Introduction

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has selected National Central University (NCU) as one of seven research universities inTaiwan. In recent years, NCU has shown rapid growth, dedicated its efforts to maintaining a scholarly atmosphere, and significantly improved the quality of its teaching and research. Since 2006, we have been granted subsidies from the Plan for Developing Top Universities, and in that time have continuously increased our competitiveness. With prudent support from this funding, our faculty, students, and administrative staff have developed even more distinguishing features, developing ground breaking school operations, top-level research, and teaching in this short time. In 2005, the MOE commissioned the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association (TAEA) to conduct an evaluation of universities inTaiwan. The report indicated that NCU has several robust fields, including earth sciences, remote sensing technology, astronomy, hydrology, and hazard mitigation and prevention. This has further strengthened our determination to reinforce basic and applied research, and our hopes of becoming a model of sustainable campus development. In the natural and applied sciences, we selected our most prominent research fields and integrated them into five key fields: Earth System Sciences and Environmental Technology, Space Science Technology and Astronomy, Plasma Technology and Complex Systems, Optics and Optoelectronics, and Humanities and Digital Technology. The university is concentrating on human and material resources in top-level research in these fields. As a result, during the last five years, our academic accomplishments have grown substantially. In the humanities, arts, and social sciences, we have integrated distinguishing features of the performing arts, memory research, knowledge management, and learning technology, and developed new academic fields that reflect both theory and practical applications; new academic strengths have emerged under our strenuous planning and operations. In Excellence in Teaching, we have designed general education core courses with a focus on teaching in the freshmen year. When collaborating with the University System of Taiwan and industrial, governmental, and academic sectors in the Taoyuan area, we have demonstrated active planning, great passion, and strong ambition. Observing the top universities in the world has motivated us to further transform and upgrade our general education program, already rated as “Excellent.” We believe the efforts of our faculty and students will enable us to cultivate well-rounded young leaders with expertise for the country. We are encouraged that in the five-year Plan for Developing Top Universities, our overall development already shows signs of NCU becoming one of the top universities in the world.

Our plan is to secure status as a research university and academic excellence, cultivate excellent talent, and contribute to domestic industrial development. On this basis and in response to “The Aim for the Top University Project,” from the MOE, we have concentrated our research resources in the following four key fields for conducting top-level research. Environment and Energy focuses on global environmental protection and sustainable development to deepen our existing understanding of earth changes, generate new knowledge, and protect our local environment and the world at large. In Complex Systems and Plasma Sciences, plasma, soft matter, biophysics, and computational physics integrate to promote interdisciplinary studies, and build a foundation for innovative teaching and research in mathematics, biotechnology, and engineering. Optics and Optoelectronics cultivate experts for the booming optoelectronics industry, and assist NCU to become a model of industry-academia cooperation. Applied Informatics: Learning, Enterprise, and Life develop humanized digital technologies to improve the quality of learning and to enhance the humanist dimensions of digital life. This field creates a new synergy in the 21st century between classical humanities and business management. Funding from the “The Aim for the Top University Project” is key to our innovations and breakthroughs. Therefore, the university has prudently used these resources and learning from other top universities in Taiwan and around the world. We have carefully refined our final proposal according to the initial review comments and suggestions. We will continue to reflect, review, and strive for outstanding results. As the nation and society expects, the university will cultivate elites equipped with science and cultural disciplines, as well as innovation and leadership. Measures to encourage research results: To encourage researchers to attach importance to patent application and technology licensing of their research results, we have established and implemented our Regulations on Incentives for Patent Acquisition and Technology Transfer, which gives incentives to outstanding researchers for technology transfers and intellectual property output, and further motivates them to conduct research. Our Regulations on Teacher Promotions list technology transfer and patent acquisition performance as one category of performance indicators for promotion.