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LEAP Brings Talents Together to Take the Leap Abroad

2019/11/11

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) launched the LEAP (Learn, Explore, Aspire, and Pioneer) Program to cultivate innovative entrepreneurial talents with global vision and strategic thinking and to select doctoral talents to receive one-year training abroad in innovative technologies. The 2020 1-Batch LEAP Program has approved the application of 58 doctoral talents. In order to give the admitted trainees a clear preview of the program, LEAP Program organized the LEAP Camp on November 9, 16, and 17. In addition to providing training in self-promotion in English, the LEAP Camp also designed several group activities that encourage teamwork and friendship among the trainees, so that they could further establish a support network once they joined the training program overseas.

Distinguished guests at the LEAP Camp opening ceremony. From left to right: Luba Tang, the CEO of Skymizer; Dr. Chiu-Hui Chiu, the Director General of Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs; Dr. Yuh-Jzer Joung, the Director-General of STPI; and Edgar Chiu, the co-founder of SparkLabs Taipei.

 

During the LEAP Camp, heavyweight entrepreneur and the co-founder of SparkLabs Taipei, Edgar Chiu, and other well-known startup entrepreneurs like Luba Tang, the CEO of Skymizer, were invited to give special lectures. Edgar Chiu was the management consultant of IBM Global Business Services, the COO of Gogolook, and the general manager of Camp Mobile Taiwan. With extensive experiences in international businesses, he now endeavors to promote startup education and training. The other guest, Luba Tang, is an expert in compiler optimization and a designer of virtual machines, who established Skymizer in 2013, a company focusing on compiler and virtual machine technology and recently starting to explore emerging fields like AI and blockchain. Titled “Becoming a competitive entrepreneurial talent in international markets,” Edgar Chiu shared his experiences in working in overseas enterprises and in starting his businesses to encourage the LEAP trainees not to limit themselves but to seize and even create opportunities. Luba Tang also gave a talk titled “Entrepreneurial challenges: Just Some Little Reminders” to share the difficulties and risks he faced in the entrepreneurial process, urging the trainees to remain persistent and insightful to overcome all challenges on their entrepreneurial path.

The co-founder of SparkLabs Taipei, Edgar Chiu, gave a speech titled “Becoming a competitive entrepreneurial talent in international markets”.

 

This batch of LEAP Camp also invited Xu Xiu-Juan (許琇娟), Zhang Chen-Hao (張辰豪), Lin Hong-Yu (林宏諭), and Cao Yu-Xin (曹郁欣), four former trainees from the 2nd LEAP Program to share their experiences from the Program. These senior trainees reminded the new trainees that in addition to showcasing their strengths in technology innovation, it is also important to actively build up connections and take part in interdisciplinary activities to maximize the effectiveness of the training. In his opening remark, Dr. Chiu-Hui Chiu, Director General of Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs, said that LEAP Program was actively promoted by Liang-Gee Chen soon after he took office as the Minister of MOST in light of the gap between domestic talents and the international tech industry. Also, many senior trainees from previous LEAP Programs performed exceedingly well; they not only received recognition from overseas enterprises but also successfully entered the tech industry and became seniors or established their own businesses once they return Taiwan. Minister Chen hopes that the admitted trainees of this batch could also position themselves as the representatives of Taiwan and seize the opportunity to challenge and transform themselves. Once the LEAP Camp ends, the admitted trainees will have the chance to start working with partner enterprises of the Program and enter the final selection in January 2020. The trainees who pass the final selection will set out for the training in May 2020. This batch of LEAP Program featured popular fields such as big data, artificial intelligence, and the biomedical industry and was hosted by more than 41 enterprises from the U.S., France, and Israel, including globally renowned companies such as Microsoft, NVIDIA, Taboola, Applied Materials, Pfizer, and Genentech.

Dr. Chiu-Hui Chiu, Director General of the Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs, gave an opening remark at the LEAP Camp.

 

LEAP Program has set up the Academic Group, which selected trainees to receive training at well-known institutions such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

The LEAP Program has selected and sponsored 152 top talents to receive training abroad since its birth in 2017. Some of these trainees entered high-tech industries or started their tech businesses, laying a foundation for Taiwan’s tech industry. MOST hopes that the LEAP Program can act as a catalyst for Taiwan’s industrial development and bring in a new wave of industrial innovations.