Nanotechnology task force to aid traditional sectors

April 14, 2003 – Taiwan – The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has opened a task force to promote the application of nanometer science, or nanotechnology, to the country’s traditional sectors.

Hundreds of companies have already signed up for the task force, said Yang Ri-chang, ITRI VP.

“The news of the task force’s formation has generated enthusiastic responses by Taiwan companies,” Yang said. “Meanwhile, the task force has invited the participation of institutions such as National Taiwan U. and National Cheng Kung U. that are known for their nanotech research.”

The task force came into existence as the government gave an estimate that nanotechnology applications in Taiwan’s traditional industries could reach a production value of NT$70 billion ($2 billion) by 2005 and NT$300 ($8.6 billion) billion by 2008, said Yang, who is also the chair of a national nanotechnology project.

The purpose of the task force is to create a cluster environment for companies to work with each other and exchange information, he said, adding it will also help companies figure out areas of nanotech R&D so that their efforts will achieve maximal results.

Yang said the promotion of nanotechnology could not be possible without the contributions from other government and private organizations, reported the Financial Times. The ITRI is working with many organizations, such as the China Textile Federation, to form an R&D alliance to maximize nanotechnology research results, he said.

The NT$70 billion nanotechnology production value estimated for 2005 will be made by companies making such traditional products as paints, ceramics, and plastics, Yang stated, adding textile companies and metal products manufacturers will contribute NT$15 billion and NT$5 billion, respectively.

Members of the task force are classified into two types: general members and VIP members, with the former paying a NT$30,000 entrance fee and the latter paying a NT$120,000 fee for April to December, Yang said.

Additional benefits for VIP members include tailor-made nanotechnology solutions provided by related government or private organizations, he noted.

“Of the companies already registered, 12 are VIP members,” he said.


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