Yuh-Jzer Joung, Liang-gee Chen and S. Shankar Sastry

Holding the newly signed GLOBE memorandum, Taiwanese Minister of Science and Technology Liang-gee Chen is flanked by NARLabs' Yuh-Jzer Joung (left) and Berkeley Engineering Dean Shankar Sastry. (Photo by Daniel McGlynn)

Taiwan's Science and Technology Minister Chen visits UC Berkeley

On April 3, 2017, the Dado and Maria Banatao Center for Global Learning and Outreach from Berkeley Engineering (GLOBE) hosted a delegation led by Taiwan’s new Minister of Science and Technology, Liang-gee Chen.

Chen and his delegation visited to learn about entrepreneurial activity at UC Berkeley and to hear from the first round of visiting entrepreneurs in the Berkeley-Taiwan Biotechnology (BTB) Fellows Program. The BTB program, started in fall 2016 and managed by the GLOBE Center in Berkeley’s College of Engineering, coordinates the engagement of Taiwanese entrepreneurs in biomedical technology with their counterparts at Berkeley and in the Bay Area.

The BTB program is sponsored by the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) of Taiwan, headed by Yuh-Jzer Joung, director general of NARLabs’ Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center.

During the visit, the delegation met with Dean S. Shankar Sastry, Executive Associate Dean Per Peterson and Associate Dean Philip Kaminsky of the College of Engineering’s leadership. The team also met with three of Berkeley’s current and incoming faculty hosts: Sanjay Kumar, Ruzena Bajcsy and Alex Bayen, as well as GLOBE’s executive director, Assistant Dean for International and Corporate Partnerships Anthony St. George.

One of Chen’s policy aims is to improve connections linking research and education facilities to technology companies and prestigious research institutes worldwide, with the aim of developing innovative industries and training the next generation of talent.

“The development of science and technology cannot progress without innovation,” said Chen. “The Ministry will help drive innovation by raising funds for doctoral graduates to go to Silicon Valley to adapt Taiwan to the fast-changing technological environment.”

To further carry out Chen’s vision, the NARLabs will expand the scope of its fellows programs beyond biomedical technology with the establishment of the LEAP program (Learn, Explore, Aspire, Pioneer) in fall 2017. LEAP will send entrepreneur fellows from Taiwan to Berkeley and other first-rank institutions in the United States, with the goal of sending ten or more to Berkeley annually.

Berkeley’s GLOBE Center will facilitate the hosting and engagement of these entrepreneur fellows in the Bay Area in its expanded GLOBE Global Fellows program.

“We are honored to support Minister Chen’s vision to strengthen ties between Taiwan’s leading entrepreneurs and the Bay Area’s entrepreneurship community,” said Dean Sastry. “We share a commitment to building a strong ecosystem of research, education and commercialization to drive global innovation.”

About the GLOBE Center

The Dado and Maria Banatao GLOBE Center was founded in 2005 with a visiting student program with National Chiao Tung University, and has since facilitated the establishment and growth of a suite of global research and educational partnerships at Berkeley’s College of Engineering. These partnerships include the Singapore BEARS program, the Philippines-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) program, the Shanghai Berkeley Engineering Innovation Center and the Tsinghua Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, in addition to the Berkeley-Taiwan Biotechnology Fellows Program launched with the NARLabs.

Several GLOBE programs focus on visiting students, including Nanyang Technological University’s Renaissance Engineering Program and partnerships with Tongji University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, the Chinese University of the Academy of Sciences and ShanghaiTech University.

In addition, the GLOBE Center has overseen the development of the College of Engineering’s executive and professional education programs, both in Silicon Valley and globally. GLOBE facilitates a variety of engagements with universities, agencies and corporations in Asia, Europe, South America, South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East, including countries as diverse as Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

About the NARLabs

Affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan, the NARLabs is a public research institution that embodies ten separate national laboratories. Since it was established in 2003, the NARLabs has relied on the development of R&D platforms to support academic research, promote forward-looking technologies and train scientific and technological manpower.

The NARLabs bridges the country’s application-based research efforts with the nation’s science and technology policy objectives. NARLabs focuses its research on critical technologies foreseen by the nation, which include chip implementation, instrument technology, network and high-performance computing, earthquake engineering, nano device technology, animal laboratory technology, space science, science and technology policy research, ocean research and typhoon and flood research.