ITRI and UCB Announce Collaboration Agreement
Jun 15, 2004
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) have signed a collaboration agreement that will create the ITRI/UCB Research Center. This is the first such agreement between ITRI and a top-level academic institution in the greater San Francisco Bay area, which includes the famous Silicon Valley. The five-year R&D cooperation agreement was signed by UCB's Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Beth Burnside, and ITRI's President Johnsee Lee. Initially, research will focus on nano-energy and biochemistry technologies and their applications. The two sides will cooperate on research topics such as: thermoelectrics and thermionics, phase transformation-based energy conversion and storage devices, label-free chemical and biological sensors, photovoltaics, microreactors for energy and chemical conversion, and energy conversion by nanoscale mass transport. President Lee said this international, institution-to-institution cooperation model will combine ITRI's high-tech application development expertise with the Bay Area's culture of innovation. The agreement will enable ITRI research personnel to immerse themselves in a prime R&D environment. It will also enable the creation of market applications for many of UCB's forward-looking ideas, creating a win-win situation for both institutions. The cooperation mechanism will also facilitate the establishment of a long-term development model for state-of-the-art technology, enabling ITRI to play a role in advanced technology on an international scale.
Vice Chancellor Dr. Burnside said biomedicine, nanotechnology, materials, energy, and engineering applications are examples of fields in which R&D requires multidisciplinary cooperation. The ITRI/UCB Research Center will facilitate multidisciplinary research by the two institutions. The Center's cooperation mechanism will have a long-term positive impact on the integration of engineering technology and scientific research. Furthermore, the cooperation will add considerable depth to global integration and understanding.
In light of the challenges brought about by globalization and the rapid pace of R&D, ITRI in recent years has actively sought to engage in international R&D cooperation, in addition to its traditional role of promoting the upgrade of industry in Taiwan. ITRI's agreement with UCB is different from past such agreements in its emphasis on the integration of resources among various fields and departments. Previous cooperation was mostly on the basis of single projects or fields. Furthermore, this new agreement also spells out specifics for staff exchange, joint publications and sharing of intellectual property rights, thereby defining the framework for large-scope cooperation expected down the road. This year, ITRI will send five researchers to be stationed at the research center.
Asia has become the world's center for manufacturing. Closer cooperation with advanced R&D centers will obviously lead to shorter time-to-market and lower development cost. Taiwan's geographic location, diverse industrial base and many high-quality research staff make it an ideal place to seek R&D cooperation partners overseas. The creation of the ITRI/UCB Research Center to capitalize on UCB's across-the-board research excellence and ITRI's proven application-development proficiency is an important milestone.