Chemical engineering and food industry may be regarded as the source of Taiwan's industry; they are not only the main force behind Taiwan's economic growth but also an important force that promotes new technological development in Taiwan. Although chemical engineering and food science have been established as an academic discipline quite some time ago, but the research fields related to chemical engineering and the food industry continue to develop and will lead to unlimited future technologics. Moreover, food engineering is playing an important role in today's food industry. While adhering to the research ideas of innovation and maintaining food safety, we should cultivate the talents related to food science and technology, continually improve the manufacturing process technology in the food industry and develop fast and accurate testing methods that meet international standards.
In addition to the industrial R&D led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the elevation of Taiwan's chemical engineering and food technology can be mainly attributed to the fundamental research and talent education performed by the various academic research units. In the latter, the Ministry of Science and Technology has played a very important role. On this basis, the main mission of chemical engineering as a discipline is the planning and development of chemical engineering technology, aimed at elevating the standards of academic research in chemical engineering and the cultivation of talents. Hopefully such efforts can be combined with national economic development and contribute to the continued elevation of industry and welfare of mankind.
Taiwan currently has 62 academic departments and research institutes in 53 universities in the area of chemical engineering and food science. There are a total of about one thousand instructors in the discipline. Given the particular environment in Taiwan, the subsidy by the Ministry of Science and Technology is the main source of funding. In recent years, the number of researchers continued to grow and the number of project applications has also increased. As a result, the amount of funding received by each researcher has been rather limited. This limitation of resources has prevented a full-fledged development of the chemical engineering field.
Given the limited resources, the chemical engineering and food science discipline should consolidate the research strength and support outstanding research teams in order to elevate the academic research standards. The field should also help the researchers in search of new opportunities and directions. The effort should be matched with the development directions and requirements of the pertinent industries, make good use of the chemical engineering technology, and ensure that the new industrial technologies can take root and meet the goal of educating a new generation of talents in chemical engineering.