Change education system to boost innovation: NARL

IN THE BOX THINKING::NARL chairperson Cyrus Chu said Taiwan’s education system does not encourage students to stray too far from traditional thinking

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jun 16, 2013 - Page 3

The biggest challenge to encouraging innovation in Taiwan is the lack of “wildness” in education, National Science Council Minister and National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) chairperson Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) said yesterday.

Chu made the remark at a forum on innovation technology in Taipei in celebration of NARL’s 10th anniversary.

During a discussion on how the nation’s innovation technology sector could be approved, Chu said Taiwan’s education system tends to be conservative and seldom encourages “wild” ideas.

Innovation needs new ideas and entrepreneurship requires courage, but compared with some other countries, Taiwan’s education system hardly encourages students to step away from tradition, so the current innovation culture lacks courage and creativity, he said.

National Chengchi University president Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) told the forum that innovation in the humanities also needs a new mindset based on the core features of “being people-oriented, integrating local elements and the co-creation of value.”

He said the practice of humanities innovation should be guided by imagination, developed through trial and error and spread like an ecosystem, rather than by a mindset which stresses rigid management and systematic planning.

Meanwhile, Minister Without Portfolio Simon Chang (張善政) stressed the importance and potential of working with large data sets, such as applying knowledge of human DNA to improve the precision of medical diagnoses, and urged NARL to develop more interdisciplinary databases in the academic field to inspire innovation.

According to Industrial Technology Research Institute chairman Tsay Ching-yen (蔡清彥), the nation’s institutional environment is unfriendly to both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs, as the required procedure for establishing companies is complicated and time-consuming, while the tax imposed on technology investment and applying for residency rights are problematic.