NSC, NRC commemorate successful five-year partnership

Amber Wang,The China Post

The Cabinet-level National Science Council (NSC) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) yesterday commemorated a fruitful five-year collaboration between scientists and researchers of the two countries with a commitment to pursue cutting-edge scientific initiatives in the fields of nanotechnology and biotechnology for the next five years.

Calling the NSC-NRC partnership the most successful among all of Taiwan’s international projects, Lee Yuan-tseh, President of Academia Sinica, urged Taiwan and Canada to jointly pursue scientific and technological (S&T) competitiveness for the sustainable development of mankind by developing new technologies and bringing out young scientists. Acknowledging the contributions of NRC President Arthur J. Carty to the program, Lee recalled that prior to receiving the Nobel Prize, he was conferred his first honorary doctoral degree by the University of Waterloo where Carty, a prominent chemist and scientific leader, used to work. Since the NSC-NRC partnership was formed in 1997, a total of 27 joint research projects have been launched in the fields of medical biotechnology, advanced semiconductors, aerospace technology and advanced molecular sciences, just to name a few, noted NRC President Arthur J. Carty. Canada is internationally acclaimed for its R&D capabilities and achievements in the fields of aerospace, telecommunication, IT and satellite technology.

For the next five years, the research will focus on nanotechnology and biotechnology, with increased funding provided by both sides, Carty pointed out, adding that researchers from both sides could jointly explore leading-edge technologies such as nanobiology, nanoengineering and nanocomputing. The NRC is in the process of setting up the National Institute of Nanotechnology, to be located at the University of Alberta, which will become an important venue for joint research, he added. About 67 doctoral and post-doctoral students from Taiwan have trained in Canada and over 70 senior scientists from Canada have visited Taiwan during the past five years.

NSC Chairman Che-ho Wei added that as part of the cooperation program, each year the NSC selects four students from the Hsinchu Experimental High School to study in Canada during their summer break.

Wei also urged participating Canadian and local scientists of the symposium marking the 5th anniversary of NSC-NRC Collaborative Research Program to generate more research topics for future cooperation. In his remarks to the Canadian delegation and Taiwanese scientists and researchers, Vice Premier Lin Hsin-i noted that the relationship between Taiwan and Canada has been expanding, as evidenced by the growing S&T cooperation between the two sides. The two-day symposium in Taipei will wrap up today with a half-hour discussion session between the scientists and students from Hsinchu Experimental High School. The collaborative program was made possible with the assistance of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ottawa and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei.