From 29 April to 6 May, representatives of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB), including Rector Miroslav Lávička, went on a working trip to Taiwan where they wanted to initiate or deepen collaboration between the UWB and Taiwanese universities and find suitable topics for cooperation in both research and learning. The trip included a meeting with representatives of TSMC, one of the largest manufacturers of semiconductor chips, where the aim was to become involved in selected activities of the planned research centre in Dresden, Germany. According to Rector Miroslav Lávička, this was the first step towards potential cooperation.
UWB Representatives Discussed Cooperation with Universities and a Chip Manufacturer in Taiwan
“TSMC, which is a prestigious Taiwanese company that makes highly advanced chips e.g. for Apple, Qualcomm, AMD and other high-tech companies, is currently considering the construction of a new factory in Dresden. One of the most important objectives of the trip was to discuss potential cooperation in the development of semiconductor chips and their applications,” explained Miroslav Lávička, UWB Rector. “The University of West Bohemia works on applied research of the use of chip technologies and has been cooperating with major technical universities in the Czech Republic and beyond for many years. For this reason, we want to be part of the planned consortium that would cooperate with TSMC,” said UWB Rector Miroslav Lávička, who was accompanied to Taiwan by the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering Jan Michalík and project manager of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art Arnošt Marks who was in charge of the organisation of the trip.
The relationship between Taiwan and the Czech Republic is currently strengthening, as evidenced for example by the official visit of Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, this March. On this trip, she was accompanied by several MPs, representatives of universities and about a hundred Czech entrepreneurs. “We had received an official invitation to the delegation of the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies. But because the new university leadership was assuming office during this term, we unfortunately had to decline. But we promised our Taiwanese friends who had been asking about us that we would come as soon as possible. We kept this promise. And in fact, it was better to visit the Taiwanese institutions independently, because in a smaller group we could focus exclusively on topics that are of interest to the UWB,” said Rector Miroslav Lávička.
UWB representatives visited several Taiwanese universities, specifically the National Central University (NCU) in Taoyuan, National Taipei University of Technology (Taipei Tech) in the capital of Taipei, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainanu and Tunghai University in Taichung. During the individual meetings, the delegation presented the University of West Bohemia and all its parts and discussed possibilities for student exchanges and academic internships, double-degree study programmes and potential joint research projects. “Like the UWB, the Taiwanese universities that we visited are strongly oriented towards applied research. Some of the topics that I consider very interesting in terms of potential collaboration include robotics, autonomous vehicle control, SoC design, power electronics and drives, additive technologies, power semiconductor module encapsulation, mathematical modelling and artificial intelligence, satellite communication and the development of picosatellites and many more. There is a great opportunity not only for joint scientific research projects, but also teaching and mutual exchange of students and academics,” added Jan Michalík. The discussion focused on topics that could benefit the technical faculties of the UWB and the NTC research centre, but also the Centre for Language Training and other units.
In addition to the university visits, UWB representatives also met in Taipei with representatives of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), a Taiwanese research institution that was created by merging several thematically related research laboratories in order to support research and development.
The highlight of the working trip to Taiwan was a tour of a new training complex for future TSMC factory engineers in the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung. Here UWB representatives talked to TSMC about the possibilities of involvement in selected activities of the planned chip research centre in Dresden, Germany.
“I consider the visit to Taiwan to be only the first step by which we officially declared our readiness and our interest in collaboration. But this visit must be soon followed by another trip of an expert team from the UWB, which will include our researchers and teachers interested in specific topics. Our Taiwanese counterparts are ready and we should not let this unique opportunity slip away,” concluded Rector Lávička.