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American Innovation Center opens in Taipei

The first American Innovation Center in Asia kicked off in downtown Taipei's Songshan Cultural Creative Park (松山文創園區) yesterday, as part of a joint Taiwan-United States effort to promote digital learning, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said yesterday.

The project is a partnership between AIT and the Taiwan Design Center (台灣創意設計中音), AIT Director Christopher Marut said during his address at the center's opening ceremony yesterday.

The American Innovation Center houses computers, 3D-printers, scanners, e-books, audio-visual materials and more than 280 English-language books, Marut said.

“This center will be an ideal place to take Taiwan-America cooperation to the next level, and is perfectly situated to promote entrepreneurship, teach English, share information with the U.S. and connect young people with art and design experts from Taiwan, the U.S. and the world,” he added.

“I am confident that this center will be a welcoming and lively place that will provide access to the most up-to-date knowledge while also inspiring imagination, innovation and creativity,” Marut said.

According to AIT, the U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with local partners in Europe, began to establish digital innovation centers in 2012. Currently, digital innovation centers have been created in Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. The digital innovation center in Taipei is the first of its kind in Asia.

The center in Taipei will offer each new member the free use of a 3-D printer by appointment from Jan. 17 to March 29, AIT said.

It also plans to hold at least 82 programs, including lectures, classes, video viewings and workshops this year.

The center is open to the public from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. every Tuesday to Saturday.

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 Taiwan opens American Innovation Center today 
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Christopher Marut, third right, attends the inauguration ceremony of the American Innovation Center with Taipei City Deputy Mayor Tim T.Y. Ting (丁庭宇) in Taipei, yesterday. AIT stated that the center is part of a joint Taiwan-United States effort to promote digital learning, and is the first American Innovation Center in Asia. (CNA)

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