Public-private program launched to train young digital animators

A collaborative project between the central and local governments, academic institutions and private enterprises was launched April 10 with the aim of promoting the development of Taiwan's digital animation industry through cultivating talents.

The Kaohsiung City Government's Education Bureau, the Ministry of Economic Affairs Export Processing Zone Administration and the Taiwan Academia Industry Consortium signed an agreement to collaborate on a large-scale program to work with 12 high schools, various universities as well as animation companies to cultivate digital animation talents and open doors for young people to enter the industry.

According to the Education Bureau, the agreement will allow local and international industry professionals to teach courses at the designated high schools as well as organize conferences and seminars to train teachers in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City. The project will also enable high school students to take advanced placement animation courses, according to the bureau.

EPZA Director Huang Wen-ku said that by cultivating high school-age talents earlier, the project will help narrow the knowledge gap between graduates and experienced professionals. Going beyond traditional methods of teaching, as well as introducing local and foreign industry resources and professionals, will create all kinds of opportunities for students and provide them with a multifaceted learning environment, said Huang. The project will last three years for high school students and four years for those in universities.

According to TAIC, other industry-academia collaborative projects aiming to facilitate the development of Taiwan's animation industry include Shih Chien University's Bachelor Program in Computer Animation established in 2016. In collaboration with animation studio CGCG Inc., the program prepares students to enter the industry and provides the opportunity for internships and employment.

Since its establishment in 1988, CGCG has been the leading 3D animation studio in Taiwan, producing works such as computer-generated movies, TV series as well as video games. The studio earned the best DVD release award and best visual effects award in both 2003 and 2004 at the U.S.-based DVD Exclusive Awards, and in 2003 was honored with a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films.

Taiwan's computer animation sector has seen steady growth in the recent years, said Education Bureau Director-General Fan Sun-lu. In addition to producing original digital content, Taiwan animation companies also provide original equipment manufacturer and special effects services for TV, movies, commercials and new media. Statistics from the MOEA's Industrial Development Bureau show that the industry's annual production value increased by 4.5 percent between 2014 and 2015, rising from NT$6.7 billion (US$219 million) to NT$7 billion.

Source: Taiwan Today