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Southbound Bridges Taking Shape in India and Myanmar
2017-10-20 NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai, Vice-President Chung-Ruey Yen, Secretary Director Kuei-Jyum Yeh, and Dept. of Wood Science & Design Asst. Prof. Way Long recently made a trip to India and Myanmar to promote academic exchange and create new bridges for cooperation in the region. On the evening of October 6th delegates from NPUST took part in a banquet hosted by the Taiwan Representatives Office in India (TECC). At the affair, in an effort to promote Taiwan’s fabulous cuisine and encourage tourism, a “Taiwan Cuisine” section was set up with NPUST’s Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management Professor and former chef of the Kaohsiung Grand Hi Lai Hotel Banquet Hall, Wen-Tung Chen, overseeing the food preparations together with two of his students, Zeng Guan-Ru and Li Jun-De. The dishes presented by the culinary team were very well received and highly acclaimed by those in attendance. NPUST’s President Tai offered a special ‘thanks’ to the TECC Science and Technology Director, Henry Chen, who is also an NPUST faculty member, for making the arrangements and giving NPUST an opportunity to exhibit its some of its special qualities. While in Delhi, the NPUST officials had an important mission to carry out and had little room to tarry as they made their way from University of Delhi, to the Indian Institute of Technology and then on to Amity University – three outstanding universities in the immediate area. At the universities, the visitors made presentations on NPUST’s smart agriculture talent training, fruit tree cultivation, and innovative developments in bamboo applications. The University of Delhi, a renowned comprehensive university with around 170,000 students on its roster, is the highest level and most influential university in India, and through the trip plans have been sured-up for their faculties in fields related to biology to begin preliminary cooperation activities with NPUST. At the Indian Institute of Technology Dehli, the Centre for Rural Development and Technology has many research targets that are very much in-line with ones NPUST has in its focus; thus, in the future, the two will be planning out academic pursuits in the field of agriculture science and technology. At Amity University, which has branches spread across the globe, President Tai offered a presentation that was warmly received, and hopes are that in the future the two universities will be able to engage in more substantial cooperative initiatives. Once India’s leg of the trip was completed, the delegates continued on to Myanmar to conduct some meetings that were arranged by Taiwan’s Known-You Seed Co., Ltd. At the capital of Naypyidaw, the group paid a visit to Yezin Agricultural University and University of Veterinary Science, Yezin. Since diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Myanmar are not considerably warm, the fact that the NPUST officials were welcomed by both universities carries substantial significance — opening up opportunity for academic cooperation and creating potential for industry-academic cooperation. While in Myanmar, the delegates also paid visits to Known-You Seed Co., Ltd. and other Taiwan companies operating in the area. In the future, hopes are to see a breakthrough on the issues related to visas, so that students will be able to take part in academic exchanges and internships, and so that Taiwan and Myanmar will be able to have more frequent exchanges in higher-education. Both in India and in Myanmar, the visitations were considerably successful and are expected to make the way for future sister-university agreements and new opportunities for industry-academic cooperation.
NPUST Aquaculture Expert Dr. Shih-Chu Chen named “Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalist”
2017-10-20 Distinguished professor and dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Shih-Chu Chen, was named as one of Kiwanis Taiwan’s “Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalist” at 41st awards ceremony held this year. At the awards Professor Chen also received a plaque presented by Taiwan’s Vice-President Chen Chien-jen on behalf of the Office of the President. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai made a statement on Professor Chens work, highlighting the fact that Professor Chen has spent years researching disease prevention for Taiwan’s economic fish and shrimp and ornamental fish varieties, and has developed many new diagnostics techniques. The professional treatment specialist had invested much effort in fish immunization technology and his academic research results have been adopted among aquaculture industry practitioners. Whether it is aquaculture disease prevention, advancements in diagnostic technology, talent cultivation, disease prevention & diagnostic services, aquaculture veterinarian training, or ornamental fish breeding, Professor Chen’s contributions and persistently enthusiastic spirit of service have been outstanding. From working in the public sector as a veterinarian to teaching and conducting research, Professor Chen already has 34 years of experience under his belt. During this time, he has persistently upheld diligence and prudence as an agriculturalist and professional focus and passion as a researcher – taking part in research on aquaculture diagnostics, disease prevention, and treatment with disease prevention organizations across Taiwan; teaching and providing services. He has also assisted government organizations with disease diagnostics, prevention and treatment for both aquaculture raised for consumption and ornamental fish raised for aquariums. Professor Chen has helped Taiwan’s