On January 16, 2014, the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) invited foreign ambassadors, including the ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Agnes Hwa-Yue Chen, and dignitaries to the New Year’s Reception at the Brandenburg Academy of Science and Technology.
The AvH was founded in 1952 and is one of Germany’s most eminent technology organizations. Supported by the German Foreign Ministry and Federal Ministry of Education and Research, its primary task is to supply funds to outstanding foreign scholars from all around the world to do research in Germany, or to finance German researchers abroad for their academic research, along with post-doctoral grants and research awards.
Prof. Helmut Schwarz, President of the AvH, has visited Taiwan multiple times. Moreover, AvH also shares one of the major and most significant collaborative partnerships with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) for the Taiwanese academia.
Since 2006, cooperation has been sought by the AvH and the National Science Council (NSC, now known as the MOST) to establish the reciprocal Humboldt - Tsungming-Tu Research Award. The award aims to encourage the exchange of excellent researchers on both sides. Furthermore, the Tsungming-Tu Research Award is considered as the research award of the highest honor of the ROC government for international scholars. This communicative approach to research academia has been beneficial and successful. The president of the Academia Sinica of the ROC Wong Chi-Huey won the Humboldt Research Award in 2006. Also, the Tsungming-Tu Research Award 2011 was received by the German Nobel Laureate Prof. Harald zur Hausen.
With its heavy investment in the promotion of international academic exchanges between institutions, the AvH is continually on the leading edge of science and technology. A tight-knit network in the world of German academia has been built by the organization during the past 60 years. In either the academic or political sense of diplomacy, the AvH has made a direct and immense contribution. (Sonja Lin Kirsch, University of Cologne)