Thu, May 04, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Ministry to bet NT$2bn on robot production base

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Science and Technology yesterday announced that it is to establish a robot production base in a bid to upgrade Taiwan’s manufacturing sector.

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said at a news conference that the ministry is seeking a budget of NT$2 billion (US$66.5 million) over the next four years for the establishment of the robot development facility, which is to be called “The Maker Space.”

The government is planning to spend NT$882.49 billion over the next eight years to fund infrastructure work in Taiwan to create 40,000 to 50,000 new jobs.

Chen said the Cabinet is likely to allocate NT$2 billion from the budget of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program for robot production.

The government’s infrastructure plan is still contingent on approval from the Legislative Yuan, with fierce opposition to it among some lawmakers creating uncertainty.

Taiwan is very competitive in the global hardware and software industries, Chen said, so the nation would use this strength for robot production, which is expected to integrate local industrial resources and pave the way for economic growth.

Citing a ministry plan, Chen said that most of the N$2 billion budget would be invested in the Central Taiwan Science Park (中部科學園區) and the Southern Taiwan Science Park (南部科學園區), which house high-end technology developers in the semiconductor and machinery sectors.

Through the two science parks, the robot production base is to provide services to and share know-how with industrial associations and academia, while helping create 50 innovative companies in Taiwan that could roll out critical components for industrial use, Chen said.

Central Taiwan Science Park Administration section chief Huang Yi-mei (黃懿美) said the science park specializes in machinery production and would offer a good environment for developing robots.

The Central Taiwan Science Park accounts for 60 percent of the country’s machinery production, Huang said.

Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration director-general Lin Wei-cheng (林威呈) said the science park would hold robot competitions and forums to foster an environment suitable for development.

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