cultivators and government agencies to shed light on 10 types of infectious diseases, developing numerous high-tech, highly stable rapid detection and identification technology platforms using single tube multi-primer polymerase chain reaction methods and loop-mediated isothermal amplification methods designed to help frontline clinical aquaculture veterinarians rapidly diagnose diseases. Ten years ago, he also discovered that changes in climate can lead to reduced levels of offspring, mutations in diseases, and other issues effecting aquaculture management which led to his cooperation with the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (Council of Agriculture) on the establishment of an “aquatic animal disease diagnosis and treatment system” and “early warning system for the impact of climate change on aquatic animal diseases”. Professor Chen also helped with the planning of the (PABP) Asia Pacific Operational Center for Aquaculture and the establishment of an “ornamental fish breeding information network and disease detection and diagnosis system”. In 2015 he formed the "Ornamental Fish Science and Technology Teaching and Research Team" which is dedicated to ornamental fish breeding biotechnology, ornamental fish transportation and marketing, aquarium fish disease prevention and control, and production medicine. Working with fish immunization and immunity faculties from University of Stirling, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Miyazaki University, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Cornell University and other world-renowned universities, Dr. Chen worked to create the "International Program in Ornamental Fish Science and Technology" (Master’s and PhD levels). Currently the program has attracted researchers from nine countries including Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, St. Christopher and Nevis, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In 2012 and 2013 Professor Chen was named as a top teacher in his category by the Ministry of Education, in 2012 he received the National Innovation Award, and this year his work has been further affirmed by the his distinction as a “Top Ten Outstanding Agriculturalist”.
Industry, Government, Academia and Health: Cross-Domain Cooperation for Local Produce
2017-10-18 A team from the College of Management is part of a first-ever cross-domain initiative involving members of industry, government, academia and health care. The project is aimed at promoting economic opportunity for local farmers and providing local residents with quality produce by setting up a rent-free produce market on the grounds of the Chang Gung Hospital Care Community. The College of Management is offering guidance to farming groups in the Kaohsiung and Pingtung area who will be selling their produce at the market. The initiative is designed create a new channel for produce sales, promote the concept of “buying local”, and make use of NPUST’s professional agricultural product ‘sales counseling’ and ‘certification resources’ to provide consumers with fresh, safe, “worry free” produce with local charm. At 10:00 am on October 16th, 2017, on the grounds of the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Care Community, a group of adorable children put on a dragon and lion dance as part of the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Fresh Produce Market opening ceremony. The project, which came about with the guidance of the Agriculture and Food Agency (Council of Agriculture), is a cooperative effort between NPUST’s produce certification and marketing strategy divisions, the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, the Pingtung County Farming Forward Society, and Family Mart. All of the produce sold at the market is organic, traceable, CAS approved, GAP certified or labelled with a Taiwan agriculture traceability QR code. During the market’s inauguration activities, Dean Shu-Chu Liu of NPUST’s College of Management and representatives of Kaohsiung Chang Gung, the Farming Forward Society, and Family Mart signed a memorandum of cooperation officially opening up a new frontier in cross-domain cooperation involving health, agriculture, academia, government and business in cooperative effort to help local farmers and give residents a reliable source of safe and healthy food. In the short-term the produce market will be open every Monday at 10:00 am. On the opening day, in addition to the dance performance, there were also explanations on nutrition and hygiene, health management Q&A, demonstrations on QR Code health lunch boxes, and free samples of fruits and vegetables.
Taiwan Representatives’ Office in India Calls on NPUST to Prepare Banquet Dinner
2017-10-16 Associate Professor Wen-Tung Chen of the Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management received a special invitation from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India to form a culinary team which would be responsible for preparing food for an official banquet in India in celebration of Taiwan’s National Day. NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai traveled to India together with Professor Chen and two students, Zeng Guan-Ru and Li Jun-De, who were selected to help prepare the food for the more than 200 guests who would be present at the banquet. Among these included six members of the Indian parliament, a large number of foreign envoys, and many representatives of the Taiwan business sector. In order to promote Taiwan cuisine, the Taiwan representatives’ office set up a special section for which Professor Chen had the responsibility of overseeing. Professor Chen formally worked as a chef at the Kaohsiung Grand Hi Lai Hotel Banquet Hall and has won countless awards for his superb culinary skills.

