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NSYSU and China Steel establish AIR HoPE to safeguard air quality

NSYSU and China Steel establish AIR HoPE to safeguard air quality

22 Jan, 2022
NSYSU and China Steel establish AIR HoPE to safeguard air quality

NSYSU and China Steel establish AIR HoPE to safeguard air quality

Air pollution is a major issue humanity is facing this century. According to the statistical data by WHO, over 90% of the global population is exposed to air pollution. To develop more effective technologies and strategies to improve air quality, the Aerosol Science Research Center (ASRC) at National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) and China Steel Corporation (CSC) jointly applied for an industry-academia collaborative project funding of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) for visionary technology development to establish the Academic-Industry Research Hub of People and Earth (AIR HoPE), which has just been approved. AIR HoPE aims at improving the air quality and purifying the air through the development of new technologies in reducing air pollution emissions and in developing highly effective filter materials.

"This is the first industry-academia research and development center in Taiwan, established jointly by the academia and industry with a common goal of improving air quality.” The principal investigator of AIR HoPE, the Director of ASRC Associate Professor Chia C. Wang pointed out that this project was conceived bearing the spirit of “Problems identified by industry, and solved by academia”. After over two years of discussions and exchanging ideas, the AIR HoPE team has established three core R&D themes, including the establishment of novel measurement methodologies, development of air pollution emission reduction technologies, chemical compositional characterization of emitted pollutants, and evaluation of their impacts.

Meanwhile, the AIR HoPE project also has established task force teams dedicated to environmental policy research, talent education in sustainability for corporate and industrial innovation. The team hopes to establish new technology and knowledge innovation for the sustainable development of industries in Taiwan and abroad alike, with the economic development and environmental protection moving forward together in parallel.

NSYSU President Ying-Yao Cheng said that NSYSU is a key research university in southern Taiwan that bears the responsibility for solving environmental and public health problems caused by air pollution. ASRC is one of the world's leading research institutions in the field of aerosol science and has successfully developed a number of novel PM 2.5 monitoring and investigating technologies. While pursuing academic excellence, ASRC has also been deeply connected with the local community, putting its research results into social practice and environmental sustainability education to fulfill the University's social responsibility. The establishment of AIR HoPE demonstrates NSYSU’s determination and efforts in sustainable development, and NSYSU will continue to transform its research capacity into an impetus for social practice, driving the development of southern Taiwan towards a more sustainable future.

Chao-Tung Weng, Chairman of CSC, said that CSC will provide NT$ 10 million annually to support AIR HoPE’s research, implementing practical actions to safeguard air quality, save energy, and reduce carbon emissions. Besides, CSC has declared that it will focus on two development goals: transforming into a highly refined steel factory and developing the green energy industry to enhance the company’s management competitiveness in the next 50 years. From 2021, CSC has been promoting various strategies and action plans to reduce carbon emissions. In February 2021, CSC established the promotion group for energy saving and carbon neutralization, with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. As said by Chairman Weng, CSC will dedicate its efforts in ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) to contribute to the sustainable development of Taiwan's industry, economy, and society.

Director Chia C. Wang pointed out that AIR HoPE is an abbreviation of “Academic-Industry Research Hub of People and Earth”, meaning that it is a joint research and development hub for the industry and academia with the primary purpose of caring for people and the Earth’s environment, which at the same time also conveys hope for better air quality. The logo design concept of AIR HoPE also embodies the sincere expectations for the Hub. The shape of the letter “A” bears resemblance to a pyramid that symbolizes people’s unity, bringing together the trans-disciplinary expertise and the strength of the industry and academia to work collectively towards the same goal. The letter “I” symbolizes the rod of Asclepius, the god of medicine in ancient Greek mythology, who has become a symbol of medicine and healing, health restoration, and life recovery. Thus, AIR HoPE is aimed to go far in its mission to improve air quality and enhance human health and welfare. The letter “R” symbolizes the eye of Horus, the god of the sky in ancient Egyptian mythology, but with the earth positioned in the eye, which is a reminder for the team to have a broader and macroscopic perspective in addressing this major global problem humanity is facing. Finally, the letter “o” in “HoPE” represents both the sun, the tiny aerosol, and the Earth, implying that all people on Earth share the same sunlight, breathe the same air and aerosols, and belong to one entity as a whole.

AIR HoPE has formed a strong team, led by the Director of ASRC, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry Chia C. Wang. The core members of AIR HoPE team include the transdisciplinary faculty of NSYSU: Senior Vice President and Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering I-Yu Huang, Dean of the College of Science and Professor of the Department of Chemistry Ming-Jung Wu, Professors of the Institute of Environmental Engineering Chung-Shin Yuan and Wei-Hsiang Chen, Professor Paichi Pat Shein of the Institute of Education, Chair of the Department of Chemistry Professor Jyh-Tsung Lee, Assistant Professor Chung-Hsin Yang of the International PhD Program for Science, Assistant Professor Meng-Fen Yen of the Department of Political Economy, and Assistant Professor Chih-Yuan Wang of the Department of Business Management. The AIR HoPE team is also comprised of two Academicians of Academia Sinica Chung-Hsuan Chen and Kopin Liu, Distinguished Professor Chuen-Jinn Tsai of the Institute of Environmental Engineering at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, and Associate Professor Ta-Chih Hsiao of the Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering at National Taiwan University. Besides NSYSU President Ying-Yao Cheng and Chairman of CSC Chao-Tung Weng, the guests of the opening ceremony included Hsing-Fei Wu, Senior Executive Officer of the Department of Academia-Industry Collaboration and Science Park Affairs of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Chief Secretary Li-Mei Lin of the Port of Kaohsiung.