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Innovation Center Collaboration Discussion Between the Presidents of NCCU and IFSU and the Scholars of Both Sides

Date : 2019-02-27 Department : -
By Taiwan-Philippines Science and Technology Innovation Center

Since 2015, the Department of Ethnology, NCCU has collaborated with the Department of Anthropology, UCLA to open a field investigation course in the Ifugao region of the Philippines. In 2017, the Department of Ethnology of the University received the support of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies,NCCU and invited scholars from the University of Taiwan, the United States and the Philippines and also indigenous NGOs to hold an international workshop. On the basis of years of exchanges and collaboration with Ifugao scholars and local organizations, NCCU began implementing the Taiwan-Philippines Science and Technology Innovation Center project of MOST at the end of last year (2018), hoping to promote the development of indigenous studies and facilitate the communication between indigenous organizations. On February 19th, Principal of IFSU, Eva Marie Dugyon; the Dean of Student Affairs, Manuel III Malingan; the Chief of International Affairs and Exchange, Richard Baliao; and the Executive Director of GIAHS Center, Eulalie Dulnuan visited visited the university. On the afternoon of that day, the principals of the two universities and the school scholars of both sides discussed the collaboration on the innovation center and inter-school collaboration.

During the meeting, President Kuo of NCCU proposed an “Erasmus Programme” model , hoping to establish a multi-school collaboration master degree program of Indigenous studies. He also hopes to start a summer school of indigenous studies in next summer with IFSU. The president of the IFSU gave a very positive response to the collaboration between the two universities, and promised that the university will be provide the space of the innovation center office. The two universities also decided to set up the office of innovation center in Ifugao University in July this year, and IFSU president invited President Kuo to go to the Philippines to participate in the opening ceremony of the office during this summer.

The scholars of the two universities also discussed the research direction of the innovation center during the conference. The director of GIAHS, Eulalie, shared a project they implemented, which they collaborated with farmers from local communities to record the changes of the local ecosystem. Professor Kuan Da-Wei from the Department of Ethnology, NCCU, responded the idea that maps and aerial maps of different periods in the Ifugao region could help learn more about the environmental changes in the region.
Professor Tang Ching-Ping, the executive director of University Outreach Office, NCCU, introduced his research on water resources in Bali, Indonesia, and introduced the office's Wulai project. Professor Tang shared his observations on the management of natural resources in local communities, especially water resources management, while also sharing ideas about the community empowerment in indigenous communities. Professor Tang, take Wulai region as an example. The region is rich in hot spring resource; however, due to the emergence of foreign corporations, local residents have become hotel employees. The University Outreach Office members view themselves as supporters. With the knowledge and skills of students, they collaborates with the local community and hoping that during the process, the community members can exercise their abilities, resources and ecological knowledge to become employers and restore their dignity.

The Innovation Center is going to hold an International Workshop in NCCU in May this year. The workshop will focus on “cultural ecology”, “environmental management” and “development studies”. The discussions between the two universities will enrich the workshop in May, the both sides are looking forward to the exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines in research and local communities collaboration.
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