Since the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, the government of Taiwan has implemented the "New Southbound Policy (NSP)" to revitalize Taiwan's economy and enhance its relations with South and Southeast Asian countries. The NSP aims to strengthen and enhance regional partnerships through economic and trade cooperation, resource sharing, talent cultivation and regional links.
The role of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is to support and sponsor domestic researchers across Taiwan's academia, research institutions and organizations to work with regional partners. Through addressing common challenges and pursuing common interests at both regional and global levels, it is expected that the values of "Economic Community" can be promoted and Taiwan's relations with its southern neighbors could be further substantialized.
In particular, Minister Chen Liang-Gee initiated the idea of Overseas Science and Technology Innovation Centers (STIC) in 2017 to leverage the resources and capacities of Taiwan and regional universities and research institutes. 12 centers have been established in 2017-18 in 9 countries across South and Southeast Asia. The goal is to resolve regional key issues in agriculture, medicine, water resource, culture, and construction project management to advance mutual benefits.
The MOST further aims to facilitate industry-government-university-research collaboration among Taiwanese and regional stakeholders. Undertaking a problem-solving and complementary approach, future areas for regional cooperation include disaster prevention, medical devices and healthcare, intelligent agriculture, and other potential fields that will contribute to sustainable development in the region.
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