Digital Innovation and Sustainable Healthcare: Vice President Lai Commends NCKU’s Shalun Hospital
Written by Hsu Tsu-Yueh. Image credit to NCKU News Center.
National Cheng Kung University held the foundation ceremony for NCKU Shalun Hospital in Guiren District, Tainan on November 23. The ceremony was attended by Vice President Lai Ching-te, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Men-yen, Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che, NCKU President Meng-Ru Shen, the executive team of NCKU Health Service and Digital Innovation Promotion Office, and NCKU Hospital Superintendent Jing-Wei Lee. The ceremony gathered distinguished guests to witness this significant moment, officially marking the beginning of the first park that integrates healthcare services with digital innovation development in Taiwan.
Foundation ceremony for NCKU Shalun Hospital held on November 23, pledging for digital innovation and sustainable healthcare in a smart future city
Vice President Lai Ching-te represented President Tsai Ing-wen in expressing gratitude for the unity of various sectors including the central and local government, academia, and the medical industry for successfully overcoming various challenges to establish the NCKU Shalun Hospital. He highly praised the efforts of successive NCKU presidents, NCKU Hospital Superintendents, and the local government to accomplish the mission, as well as the collaborative spirit of legislative representatives who coordinated a lot of assistance. He expressed great expectations for the prospects of the NCKU Shalun Hospital and the positive influences it will bring to the region. Vice President Lai stated that the NCKU Shalun Hospital not only plans to establish a pediatric and adolescent medical center for southern Taiwan but also aims to enhance regional medical services to meet the needs of the residents. It will contribute to the future healthcare resilience of the city with its ability to take in large amounts of patients. In the “Shalun Future City”, the NCKU Shalun Hospital is positioned as a medical technology hub of smart healthcare, precision medicine, and regenerative medicine laboratory. Through advanced healthcare services, Taiwan aligns with international standards. The NCKU Shalun Hospital plays a leading role in the processes of digital transformation and achieving net-zero emissions. It is believed that in the future, the NCKU Shalun Hospital will pave a distinctly different path, continually advancing towards a smart, sustainable, and new Taiwan.
Vice President Lai Ching-te attended the foundation ceremony for NCKU Shalun Hospital, witnessing the significant moment with distinguished guests
NCKU President Meng-Ru Shen expressed gratitude as he looked back on the incentives for establishing the NCKU Shalun Hospital. He recalled key moments along the journey, particularly remembering July 9 of 2020, when he personally presented to Vice President Lai about the two crucial elements of the park: “digital governance” and “sustainable healthcare”. At that time, Vice President Lai encouraged the initiative, saying, “With good intentions and kind words, good results may arise afterwards.” The encouragement became a significant driving force for the continued progress of the park. President Shen also emphasized that the establishment of the NCKU Shalun Hospital is a milestone achieved through the collaborative efforts between the Tainan City Government, legislators, and various sectors. “The establishment of NCKU Shalun Hospital is a starting point and an origin,” President Shen stated, “NCKU proudly considers itself an essential engine for the development of Tainan City. In the future, it will focus on digital governance and sustainable healthcare, connecting regional industries and promoting their development in aspects of food, clothing, housing, and transportation. NCKU will continue its efforts to be a top-tier university that consistently makes the nation proud.”
Vice President Lai Ching-te, representing President Tsai Ing-wen, expressed gratitude for the unity of various sectors for successfully overcoming challenges to establish the NCKU Shalun Hospital
Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Men-yen stated that the vitality of the Shalun THSR area is now vastly different from the past. Vice President Lai, when he served as the Mayor of Tainan, foresaw the potential and development prospects of the THSR area and proposed the plan for the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City (SSGESC) to the Executive Yuan. In the following years leading up to the current time, the SSGESC has gradually taken shape, and its development has become increasingly prosperous. Owing to the THSR making the one-day living circle possible, Shalun has become the ideal location for companies to establish their headquarters. Currently, projects such as the second-phase plan of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and the development plan for the Quantum Computer by the Academia Sinica are located in Shalun. The Mitsui Outlet Park located in Shalun achieved good performance and preparations are underway for its second phase of construction, promising an exciting future. Tainan has currently become a key hub for semiconductor development on a global scale. As the NCKU Shalun Hospital comes into play, it aims to effectively address the shortage of medical capacity and lack of pediatric healthcare in the Hsinfeng region, promoting the enhancement of healthcare services in Shalun. Moreover, the development of biotechnology and medicine industry is hoped to turn into another stronghold for Taiwan.
