On June 18 NTHU and Zhen Ding Technology announced the establishment of a joint research center, with Zhen Ding investing NT$50 million over the next five years for research in such areas as printed circuit boards (PCB), advanced manufacturing processes, and advanced materials.
The center will be named the Tsinghua-Zhen Ding Research Center. Included in the plan is the renovation of a space in the old R&D building and turning it into the Zhen Ding Lecture Hall, which will serve as the classroom for the school’s recently established Master’s Program in Intelligent Manufacturing and High-level Management for Working Adults, featuring a number of courses taught by high-level managers at Zhen Ding.
At the signing ceremony, NTHU president Hocheng Hong said that the University has a long history of cooperation with industry, and has already established joint research centers with TSMC, MediaTek, and Delta Electronics. Undoubtedly, the teaming up with Zhen Ding - the world's leading PCB company will be yet another win-win situation.
President Hocheng pointed out that in cooperation between academia and industry, the benefits go in both directions. He said that when he went to Germany to study many years ago, industry-university cooperation was practically unknown in Taiwan, but his first-hand experience in Germany convinced him that it brings huge benefits to both parties. In particular, enterprises enjoy reduced risks and higher profits, and university students gain access to lots of valuable internship opportunities.
Zhen Ding chairman Charles Shen said that Tsinghua’s research capabilities are among the best in Taiwan, and that many of his employees are Tsinghua graduates. Thus he is confident that long-term cooperation with Tsinghua will be a major boon for research and innovation in the PCB industry.
Shen said that Zhen Ding has rapidly expanded since being established in 2005, and today is a world-class enterprise with six large factories and 38,000 employees, adding that it has been ranked as the world’s top manufacturer of circuit boards for three years in a row, beginning in 2017.
Chairman Shen further indicated that the circuit board industry requires specialists in a range of fields, including electrical engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, materials science, and management, all of which are areas in which Tsinghua has strong programs. He also pointed out that the development of new materials is an important part of the development of the PCB industry, and that this is an area in which NTHU is particularly strong.
Also attending the signing ceremony was former Executive Yuan president Mao Chi-kuo, who predicts that the cooperation between Zhen Ding and Tsinghua will soon set the pace for industry-university cooperation.
Mao further explained that Zhen Ding is far ahead of its nearest competitor, and is now actively seeking new opportunities for growth. Moreover, the circuit board industry is presently being presented with a new wave of growth opportunities in such areas as 5G, artificial intelligence, and electric vehicles. Thus, linking up with Tsinghua’s strong R&D capabilities will enhance Zhen Ding’s ability to make vital upgrades in terms of materials and smart manufacturing.
Now entering its second year, NTHU’s Master’s Program in Intelligent Manufacturing and High-level Management for Working Adults features classes taught by experienced professionals in conjunction with NTHU faculty from such departments as Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Power Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. The curriculum focuses on such areas as AI, big data analysis, deep learning, decision optimization, and the internet of things.
Zhen Ding chairman Charles Shen (left) and NTHU president Hocheng Hong displaying the signed agreement.
At the signing ceremony (left to right): Zhen Ding director of human resources Yang Weichen, Charles Shen, Hocheng Hong, and NTHU senior vice president Tai Nyan-hwa.
President Hocheng said that NTHU and Zhen Ding Technology is a winning combination.
Chairman Shen is looking forward to cooperating with NTHU long into the future.
Former Executive Yuan president Mao Chi-kuo predicts that the cooperation between Zhen Ding and Tsinghua will soon set the pace for industry-university cooperation.