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The Second Phase of Research Centers
National Tsing Hua University-the second phase of Research Centers

Low Carbon Energy Interactive Nano-X Connectomics

Fundamental and Applied Sciences of Matters

Advanced Manufacturing and Service Management

‧Low Carbon Energy Research Center 


In light of the global warming crisis and the impending energy shortage, development of a carbon-free or low-carbon energy source has become a common goal for many countries around the world. Accordingly, stimulating and expanding low carbon green energy technology is critical. Here in Taiwan, the high population density and the lack of indigenous energy sources make low-carbon energy sources vital for energy security and environmental sustainability. Taiwan’s national policy plans to increase low-carbon energy consumption gradually. According to the “Sustainable Energy Policy Guidelines” issued by the Executive Yuan in June of 2008, the percentage of low-carbon energy sources used for power generation should be increased from 40% to 55% by 2025. In August of the same year, a “Strategy Report on Energy Security” was also issued, and two explicit action plans were identified in the report. The percentage of indigenous renewable energy and pseudo-indigenous nuclear energy should be increased from 9% in 2007 to 18% in 2025. In conjunction, the level of CO2 emission in 2025 is planned to return to the emission level in 2000.

National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) has been leading energy research and education for years among Taiwan’s academia, especially in the field of low-carbon green energy. According to a recent survey, there are more than 100 faculty members who are currently teaching or working on energy related courses or research in our university. Based upon this on-going momentum, we would like to propose the establishment of a “Center of Low-Carbon Energy Research” (the Center) at NTHU. The Center would focus on proactive research activities in green energy technology, nuclear power, smart grid, and low-carbon energy technology policy and promotion strategy of energy industry. The fuel cell group of the green energy technology sector will collaborate closely with the Fuel Cell Center of Yuan-Ze University, following the request by the Ministry of Education. The goal would be to make a timely contribution to the development and the sustainability of our country, by improving energy security, by reducing greenhouse gas emission, and by promoting and expanding the green energy industry and the center will become world class.

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‧Interactive Nano-X  Research Center

National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) has a strong reputation in the studies of science, engineering, electrical engineering, computer and communication systems in Taiwan, and it is the first university that established College of Life Sciences. It has been regarded as the leading research institute for supporting Taiwan’s various scientific and technological research and industry sectors. In the past decade, NTHU has devoted to the research and development of nano/micro- technologies and achieved strong research results ranked in the world’s top list. It has been deeply recognized that scientific research achievements of nano/micro- technologies, unlike traditional disciplines, must rely on close interdisciplinary integration and comprehensive application development. In view of this, Interactive Nano-X Research Center (INX) aims to provide the interdisciplinary and interactive research environment, achieve academic breakthrough results, and develop novel technologies and products. The INX Center hopes to make contributions to social well-being and hi-tech-industry-based economy. In coordination of existing research strengths and future trends of nano/micro- technology industry development, the INX Center integrates four main research themes, which are Nanomaterials, Nano/Micro- electromechanical Systems (NEMS/MEMS), Nanoelectronics and Nanophotonics, and Nano/micro Biomedicine. The various areas of INX Center will closely collaborate and interact with each other in the future. Starting from nanomaterials and characterization as the base, we will develop key technologies of nanomaterial integration to master synthesis capabilities and innovative in situ characterization techniques. Furthermore, we will extend to relevant applications in fields including nanophotonics and nanoelectronic components, NEMS/MEMS, and nano/micro- biomedical systems to speed up the industrial development, rooting and expansion of Taiwan’s nano/micro industry by underlining interaction and collaboration in and between various fields and incorporating the development of next generation components and systems. National Tsing Hua University is a leading university in Taiwan, and among the best in the world in all these four research fields. Coupled with the University’s location in the city of science and technology in Taiwan—Hsinchu—and the close proximity to major research institutions such as National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, National Nano Device Laboratories, National Health Research Institute, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Hsinchu Science Park, the INX Center can mobilize these nano/micro-related resources to increase the momentum in the research of nano/micro technology and accelerate the development of relevant research and high-tech industry in Hsinchu region. The goal in this project is to develop the Center into a major hub for nano/micro technology development in the Asia-Pacific area.



