East Asian Project Management
“Learning about Asia is very eye opening and helpful in gaining not only a better understanding of what issues exist and why, but better yet how to go about solving those issues.” -Rhett Suciu
Starting the conversation
We begin by learning about the history of China and Taiwan, how each was formed and the changes that they have been through up till now. Learning these facts first and from our professor who has lived in China and Asia for a good portion of his life, is very different from any history lesson in the United States. Because we are in the place where the history is being talked about, it brings a much greater meaning and understanding to the lessons being taught. The issues are still present and can be seen all around you.
What caused the divides
We then dive into the major differences between the Asian countries, what caused them to be different and how this affects their outlook on present world situations. Covering questions like what big issues created a divide between China, Taiwan, Japan, and many of the other countries around China. What strengths and weaknesses does this create for those countries, and where does the United States and other Western Countries fit into the picture?
Major players and companies
One of the other major players in the global infrastructure between countries are the major companies from each country that interact and do business with each other. These major companies create relationships between individuals within each country, which brings those countries closer to each other. Major companies such as Nissan, NEXCOM, TSMC, ICBC and Micron, are all large companies that have been present and affected the intercountry relationships. Especially when it comes to the difference of operating within and outside of China, due to rules and regulations that must be followed if within China.
Finally we discussed the major present issues happening during the weeks we are present in the country. Including major statements and actions from President Trump and Xi Jinping. We discussed these issues in depth and try to take the stance of Taiwan and other Asian countries as they decide how to react to these major decisions. The choices that these countries must make are made with great care due to their proximity to the issues at hand. The ability to think and decide on issues from this point of view has been incredibly eye opening.
Professional Field trips
Meetings with Providence University
The beautiful Providence University (PU) is located in the city of Taichung and generously hosts the Asia BizTech program as they conduct their work in Taiwan. PU provides true home away from home for Boise State University (BSU) students by opening their dormitories, class rooms, and lending their most talented language professors. BSU and PU have cultivated an extraordinary relationship with the creation of the 2-Plus-2 program which allows students to attain two bachelor’s degrees in four years by completing a selection of courses mutually agreed upon by two universities. In this case, the Providence students would complete most of their pre-approved 100- and 200-level courses in Taichung and then complete most upper-division courses at Boise State University.
Mayfull Field Trip
Mayfull is one of the largest food importers and distributors in Taiwan. Mayfull imports the majority of Taiwan’s beef of which the largest share comes from Idaho. This includes top of the line American Wagyu beef. Mayfull also is a top importer of cherries in Taiwan of which the largest share comes from Idaho, most notably from Symms Fruit Ranch just 30 miles west of Boise State University. We learned about the opportunities & challenges facing the company before sampling a delicious lunch of Wagyu beef noodles with Idaho cherries for dessert.
Idaho Trade Office Taipei
The State of Idaho-Asia Trade Office represents Idaho in Taiwan on trade. Last year in 2017 over $570 million goods from Idaho were exported to Taiwan making it Idaho’s second largest export market. Chief among these exports are coming from Idaho’s growing technology sector as firms like Micron have their hands deep in Taiwan’s internationally leading semiconductor industry. At the State of Idaho-Asia Trade Office we talked with Director Eddie Yen before heading to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) for meetings and tours. Director Eddie Yen was at the signing ceremony of one of the multiple memorandums of understanding signed that made the Asia Global Biztech Program possible.
Taiwan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
Taichung City Government
Pemay Cosmetics Field Trip
Pemay is a leading developer of organic biotech cosmetic products. Unlike their competitors they do all of their own R&D and product management before selling directly to consumers. They’ve branded themselves differently from most others, offering beauty products that have been engineered for health optimization. We learned about their vision and got familiar with the lab they use to test products.
ITRI Field Trip
The Industrial Technology Research Institute is a nonprofit Research & Development institution supported by the Taiwan Government that has played the largest hand in transforming Taiwan’s economy from being labor driven to innovation driven. At ITRI we learned about the R&D and innovation going on at the institute today in the areas of IoT, Big Data, VR/AR, wearable technology, and green tech. In addition to generating more patents than any other organization in Taiwan, ITRI was the birthplace of over 270 Taiwanese giants including TSMC and UMC. After the lecture we went through a guided tour of all of ITRI backed key innovations since their founding in 1973.
GOGORO Field Trip
With a CEO that led R&D innovation at HTC and branding at Microsoft, Gogoru is more than just an electric scooter company. They recently received 300 million USD in venture capital from Panasonic, Temesek, Generation Investment Management, and Sumitomo. Their innovation in battery transfers have the potential to revolutionize how energy is used throughout Taiwan, Berlin, and Japan. When we went to meet with a representative at Gogoru the first thing that was said was precisely that, “We’re not a scooter company, we’re an energy company”. After the briefing we all went to the showroom and got to sit and play on all their newest scooters– learning how they interact with their custom app and trying out their on the go battery transfer system.
Taiwan Thinktank Visit
The cohort was able to visit the head quarters of Taiwan Thinktank(TTT) in downtown Taipei. TTT has been championing for the success of Asia Biztech since the beginning with a very generous scholarship to facilitate the exchange of students to travel to Taiwan. Three members of the cohort were able to give a small presentation of this Biztech website to the Deputy Chair