Updated on 18 December 2012
Dr Yio-Wha Shau, VP and general director, BioMedical Technology and Research Laboratories, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has one of the largest medical technology and device research labs in the country. The lab works on both medical devices and pharmaceutical drug development. Some of the typical medical devices and technology that it focuses on are medical electronics, orthopedics, and combination devices. In pharmaceutical drug development, they focus on small molecule drugs and herbal medicine.
In an interview, Dr Yio-Wha Shau, vice president and general director of the BioMedical Technology and Research Laboratories at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Hsinchu, Taiwan, tells BioSpectrum about the work ITRI is doing to aid Taiwanese companies as well as international companies interested in doing business in the region. ITRI's role is to come out with industry alliances and fill in the gaps. They form an alliance with the companies and suggest government support for them to speed up product development and bring in the regulatory party in the very beginning. ITRI transfers technology to the industries, because that is what it is required to do, research and develop technologies, and transfer to them to taiwanese companies or the industry.
Mr Shau, whose research interests vary from clinical biomechanics, diagnostic ultrasound hypersonic aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, thermal sciences and angiogenesis research, has over 10 patents in Taiwan and the US to his credit. He also serves as professor at the Institute of Applied Mechanics at National Taiwan University and forensic science consultant at the Ministry of Justice. Excerpts from the interview:
How does ITRI engage with companies, both local and international, in the medical devices segment?
Our function basically is as an incubator for advanced technology in biomedical application. We have a very strong linkage with Taiwanese physicians or most of hospitals and medical centers are ITRI's allies. So, we will link the scientist to the industry and help them come up with patents of their intellectual property. Most of the companies work with us under the support of the government (Ministry of Economic Affairs). But ITRI is not entirely funded by the government. We are also raise funds from contracts.