The UP Office of International Linkages, together with the Institute of Chemistry-Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, co-organized the first UP-Academia Sinica Bilateral Symposium held last 13-15 December 2016.
The purpose of the symposium was to serve as an opportunity for faculty and researchers from both institutions to present their work in order to foster the formation of research collaborations. Delegates from UP included Drs. Leon M. Payawan, Eiza T. Yu-Roberto, Imee S. Martinez, Hiyas A. Junio, Marlon T. Conato, and Ricky B. Nellas from the Institute of Chemistry UP Diliman, and Drs. Windell L. Rivera, Jonas P. Quilang, Jonathan A. Anticamara, and Michael C. Velarde from the Institute of Biology UP Diliman. Dr. Aaron Joseph L. Villaraza, Deputy Director of the UP Office of International Linkages, served as the head of the UP delegation. Dr. Yu-Ju Chen, Director of Academia Sinica’s Institute of Chemistry, facilitated the logistics of the symposium.
The UP delegates arrived in Taipei on 13 December and were met at the airport by members of the Association of Filipino Scholars in Taiwan (AFST), who escorted the delegation to the hotel for lunch with AFST President Dr. Irene Rodriguez. After lunch and check-in, the AFST accompanied the delegation for a cultural tour around Taipei, ending with a dinner hosted by Academia Sinica. On 14 December, the delegates arrived in early in the campus of Academia Sinica for the all-day symposium at the Institute of Chemistry. Speakers from UP and different Institutes of AS were scheduled alternately, with many opportunities for interaction during coffee/tea breaks, lunch and dinner. On 15 December, the UP delegation was broken up in order to visit different core laboratory facilities housed in various the various Institutes of AS, such as the Biodiversity Research Center, the Institute of Chemistry, the Institute of Biological Chemistry, and the Institute of History and Philology. A final lunch was hosted at the Faculty Club, where the UP delegates had the opportunity to interact with several Distinguished Fellows of AS. The UP delegation returned to the Philippines later that day.
Through the organization of such bilateral symposia, the Office of International Linkages seeks to promote research collaborations and to expedite the completion of graduate degrees through the COOPERATE Program. To date, OIL has sponsored over a hundred academic visits and research grantees since the inception of the program in 2014. More information regarding the COOPERATE Program can be obtained from the OIL website.
(Article by Aaron Joseph Villaraza)