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Quantum Technology and Green Energy Research Hub in South Taiwan Advanced

President Tsai Ing-wen announced that the government is advancing research capabilities and industrial transformation in southern Taiwan. It’s part of her government’s efforts to build the country into a hub of quantum technology and green energy, a long-term commitment that Taipei is bound to keep.

Last year, Shalun has been chosen as the centre for advanced technology. The southern city of Tainan plays a vital role in Taiwan’s advanced technology development, Tsai said. This is evidenced by the establishment of Academia Sinica South Campus (ASSC) facilitating regional public-private cooperation, she added.

Taiwan’s president made the remarks during a beam raising ceremony for a new complex and an attached research building at the ASSC. Launched in 2020, the campus boasts 11 agricultural biotechnology laboratories. Those numbers are just for starters. Tsai expounded that greater things await the southern campus. The top Taiwan research teams specializing in key areas such as human and social sciences, environmental change and quantum technology are expected to relocate to the ASSC upon completion of construction in 2026.

Indeed, the campus is growing rapidly. The enlarged ASSC will join Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City and Southern Taiwan Science Park in accelerating industrial transformation in southern Taiwan, Tsai said. This development bodes well for spurring collaboration on challenges like reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with Hsinchu County-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), she added.

Academia Sinica, Latin for “Chinese Academy” is the national academy of Taiwan founded in 1928 that supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences to life sciences, and to humanities and social sciences. The South Campus has been established specifically to maximize research capacity and promote innovative research.

Currently, the learning centre is the country’s foremost research institution. It has 24 institutes and seven research centres under three divisions: Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences.

Simply put, quantum computing ushers in the next generation of computers. The idea is that quantum computers can use certain ideas from quantum mechanics, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. The basic principle behind quantum computation is that quantum properties can be used to represent data and perform operations on it. Its promise is so huge that quantum computers are viewed as an integral part of Industry 4.0.

In December last year, it was announced that Taiwan will set aside an NT$8 billion (US$288 million) budget for the development of quantum computing technology. It’s a sizable sum but the advantages should be well worth it. Plus, to advance the goal, a task force has been formed for the implementation of the five-year initiative between 2022 and 2026. At that time, Shalun has already been chosen as the research and development site of the technology.

As for green energy, Taiwan plans to generate 20% of its energy from renewable energy by 2025, up from 5% in 2020. The overall policy calls for significantly less coal, more LNG, increased renewables and a “nuclear-free homeland”.

It’s no easy target and the island nation is pulling all the stops to make it happen. Nevertheless, it should not be an impossible feat. Taiwan has already proven itself that it can achieve greater goals. Before, the country was not the biggest exporter of semiconductors. Other countries such as Japan were first in line. Today, Taiwan is considered the semiconductor breadbasket of the world.

Put its digital transformation in the picture and Taiwan should grow at a tremendous pace. Already, its semiconductor market is bound to widen as electric vehicles become the trend in a decade or so, as reported on OpenGov Asia.

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