The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it would subsidize MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s biggest mobile phone chip designer, and six other Taiwan-based enterprises to help them carry out industrial technology development programs, which in total could generate about NT$10 billion (US$340 million) of market value and create 500 jobs.
The other six companies are Solder material supplier Shenmao Technology Inc (昇貿科技), Taiwan Glass Industry Corp (台灣玻璃) and its industry associate Teco Nanotech Co (東元奈米), Jintex Corp (福盈科技), Sanyo Tile Group (三洋窯業) and Ricerca Biosciences (汎球藥理).
Fu Wei-hsiang (傅偉祥), deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Industrial Technology, yesterday said the ministry would subsidize these companies for up to 50 percent of the funds they need for industrial technology development programs.
The department said MediaTek planned to use the subsidies to research and develop technologies used to manufacture application processors (AP) for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
“As the global mobile device market matures, leading smartphone AP technologies are still in the hands of US, European, South Korean and Japanese firms,” Fu said by telephone.
“The ministry has targeted information technology and communications [ICT] companies and plans to provide as many resources as it can to help Taiwanese firms catch up in the market to become crucial component developing companies in the global supply chain,” he said, adding that the ministry expected to see Taiwanese ICT companies collaborate and explore the global market rather than relying heavily on foreign firms.
The department said MediaTek’s product innovation and development program is expected to generate up to NT$90 billion of market value and create more than 330 jobs once completed, and also that it was the first application to be approved by the ministry to upgrade a Taiwanese ICT firms’ competitive strength with the government’s help.
Fu said Shenmao plans to put the government funds into the development of technologies used to miniaturize semiconductors with tin metals.
The department estimated Shenmao’s project could be carried out in three years and generate the company NT$600 million of sales for the company and create more than 50 jobs. Total investment amount totals NT$11 million.
Taiwan Glass and Teco’s project, which is aimed at researching high-quality and low energy cost vacuum glass is expected to be completed in three years, the department said.
The project is likely to generate a total of NT$1 billion of market value and more than 300 jobs. Total investment for the project is budgeted at NT$6 million, the department said.
Meanwhile, Jintex plans to spend NT$85 million over a three- year period on producing films used to protect touchscreen panels’ surfaces. The project is expected to generate NT$175 million in revenue and create more than 24 jobs, according to the department.
Sanyo Tile plans to concentrate on technologies that can assist it in the manufacture of heat insulation tiles for its three-year project, while Ricerca Biosciences will use the government subsidy to build a system that can help develop new drugs, the department said.