This summer saw the formation of the IET Taipei Interim Network.
Approved by the IET’s Communities Resourcing Committee (CRC), its opening ceremony saw IET Communities Committee – Asia Pacific (CC-AP) and Taiwan members join with IET staff and guests.
Using the IET Hong Kong Local Network (IET HK) as a successful example, a group of academics and industry professionals from Taiwan have spent the last three years establishing a network specifically for Taiwanese members. IET Taipei is the culmination of their work: a network that will accommodate and assist members from across the region.
Back in 2009, a local group in Taiwan first contacted the IET Asia Pacific regional director regarding the development of an international conference in Taiwan. From there the relationship grew, as they worked together to develop proposals for Taiwanese government organisations, such as the National Science Council, to promote the IET.
Knowing that having a more localised network could only help to promote and support engineering in Taiwan, this group, led by academics Timothy Shih, Kuan-Ching Li and Jason Hung, has campaigned for its inception.
This March an event was put together to discuss and develop this idea and the group submitted their official proposal. Discussion with members of the CC-AP led to the conclusion that to establish such a Local Network, the proposal committee should maintain three balancing principles: the balance among participants from different cities in Taiwan, the balance between national universities and private universities, and the balance among various technical sectors.
May saw approval by the CC-AP and in June the interim network was officially endorsed by the IET.
Once approved, the interim committee was confirmed, led by Shih; but unique to the Taipei Network is a six strong advisory committee. In Taiwan it is usually courtesy that senior influential scholars are consulted in important organisations, and the Network committee believes that this will help the promotion of the IET within Taiwan.
“Their support and reputation will make the Network more important in Taiwan,” Shih explains.
Still early days, the Network aims to do many things, including recruiting new members and supporting continued professional development, but it considers promoting the IET as the most important issue.
To do this it is initiating a distinguished speaker lecture series. Similar to other Networks it will also help universities in Taiwan to organise international conferences and exhibitions, and the Network is also looking into ways of using social media to promote the IET in the region.
“We currently have less than 60 members [but we plan to grow this through] several activities such as the distinguished speaker lecture series, industry events and working with other local societies,” says Shih. “Members will also benefit through registration discounts to IET conferences in Taiwan,” he adds.
An important aspect to the committee is to promote knowledge sharing. The Network aims to serve as a forum for academia and industry to share experiences and implement collaboration projects. Plus, with the help of the CC-AP it hopes to serve as a bridge to allow this collaboration and sharing at an international level too.
Local collaboration is also important to the LN, however, and the committee aims to liaise with companies, relevant government departments and professional institutions and societies to hold joint activities and promote engineering in the region.
“I believe the Taipei Network will focus on the connections between academia and industry,” says Shih. “With that in mind I’m planning several things such as the lecture series to make this happen; but since we’re just established I hope that in time we’ll be able to do more to promote the IET and bring new benefits to our members,” he concludes.
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