Taiwan, Sweden to boost tech cooperation: minister

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Aug 29, 2019 - Page 2

Taiwan is to increase collaboration with Sweden on information and communication, space and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, the Ministry of Science and Technology said yesterday after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Swedish research foundation.

A delegation led by Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) on Sunday left for a week-long trip to Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Chen on Tuesday met with Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research Matilda Ernkrans, the first-ever meeting between the two nations’ science and education ministers, the ministry said.

The two nations are jointly engaged in 15 projects under the EU’s research and innovation initiative named Horizon 2020, it said.

Taiwan looks forward to working more with Sweden on advancements in space and AI technologies, especially as Ernkrans is responsible for supervising space technology development, it added.

Department of International Cooperation and Science Education Director-General Huang Hsin-ya (黃心雅) and Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research chief executive officer Lars Hultman signed the MOU, which was witnessed by Chen and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences president Dan Larhammar.

The academy is the place where every year’s Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry and economics are announced, Chen said, adding that he hoped more Taiwanese researchers would make similar breakthroughs.

The foundation plans to spend 30 million Swedish kronor (US$3.1 million) to sponsor one to three Taiwan-Sweden teams to conduct research on information and communications technology, biomedicine and materials science over a period of five to six years, the ministry said.

Both sides would also promote personnel exchanges of doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and professors, it said.

It has been more than 15 years since his last visit to Sweden, Chen wrote on Facebook yesterday before leaving for another country, adding that he is impressed by Sweden’s people-oriented planning across various areas.

Reflecting on his previous visits to different countries, he said that almost all agencies prioritize their commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with action plans.

While Taiwan is not a UN member, the nation’s proactive efforts to promote the SDGs demonstrates its social responsibility, which was also affirmed by Swedish officials, he wrote.

Ernkrans and Larhammar said they hoped to visit Taiwan in response to his invitation, Chen added.