Ingredients used in the Taiwan cuisine preparation included Donggang Sakura shrimp, rice noodles, red onion crisps, dried radish and NPUST’s famous low-salt soy sauce, which was brought over especially for the occasion. The six dishes prepared included shrimp rolls, fried rice noodles, bamboo rice cake, bowl rice cake, basil shish-kebab and tofu sheet fish with five-flavor sauce – each of which captivated the taste buds of the banquet goers. The dishes offered a rich interpretation of the unique culinary style and flavor of Formosa and amply demonstrated the skills of the faculty and students in the university’s Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management.  

Special gratitude was extended to the Director Henry Chen of the Science and Technology Division at the Taiwan representative’s office in India. Called last year to serve at the representatives’ office in Delhi, Director Chen, who is a professor from NPUST’s Department of Food Science, was behind the effort to give the university an opportunity to display its academic accomplishments in culinary arts. The skills of the team were highly appreciated, not only winning praise from guests, but also catching the interest of media outlets, including the Central News Agency of Taiwan, and “The Statesman” and “Diplomatic Square” magazines of India.

Upon returning to Taiwan, the students who were on the culinary team expressed that it was not only a great chance to use the skills they learned at school to prepare such a high caliber dinner, they also appreciated interacting with and learning from Indian chefs, and considered it a rare privilege to witness such a gathering of politicians, officials and business representatives from different countries. The experience opened up their international outlook immensely and has led them to encourage their schoolmates to pursue other opportunities that may arise to take part in international events and activities.

Southeast Asian Reporters Come Witness Research Results
2017-10-03 As part of an effort by NPUST to pursue New Southbound Policy objectives and forms new relationships with its Southeast Asian neighbors, the university recently invited reporters Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia to come witness some of its most recent research results related to permeable road technology and orchid breeding and tissue cultivation. On September 29, a group of international reporters began their visit by heading to the location where the permeable road experiments are taking place. Keda Road is one of the main arteries connecting the university to the national freeway and to the county capital, Pingtung City. The road sees significant wear and tear and despite years of persistent repair it has continued to have problems. In an effort to resolve the situation, the Pingtung County government asked for support from the NPUST Department of Civil Engineering. Taking up the task, a research team led by department director, Yu-Min Wang conducted extensive testing, which led to a proposal for a modified design in the road’s surface structure which was expected to be both durable and environmentally friendly. However, since many of the techniques necessary for the innovative construction had not been tested before, there were many experiments that need to be carried out to ensure that the road’s carrying capacity, permeability, thermal conductivity and rutting trends would be in-line with expectations.

The Southeast Asian reporters visited the section of road that is currently undergoing experimentation. At the site, water was sprayed on the road surface to demonstrate the permeability and the drainage attributes. Unlike what is seen with a typical road surface, there was absolutely no puddle formation, leaving reporters quite impressed. Civil Engineering Department director, Yu-Min Wang, was present at the site to offer an explanation of the materials used for the roads surface. The lower layers of the permeable surface and base are layered with gravel. The lower portion uses permeable concrete and the base layer is constructed of recycled backfill material, while the subgrade is covered with impervious geotextile layer. The different layers are designed to provide the best drainage conditions and the tests have also shown that the structure is able to handle heavy truck without shifting or experiencing damage. The roads thermal conductivity properties also underwent examination, and it was found that under the daytime sunlight, the road moisture evaporation trends were positive, leading to lower night time air temperatures. Also, with lower surface reflectivity, the surface is also easier on the eyes of commuters.

