News / Press Release

Science and Technology Diplomacy, Synchrotron Accelerator
Taiwan's New Southbound Policy - Synchrotron Accelerator Technology as a Platform for Taiwan's Science and Technology Diplomacy

The chairman of Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI) Board of Directors of Thailand together with a team of board members visited National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) in Taiwan to discuss collaborative partnerships for the construction project of Thailand’s new generation of synchrotron light source. The NSRRC expressed high expectation that its engineering technology and research capabilities will become an important platform for science and technology exchange between Thailand and Taiwan. The platform can further provide countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Taiwan effective technology exchange and industrial collaborations that are mutually beneficial.

SLRI’s “Siam Photon Source, (SPS)” provides the light source and experimental facilities for users in Thailand and ASEAN to conduct scientific research. In recent years, the number of SPS users has increased to a point that SLRI is unable to meet users’ demands of experimental facilities. The Thai government has approved the construction project of a second light source and expects to invest $4.95 billion Thai baht (approximately NTD $4.87 billion) in this project. 

This is the first time the members of the SLRI Board of Directors to visit Taiwan. During the visit, the honorable guests from Thailand not only thanked the NSRRC for providing technology know-how, staff support, and equipment over the past decade to SLRI in constructing and operating SPS, but also toured Taiwan’s two accelerators, beamlines, and experimental end stations in searching for technology partnerships for their second synchrotron light source project. Their goal is to strengthen the partnership and the scale of collaboration between two institutes so that the relationship will leap forward in the coming years.

Taiwan’s synchrotron technology has reached a mature stage owing to the steady operations of its two synchrotron light sources: “Taiwan Light Source” (TLS) and “Taiwan Photon Source” (TPS). Both are large-scale advanced experimental facilities with high-standard specifications, that are designed, constructed and assembled domestically. The former was completed in 1993 and the Asia’s first 3rd generation synchrotron light source while the latter, accomplished in 2015, is currently one of three brightest light sources in the globe. The NSRRC experimental facilities attract users worldwide to Taiwan to conduct advanced scientific experiments and, at the same time, to gain knowledge in synchrotron accelerator technology.

The technological standards and requirements of synchrotron accelerator engineering are extremely high. For many years, the NSRRC has provided SLRI with technical consulting and personnel training in the fields of superconducting magnets, radiation safety and protection, and ultra-high vacuum systems, as well as manufacturing key components for SPS through contracts. Both parties also work closely in academic research, especially in the fields of biomedical and energy materials, with exceptional results. Additionally, the NSRRC also shared with SLRI the potential applications of synchrotron-based researches in promoting industrial applications and helping local manufacturers to use SPS in their product development and optimizing manufacturing processes in Thailand.

Currently, Taiwan government is aggressively promoting a “New Southbound Policy” by partnering with countries of ASEAN and South Asia, Australia and New Zealand in sharing the resources, labor, and markets for a close bond with Taiwan. In response to the New Southbound Policy, the NSRRC has introduced many excellent Taiwanese companies in the synchrotron accelerator construction projects to SLRI, further resulting in the setup of Taiwanese companies in Thailand and closer industrial cooperation and trade activities between both countries.

The successful experiences of TLS and TPS have connected Taiwan to the global ecosystem of technology and set the stage for opening up international markets to synchrotron-related techniques. The collaboration and exchange between Taiwan and Thailand in the synchrotron-based research and accelerator technology is a perfect example of a win-win scenario for both countries.