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The Importance of Higher Education in Driving a National Innovation System

Date and time: Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 3 to 5 pm Taipei Standard Time (UTC+8)

Register here [1].

Establishing stronger avenues for collaboration and exchange between Taiwan and Israel’s higher education and research institutions.

The Importance of Higher Education in Driving a National Innovation Ecosystem: An Exchange with Professor Ron Robin, chairperson of VERA (Association of University Heads, Israel), president of University of Haifa

With special guests Digital Minister of the Executive Yuan Audrey Tang and National Taiwan University President Dr. Kuan Chung-ming

Format: Crowdcast live stream (link will be provided after registration)

Organizer: 台灣全球連結發展協會 籌備處 Crossroads

Co-organizers: Wordcorp, Anemone Ventures, Techstars, and Taiwan Tech Arena

With special remarks from Representative Mr. Omer Caspi of Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO), and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)

In our mission to establish clear avenues of collaboration and exchange between Taiwan and the international community, Crossroads, in cooperation with Wordcorp, Anemone Ventures, Techstars, and Taiwan Tech Arena, is honored to host Professor Ron Robin, the chairperson of VERA (Association of University Heads, Israel) and president of the University of Haifa, along with Digital Minister Audrey Tang and National Taiwan University president Dr. Kuan Chung-Ming in an online-offline discussion on “The Importance of Higher Education in Driving a National Innovation Ecosystem.”

Professor Robin will share methods and experiences on how Israel’s higher education system cultivates and prepares innovative minds to tackle local and global problems through entrepreneurship. This event will also mark the first step towards establishing a direct channel for new opportunities in talent exchange, R&D collaboration, and investment with Israel’s higher education and research institutions.

As part of Crossroads’ core initiative to elevate information accessibility through the development of seamless and cost-effective techniques for bilingual programs, the event will be offered on two language feeds (English-only and Chinese-only) on Crowdcast.

We are excited to be spearheading fresh opportunities between Taiwan and Israel. Please show your support and join our conversation on June 30 from 15:00 to 17:00 (Taiwan time). Let’s work together in creating a more diverse and connected future for Taiwan. Thank you.

| About Professor Ron Robin |

Professor Ron Robin is a distinguished scholar whose research focuses on the interface between culture and foreign policy in the United States. He is a senior faculty member at the University of Haifa, as well as a Professor Emeritus at New York University (NYU). Currently, Robin serves as the 11th president of the University of Haifa as well as chairperson of VERA (Association of University Heads, Israel).

In 1978, he was awarded a BA in Romance Languages and General History from the Hebrew University Jerusalem. In 1986 he was granted a Ph.D. in modern US History from the University of California, Berkeley. His thesis was entitled: “Signs of Change: urban iconographies in San Francisco, 1880-1915.” In 1986, Robin returned to Israel and was admitted as a faculty member at the University of Haifa. Robin served as a professor in the Department of General History and the Department of Communication; In 2000 he was appointed Dean of Students, a position he held for five years.

In 2006, Robin moved to NYU, where he was appointed as professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communications and in 2007 was appointed Associate Dean at the NYU Steinhardt School. In 2008, Robin was appointed Senior Vice Provost, NYU, and was responsible for the establishment of the two NYU international campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Robin’s main role was to recruit faculty members for the new campuses.

In 2016, Robin was elected as the 11th president of the University of Haifa and in October 2016, he assumed this role. Upon taking office, Robin conceived the program of transforming the University of Haifa into the first Multiversity in Israel- a university with multiple campuses and research Portals.


| About VERA (Association of University Heads, Israel) |

VERA – Association of University Heads, Israel, is a voluntary body founded by the heads of Israel’s research universities. Members are the presidents, rectors and director-generals of each of Israel’s universities. The objective of the association is to promote and to improve the management of aspects of common interest to all the universities and to present their common interest in the most efficient manner to the decision making bodies in higher education. All this in order to promote, improve and develop scientific research and standards of academic teaching for the good of the country and its citizens.