NCKU President Meng-Ru Shen expressed gratitude as he looked back on the incentives for establishing the NCKU Shalun Hospital
The much-anticipated NCKU Shalun Hospital, as part of the first-phase plan for the “Shalun Healthcare Service and Innovation Park”, has received a total budget of 9.28 billion NTD approved by the central government. This funding includes 4.78 billion NTD in central subsidies and 4.5 billion NTD from NCKU Hospital. The project was approved for its funding in January 2023 and obtained permit from the Ministry of Health and Welfare in September. The design is executed by a professional consulting firm and is expected to complete the basic planning design by December. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, and the Hospital is expected to open in 2031. During the ceremony on the 23rd, J.A. Chen Architects & Associates showcased a model of the NCKU Shalun Hospital, explaining that the plan incorporates five core design principles: healthcare services and smart innovation, green energy-efficient/low-carbon utilization, sponge city architecture, urban revitalization and regeneration, and smart green building. These principles align with the characteristics of symbiosis between urban and green spaces.
Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Men-yen anticipates the NCKU Shalun Hospital leads the development of biotechnology and medicine industry to become another stronghold for Taiwan
The construction and planning for the development of the NCKU Shalun Hospital and its innovation park is yet another grand mission of NCKU that unifies the industry, government, and academia to facilitate national development in a new era. NCKU has long participated in national missions, as its affiliated NCKU Hospital was one of the key national constructions established during former NCKU President Han-Min Hsia’s term 40 years ago. Former NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su collaborated with the Tainan City Government to initiate the “Shalun Healthcare Service and Innovation Park” three years ago during her term, and officially proposed the plan two years ago. On the ceremony of the 23rd, former President Su pledged the grand plan for the Shalun Future City. ”Shalun holds infinite possibilities,” she stated, “It can be a scientific city, an ecological city, and a smart city. Not only will it be the new center of healthcare as the development sets sail, it will also serve as a practice environment as Taiwan advances towards a better future.” Facing the challenges of global climate change, the Shalun Future City emphasizes digital innovation, aligning with the 2050 net-zero transformation goal, combining technology and theory to promote digital innovation and sustainable economy in terms of three aspects: a new industry-university framework for cultivating international digital sustainability talents, local strategies to push for AI incorporation in industries, and efforts at building Shalun as the digital net-zero sandbox zone of the Asia-Pacific region. In the future, it is anticipated that through collaboration across various sectors, Taiwan will provide the world with a comprehensive solution that can be trusted.
Former NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su pledged the grand plan for the Shalun Future City
The “Shalun Healthcare Service and Innovation Park”, located in the core area of the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City, spans 18 hectares and is expected to be in full bloom when all constructions are completed within 15 years, with a total budget of approximately over 50 billion NTD. The park is closely adjacent to the South Campus of the Academia Sinica and the Shalun Green Energy Technology Demonstration Site under the Energy Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In the vicinity, there are also the Taiwan CAR Lab, the NSTC Cybersecurity & Smart Technology R&D Building, the International Convention Center (ICC) Tainan, TaiSugar Circular Village, and private investment shopping malls. Shalun is transforming to become a key research and development base to drive the growth of Taiwan’s next-generation smart green energy industry, furthermore, it is poised to become a cutting-edge future town that boasts both living functions and industrial development.
The establishment of the NCKU Shalun Hospital is the result of collaborative efforts between the Tainan City Government, legislators, and various sectors; in the future, it will focus on digital governance and sustainable healthcare to promote development of various industries
The “Shalun Healthcare Service and Innovation Park” aims to fulfill local needs with its future development, including pediatric medicine and international healthcare. It seeks to balance urban-rural disparities, optimize care for rare diseases, develop distinctive healthcare services, and make advancements in frontier medicine. The park not only plans for comprehensive healthcare services but also initiates innovative campus of frontier medicine, incorporating AI and big data governance to drive innovation and development in digital and green energy industries in the Shalun area. In August 2023, NCKU established the “NCKU Health Service and Digital Innovation Promotion Office” to accelerate the construction of core healthcare facilities in the area and actively support subsequent developments. Various initiatives are in progress, and on November 12, one of the Population Optimization Forum series focused on the vision of the NCKU Shalun Hospital—becoming the “Southern Taiwan Pediatric Medical Center”. The forum gathered numerous experts, scholars, and physicians to explore the critical turning points in the health of Taiwanese children over the next 10 years. In the future, NCKU will continuously collaborate with cross-disciplinary talents, utilizing digital innovation to drive sustainable healthcare. The university is committed to making Shalun a next-generation, smart, and livable future city.
Provider: NCKU News Center