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STPI Director General Accompanied the Minister to the US Initiating the LEAP Program

2017/04/13

To encourage young Taiwanese talents to stay connected with global technological developments, Joung Yuh-Jzer, the Director General of STPI, accompanied Chen Liang-Gee, the Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), on his trip to the US in early April to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This signing officially initiated the LEAP Program, which is directed by the MOST and implemented by the STPI.

Upon arriving in California, the delegation team first visited startup companies in Silicon Valley. The team then met with representatives of Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley to sign the agreements of cooperation aiming at the cultivation of talents. Through the LEAP Program, the STPI will select 30–50 talents under 40 years of age and with a PhD degree each year and send them to Silicon Valley, where they will be trained in technological R&D for AI-oriented prospective industries.

Next, the delegation team departed for the east coast of the US, where they reached an agreement with the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) (of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to initiate a postdoctoral personnel exchange program. In addition, the team signed a MOU with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH, one of the three top-ranked hospitals in the country) to initiate the Boston–Taiwan HealthTech Program (the BTH; a subprogram of the LEAP Program), through which the STPI will select two to three individuals (with expertise in medical information, programming language designs, or smart medical care) annually and send them to the MGH beginning September 2017. These individuals will undergo one year of training on smart medical care and commercial practice at the Laboratory of Computer Science of MGH. This engagement will enable Taiwan to become a leader in the global digital medical industry.

Through the LEAP Program, the STPI will annually select and help talented individuals with a PhD degree to go to internationally renowned high-tech regions such as Silicon Valley and Boston. These individuals will be divided into two groups (i.e., industry and academic research groups) and receive corresponding training. The objectives are to use cooperative research and internships to develop the individuals into innovation and startup experts with an international perspective and strategic mindset. Upon completion of their training, these individuals will return to Taiwan and join the technological innovation and startup industry or help existing firms to upgrade and transform.

The STPI signs a MOU with Stanford University to initiate the LEAP Program.  From left to right in this photo are STPI Director General Joung Yuh-Jzer, Minister Chen Liang-Gee, Professor Curtis Frank, and Department Chair Eric Shaqfeh.

The STPI reaches an agreement with the IMES to initiate a postdoctoral personnel exchange program. From left to right in this photo are STPI Director General Joung Yuh-Jzer, Minister Chen Liang-Gee, and Professor Roger Mark.