Stepping up to the platform

NCKU, Fujitsu ink MOU to build genomics platform

Kelsey Kaustinen
TAINAN, Taiwan—National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) ofsouthern Taiwan and Fujitsu Taiwan Ltd. recently announced the signing of amemorandum of understanding (MOU) to build a comprehensive genomics researchplatform. The platform will consist of genomics and bioinformatics research,and the parties seek to jointly promote computational biology, developpersonnel training for bioinformatics and also develop biology analysissoftware.
 
Dr. Hwung-Hweng Hwung, president of NCKU, called thepartnership one based on shared benefits and strong collaborations. Hwung andIkegami Ichirou, the general manager of Fujitsu Taiwan, signed the MOU fortheir respective institutions.
 
"NCKU's research on genomics and the original species ofTaiwan has shown great achievement and its extensive relations withworld-renowned scientific institutes are fruitful in collaborated results,"said Ikegami in a press release, noting that NCKU is home to distinguishedresearchers and represents the first university in Taiwan that Fujitsu haslooked forward to working with.
 
 
Chi-Chuan Hwang, chair professor of NCKU EngineeringScience, said in a press release that the initial focus will be on developingtalents, and then collecting data on original species found in Taiwan andtraining personnel to work with biology data analysis. NCKU brings with itexperience in engineering research while Fujitsu offers its input as a leadingJapanese information and communication technology company. The resultingplatform will explore important genomics research issues, and is expected toincrease NCKU's participation in global genetics research. NCKU and Fujitsuwill share research and development results.
 
 
Both organizations have been active in establishing andfurthering new partnerships. Fujitsu Ireland announced earlier this month thatFujitsu Laboratories Ltd. was beginning a significant investment in a researchprogram with Digital Enterprise Research Institute based in NUI Galway, aprogram that will focus research in networked knowledge. In late June, FujitsuLtd., Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and Nagoya University announced that they hadbegun joint research on the collection and visualization of health information,utilizing a wristwatch-style monitoring device and system developed by FujitsuLaboratories.
 
In mid-May, NCKU announced that one of its research teams,led by Ming-Shi Chang, an NCKU professor in the Department of Biochemistry andMolecular Biology, had discovered an anti-interleukin-20 antibody. The antibodyrepresents a potential new anti-osteoporosis and anti-rheumatoid arthritisdrug, and NCKU agreed to license select intellectual property and transferappropriate technology to Novo Nordisk AS for $13.3 million if the project issuccessfully completed. Prof. Chang and Novo Nordisk also established atwo-year research collaboration that would seek to strengthen, and if possible,expand the potential uses of the anti-interleukin-20 antibody. The discoverywas published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
 
NCKU also held a seminar in May regarding one of itslonger-running industry-academic collaborations with Delta Electronics. Thepartnership has entered its fourth year, and over that span of time, a total of60 collaborative projects have been published. So far in 2012, the NCKU-DeltaElectronic Joint Research Center has a total funding of approximately 20million, and with that has approved 14 research projects.
 
 
The university's latest partnership consists of the signingof three MOUs with AECOM, a U.S.-based technical services company, that focuson environmental protection and city development by way of scientific andtechnical interaction, water research and natural disaster assessment.

Kelsey Kaustinen

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