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NCKU professors recognized with excellent achievements in academia-industry collaboration

December 31, 2013

Ranked top alongside the John Hopkins University and Duke University for having outstanding achievements in academia-industry collaboration, the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) has presented the “Distinguished Academic-Industry Collaboration Awards” to two of its professors with excellent achievements in academia-industry collaboration, the university revealed recently.

The two professors with outstanding performances were Dr. Shih-Hsien Chuang from the NCKU Department of Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering and Dr. Ming-Shi Chang from the NCKU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 

Both professors were given the award by NCKU Vice President Hong-Sen Yan, who praised them for becoming the “best of the best”, on behalf of NCKU President Hwung-Hweng Hwung at the ceremony on December 25.

Both Dr. Chih-Hsien Chuang and Dr. Ming-Shi Chuang have demonstrated outstanding academia-industry collaboration achievements for the 99, 101 and 101 Academic Years. Each of them was given a medal and research incentives worth NTD50,000.

According to statistics at the NCKU Office of Research and Development (ORD), the total management fees for Dr. Chuang’s and Dr. Chang’s cooperative education programs, signed and managed by NCKU ORD, amounted to NTD11.03 million and NTD1.32 million respectively. 

Moreover, NTD97.41 million worth of technology transfer, which includes royalties and derivative benefits, and 3 patents were recorded for Dr. Chang’s cooperative education programs.

Graduated from the North Carolina State University with a doctoral degree in civil engineering, Dr. Shih-Hsien Chuang carried out research and development on shore-based radar observations of wave and current under the sponsorship of the National Science Council (NSC) since 2007. 

Dr. Chuang’s shore-based radar has been included into the costal ocean monitoring operations of the Water Resources Agency (WRA) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs to effectively capture more complete spatial and temporal changes in Taiwan’s marine meteorological observations, especially hydrological observations along coastal waters which were difficult to obtain using traditional methods.

In addition, Dr. Chuang has also brought in the second generation water level measurement system of the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and improved the system with high precision sonic type level gauge which is applicable for observing Taiwan’s complex and harsh sea conditions. The modified system, which has effectively raised the standards of Taiwan’s water level measurement technology, has also prompted the establishment of calibration systems and norms as well as operations standards. The system, which is currently used for long-term tidal observations under normal operations, has also effectively monitored the influence of the 2011 tsunami in Japan on Taiwan.

Moreover, Dr. Chuang has also assisted the WRA in completing the construction of the web-based “Oceanographic System”. Besides from offering real-time information on Taiwan’s sea meteorology, the system also obtains real-time information, sea conditions and storm tide forecast during typhoon to determine the possibility of overtopping of sea. Supplemented by a web-based real-time video surveillance system, the system can effectively obtain the conditions of coastal waters in real-time mode as well.

NCKU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Professor Dr. Ming-Shi Chang has spent twenty years on researching and developing new medical drugs. His main research is mainly about studies on immune disorders such as autoimmunity, osteoporosis and cancer-related diseases, as well as developing new medical drugs to cure these illnesses. 

Dr. Chang’s other research in the fields of biotechnology and translational medicine have also gained many patents, thus opening a new chapter in academia-industry collaborations.

Currently, Dr. Chang and his research team has transferred their patent on IL-20 monoclonal antibody on the treatment of osteoporosis to Denmark-based biotechnology firm Novo Nordisk in a NTD400 million.

Apart from technology transfer fees, Novo Nordisk has also been convinced by the quality and capability of these research, thus providing an annual research fee of USD1 million to jointly develop new medical drugs focusing particularly on the treatment of osteoporosis.

This record not only has sent out a message to the world saying that Taiwan has the ability to develop new medical drugs, but also to educate Taiwanese about the nation’s capability in this field. Furthermore, it has also increased opportunities for collaborations between foreign pharmaceutical firms and Taiwan.

Other than the social benefits, Dr. Chang has also won numerous well-recognized awards, including the Taipei Biotech Award - Gold Award for Academia-Industry Collaboration.