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Taiwan doubles efforts to woo its overseas-based technology talent

2019/06/18 22:48:30

Chen Liang-gee (陳良基/CNA file photo)

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) A 12-day orientation program aimed at connecting overseas Taiwanese technology experts with local industries opened Monday in Taipei, as part of a wider government effort to induce such talent to return.

The 31 overseas-based Taiwanese participating in the program have expertise in the fields of information communication, electronics engineering, and biomedical science, and most of them are from the United States, Joung Yuh-Jzer (莊裕澤), director general of the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center, said at the opening.

Over the 12-day period, the 31 participants will meet with representatives from Hsinchu Science Park in northern Taiwan, Central Taiwan Science Park, and Southern Taiwan Science Park, according to Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基), who also spoke at the opening of the program.

The goal is to encourage Taiwanese studying or working abroad to bring their expertise back home, thereby stimulating industrial innovation and technological development, according to the program's website.

While Taiwan is not short of talent, its work environment is not attractive enough to keep top tech experts, Ethan Tu (杜奕瑾), founder of Taiwan AI Labs, said at Monday's opening.

Tu said he hoped that through the efforts of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), a better work environment would be created to attract and retain tech talent.

The participants in the 12-day program were selected via a website that was set up by MOST to build a database of overseas Taiwanese tech talent and list local jobs in that field.

The orientation program was open to overseas Taiwanese citizens who hold a Ph.D. or master's degree and have at least three years' experience in the field of artificial intelligence, Chen said.

Taiwanese who obtained a Ph.D. in Taiwan and have at least three years' experience working abroad are also eligible, he said.

Those selected to participate in the orientation program were given subsidies for travel and accommodation, MOST said in a press release.

According to the ministry, the 12-day program and online database were established under a broader government initiative called Leaders in Future Trends (LIFT), which was launched in 2017 by MOST.

The main objective of LIFT is to encourage overseas Taiwanese PhD holders under the age of 45 to return home for at least a year, the ministry said.

Under LIFT, eligible Taiwanese are provided with an allowance of NT$125,000 (USD 3,971) per month for up to a year, the program's website says.

Those selected for the LIFT program are required to attend at least 10 professional sessions, including lectures, forums, innovative business model consultations, advanced technology advisory consultations, and other activities at corporations and research institutes, according to the website.

Over the past two years, a total of 50 people have signed up for LIFT, 32 of whom have chosen to remain and work in Taiwan, Huang Yi-dan (黃意丹), who is in charge of the project, said Monday.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Chung Yu-chen)
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