Taiwan wins 7 R&D 100 Awards this year

10/26/2021 10:03 PM
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CNA photo Oct. 26, 2021
CNA photo Oct. 26, 2021

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Taiwanese research institutions have won seven awards at this year's R&D 100 Awards, a prestigious science and technology competition, a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) official said Tuesday.

Taiwan has won a total of 66 awards over the past 14 years at this annual event, which is a recognition of the country's achievements in technology research and development, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) said at a press conference held at Regent Taipei Hotel.

Six of the winning applications this year were developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the Institute for Information Industry (III), the Metal Industries Research & Development Center (MIRDC), and the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI), while another was by the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), Lin said.

While Taiwan has traditionally been known to focus primarily on hardware development, the vice minister said the award-winning products and technologies from Taiwan this year were focused on not just hardware but also software, or the integration of the two.

During the event, ITRI President Edwin Liu (劉文雄) said the next step would be for these winning technologies to be transferred to industries so that local manufacturers can eventually bring them to market.

"We've seen much impact in the industries from national laboratories' innovations, and that is one of the things that the R&D 100 Awards is designed to celebrate -- inventions that change the world for the better," Paul J. Heney, vice president and editorial director for R&D World, was quoted as saying in an ITRI statement on Tuesday.

"ITRI is clearly a major player in this area and a huge resource of Taiwan's industrial communities," Heney added.

Among the three winning applications by ITRI this year is the Biomimetic Materials and Structures for Tissue Integration (BioMS-Ti), which can be applied in sports and orthopedic implants for soft and hard tissue integration.

The hybrid structures of BioMS-Ti not only allow for tissue ingrowth but also provide necessary biomechanical strength for different tissues, shortening the rehabilitation protocols for better mobility recovery, the ITRI said.

Another winning ITRI invention is a device called the "Ubiquitous Water Wand," an ultra-high-efficiency vapor/air separation equipment that can extract clean water from air, it said.

The third winning ITRI invention is a software-defined augmented robot joint that serves as an effective building block for versatile mechatronic applications.

The four other R&D 100 award winners from Taiwan are a heat treatment system equipment for micro parts by the MIRDC, a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) yarn by the TTRI, and a cloud-based smart point cloud processing software by NARLabs, which developed the technology together with Taiwan's National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University and Tunghai University.

Lastly, the III's software platform that it developed to fight against misinformation featuring artificial intelligence technology won bronze for Corporate Social Responsibility, which is a special recognition category awarded by R&D World.

The R&D 100 Awards have been the most prestigious innovation awards program for the past 58 years, with the award announcements taking place during a virtual celebration on Tuesday, according to the organizer's website.

(By Liang Pei-chi and Ko Lin)

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