Innovation Notes from Asia...
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh is extending his Asia strategy with an innovation tour of Taiwan and South Korea – his third trip to the region since taking office in 2010. Through high-level meetings, Loh is laying the groundwork for new research and educational partnerships .
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
New Partner in Bioinformatics and Environmental-Occupational Studies
We gained a new partner today - the anchor institution of Taiwan's main medical system - Taipei Medical University (TMU).
The University of Maryland School of Public Health and TMU plan to launch a joint program in Biomedical Informatics and Environmental and Occupational Studies. We took the first step today signing a memorandum of understanding to develop joint research and exchanges in this and other fields.
"We wish to accept faculty from UMD with our support, as well as sending our faculty to learn," TMU's President Dr. Yun Yen told us. Last year his institution signed an agreement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore to exchange faculty and students.
In an informal discussion we discussed a number of possible collaborations. UMD's Dean of Agriculture, Dr. Cheng-i Wei, who secured two of his degrees in Taiwan, suggested team taught courses in the area of nutrition. UMD Physicist Chuan Liu invited President Yen to teach in our physics of cancer course. Further talks will determine how we begin.
Through videoconferencing, students on both campuses learn from international experts in a direct, interpersonal way and, I believe, gain valuable cultural experience.
Neuroimaging Research and Education
After lunch, we pursued new opportunites at National Chengchi University (NCU). Founded in 1927, the institution takes pride in its reputation as the top social science and humanities university in Taiwan. It is a major feeder to the civil service and the diplomatic corps. Seven Maryland alumni are faculty members here.
Our discussion today focused on a potential collaboration between NCU's new Research Center for Mind, Brain and Learning and UMD’s new Maryland Neuroimaging Center.
Also, NCU is interested in increasing the number of international students, strengthening students’ international mobility, enhancing their course offerings in English, and establishing new international dual degrees.
Our two institutions can work well together, and we'll continue talking in coming weeks to pursue potential collaborations.
Another Incubator Collaboration - Tatung Company
Our innovation tour generated an unexpected bonus today - an agreement with the Tatung Company, which designs and manufactures an array of digital consumer products. The arrangement came together quickly during the course of our visit.
Company chairman and founder, W.S. Lin, is also an honored Terp, and President of UMD's Taiwan Alumni Club.
Our agreement will enable the Tatung Incubator, which fosters the development of high-tech enterprise in Taiwan, to develop collaborative partnerships with UMD's Maryland International Incubator in College Park. These collaborations may include technology transfer, encouragement of knowledge-based industries in both regions through joint ventures or technology cooperation, and investment. Our team will begin to work out details of this most promising agreement.
Our Most Valuable Ambassadors
Before leaving Taiwan, we renewed ties with our largest organized contingent of Terp alumni in the world. We have about 500 Terps living and working in Taiwan. More than 100 took part tonight, and many of them hold key positions in Taiwan’s education institutions, government offices, and private industry. These relationships help cement our growing collaborations with this vital Asian partner.
These Terps Really Go
Tomorrow, one more important stop, and then we will leave this vibrant nation for our work in South Korea. But I have been invited to return here next year – a delightful prospect. Meanwhile, the connections established on this mission will surely strengthen our ties, even while we are apart.
A Productive Visit
Throughout, our informal talks pulsed with energy, and I have no doubt that these collaborations will translate into exchanges of research, faculty and students that will benefit Maryland and Taiwan economically, educationally and culturally.
Innovation Tour Day-By-Day
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