Promoting biotechnology, semiconductors and digital transformation are the key to creating an innovative, inclusive and sustainable society by 2030, Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) said yesterday as he took office.
Wu, 65, an expert on applied mechanics, served as a minister without portfolio, overseeing tech-related policy, since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in 2016.
Prior to that, he was a convener of the technology division of the New Frontier Foundation, a think tank linked to the Democratic Progressive Party.
He assumed office at a ceremony at the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taipei overseen by Minister Without Portfolio Chang Jing-sen (張景森), as his predecessor, Chen Liang-gee (陳良基), handed him the seal of office.
Chen laid the critical foundation for promoting innovation and startups, basic research and training international talent, as he had pledged to when he took office in February 2017, Wu said.
He would continue Chen’s policies, and aim to make Taiwan an innovative, inclusive and sustainable society by 2030, Wu said.
The goals are to solve problems generated by the aging society, declining birth rate, a widening wealth gap, environmental changes and insufficient energy supply, as well as tackle the challenges posed by new social modalities, which require considerations about socio-economic, environmental and political changes, he said.
Wu named six development directions — biotechnology and precision health initiatives, more advanced semiconductors, digital transformation, 6G networks that involve the applications of low-orbit satellites, boosting cybersecurity capability, and improving Internet connections among public and private sectors — that he had planned during his time as a minister without portfolio.
Praising Hsinchu-based Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) as the “pride of Taiwan,” Wu said the ministry would work with the company and research institutions to develop semiconductors measured in angstrom units to build a “smart nation.”
Ministry executives and officers on Tuesday afternoon threw a farewell party for Chen that lasted for more than three hours.
He was proud of having helped keep TSMC’s 3-nanometer fab in Tainan, the launch of two satellites — the remote sensing satellite Formosat-5 in 2017 and Formosat-7/COSMIC2 constellation for weather observation last year — and three new research vessels, said Chen at the party.
Chen, the longest-serving technology minister thus far, said that he regretted having to cancel a headhunting trip that had been planned for late March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Chen said he planned to return to research at National Taiwan University.
In related news, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Shieh Dar-bin (謝達斌), an expert in oral medicine, and Vice Minister of Science and Technology Tsou Yu-han (鄒幼涵), a long-time ministry official, have been retained in their posts.
Former deputy minister Hsu Yu-chin (許有進), recruited by Chen from Synopsys and responsible for promoting startups, has been replaced by Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Lin Minn-tsong (林敏聰), a physicist, who had been director-general of the ministry’s Natural Sciences and Sustainable Development Department.
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