IBM Taiwan Corp yesterday said it expects its annual research and development (R&D) investment in Taiwan to maintain or surpass the NT$1 billion (US$31.3 million) mark in the near future to cope with expanding business.
The 54-year-old IBM Taiwan started R&D here in 1999 and has since been pouring an average of NT$1 billion into its research and development activities each year.
The investment will be in a similar range in the near future as it deepens relationships with local tech partners, Edward Yu (于弘鼎), IBM Taiwan general manager, said at an event marking the company’s 11th year of R&D activities in Taiwan.
Yu said R&D staff would make up half of its total manpower by the year’s end, up from the current 40 percent.
IBM Taiwan is the nation’s largest foreign technology firm, employing about 2,000 people.
IBM Taiwan began its R&D activities on software in 1999, then moved into e-commerce in 2003. In 2004, it set up a development center to devise x86 servers, then established another laboratory on cloud computing services last year.
The R&D team in Taiwan is leading IBM’s global design, development and marketing of x86 servers before selling them worldwide, the company said.
It is working closely with contract manufacturers — including Pegatron Corp (和碩聯合), Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), Wistron Corp (緯創) as well as Mitac Inc (神通電腦) — to produce the x86 servers.
The tech giant hopes to build up a similar ecosystem in Taiwan with local partners for its “IT appliance” — a term referring to hardware (such as servers or storage) that is software embedded, allowing enterprises greater management of their IT operations.
IBM has applied for a government subsidy for an IT appliance project, and if it is granted, could obtain more resources from headquarters to develop the IT appliance ecosystem in Taiwan.
This could allow the Taiwan team to have a say in related product development in the future, the company said.