In the knowledge-based economy, scientific, and technological innovation are necessary steps to moving forward in the 21st century. As our interconnected economy evolves and adopts an open innovation model, international cooperation becomes crucially important for maximizing the impact of research and innovation, and for effectively addressing challenges derived from global, regional, and societal circumstances.
National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has signed over 128 international cooperation agreements and MoUs with over 42 countries and 3 international organizations. International cooperation takes the form of joint research projects, joint conferences, sharing of major research facilities, reciprocal visits of researchers and scientists, and the exchange of information.
The Department of International Cooperation and Science Education is the main contact window for researchers, foreign ministries, and foreign representative offices or economic and culture offices in Taiwan. Several international cooperation liaison officers are responsible for the implementation of bilateral agreements signed with partner countries via joint calls for proposals with counterpart agencies, and also handle courtesy visits of foreign representatives and plan overseas missions.
Eighteen Science & Technology (S&T) divisions abroad serve as NSTC branch offices; these divisions are located in Boston (United States), Washington (United States), Los Angeles (United States), San Francisco (United States), Houston (United States), Ottawa (Canada), London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), Bonn (Germany), Brussels (Belgium), Prague (Czech Republic), Moscow (Russia), Canberra (Australia), New Delhi (India), Hanoi (Vietnam), Tokyo (Japan), Tel Aviv (Israel), and Vilnius (Lithuania), and serve as the chief contact windows for foreign counterpart agencies or S&T funding authorities overseas. The S&T divisions seek to maintain contact with S&T-related institutions within major regional countries in order to support bilateral cooperation; their main roles include:
- Establishment of bilateral S&T cooperation mechanisms via negotiation of cooperative agreements;
- Facilitation and promotion of joint research projects;
- Facilitation and promotion of joint research workshops, seminars, and conferences;
- Facilitation and promotion of the bilateral movement of outstanding researchers and scientists;
- Facilitation and promotion of training mechanisms for students and researchers;
- Publicization of the advancement and development of science and technology in the countries concerned.
Looking ahead to the future, NSTC will take investigation of new science and technology and integration of S&T resources as its mission, continue to strengthen the country's academic capabilities, establish an honest, effective academic research environment, fine-tune academic research award and grant regulations, induce outstanding personnel to engage in practical research areas, create innovative S&T ecosystems, train world-class innovative and entrepreneurial manpower, and inject boundless vitality into Taiwan's S&T innovation and industrial development.