Website: https://vera.org.il/


| About University of Haifa |

Over 18,000 students from a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds are enrolled at the University of Haifa, the largest comprehensive research university in northern Israel, and the most pluralistic institution of higher education in the country. Founded in 1963, the University of Haifa received full academic accreditation in 1972 and, since then, has created and developed a world-class academic institution that is dedicated to academic and research excellence. Through an accelerated growth strategy, the University has established Israel’s first “Multiversity” – a multi-campus institution that promotes extensive interdisciplinary studies and partnerships.

As a thriving academic center, the University comprises six faculties, 56 departments, eight schools and 69 research centers and institutes. The University has gained an international reputation in a variety of fields, including public health, security studies, holocaust research, cancer research, neurosciences, bioinformatics, marine sciences, education and epigenetics. The university also offers 18 international graduate programs taught in English language and a study abroad program.

Official websites:

https://www.haifa.ac.il/index.php/en/ [2]

https://uhaifa.org/ [3] (University of Haifa International School website)


| About Digital Minister Audrey Tang |

A civic hacker and Taiwan’s Digital Minister in charge of Social Innovation, Audrey is known for revitalizing the computer languages Perl and Haskell, as well as building the online spreadsheet system EtherCalc in collaboration with Dan Bricklin. In the public sector, Audrey served on Taiwan national development council’s open data committee and K-12 curriculum committee; and led the country’s first e-Rulemaking project. In the private sector, Audrey worked as a consultant with Apple on computational linguistics, with Oxford University Press on crowd lexicography, and with Socialtext on social interaction design. In the voluntary sector, Audrey contributed to Taiwan’s g0v (“gov-zero”), a vibrant community focusing on creating tools for the civil society, with the call to “fork the government.”


| About Dr. Kuan Chung-ming |

Dr. Chung-Ming Kuan became president of National Taiwan University in 2019. Prior to this role, he held faculty positions at the University of Illinois and subsequently at NTU’s Department of Finance and Department of Economics. He also served as a distinguished research fellow as well as the director of the Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica. Dr. Kuan also served as a minister without portfolio of the Executive Yuan, minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, and minister of the National Development Council. As minister of the National Development Council, Dr. Kuan launched the “HeadStart Taiwan Program” in 2014 to build a suitable ecosystem for the development of startups in Taiwan. Now, as president of NTU, he has actively led efforts to advance NTU’s international competitiveness while enhancing students’ global perspectives. With the experimental teaching site “D-School,” Dr. Kuan has been working with students, faculty, and staff to develop a new course of study outside of the traditional education framework. By introducing innovative courses and encouraging discussion on what a “future university” should look like, Dr. Kuan aims to inject new energy into Taiwan ‘s higher education system.


| About Crossroads 台灣全球連結發展協會 籌備處 |

Currently in its preparatory stage with approval from the government, Crossroads is a national-level nonprofit organization (NPO) committed to serving as a portal between the local Taiwanese and international communities and facilitating an exchange of talent and resources that promotes the digital, academic, and industrial transformation of Taiwan.

Prior to its transition into an NPO, Crossroads has already been working with influential and resourceful partners to achieve a shared vision for a more globally oriented and accessible Taiwan. By bringing together local and foreign communities in Taiwan and incentivizing opportunities for collaboration, we plan to provide the following services:

  1. Recurring bilingual (mainly Chinese and English) programs tailored for local Taiwanese on shaping global mindset in the digital era led by foreigners, Taiwanese diaspora, and international organizations with valuable experiences, connections, and skills
  2. A well-connected hub for the local Taiwanese community to reach global markets, enroll in overseas schools, find international collaborators, share knowledge and developments, and learn about or access other opportunities
  3. Dedicated help desk for foreigners in Taiwan to help navigate official processes and find services
  4. Development of effective techniques to hold bilingual programs/events, and promote greater information accessibility throughout Taiwan