‧Connectomics Research Center

Connectomics Research Center (CRC) recruits an interdisciplinary research team consisting of 25 labs in National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and National Chiao Tung University (NCTU). Advanced research fields of CRC include biology, genetics, neuroscience, behavioral science, computational biology, bio-inspired engineering, computer science, image processing, theoretical physics and artificial intelligence.  The main scientific goals of CRC are mapping complete neuronal circuits in Drosophila brain and understanding how genes and neural circuits orchestrate information underlying animal behavior.

In the post-genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics era, a new scheme in neuroscience study has evolved, i.e. connectomics, a comprehensive detailed mapping of brain circuits, so as to understand their influence on animal behaviors and diseases.  Taking advantage of recent advances in genetic tools to temporally perturb and monitor neuronal activities, scientists have begun to unravel the roles of genes and circuits in orchestrating complex behaviors. An atlas of brainwide wiring networks is urgently needed for formulating hypotheses of information flow and guiding genetic manipulations. The adult Drosophila brain contains only approximately 100,000 neurons using canonical neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, GABA, glutamate, dopamine, serotonin, histamine as well as octopamine and tyramine. While significantly different in gross anatomy, both insect brains and mammalian brains are made of neural circuits with a cohort of shared gene products governing normal function of sensory modalities and complex behavior. Many common molecular mechanisms controlling development of visual and olfactory systems use similar circuit architecture for specific functional attributes, suggesting that vertebrate and fly brains share a common evolutionary origin. Simple brain circuits for intricate behaviors, sophisticated genetic tool box and complete genomics and proteomics information make Drosophila an ideal model system for studying basic mechanisms underlying brain operation.

The core mission of CRC is to establish the world’s first neural network atlas for the whole Drosophila brain so as to guide the manipulation of gene expression and neural activities (Core project). In addition, CRC aims to build the world first gene expression database for single neurons in the whole Drosophila brain and develop the associated facilities, including hardware and software, for computational approaches (Satellite project 1); to explore the mechanism of information acquisition, transmission, computation, storage and maintenance in the neural network of the Drosophila brain (Satellite project 2); to build bio-inspired engineering for high through-put neural genetic and behavioral function analysis (Satellite project 3); to develop necessary genetic engineering technologies for observing, tracking and manipulating the neural connections in fly brain (Satellite project 4); to study brain diseases and their treatments with Drosophila as a model (Satellite project 5); to establish the world first cloud computing center, the FlyCircuit Database Center, providing 3D neural images and neural genomic informatics services (Satellite project 6); and to translate the knowledge acquired in our studies into intellectual properties and transform them into industries (Satellite project 7).

‧NTHU/NCTU Frontier Research Center 
  on Fundamental and Applied Sciences of Matters 

Matters are the building units for all applied science and technology.  The fundamental understanding of the chemical and physical properties of matter produces advances in technical applications, and an accompanying prospect for economic development is enormous.  Hence, many major universities in the world have strong research teams in the basic science of matters.  The purpose of this proposal is to establish a cross-campus and cross-disciplinary research center on the fundamental and applied science of matters based on a strong scientific foundation and the proximity of National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and National Chiao Tung University (NCTU).  On combining the resources from the two universities, frontier research at the atomic, molecular, and materials levels will be conducted.  The proposed center incorporates the following three major research thrusts.

Thrust A. Functional Organic Materials, which involves three core areas:

A1 Synthesis, functional design, and biomedical probing of advanced functional organic molecules and biomolecules

A2 Organic optoelectronic molecules and polymers and related device fabrication

A3 Chemistry, physics, and applications of graphene-derived materials and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons– synthesis and nanostructure.

