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NPUST Signs MOU for Strategic Alliance on Animal Health

Over the long-term, NPUST has placed its focus on the development of animal immunization and animal health industry technologies, and the cultivation of professionals in the field. The university has worked in close cooperation with international animal vaccination and health industry research agencies, and has established strategic alliances with the Executive Yuan’s Pingtung Agriculture and Biotechnology Park (PABP), the Agricultural Technology Research Institute, and the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Office of Agricultural Biotechnology Analysis and Promotion with the aim of developing agriculture technology, raising the agriculture research capacity of Taiwan and cultvating professionals in the field.

On June 8th, 2017, during the “2017 Animal Vaccination and Animal Health Management Symposium” (動物疫苗與動物健康管理產業國際論壇) jointly hosted by the NPUST and PABP, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to strengthen cooperation and exchange.

NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai stressed the fact that “abuses of antibiotics is an major concern for Taiwan food safety, so NPUST is using technology to compensate, hoping that, together with the government and private industries, we will be able to advance in animal vaccination research and make a contribution to food safety in Taiwan.” With funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration, the College of Veterinary Medicine and seven private enterprises have cooperated to establish the Taiwan Animal Vaccine/Adjuvant Service Alliance (台灣動物疫苗佐劑產業聯盟技術服務中心), and, in order to help support NPUST to provide services to farmers and promote the development agriculture industries, a strategic alliance and membership contract was signed.

The symposium invited Chun-Hung Lin, the vice-president of the Agricultural Technology Research Institute, Jian-Hsin Chu, the head of renowned animal vaccination company, Boehringer Ingelheim Taiwan, and Korea’s Green Cross Veterinary Products Co. Ltd to discuss animal health industry aspirations, new types of animal vaccination technology, international markets and the development of vaccinations for influenza viruses in mammals. Furthermore, invitations were extended to scholars from Norway and Thailand to jointly discuss aquaculture animal vaccination developments and current challenges in aquaculture production. They also shared on the newest trends in animal vaccination and animal health industries. Hopes are that Taiwan’s local industries will benefit from the interaction and information the symposium provided.

University representatives pointed out that there is a close and inseparable relationship between the health of animals and the health of people living in the same environment. Thus, the concept of “One World One Health” has been adopted to help promote international objectives. Over the past few years, key international players in animal health related industries have started working on various types of integrations, developing a systematic approach to the industry. Today, regardless if it is animal vaccinations for economically important animals or health management of pets, it is recognized that there is much room for growth to be made with respect to industry output values. Taiwan has considerable reputation for its agricultural biotechnology, especially with respect to livestock and poultry farming and animal disease management-related industries. NPUST’s long-term investment in animal immunization and animal health management has made a considerable contribution in this area, and, with respect to international industry and academic cooperation, the university has performed exceptionally well. Now through the alliance, it will be able to focus the capabilities of industry, government and academia, to accelerate the development of Taiwan’s animal health industry and turn it into an industry of “green gold”.

NPUST Establishes Cooperation with Bayer Taiwan

The NPUST Department of Plant Medicine (植物醫學系) and Bayer Taiwan have established a strategic alliance in hopes that by cooperating they will be able to come up with new environmentally friendly strategies to control pests & weeds and reduce or eliminate the problem of pesticide residues.

The NPUST Department of Plant Medicine is the only university department in Taiwan to specialize in treatments for plant diseases, pests and weeds. Now in its 40th year, the department has cultivated many experts in the area of plant protection technology. The courses it offers provide instruction on pests and diseases, weed control, diagnosis and integrated management practices. Over the years, the department has cooperated with many local companies and will now begin working together with Bayer, a 153 year old establishment which is currently the 3rd largest crop technology company worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Bayer will provide students with internship opportunities and also hire experts from the pesticide industry to assist with teaching so that students can get familiar with the ecology and operations strategies of the industry earlier on so that they will be set up for their future careers. The two parties will also conduct join R&D and exchange.

Plant Medicine Professor Y.Y. Yang said that currently the industry is developing in the direction of biopesticides and green pesticides, which are better for the environment. This way, they can avoid residuals or large loading doses, by following the principle of “where there is a pest, there is a natural enemy that can subdue it”. For instance, in Taiwan, the most popular is the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or the “lychee bug terminating” Anastatus sp. Both of these can kill pests or diseases without having an effect on people.

The university also has professors who have been screening beneficial microbes in the environment for the development of biopesticides or developing techniques to induce plant resistance to pests and diseases. Bayer and NPUST hope that through the cooperation agreement they will be able to complement one another and jointly develop pest and disease control technology which will be able benefit society and the environment.

Executive Yuan Awards NPUST for Avian Flu Epidemic Prevention Work

Beginning in 2014, there have been several major outbreaks of pathogenic avian influenza (H5N2, H5N8, H5N3), and Taiwan, reminded of the of the SARS epidemic that took place a decade earlier, has been on high alert. So when an outbreak occurred in Hualien this February, the response was immediate.

To help keep these types of situations under control, the National Animal Industry Foundation’s Southern Poultry Health Center used its funds bring together a “first line of defense” made up four Taiwan universities who have expertise in animal disease prevention, namely NPUST, NTU, NCHU and NCYU. Led by NPUST’s Department of Veterinary Medicine (獸醫學系) Director Yi-Yang Lien and Assoc. Professor Yi-Lun Tsai, the avian influenza epidemic prevention team makes every effort to keep outbreaks under control.

Less than a week after the Hualien County H5N6 outbreak occurred, the disease showed up in Tainan and other areas on the western side of the island. Thoughts of the grim situations that occurred in Japan and Korea, and concerns that the disease might transmit to humans were more than people dared to entertain.

Multiple agencies worked together to control the epidemic, conducting detection, culling and disinfection activities and the disaster was brought to a minimum. On March 6th the final case was reported and the disease spread no further. This was accomplished as a result of the joint effort made by national and local agencies and the strong support from the poultry heath centers at NPUST, NTU, NCHU and NCYU.

Grateful for the contributions made, Executive Yuan Minister Lin Chuan issued a special award the university, which was accepted by Veterinary Medicine Director Yi-Yang Lien, bringing honor to the whole school. Director Lien also took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of disease prevention and the value of the hard work of the front-line disease control workers. The university is grateful for the work done by its Department of Veterinary Medicine as well as the workers at the Southern Poultry Health Center and all the professionals who made a contribution towards the mitigation of the avian flu outbreak. In the future, NPUST will continue to offer its utmost in the area of health and safety and be a service to Taiwan.