Visiting head of Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI - a non profit, non-government organization founded in the 1970s) Dr. Johnsee Lee stressed the importance of investing in technology and more cooperation with high-tech industries overseas.
Dr Lee was invited as a guest speaker in the recent forum conducted by the Congressional Committee on Science Technology and Engineering (Comste). Dr Lee’s advice is likely to be influence as his organization has provided the foundations for the two largest Taiwanese high-tech companies, Taiwan Semiconductor and United Microelectronics.
ITRI is financed by and collaborates extensively with the private sector in developing technology across a spectrum of industries. While high-tech sectors in the West, especially the US, may spawn companies from university academic roots, Dr Lee argues that this may not be as applicable in developing states and emerging economies as the knowhow gap between the private sector and universities remains yawning.
Moreover, Dr Lee argues that universities in general are very theory-based and academically-focused while private sector is pragmatic and commercial, perhaps making the latter a better candidate for licensing technologies. .
Dr Lee also shared Taiwan’s experience of "open innovation" which stimulates collaboration between institutions and promotes an "outward looking" culture to make up for its lack in market, human resources and commodities. The Philippines, he felt, has a role to play in this since it is an English-speaking country. It should capitalize on this linguistic strength.
Casiraya, Lawrence, "Taiwan R&D chief to RP: Invest in technology" dated 18 September 2008 [downloaded on 18 September 2008], avialable athttp://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20080918-161461/...