In a virtual ceremony on December 15 Taiwan Representative Bi-khim Hsiao and Managing Director, Ms. Ingrid Larson of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) signed the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STA) to further enhance bilateral science and technology cooperation between Taiwan and the United States. Under the agreement, Taiwan and the United States will facilitate the advancement of scientific discovery and technological innovation; build capacity in third countries; and, promote research integrity and protection through exchanges of information, knowledge, human capital and other forms of cooperation.
A large group of senior officials from both sides joined the ceremony. The Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Mr. William Brent Christensen, signed in from Taiwan in the company of Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Tsung-Tsong Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Jaushieh Joseph Wu, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chern-Chyi Chen, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Economic Affairs Chih-hung Liu, and Executive Officer Huang Zhen Gang of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) under the Executive Yuan. Participation from Washington included officials from the U.S. Department of State including Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary Dr. Mung Chiang, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Mr. David R. Stilwell, and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Mr. Jonathan Moore.
Negotiations for the Science and Technology Agreement (STA) were first launched on November 20, 2020 at the first Taiwan-U.S. Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue. Science and Technology Minister Tsung-Tsong Wu stated that Taiwan and the United States have enjoyed a long and very productive relationship in science and technology development. Through joint efforts by the National Science Foundation in the United States and Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), both sides have successfully established a sound foundation in the areas of earth science, astrophysics, and long-term ecological research, among other areas. The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC-2) programs, known as FORMOST-7 in Taiwan, is another successful project conducted by MOST and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With the signing of this Science and Technology Agreement, MOST looks forward to expanding and enhancing its international cooperation with additional United States’ science and technology communities in the future.
Key areas have been identified where Taiwan and the United States complement each other’s comparative advantages and cooperation is mutually beneficial. For example, in the field of semiconductors, Taiwan’s industrial strengths in fabrication, integrated circuit design, and downstream packaging, when combined with the advantages of U.S. R&D capabilities in chip design, are already a highlight of Taiwan-U.S. strategic cooperation. Taiwan’s academic and research communities are also globally competitive in novel materials such as next-generation semiconductor materials or two-dimensional materials. Through networks built from cooperation in fundamental basic research to applied research with specific commercial objectives, collaboration between Taiwan and the United States will further complement each side and jointly address the challenges posed by a post-Moore’s Law world.
The STA signed today provides a comprehensive Taiwan-U.S. cooperation platform for science and technology development. It paves the way for MOST and the U.S. Department of State to jointly invite third parties, scientists, technical experts and international organizations to participate in activities held in accordance with the STA. In the future, the Ministry of Science and Technology will call for joint efforts from other relevant Ministries in Taiwan to strengthen science and technology cooperation with the United States through innovative models. Taiwan and the United States will establish a division of labor in strategic technology industries, and hold key technology dialogue meetings on a regular basis to establish bilateral connections among industry, academia and research communities. MOST’s aspiration is for cooperation in science and technology between Taiwan and the United States to be enduring and well-protected and create mutual prosperity and benefits for both sides.
Ms. Pei-Yu Lee,
Section Chief, Department of International Cooperation and Science Education