Taiwanese Universities to Receive Direct Funding From Defense Ministry for Defence-Related Technologies

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense along with the Ministry of Science and Technology, have allocated together an amount of NT$5 billion (US$147 million) to fund the research and development of defence-related technologies at universities, a program expected to include 150 graduate students who will receive funding for the next five years.

Through this program, the two ministries plan to choose up to six universities and establish research centres there, Erudera College News reports.

The program will focus on information security and robotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and quantum computing. For the latter, Taiwan’s Minister of Science and Technology, Tsung-tsong said they were essential to the development of defence technology.

Following this, the Executive Vice President of National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taipei, Chen Ming-Syan, said it is the first time that research is funded directly from the Ministry of Defence to universities.

“In the past, the government gave research grants to some quasi-government organisations, and then universities applied for research grants to those organisations, so it was indirect. This time the ministry of defence would like to set up research centres in major universities in Taiwan. NTU is certainly one of the main candidates to set up a research centre,” Chen Ming-Syan told University World News.

He notified that as part of the project, the university would establish the NTU Advanced Technology Research Centre, and all research teams of NTU which are interested in defence technology will be coordinated and collaborate at this centre, claiming that the intention of NTU project is to reinforce the mechanisms of cooperation between national defence technology and university-oriented research capability.

“This project will contribute the high-quality educational manpower and innovative research results to industry to meet the mission requirements of future defence-related technological development blueprints and advanced research issues,” he said.

During the past years, the research funding to universities, including NTU offered funding for radar and underwater technologies, which will continue with the direct funding.

The military-affiliated National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) has specialised in defence technology research and development, yet the Deputy Executive Secretary for the Executive Yuan’s Office of Science and Technology, Andrew Yeh, said during a press conference in December that the demand among civilian applications has increased.

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