewers, Huang said.
When asked for comment, two researchers said they welcome more flexibility for applications, but that “mutual complementariness” should be given more emphasis.
Instead of an institution’s significance, the ministry should put more emphasis on an institution’s long-term potential and how it complements its Taiwanese counterpart, said Lin Yao-tung (林耀東), a professor at National Chung Hsing University’s Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences.
The university is planning to work with Utah State University (USU) to establish a training center for agricultural talent from Southeast Asia, which would help bridge agricultural studies in Taiwan, the US and Southeast Asia, he said.
Although USU is not part of the prestigious Ivy League — a group of eight private schools based in the US’ northeast — it would introduce US academic resources to Taiwan and Southeast Asia, Lin said, adding that he would still try to apply for the ministry’s new program when it launches.
Local researchers are advised to seek opportunities for cooperation when they attend overseas conferences, but they should find partners who would add value to their projects, said Lee Yi-hsuan (李怡萱) a professor at National Yang-Ming University’s Department of Physiology.
Different researchers are likely to “hit it off” immediately if their research methods or laboratory techniques are mutually complementary, Lee said, adding that program applicants should consider the necessity of foreign partners if they are able to find similar matches in Taiwan.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,