Innovation and Startups

Innovation and start-ups

 

Located in between the Tainan and Kaohsiung parks that, together, make up the Southern Taiwan Science Park, NCKU is highly influential in the optoelectronics, wafer foundry, LCD/LED panel and biomedical device industries. NCKU’S outstanding academic achievements help to strengthen the development of the industrial ecosystem, increasing production and output value while expediting societal progress and improving quality of life.

 

NCKU teams impress at largest biotechnology investment conference in North America

At the BIO International Convention – the largest annual industry activities platform of the global biotechnology industry – in June 2019, held in Philadelphia, in the US, four newly created teams from NCKU showcased their latest biotechnology applications. The teams were RiCHE Biotech, MediVisionTech, GEcoll Biomedical and JustWin, and all successfully attracted partners and suppliers from home and abroad.

By using nanoparticle photothermal conversion effect to enhance nucleic acid amplification efficiency, RiCHE Biotech has made the most accurate molecular detection test to be completed within half an hour, which greatly reduces the testing lead time. This could be applied to the fast screening of detecting infectious diseases in long-term care facilities, and the detecting of infectious diseases in agriculture or aquaculture industries.

MediVisionTech has developed a monitoring system for upper gastrointestinal bleeding, which is able to assist medical personnel in more accurate determining and monitoring during the early stage and postoperative stage of acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding. This could lower the burden of medical personnel, improve patient prognosis and reduce medical expenses.

GEcoll Biomedical uses genetic engineering technology to develop biological materials that are best suited for human use. Focusing on regenerative medicine, it uses humanised biomaterials to develop medical devices. This could be applied to cancer drug screening, medical cosmetology and biological 3D printing.

JustWin Biotech has successfully discovered a key protein that causes abnormal inflammation in the body, and has developed a new target drug to treat various inflammatory diseases, such as cancer, fibrosis, degenerative and autoimmune diseases. Its future aim is to create a broad-spectrum drug that can treat a variety of diseases.

RiCHE Biotech and MediVisionTech were widely discussed by international angel investors and venture capitalists at the BIO convention, showing Taiwan’s strength and competitiveness in the biotechnology medical field internationally.

NCKU shows fruitful achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship,

helping students to realise their dreams

 

NCKU’s Dreams Come True event, held in November 2018, showcased the latest achievements of 30 innovative teams. The innovations on show were diverse and unique, including the development of eco-friendly tableware, the development of supplies using air creation, and high-quality headphones with tuning effects. Around 12 of the teams focused on the medical device field, improving or developing systems based on patients or their families’ needs. The students thanked the university for its strong support. Ying-Xin You, of NCKU’s Institute of Telecommunication Management, said: “The school provides good environment and resource, and is the best platform for helping students achieve their dreams.” She and her classmates developed “rice cutlery”. They used over-produced rice and flour to create an eco-friendly spoon, which has up to 100˚C of heat resistance, in the hopes of reducing the pollution caused by disposable tableware. Ying-Xin You said that when she was studying at university elsewhere, she had thought of making rice cutlery but had no resources to do so. Not until she came to NCKU did she actually have the opportunity build the rice cutlery. She plans to keep optimising the manufacturing process in the future, and enhance the heat-resistance degree and its durability. There are already manufacturers actively wanting to cooperate on this project.

Cheng-Long Yu, the architect of the Air-Structure Lab, said he wanted people to “notice the presence of air”, which is why he studied its structure. By using folding, pumping and inflating techniques, he transformed flat objects into a three-dimensional state. This could be applied to various objects in everyday lives, or even be expanded on a larger scale, for making furniture or tents. He said that NCKU had not only provided students with support in terms of funding but also with opportunities for designers to contact and connect with industries and users, making their dreams come true.

The Heartcraft team, composed of students from NCKU’s civil, physical and mechanical engineering departments, has designed high-quality headphones that are comparable to those by leading manufacturers. They built the speakers themselves, said student Run-Hao Chen, but he said that NCKU assisted in finding factories and manufacturers, and also provided information about competitions. More importantly, the university held exhibitions to expose the products, which attracted investors’ attention. He is confident that in a few months, the product could be mass-produced and sold.

Menopause care, a team that develops new treatments to help women who experiences hot flashes, is composed of students from the Department of Biotechnology and Bioindustry Sciences. More than 50 per cent of menopausal women in Taiwan have experienced moderate or severe hot flashes. However, the most common treatment of hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a better testing or diagnostic method. Yi-Jia Lian, of the Department of Biotechnology and Bioindustry Sciences, pointed out that the team discovered that the cause of hot flashes may be related to genetic variation. So far, 36 candidate genes relating to hot flashes have been identified. In the future, further testing and verification will be conducted to develop prevention and diagnostic platforms as well as new treatment methods.

The off-bed alarm system was designed by students from the industrial design and electrical engineering departments for improving patient safety. Current products on the market mainly rely on pressure sensing. However, if the patient is too light or only turns over without leaving the bed, the alarm may be set off. The newly developed system combines ultrasonic and infrared sensors, and is therefore able to detect movement more accurately, and also is cost-effective. It has been entered into the clinical testing stage.

The 118 Brewing Team consists of Professor Shuo-Yen Tseng, of the Department of Photonics, and doctoral student Qian-Li Ma, of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. During their spare time outside university, they handmade natural bubbly drinks with ginger, and then provided tasting opportunities on campus. In future, through connecting with raw material suppliers and production partners, their creation could strengthen the links between universities and local small farmers and businesses, enhancing the university’s role as a centre of knowledge for the community.

Huey-Jen Su, president of NCKU, praised the students’ creativity and professional input. “The most important thing for the university is innovation,” she said. “Making a change has been an important task for NCKU for more than 80 years. We look forward to seeing more energy and possibilities.” Wen-Hsi Lee, director of NCKU’s Research and Services Headquarters, pointed out that, in the past, many entrepreneurial teams had good techniques but, unfortunately, lacked background and funding. Now, NCKU was providing a complete one-stop service, with intellectual property layout, technology transfer and new creation cultivation to help students to build their dreams.