Thrust B. Fundamental Studies of Quantum Systems, which includes three core areas:

B1 Chemistry, physics, and applications of graphene-derived materials and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons –physical properties, nano-devices and optoelectronic devices

B2 Advanced studies of ultracold atoms

B3 Frontier mesoscopic physics and quantum control

Thrust C. Advanced Light Sources and Their Applications, which focuses on the following area:

C1 Fundamental and applied researches of the interactions of advanced light sources with matter

The integration and interaction among these three thrusts is schematically represented in the following diagram.  Thrust A not only aims at developing basic science of advanced functional organic molecules, biomolecules and related materials, but also is highly application-oriented. It is closely connected to the most important application areas in the modern era, including optoelectronics, energy, and medical care.  Thrust B aims at challenging problems in physics.  Emphasis will also be placed on quantum phenomena of materials at the nano- and meso-scale dimensions.  The conjugated molecules and organometallic molecules developed in Thrust A can serve as model systems for researchers in Thrust B to study.  The quantum physics and effects learned from Thrust B can be applied to Thrust A for insights into molecular design and devices physics relevant to organic functional materials.  In particular, the theoretical team of Thrust B can help to explain experimental observations, and through the integrated effort new applications might be developed or identified. Thrust C utilizes synchrotron radiation, neutron, and ultrafast laser techniques to develop highly advanced tools and methods for structures analysis.  Static and dynamic structures of molecules, atoms, and materials developed from Thrusts A and B can be resolved from these tools.  Further demands in analysis of key structures in Thrusts A and B can be fed back to Thrust C for further design and improvement of instruments and methods.

This collaborative structure should make this center become efficient in performing frontier research in both basic sciences and applications of matters.  According to this cross-disciplinary structure, the six core research areas associated with the three major thrusts should rise to excellence at the international level by the end of the project term.  This result should make the center a world-class research institute in matter sciences.  It also will nurture a new generation of scientists with minds for innovation and creativity.  In addition, the center will also develop core technologies associated with the applications of organic molecules and polymers in optoelectronic industries.  New products and industrial technology might be realized through this effort.  This will greatly enhance the national competitiveness in production of high-value materials.




‧Advanced Manufacturing and Service Management

Traditional agricultural and industries have moved toward service-oriented value creation. The world is moving towards a service economy. Investigating advanced manufacturing and service management is a growing topic in academic and industry. Taiwan has a well established product research and manufacturing over the past few decades, with a growing percentage of GDP residing in the service sector.  The proposed research center is aimed at increasing national competitiveness and social well being through cross-disciplinary studies on advanced manufacturing and service management. National Tsing Hua University was the first university in Taiwan to launch master and doctoral degree programs in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management in 1980 and 1985, respectively.  NTHU has been the most prestigious institute in academic performance, demonstrating industrial impact on Taiwan’s manufacturing and service industries by conducting collaborative research with companies and cultivating excellent professionals.  In 2000, NTHU established the first College of Science and Technology Management in Taiwan. Later, in 2008, the Institute of Service Science, the first graduate institute in Taiwan in the frontline of international service science discipline, was set up to nourish professionals in service-oriented research and development and conduct cross-disciplinary research in service management, engineering, and design.  The proposed research center involves excellent scholars from various areas, such as strategy, manufacturing and quality management, service management, innovation, design and green value chain, to conduct integrated research with potential high impact on the corresponding problem domains.  The interaction among these areas is depicted in the following figures, where manufacturing and service management are two categories of business processes handling production, quality control, delivery and customer service for physical goods and services.  Strategy directs market competition and technology innovation for manufacturing and service businesses.  Innovation and design create continuous value for customers through new product or service design.  The green value chain emphasizes the connection of values among business entities in compliance with sustainability and environmental friendliness.

We choose the green energy industry (including solar energy and LED) as our focused industry to integrate the research capacities of this advanced service management research center. The green energy industry is a promising industry for Taiwan after the success of the semiconductor industry. Within the scope of the green energy industry we identify two important research themes, i.e. eco-design chain and green-supply chain. The first theme involves the integration of strategy, innovation and design with manufacturing and quality management. The second theme involves integrating suppliers, service providers and customers.