Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Gold medalists pave the way for creative industries

INNOVATION Eight companies were recognized by a panel of international judges for products that showed off the creativity of the nation's manufacturing sector

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese companies are changing to become creators rather than just producers, an international judge said yesterday at a ceremony to honor the nation's most innovative products.

"The products will soon turn from `Made in Taiwan' to `Creative in Taiwan,'" said Luigi Ferraram, from George Brown College in Canada, who served as head of a panel of international judges for this year's National Awards of

Excellence.

Eight companies were awarded the top prize by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for their efforts in manufacturing innovative and high-quality products. They were among a total of 18 finalists at the awards ceremony at the Taipei International Convention Center.

Another judge, Matthew Asinari, chief executive officer of the New York-based Shine Brand Consultants, gave a thumbs-up to the diversification and stronger own-brand R&D capabilities demonstrated in competition.

The eight gold medalists hail from different industries.

According to the organizer, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (外貿協會), 321 products from a pool of 677 entries received the Symbol of Excellence -- the nation's most prestigious product-recognition prize -- this year.

Gold medalists are rewarded with international ads and promotions, while first-time winners also receive NT$2 million.

The gold medal winners included Apacer Technology Inc's (宇瞻科技) disc steno, BenQ Corp's (明基電通) smartphone, Delta Electronics Inc's (台達電子) 16:9 high-scan display rear projection and DynaScan Technology Corp's (光遠科技) cylindrical LED display.

Giant Manufacturing Co's (巨大機械工業) REVIVE comfort bike, Giga-Byte Technology Co's (技嘉科技) laptop, Hiwin Mikrosystem Corp's (大銀微系統) LMC linear servomotor coreless type, and Microtek International Inc's (全友電腦) scanner also won gold medals.

BenQ's P30 smartphone caught the eyes of the judges for its unique style and compactness.

"It's better than a PDA -- there's no need to carry around several bulky devices anymore," said judge Henning Horn, director of the Stuttgart Design Center.

Judges said the award-winning products had improved across all the judging categories -- innovation, design, quality, market position and brand awareness.

"In previous years, you would see some companies strong in one area and relatively weak in another," Asinari said. "But this year we are seeing consistency across the board from the gold winners as they dedicate resources to R&D, design and marketing."

Tsai Meng-ta (蔡孟達), vice president of Microtek's R&D center, said winning the prize provided considerable encouragement for the employees.

"We'll stake up investments on R&D, up from NT$200 million spent last year," he said.

The spokesman for another gold medalist, Hiwin Mikrosystem, was overwhelmed at receiving the award.

"As Taiwan's sole manufacturer of linear motors, we're really happy to be recognized," vice president Szu Kou-I (絲國一) said.

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