Purpose and Mission
In order to assist the country and society in addressing significant challenges and proposing solutions to critical problems with globally competitive research outcomes, Academia Sinica established Research Center for Critical Issues (RCCI) in January 2024. The Center’s primary mission includes:
- Taking charge of academic administration related to the research projects for critical issues, and overseeing the facility operations in the Research Building II and the future Building for Quantum Technology at Academia Sinica South Campus.
- Selecting critical issues based on the frontiers of global scientific and technological development and societal issues, and organizing research projects.
- Assisting Academia Sinica to provide recommendations to the government and planning appropriate budgets.
- Inviting experts from within and outside Academia Sinica to form research teams, conducting vertically integrated research, validating feasible solutions, and exploring their social impacts.
RCCI emphasizes a team-based approach to constructing research projects and thematic centers, and executes research projects that align with national policies or have significant societal impacts to address critical issues. Academia Sinica has currently designated research projects and thematic centers in the fields of "Net Zero Technology" and "Quantum Technology" into RCCI. Academia Sinica will continue to plan projects for critical issues in other fields.
RCCI recruits only research specialists as formal personnel, while all the researchers involved in research projects join RCCI through joint appointments, with contracts lasting until the completion of the project. The budget of RCCI is allocated solely to support the internal administration and the maintenance of research facilities. The research funding comes from various programs within and outside Academia Sinica. The research outcomes of each project will be subject to vertical integration with internal or external research institutes for practical testing. Scholars from the humanities and social sciences will also be invited to participate in in-depth research on the societal and environmental impacts of new technologies and related regulatory frameworks.
The research projects in RCCI are asked to present milestones for each stage of development. The Central Academic Advisory Committee of Academia Sinica establishes corresponding project promotion offices (PPOs), which regularly assess the progress and potential impacts of the projects and may suggest modifications to the milestones. The PPO also assists each project in communicating and coordinating with government agencies and industry. To encourage research teams to achieve results within a specific schedule, the PPOs, after review, may recommend Academia Sinica to provide bonuses to the research teams and individual members, as well as award honorary lectureships to project leaders.
New Center, New Thinking
Academia Sinica also aims to use RCCI as a large "laboratory." In addition to resolving various critical issues, RCCI will also serve as a testing ground for novel ideas or innovations Academia Sinica may have in terms of organizational structures or administrative processes. As the newest research center of Academia Sinica, RCCI focuses on innovation, practicality, and impact, and uses new thinking and approaches to assist the country and society in addressing critical issues.