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Academia Sinica E-news No.560
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Expanding R&D capacity into southern Taiwan, the Southern Campus of Academia Sinica officially breaks ground
May 11, 2018-- After seven years of planning, Academia Sinica officially breaks ground on its southern campus today. Part of an effort to promote regional development of academic research and extend its capacity for conducting cutting-edge basic research across Taiwan, Academia Sinica rolled out plans to build a southern campus near the Tainan High Speed Rail station beginning in 2012. In attendance at this groundbreaking ceremony for the Southern Campus of Academia Sinica are leaders including Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister without Portfolio Tsung-Tsong Wu, and acting Mayor of Tainan Meng-yen Lee.
Dr. James C. Liao, President of Academia Sinica, remarked that the Southern Campus of Academia Sinica will prioritize the development of agricultural technology and the realization of sustainable development while also promoting research in the humanities, particularly in Taiwan history and culture. Serving as a center for bringing together local talent, research capacity, and other resources, this new campus will help southern Taiwan develop distinct and unique areas of research and expertise. 
James C. Liao also noted that the scope of research for the southern campus will build on the existing research capacity of Academia Sinica while also working with the special characteristics of the southern region including its environment, resources, industry, and culture. As a leading innovative research institution, Academia Sinica endeavors to leverage its preeminent strength in basic research to connect and integrate the research capacity of the entire island of Taiwan.
President Ing-wen Tsai, in her speech delivered at the groundbreaking ceremony, remarked that the Southern Campus of Academia Sinica also shoulders the responsibility of scientific research and innovation along with regional development; its role in these areas is no less than that of the northern Nangang campus. Southern Taiwan features a diverse agriculture sector and a rich archaeological and cultural heritage. Today, it is also a strategic center of green energy technology and a model of circular economy in practice. Future collaboration between the government, industries, and academic institutions will create a clustering effect, enhancing the overall capacity for innovation as well as research and development of not only the southern region of Taiwan but also that of the entire country.
Academia Sinica President James C. Liao emphasized that the event today is a result of a seven-year effort. Special thanks must be extended to the Office of the President, Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, and the Tainan City Government for their support and assistance. Special appreciation also goes to Dr. Chi-huey Wong, former President of Academia Sinica, for his efforts in promoting the construction of this southern campus. To push for the advancement of regional research, Dr. Chi-huey Wong searched all over Taiwan for a suitable location to function as a base for expanding research, seeking to facilitate the expansion of regional environments conducive to research.
After its completion, the Southern Campus of Academia Sinica will advance research and innovation in numerous fields, including but not limited to the agriculture, environment, and culture of Taiwan. To achieve this vision, this campus will delve into research topics spanning the gamut, ranging from the sciences—covering translational agricultural biotechnology, genetics in agricultural systems, metabolic engineering, sustainable energy, and high-efficiency analysis—to the humanities, including a variety of topics in Taiwan archaeology that make use of exclusive primary sources and cultural and historical materials from Tainan.
In the future, the Southern Campus of Academia Sinica will also take advantage of its geographical advantages and widely recruit talent from both Taiwan and abroad. On the one hand, this new campus will promote the overall development of academic and industrial sectors through basic research, realizing Academia Sinica’s foundational focus on research as the national laboratory of Taiwan and providing policy recommendations that aid the development of the island.
On the other hand, as the center of innovation and research in southern Taiwan, this southern campus has delineated research areas of focus that are in line with the development goals of the “5+2” industries pinpointed by the Executive Yuan’s Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Plan (2017-2025), also known as “DIGI+.” These focus areas include green energy technology, new agriculture, and circular economy. In the years to come, the Southern Campus will also aid the establishment of the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City, which will play a leading role in implementing a more concrete and comprehensive sustainable energy policy for Taiwan.
The Southern Campus of Academia Sinica spans 7.3 hectares. In order to meet the long-term needs of a national research institution, the visionary design of the campus employs the idea of open space to create a first-rate environment conducive for research. Conceived as a world-class university city, the overall design of this campus also takes into account biodiversity as well as the characteristics and needs of the local surrounding community.
In terms of its schedule for construction, a phased approach to development will be adopted. The three main research buildings, including precision greenhouses and glass greenhouses, are expected to be completed in succession in December 2019 and March 2021. The total floor area of the three buildings stands at approximately 66,363 square meters with a construction budget of approximately NT$4 billion. The remaining space in this southern site will be designated as green space and reserved for potential future expansion, for the construction research buildings, facilities and other infrastructure according to research and development needs.

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