The reporters were impressed by what the learned and expressed their intentions to recommend the road design back in their own countries. At this point, however, Professor Yu-Min Wang pointed out that the observation stage is not yet complete. Nevertheless, from the results thus far, whether it is for freeways, walkways or parking lots, it looks like the permeable road design is a better way to go. It is cost effective, durable and environmentally friendly.

After spending time observing the technology used for Keda Road, the reporters were invited to the NPUST’s Orchid Research Center where they were met by the dean of the College of Agriculture, Prof. Fure-Chyi Chen. Professor Chen provided the visitors with a detailed commentary on the way in which the orchid research team uses traditional breeding, selection and tissue cultivation (micropropagation) to develop new varieties. Working with several orchids (Phalaenopsis amabilis, Dendrobium, and Oncidium flexuosum) and other tropical ornamental plant species, the team develops new tissue cultivation techniques which are then licensed out to flower producers. Professor Chen’s contribution to the orchid industry won him a spot at the awards for the “top ten outstanding agriculturalists” in 2013.

The reporters’ trip not only gave the university a chance to share some of its important research results with its Southeast Asian neighbors, but will also help to promote the higher education objectives laid out in the New Southbound Policy by giving more students from the region an opportunity to learn about the research and education being carried out by the school.

NPUST and the University of Arizona work together to develop intelligent technical agriculture
2017-09-25 At 10:30 am on 21st of September this year, NPUST signed up the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Arizona (UA) in the meeting room CE401 of the College of Engineering. It aims to improve cooperation in fields of academic research, international forum, exchange students and teachers. Prof. Chia Yen Lee, vice dean of the College of Engineering led professors of the department of Biomechatronics Engineering to have the discussion and sign up the MOU with Prof. Frederic Zenhausern, Basic Medical Sciences Director and  Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine of the UA. This means the NPUST will develop an intelligent cloud platform to integrate molecular diagnosis, control micro-electro-mechanics, technology of sensor and internet for improvement of intelligent technical agriculture.

 

NPUST is an excellent university of industrial education, and has the strategies of technical agriculture, ecological industry, platinum society, and blue economy. In the meanwhile, the UA recently uses nanotechnology and internet to improve health care service. We believe the strategies of these two universities can work together to bring a result of win-win. The MOU will give more opportunities of cooperation in a long term, increase both universities’ competitive capability, and bring reciprocity to share resource and develop local industries and industrial education.

The cooperation is supported by Sanlien Educational Foundation and the project of exemplary university of science and technology of Ministry of Education. Sanlien Educational Foundation puts lots of effort to promote and support any research, training, and activities of humanities and social sciences in order to improve multi-industrial education. Under the MOU agreement, the department of Biomechatronics Engineering of NPUST establishes an office of Creative Satellite to aim to design a low-cost intelligent health-care device. This will provide more opportunities of academic exchange between departments of these two universities in order to develop an actual cooperation with relevant industries in the Southern Taiwan, participate real industrial education, share academic resource, and training of industrial human resource.

We expect the cooperation of NPUST and AU will be an excellent model to lead industrial cooperation between the Southern Taiwan and the State of Arizona. Therefore, the NPUST will be a significant center of training expects in multi-fields to lead the development of industries.

Saving Life and Bringing Joy: Animal Blood Donation Vehicle Opens New Roads
2017-09-22 On June 13th, 2017 the Veterinary Transfusion Medicine Center (獸醫輸血醫學中心) established by the NPUST Department of Veterinary Medicine held a ceremony to recognize the donation of a mobile animal blood donation vehicle. Since its establishment last year, the Veterinary Transfusion Medicine Center has had many pet owners register with great enthusiasm, willing to make a contribution to animal medical care by making animal blood donations. Unfortunately, due to difficulties some face with transporting, often times the blood donations don’t end up taking place. When NPUST Alumni Association executive director and head of the Sinsin Veterinary Hospital, Mr. Ping-ho Chen (Veterinary Medicine, 1978), and his wife, Shu-chin Kuo, learned of the need, they decided to generously donate a Volkswagen Caravelle to serve as a mobile animal blood donation vehicle. 