Facebook fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/CrossroadsTaiwan/ [5]


| About Wordcorp |

Founded in 2010, Wordcorp is an American-operated professional translation service and language consultancy based in Taiwan committed to closing the communication gap between East and West for clients from across all industries, such as finance, art and culture, technology, medical, and hospitality. We are dedicated to elevating the overall quality of translation by selecting only qualified native-writer level professionals for over 36 languages, including Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Wordcorp offers services in document translation and proofreading, copywriting, video transcription and caption, and multilingual customer engagement. For inquiries about any of our services, please contact us at service@wordcorp.net [6], or visit our online platform at wordcorp.net.

Website: https://www.wordcorp.net/en/ [7]


| About Anemone Ventures |

Anemone Ventures is a business development management-consulting firm supporting technological growth stage corporations expand internationally and build strategic partnerships.

Since its establishment in 2009, Anemone Ventures reach has brought forward partnerships, sales growth and strategic alliances.

With in-depth industry knowledge and broad capabilities, Anemone Ventures’ mainly specializes in market entry and business development, enabling corporations to broaden their activities beyond their existing markets in an effective manner.

Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, Anemone Ventures serves as a business hub on the ground for its clients.

Its extensive network with local corporations and organizations along with its market knowledge serves its clients as a platform to build strategic alliances and access business opportunities.

Industries focus and expertise

Anemone Ventures’ clients include corporations with a competitive cutting-edge technology representing a wide range of sectors including; Semiconductors, Industrial Automation, Life Science & Biotech, Renewable Energies, AI, Fintech, Cyber Security, Watertech & Agritech, and others.

Solid expertise and proven success

Website: https://www.anemoneventures.com/ [8]


| About TechStars |

TechStars is the world’s largest platform for entrepreneurial innovation and investment with major elements that include:

Founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado, the company has invested in over 2000 companies through its programs with a combined market capitalization of $28B USD. Less than 1% of applicants are accepted into it’s accelerator programs. Successful portfolio companies include Uber, SendGrid, Twilio, ClassPass, Sphero, Digital Ocean, and many more.

In Taiwan, a new program called Techstars Startup Ecosystem Development helps empower the community to grow and sustain a vibrant startup economy. This is done by combining all of the major program elements (including community programs, workshops, assisting with accelerator methodologies, and more) and directing their deployment via professional ecosystem assessments to create an effective “full-stack” approach to building out the entire startup ecosystem.


| ZA Share – The Largest Platform for Alternative Education in Taiwan |

ZA Share is committed to gathering and empowering various forms of social innovation and promoting transformation to support lifelong learning. Over the past six years, ZA Share has assisted more than 1,400 startups in addition to cultural and educational workers both inside and outside of public systems to achieve their goals. Accumulating more than 200,000 paying members and 100 million online contributors, we are continuously creating maximum social impact by drawing on the innovative energy of the public to accelerate the occurrence of positive change.

By providing a platform for new media and organizing large-scale exhibitions, ZA Share creates a multi-dimensional ecosystem for innovation in education that keeps pace with the rapid advancements of the future, as well as incubates promising individuals and organizations for connection with the market and greater public. Through the exposure and lens of digital democracy, information determined to have value is integrated with fun forms of new media to be effectively communicated to the public and linked to interdisciplinary resources in industry, government, and academia as well as the value chain of the market. Offline, ZA Share organizes the largest expo in Asia on innovation in education every year. In addition to the expo itself, international forums, lectures, workshops, arts and cultural activities, business matchmaking, and “demo days” are also included as part of the overall program. On one end, it provides assistance to innovative workers, industries, and nonprofit organizations, as well as helps meet the growing demand for lifelong learning amongst the general public. On another end, the expo connects even more global sources of innovation directly to Taiwan, in turn enabling the soft power of Taiwan’s innovation in education to impact the world and serve as a standard in alternative education for other countries.