The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Robin Grimes is visiting Taiwan
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Robin Grimes is visiting Taiwan from 15-18 March to enhance bilateral links in science and technology. His high level visit comes at the end of a nine-month Technology is GREAT campaign by the British Office to promote UK innovation and technology through a series of high-level exchanges between the UK’s and Taiwan’s research institutions, businesses and academia. His three day programme includes visits to Taipei and Hsinchu.
This morning, Professor Grimes met Minister for Science and Technology Shyu Jyou-min to discuss UK-Taiwan science ties and consider ways in which they may be strengthened. This was followed by a roundtable discussion with the National Applied Research Laboratories where Professor Grimes gave an overview of the UK’s scientific research infrastructure. This was followed by a more in-depth discussion that covered the fields of high performance computing, nanotechnology and space.
This afternoon Professor Grimes, who is concurrently Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College London in addition to his duties as Chief Scientific Adviser, delivered a science lecture, complete with demonstrations, on “Learning to Live with our Defects” at Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School to an audience of more than 150 science-talented high school students to explore the world of defects in materials, defects at the atomic scale. Professor Grimes used his demonstrations and lecture to show how investigating defects can help to develop new materials with enhanced or even new properties. On 18 March, Professor Grimes will give a talk at the Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, on “Atomic Scale Simulation in the Service of Materials Performance” to consider how high performance computing can add value to the development of materials. Both talks are aimed at facilitating the exchange of scientific knowledge and to promote the very best of UK education and science.
On 17 March, Professor Grimes will travel to Hsinchu Science Park for meetings with some of Taiwan’s leading companies and with hi-tech UK companies such as ARM Holdings and Oxford Instruments which have major investments in Taiwan. In the afternoon, Professor Grimes will travel to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) for discussions on enhancing ITRI’s links with UK research institutions and for a tour of the Mechanical and Systems Research Laboratories.
On 18 March, Professor Grimes will meet Vice President-elect Chen Chien-jen to discuss areas where the UK and Taiwan could enhance research and technological collaboration over the coming years.
Professor Grimes’s visit comes at a time when the UK is making significant investments in its science infrastructure both in existing world-class institutions - four of the world’s top ten universities are in the UK - and in new facilities such as the UK Catapult Centres and the new Alan Turing Institute. The British Government plans to invest £30.4bn in science by 2020 to further enhance the UK’s reputation for research excellence. Already with just 3.2% of the world’s R&D spend, the UK accounts for 16% of the most highly-cited research articles.