To promote academic exchanges with the Baltic countries, National Sun Yat-sen University formed a delegation of 26 members from diverse disciplines to Latvia and Lithuania for a 10-day academic exchange trip. The delegation, led by President Ying-Yao Cheng, visited the University of Latvia and the Institute of Solid State Physics and attended the National Day banquet hosted by Taiwan's representative office in Latvia. After the visit in Latvia, the delegation moved to Lithuania for further exchanges, visiting Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, and Nature Research Center. The delegates also attended the National Day reception hosted by Taiwan's representative office in Lithuania. The delegation returned to Taiwan on the 15th after completing a successful scientific and technological mission of diplomacy.
The delegation was formed by faculty members of materials science, photonics, electrical engineering, electromechanical engineering, medical technology, chemistry, physics, biological sciences, marine science, international relations, education, and management. The delegates were warmly received by universities and research institutions and arranged to visit relevant academic units and research centers to explore the potential for cooperation. Many opportunities were discussed and will be further explored after the visits. Among them, the cooperation agreed upon between the marine faculty and Nature Research Center will focus on environmental DNA by studying the ecology of rare fish.
President Cheng pointed out that the university is actively deploying in the Baltic States. In addition to having set up two joint research centers to invest in research on materials, optoelectronics, and physics, NSYSU also hopes to promote research such as biological sciences, oceanography, social sciences, management, Sinology and Chinese language, etc. Vice President for International Affairs Prof. Mitch Chou, a key figure in pioneering and promoting the cooperation between NSYSU and the Baltic countries, said that Latvia is a world leader in space science and optical fiber materials while Lithuania is leading in laser and optoelectronic technology. The cooperation with NSYSU can make up for the deficiencies in materials and build a complete laser supply chain.
The delegation also held a grand "NSYSU NIGHT" reception on the last night of the visit. More than 60 people attended the reception, including 37 guests from all universities and research institutes that received the delegation. Guests of honor included the rectors of KTU and VILNIUS TECH, directors of FTMC and NRC, and Ambassador Eric Huang of The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.
In addition to faculty research cooperation, NSYSU actively promoted scholarships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Taiwan-Lithuania Semiconductor Talent and Research Scholarship Program (STAR Program) and the Taiwan-Europe Connectivity Program aim to attract students and researchers to Taiwan for study or short-term research. NSYSU hopes to facilitate cooperation between Taiwan and the Baltic countries through academic exchanges and joint cultivation of talents in semiconductors and other fields.
NSYSU and the University of Latvia became sister universities in 2009. NSYSU students have gone to UL on the exchange, but no Latvian students have come to NSYSU over the years. On the research side, NSYSU's cooperation with the Institute of Solid State Physics at UL has been fruitful. The "Taiwan and Baltic National Physics Research Center" was jointly established in 2020 to work in solid-state physics research. In Lithuania, the research exchanges can be traced back to the cooperation in materials science in 2014. In 2021, NSYSU decided to strengthen cooperation and take the initiative to sign MOUs and agreements with 3 leading Lithuanian universities. The initiative was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by endowing scholarships to attract Lithuanian students to study in the semiconductor-related fields at NSYSU to facilitate the cultivation and exchange of semiconductor talents between the two countries.