News / Press Release

National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center of Taiwan, RIKEN and JASRI of Japan Enter a MOU for Joint Research on Advanced Materials and Life Science

The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) signed a MOU with the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) and the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) on June 12th, with Director Gwo-Huei Luo of NSRRC, President Yoshiyuki Amemiya of JASRI, and Director Haruhiko Maekawa from the Harima Branch of RIKEN as the three representatives. The MOU will expand on the research field and scale between Taiwan and Japan, and symbolizes the long-term support both parties provide on the research of advanced science.

The NSRRC has begun actively negotiating and collaborating with JASRI back in 2000 for the purpose of expanding on the academic research field in the application of light sources. At the time, the National Science Council (now the Ministry of Science and Technology) invested TWD$350 million and constructed two beamlines at the SPring-8 synchrotron radiation facility in Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, as well as signed the first MOU with Japan. SPring-8 was the largest artificial light source in the world at the time.

This specific collaboration project was the biggest scientific research project between Taiwan and Japan. NSRRC was approved to design and construct beamlines on the latest accelerator of Japan, which proves that Taiwan’s synchrotron radiation technology has arrived at world class level, and also opens a new milestone for the scientific exchange between Taiwan and Japan.

The first synchrotron accelerator facility, Taiwan Light Source (TLS) in Hsinchu, commissioned in 1993 is categorized as a low to medium energy light source; the second synchrotron accelerator facility, Taiwan Photon Source (TPS), commissioned in 2016 is categorized as a medium energy light source, whereas both are suitable for researches using infrared, vacuum ultraviolet, and soft X-ray. SPring-8 facility, on the other hand, which was commissioned in 1997 is categorized as a high energy light source and is suitable for the research that requires the use of hard X-ray. These three light source facilities are complementary each other perfectly and serve researchers in Asia with a complete broad spectrum of photon energy that is mandatory for advanced science in the 21th century.

As of today, Taiwan is the only country that has ever constructed exclusive beamlines at SPring-8. Following the second MOU signed in 2010, Taiwan and Japan now completed the third term of the MOU in June 2020. The continual collaboration highlights the profound friendship and understanding between the two countries in technology collaboration.

Through the course of the past two decades, researchers in Taiwan and Japan have co-published more than 550 papers in SCI international journals using these two Taiwanese beamlines in SPring-8 in the fields of advanced materials and life science. In additional to the scientists of NSRRC who frequently use these two beamlines, scholars and students from Taiwanese universities and research institutes, who account for more than 200 user-visits on the experimental activities, travel to SPring-8 each year to conduct experiments.

Both countries will continue to expand and enhance the scale of collaboration, and develop more innovative and applicable scientific research in semiconductor materials, green energy materials, viruses, and drug development, as well as co-develop the “High Energy Coherent X-ray Advanced Experiment Technology”. The SPring-8 is expected to implement an upgrade in 2026, and will become the brightest high energy source in the world afterwards. Taiwanese research scholars will be able to conduct experiments through all scientific energy integrated by the Taiwan Light Source, Taiwan Photon Source, and the Taiwanese beamlines from the SPring-8. We look forward to seeing more marvellous research achievement co-created by Taiwan and Japan.