A ceremony was held to recognize the transfer of the vehicle, during which, Ping-ho Chen pointed out that “there is more joy in donating than in receiving.” He also shared his hope that “the blood donation vehicle will help improve the quality of medical treatment for our furry friends and benefit many pet owners and veterinarians.” Ping-ho Chen and his wife were very happy to make an effort for this cause and hope the vehiclewill make it easier for willing donors to contribute to the saving of animal life.

During the occasion, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai acknowledged that “since the establishment of the Veterinary Transfusion Medicine Center, there have been many enthusiastic pet lovers registering to make donations and the professional technology and equipment of NPUST’s Department of Veterinary Medicine has provided more support for animal treatment, pushing veterinary medicine to the next level.” Since its unveiling ceremony on June 13th, 2016, the Veterinary Transfusion Medicine Center has already had 128 dogs registered for blood donations. Following the “four step” blood donation screening, 45 dogs which met the qualification standards made successful donations. In light of the successful experience, the center recently started holding blood donation services for cats as well.  

The NPUST Veterinary Transfusion Medicine Center is the first public animal blood bank in Taiwan. The center’s treatment management and control of blood products is top notch, with every donation undergoing rigorous biochemical and infectious disease screenings to ensure that the blood product that is passed on to the veterinarians is the safest, most reliable and highest quality blood product possible. According to Associate Professor Ms. Yi-Lun Tsai, the woman in charge of the center, “it’s not only about saving the lives of animals, but considering the emotional ties between pets and their owners, we also hope to create a situation that will allow them both to be happy.”

With a full year of operations to look back on, in addition to holding the donation ceremony for the vehicle donation, the university also invited dog’s owners whose dogs have made more than three donations to join the festivities. These dedicated donors were each presented with thank-you plaques in a show of gratitude for their contributions, helping to establish the practice of making animal blood donations and working towards a new era for veterinary medicine.

NPUST Cooperates with Club Med on Resort Personnel Training Program
2017-09-21 As a result of a cooperative relationship forged between the NPUST Department of Recreational Sport & Health Promotion (運動休閒健康系) and Club Med in 2013,  42 students have been trained and sent off to work at Club Med resorts around the world – effectively turning NPUST into a Club Med “base-camp” for Taiwan. Advancing things one step further, this October (2017), NPUST became the first university in Taiwan offer a “Club Med Personnel Training Program”, working hand-in-hand with the organization to train resort personnel. The aim is to give students a chance to get an early understanding of the directions that can be pursued and demands that will be met in the job market, while also setting them up to obtain necessary certificates and providing them with opportunity apply their academic knowledge to the real world through internships and employment opportunities at Club Med. These activities will not only give students the chance to accumulate overseas experience, but will also look great on their resumes.

During the new program’s “plaque unveiling ceremony”, NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai stated that the Club Med Resort Personnel Training Program provides the type of expertise the workplace demands and gives students who are interested in working at Club Med after graduation an opportunity to equip themselves with job skills while they are still in school. This will increase opportunity for employment and open up new pathways for them after graduation.

Club Med managing director for Taiwan, Marc Letourneau, who is a Canadian national, noted that he started out working in the “water activities” department, and traveled to Club Med resorts in Central and South America and Australia to build up experience. He reflected that “employees of Club Med have the opportunity to work in different places all around the world and come in contact with different people from different cultural backgrounds – it’s a very interesting job”.

