Taipei Tech’s new research building is scheduled to open in 2020. Upon completion, it will house several research centers that Taipei Tech co-organizes with five top American universities, including MIT and UC Berkeley.
The first of these research centers will be with MIT Media Lab. According to Taipei Tech President Wang Sea-Fue, Taipei Tech and Media Lab have been working closely to develop lightweight self-driving cars in Taipei. Wang is especially proud of the seven Taipei Tech exchange students in MIT Media Lab, saying they are really good at turning concepts into prototypes.
Through the introduction of an alumnus, the Dean of UC Berkeley College of Chemistry has visited Taiwan for two consecutive years. In 2020, Berkeley will set up a chemical and biomedical research center in Taipei.
The University of Cincinnati (UC), well-known in the field of industrial automation, has also started a smart sensor joint degree program with Taipei Tech. UC is also planning to set up a research center at Taipei Tech to jointly work on artificial intelligence, intelligent manufacturing, and robotic arm technology. Penn State University, known for its numerous industry-academia partnerships, is investing in smart medical and smart manufacturing projects with Taipei Tech.
For many years, the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and Taipei Tech have been running a joint dual degree program in EMBA, and UTA president has also visited Taipei Tech many times. Wang revealed that the two sides are now in talks of collaboration in big data and civil construction management research projects.
All of these collaborations can easily be turned into business opportunities, according to Wang. He pointed out that Taipei Tech will share the research results and intellectual properties coming out from these research centers. Through the extensive alumni network, these key know-hows and intellectual properties can be quickly applied and turned into products.
"Our students are good makers,” Wang said, “Before taking anything to mass-production, Taiwan is a good base for prototype development and testing." He further explains that the US has a strong high value-added software and systems sector, but the shrinking manufacturing sector has made it difficult to prototype products in the US. Taiwan has strong software and hardware integration capability, and with the US-China trade war, Taiwan has become one of the best choices for product prototyping and testing.