What you need to know
The space industry in Taiwan is experiencing robust growth, and the Space Program initiated by the Industrial Development Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs is playing an active role in bolstering the human resource capacity. This comprehensive program encompasses various learning opportunities, including space study tours, international workshops, and industrial R&D problem-solvin
The space industry in Taiwan is experiencing significant growth, and President Tsai Ing-wen recently announced a target valuation of NT$300 billion by 2025. However, achieving this goal necessitates not only sufficient capital funding but also overcoming technological and human resource challenges. The Industrial Development Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs has been proactively fostering talent development since the inception of "The Plan for Space Industry Supply Chain Development" (hereinafter referred to as the Space Program). A recent presentation showcasing accomplishments attracted many enterprises and students associated with the space industry chain. This event provided an opportunity to witness the achievements of talent cultivation in Taiwan's space industry.
Visits to JPL and UCLA, i.e. U.S. Important Space Bases, for Overseas Study to Promote students' international Perspectives
The Space Program focuses on talent cultivation in Taiwan, and organizes a series of learning events according to the needs of different entities, such as mid to high-level executives, in-service R&Ds, and young students, to improve their skills. For mid to high-level executives, it is to assist them in grasping the domestic and international industrial supply chain and business opportunities; for in-service R&Ds, it is to promote the R&D capacity of staff by organizing workshops on low earth orbit satellite technology; for soon-to-graduate young students, the emphasis lies in fostering their expertise, practical skills, gaining valuable experience and international perspectives.
Considering that manpower is recently in great shortage all over the world, training young students and supplementing new workforce to industries are the most practical actions to solve the problem of manpower shortage. The Space Program arranges learning events in four stages: basic knowledge, practical design, project-based internship, and international exchange, such as promoting the basic knowledge of satellite ground equipment through preliminary courses, organizing technical workshops to promoting the expertise of system integration design and operational capabilities, integrating industrial resources to solve R&D problems and accumulate practical experience, and expanding international industry-academia-research networks by overseas study tour to enhance international perspectives and capabilities, which are all very beneficial to the participating students.
These talent cultivation models are strategically designed to prepare students for the workforce upon their graduation, aligning with the core objectives of the Space Program.
Taking overseas study tour as an example, a total of 10 elites who have participated in the R&D problem-solving in space industry and have been employed by the enterprises were selected to visit a number of important organizations in the space industry in Los Angeles of USA, such as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which has conducted many space missions, the UCLA Space Institute, which is a leader in space science research, and many space-related hardware and software companies and laboratories, providing participating students plenty of experience and opportunities not found in the classroom. During the UCLA visit, in addition to arranging a tour of the Large Plasma Device (LAPD), which is rarely shown to the outside world, these elites can also exchange ideas with the student team that has led the ELFIN satellite mission, exchanging valuable experience in research and study. A workshop will be expected to be organized after the JPL visit in hope that through the JPL engineers' analysis of industry trends and share of career experience and execution of tasks, students can have deeper interaction with international industry and have a clearer idea of how to plan for their future career development.
About 500 people benefit from the program, which will continue to expand the capacity of space talents in Taiwan.
After nearly a year of efforts, a total of about 500 corporate executives, in-service employees and students have benefited from Space Program learning events, including 39 industry leaders, 100 in-service R&Ds, and more than 300 students who have participated in preliminary courses/practical workshops/industry R&D problem-solving/overseas study tour. In addition, 14 enterprises have benefited from the R&D problem-solving programs to accelerate their product developments.
Kuan-Bo Chiu, a master's student at the Institute of Space Engineering and Science, National Central University, shared his experience at the achievement presentation of the Space Program and stated that in the past, there were fewer internship opportunities and choices, and only about 30% of the students went to external internships in the summer, and most of them went to Taiwan Space Agency. However, the Space Program integrated the resources of the industry and provided more opportunities and diversified choices, which helped him enhance his practical skills and gain hands-on experience, understanding the needs of the industry, and thinking about how to apply his knowledge to satisfy the needs.
In addition, the six enterprises also shared their results of R&D problem-solving at the achievement presentation and unanimously affirmed the effectiveness of the program. The introduction of outstanding students to study within the enterprise through the R&D problem-solving program does not only reduce the time and cost of R&D, but also attracts top talents, mitigating competition with technology or electronics manufacturers for human resources.
It is anticipated that the mutual benefits for both talents and enterprises will foster a positive developmental cycle for Taiwan's space industry, propelling its continued growth. Building upon this year's accomplishments, the Space Program will persist in implementing talent cultivation development programs in the future. We welcome industry professionals and students who are interested in the space sector to visit the official website of "The Plan for Space Industry Supply Chain Development" for real-time updates and news.