Department of Recreational Sport & Health Promotion professor, Ming-Hung Chen, who is responsible for planning the curriculum, explained that “Club Med, which originates from France, is a leading name-brand for exquisite all-inclusive vacation resorts. Currently it is the largest in the world, with 80 top-class resorts. Within the organization there is a group called “Gentle Organizers” (G.Os) who are Club Med’s indispensable personnel responsible for organizing and planning all of the resorts’ activities. To become a G.O, not only does one need to have a good attitude and the right character traits, but foreign language skills are a must. This bilateral cooperative training project began recruiting in September of this year, recruiting 2nd and 3rd year students from the university. The evaluation criteria included foreign language skills, professional certifications, and aptitude. Following preliminary selection, 30-40 students will undergo training. The training course starts in October and is 3-months in duration. The course content looks at the history of Club Med, job content and culture, job requirements and certification testing preparation. Club Med will also subsidize the costs for the test for those in the program. After the training is complete, the students get preferential status to take part in overseas internships or short-term employment for six months.”

General Manager Lin Chia-ying, a Taiwan national who was preparing to set off to the Club Med resort in Harbin said that she graduated from the communications department at Shih Hsin University, and was particularly inspired in her work by a Korean soap-opera. “Now I have been at Club Med for seven years, and have worked at 13 different resorts. Club Med can provide a person with rich life experiences and help them reach their potential, while giving them a chance to interact with people from around the world – this is a really great place to work for people who like to travel around the world and meet new people”.

The cooperative training program plans to send 30-40 students to overseas Club Med resorts for work. For NPUST, the academic cooperative learning and industry-academic exchange not only allows for integration of resources but also will hopefully bring in more outstanding students. The university is committed to broadening international outlooks and equipping students with the skills they will need for future employment in order to realize the goal of “immediate employment upon graduation”.

Cooperating with KLK International on International Talent Cultivation
2017-09-20

The results from the Agriculture Production 4.0 project promoted by NPUST have been excellent with wide-ranging interdisciplinary research that has attracted the attention of Malaysia’s KLK International Sdn. Bhd. As a result, the two parties agreed to join forces, putting ink to an industry-academia strategic alliance agreement on July 20th (2017). Under the agreement the pair will cooperate on academic exchanges, practical industry activities and talent cultivation initiatives. KLK International operates out of the Malaysian East Coast Economic Region, an important economic development zone in Malaysia covering an area of 66,000 square kilometers. Recently, the Malaysian enterprise invited Director Yu-Min Wang of the NPUST Department of Civil Engineering to form a professional interdisciplinary team, integrating expertise in geological development, tropical fruit production, crops, and high economic value fish cultivation, so that from the nursing of seedlings to the mass production, protection, processing and marketing of products, the comprehensive management of the entire production chain is seamlessly integrated. By concentrating the capacities of government, industry, and academia, Taiwan and Malaysia are able to benefit from accelerated mutual economic momentum.

This new alliance can also be regarded as a major success for the New Southbound Policy, and is a major milestone for progress in on the Malaysian front. In the future, hopes are that a New Southbound Office will be established in the area to handle affairs for Malaysia-Taiwan talent cultivation and to help execute policy objectives. According to NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai, “this cooperation will allow for an interdisciplinary integration that will unite the capacities of teams from each of the colleges, carrying out work according to categories of expertise, with, for example, the Department of Plant Industry taking on responsibility for crop cultivation and variety improvements; the Department of Aquaculture and Department of Veterinary Medicine handling the breeding and managing of high economic value fish; and the Department of Civil Engineering addressing water and soil conservation and monitoring soil and the environment in the development area; and for the processing, packaging and marketing side of things, teams from the College of Management have been recruited – thus manifesting the strength of university’s cross-domain education policies. The project will also allow NPUST and Malaysia to enjoy mutual learning exchanges, cultivate more outstanding talent, and create new opportunities for employment.” The chairman of KLK International emphasized that “the strengths of the on-location teams from NPUST allowed for the integration of each of the tasks, reducing fragmentation and faults in communication. Adding to this, with an excellent reputation in technical and vocational agriculture education in Taiwan, NPUST can help Malaysian talent to advance in their studies and create new opportunities for people from both countries.”

