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Taiwan ranks in the top ten most innovative and first in patent activity

Escrito por Redacción TNI el 10/03/2015 a las 20:39:34

Taiwan’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector continues pushing the boundaries of innovation, developing domestic brands and is emphasizing research and development. The high-tech island is looking to raise the priority of innovation in technology as a part of its macro economic policy. In increasing focus on innovation, design and brand building, Taiwan hopes to grab a larger share of the value chain and increase its competitiveness worldwide.


According to Bloomberg’s 2014 Most Innovative in the World Rankings, Taiwan ranks in the top ten most innovative and first in patent activity, as a result of its long-term commitment to develop new technologies. Additionally, Taiwan ranked seventh in R&D intensity and second in high-tech density.


Major Taiwanese ICT players, the likes of HTC, Acer, ASUSTek and D-Link, continue to lead the way in brand development. For example, the advanced smartphone and tablet company HTC reached 1.2 billion USD in 2013 in brand value and ranked on Forbes’ list for the World’s Most Powerful Brands the year before, affirming Taiwan's status as home to unique and innovative products. High growth over the long-term in Taiwan’s ICT industry is leading to diversification. Many of Taiwan’s tech companies like Acer have already separated production units to specialize in brand building. In the network equipment and technology sector, Taiwan’s D-Link has also spun off its manufacturing section to turn its focus on brand development.


Advantages and Outlook


Taiwan stands at the forefront of innovation in notebooks, desktops, mobile devices, semiconductors & integrated circuits (IC) production, testing & packaging and cloud computing. According to Taiwan’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), Taiwanese companies account for 89% of the world’s production of notebooks and 46% of desktop computers. Additionally, Taiwan produces around half the world’s LCDs, a quarter of the world’s semiconductors, and a fifth of the world’s smartphones.


Economic recoveries in the US and China have boded well for the global ICT industry. Overall, these factors will help increase 2014 exports and push forward Taiwan’s ICT market in the near-term. 


Taiwan’s competitiveness in the ICT industry is drawn from its well-established production pipeline, highly experienced engineers, strong R&D capabilities, and strategic location.


Mobile devices – Smartphones, Tablets and Wearable Devices


According to Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III), smartphones, tablets and now wearable devices will play a key role in maintaining growth in Taiwan’s ICT industry. Taiwanese firms are moving to develop their own products in the highly anticipated wearable device segment. Taiwanese component manufacturers, in segments like IC manufacturing, electronics assembly, and touch-screens, are also moving to supply the demand from businesses for alternative touch-screen wearable devices.


As the smartphone and tablet markets continue to heat up, and economic recovery in the U.S. and China continue, the demand downstream by Taiwan’s IC production players for mobile devices will continue to increase. Smartphone and tablet competition will continue to drive IC demand in Taiwan and place additional pressure on companies to innovate and release new models.


IT Services, Software, and Equipment


Taiwan's IT services and software industry is reaching a fully open market. Though overseas markets are bigger in size and more advanced in technology, most domestic companies provide system integration services and act as agents for overseas software products and services, giving them a competitive edge. With rising demand in cloud computing, virtualization, and mobility, Taiwan's IT services sector will see steady growth in the next two to three years.


In the IT networking equipment market, Taiwanese companies continue to remain global leaders in manufacturing and are pushing forward domestically branded products. Among Taiwan’s top network equipment brands is D-Link, which designs, develops and manufactures routers, storage solutions, cloud managed wireless solutions, and IP surveillance equipment.


Semiconductors and Storage


In the realm of chip making, Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturers reign supreme and continue to enjoy global success. Due to the global prominence of Taiwan’s semiconductor market, the world’s most renowned semiconductor equipment firms have all established service centers or research centers on the island. Taiwan is home to contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, and to United Micoelectronics Corporation (UMC), second only to TSMC in IC manufacturing and was the first IC foundry established on the island.


Touch-Screen Panels and AMOLED


The global display market is expected to reach 164 billion USD in 2017, according to a recent Research-and-Markets report. Within the display market, Taiwanese panel manufacturers are leading the global market share in the production of touch-screen panels. A surge in smartphone and tablet demand has increased global sales of touch-screen panels.


As global demand shifts for large, low-cost and energy efficient displays, firms are developing more advanced, high-quality active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels. According to Digitimes, a Taiwan based technology newspaper, global AMOLED capacity will reach 11.5 million square meters by 2015, an increase of 327% over 2012. Taiwanese vendors are moving fast to increase production. In 2015, Taiwan is predicted to manufacture 550,000 square meters of AMOLED products, grabbing approximately 5% of the global market, suggesting Taiwan’s commitment to developing the technology. High-end smartphones have already begun to incorporate AMOLED technology and Taiwanese vendors will likely increase panel production as more mobile devices follow suit.


Cloud Computing


Taiwan has moved fast to stay ahead of the global cloud-computing curve, with its government setting the sector as one of the top four smart industries to bring business potential to the island. Likewise, a number of notable Taiwanese government research institutes including the revered ITRI, several industry associations, and Chunghwa Telecom have strategically joined together to set up the Cloud Computer Association in Taiwan to assist domestic manufactures in the development of cloud computing technology.


Already equipped with its first all-in-one cloud computing system, Taiwan is poised to become one of the world’s major cloud-computing bases. The Cloud Operating System, developed by the ITRI, with support from private ICT industry players like Inventec, Chunghwa Telecom and Wistron, allows businesses to build and integrate their cloud computing data centers while limiting the need to integrate software deployments, and in the process saving time and reducing costs on data center construction. Taiwan’s first-mover advantage, combined with early cooperation from the government, technical associations and the ICT industry, will bode well for Taiwan’s future in the cloud-computing arena.