Hopes are that the bilateral cooperation will make a contribution to the development of Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Region while opening new roads for professional talent from both counties and adding new value to agriculture industries.

International Academic Conference on Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery
2017-09-12 According to Verisk Maplecroft’s latest report, Taiwan is the 8th most likely country to experience severe weather-related disasters. Two typhoons from the past decade, Typhoon Morakot (2008) and Typhoon Matmo (2014), as well as the recent occurrence of the worst drought the island has seen in 60 years are some severe examples of the type of extreme weather that the country has to deal with in recent years. In order to take a look at these issues, the NPUST Department of Social Work and the Research Institute for Disaster Prevention Technology joined up with the Tzu Chi Foundation and Charles Darwin University to hold the “International Academic Conference on Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery” on September 11th and 12th, 2017.

NPUST President Dr. Chang-Hsien Tai, Charles Darwin University’s Professor Douglas Paton and Director Jih-sheng Ho of the Tzu Chi Foundation jointly hosted the opening ceremony. Pingtung County governor, Men-an Pan, and Taiwan Sugar Association director, Chi-hung Tsao, were guests of honor. In his opening remarks, President Tai noted that “this research conference took place with the cooperation of the Tzu Chi Foundation and we hope that we will be able to continuously provide more expert knowledge on disaster recovery and rebuilding because of it, and that through community-based methods of development, we will be able to actively help more people in Taiwan and places around the world. By combining NPUST’s disaster prevention and soil and water conservation research with the humanitarian services of the Tzu Chi Foundation, the expertise and contributions will be multiplied. And we believe that our efforts will be able to make a difference in international disaster prevention efforts.”

Director Jih-sheng Ho of the Tzu Chi Foundation expressed that “the Tzu Chi Foundation is a humanities organization. It brings attention to all types of disasters, poverty and disease around the world – and it continuously pursues new knowledge, with the hope that that through the services it provides and its teams it will be able to transmit the philosophy of the masters and the care for people throughout the world. On this occasion, by cooperating with NPUST and Charles Darwin University, these philosophies can be practiced, and we hope that the bridge of friendship formed at this time will help bring good things to society in the future.”

 

Former Pingtung County governor and current director of the Taiwan Sugar Association, Chi-hung Tsao said reflected on his time as governor: “we faced several typhoon-related disasters during my term as governor, and in a situation where all communications came off line, Tzu Chi had the greatest capacity to call people together and ability to offer solace to those in the disaster areas, and to help rebuild. Thus, there should be intimate interaction between public and private sectors, where they work together to strengthen the advocacy of disaster prevention and increase the capacity for rebuilding.”

 

Professor Douglas Paton of Charles Darwin immediately followed with a lecture on the topic. Professor Ana Maria Cruz of Kyoto University, Dr. Ljubica Mamula-Seadon from New Zealand, Professor Asye Nuray Karanci from Turkey, Professor Saut Sagala from Indonesia and Professor Martin Smutek from the Czech Republic were also invited to lecture on related topics. Over 200 people from related fields were gathered at the venue to focus their attention on the important matter.

 

The conference also had presentations specifically related to Taiwan’s disaster prevention and relief, with Professor Wen-Shinn Shyu of NPUST’s Research Institute for Disaster Prevention Technology, Professor Jieh-Jiuh Wang of Ming Chuan University, Professor Li-ju Jang of the NPUST Department of Social Work and Mr. Sheng Yua Kung of the Kaohsiung City Government called to share their experiences related to disaster prevention in Taiwan.

 

One of the most special features of the conference was the Tzu Chi Foundation presentation on their many years of experience in disaster prevention and relief activities. Presentations on behalf of Tzu Chi were given by Professor Jih-Sheng Ho, Professor Mu-Tsu Hsu, Director Fang-Chuan Lu and High Commissioner Isaac Chiu.

 

The essays submitted to the conference covered disaster relief experiences from a wide variety of perspective and should help give rise to new ways of thinking about the unpredictable nature of weather related disasters.