“Industrial Technology and Information” – Dual Engines of Land and Sea Drive Industrial Innovation in Southern Taiwan

By admin Mar 17, 2024

In response to the trend towards net zero and the pressure for green supply chains, industries in southern Taiwan are actively transforming and innovating from traditional to high-tech sectors. In 2020, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) established the Southern Industry Innovation Strategy Office to integrate ITRI’s resources to provide local services in southern Taiwan and assist the government in promoting industrial development in the region. The aim is to leverage technology to seek the next high-growth curve for industries in the context of the net zero trend.

Recognizing the increasingly diverse industrial landscape in southern Taiwan and the presence of multiple industrial parks and abundant natural resources, ITRI established the Southern Industry Innovation Strategy Office in 2020. Recently, the office organized the “Envisioning the Great Southern Region – Prospects for the New Economy: Southern Taiwan Industry Strategic Forum” and released the “2024 Southern Taiwan Industry Innovation Strategy.” This strategy focuses on starting with electric vehicles and the ocean economy, driving green energy transformation and the operation of the blue carbon market through technology, positioning industries for international market expansion.

Economic Development in Southern Taiwan with Three Unique Advantages

Dr. Lee Tsung-ming, Vice President of ITRI and Director of the Materials and Chemical Engineering Research Division, who also serves as the head of the Southern Industry Innovation Strategy Office, pointed out three significant advantages in the economic development of southern Taiwan. These include traditional industries that have historically supported Taiwan’s economy, the marine industry with abundant fisheries, wind resources, natural resources, and important economic ports, and the continuous development of emerging science parks and industrial zones.

Dr. Lee mentioned that while southern Taiwan has been primarily focused on traditional industries such as petrochemicals and steel in the past, the development of science parks in recent years has led to the flourishing of industries like semiconductors, optoelectronics, and precision machinery. Through the Southern Industry Innovation Strategy Office, ITRI continues to integrate academic and research resources in the south, assisting the government in promoting industrial development. “We have deployed nearly 700 professional engineers across four campuses in the south, leveraging mature engineering technology and management expertise to build a technological network that defends the competitiveness of industries in southern Taiwan,” Dr. Lee stated.

Electric Vehicles and the Ocean Economy: Main Pillars of Innovation in Southern Taiwan

The forum was opened by Dr. Lin Chao-hsien, Vice President of ITRI and Director of the Industrial Technology International Strategy Development Division. He unveiled the “2024 Southern Taiwan Industry Innovation Strategy” for the first time. This research report combines global trend analysis, industry clustering research, expert visits, government policies, and an inventory of ITRI technologies to provide recommendations for the transformation of industries in southern Taiwan.

Dr. Lin highlighted that the trend towards net zero has prompted car manufacturers to actively transition to electric vehicles, supported by continuous government incentives globally. The global sales of electric vehicles are expected to exceed 14 million units by 2030, presenting a promising market. On the other hand, the ocean’s carbon sequestration rate is 2.5 times that of forests, and the blue carbon economy is estimated to double in size in the future. Southern Taiwan, with its abundant marine resources, is well-positioned for significant development in areas such as marine conservation, ecological preservation, and the overall operation of the marine industry, especially with the passage of the Marine Industry Development Act by the government in May 2023, providing strong opportunities for the blue economy.

Injecting Innovative Technologies into the Advantage of Automotive Components

ITRI’s recommendations for the 2024 development of Southern Taiwan’s industries include the strategies of “Industrial Renewal” and “Cross-Domain Revolution.” In the realm of electric vehicles, the proposal suggests leveraging the abundant export momentum of automotive components in southern Taiwan to pivot towards the industrial renewal of electric vehicles. By introducing digital technologies for green transportation, connecting local industries, entering compound semiconductor cross-domain applications, expanding hydrogen vehicle technology, and boosting the automotive components industry to new heights.

“Southern industries have a strong foundation in motor materials, hardware fittings, and metal industries, which are solid pillars for the development of the electric vehicle industry in the region. Among them are hidden champions with years of deep-rooted expertise that have formed many local industry clusters. With this strong foundation, the introduction of new technologies can drive the transformation and leapfrog development of local industries,” said Dr. Lin Chao-hsien.

ITRI’s innovative technologies include laser copper-aluminum processing and 3D printing mold technologies, which reduce energy consumption in metal processing; innovative low-rare-earth power motors to help industries penetrate the electric vehicle supply chain and progressively increase power density to international standards; promoting key technologies of compound semiconductors for domestic industrial applications and establishing six key verification platforms for compound semiconductor materials and testing technologies to shorten verification and development cycles and accelerate product market entry.

Technological Support for the Blue Carbon Economy

Southern Taiwan is a hub for aquaculture, and its vast coastline symbolizes valuable blue carbon resources crucial for sustainable development. To this end, ITRI proposes an innovative circular strategy of “Aerial Support for the Sea, Marine Nourishment for Greenery, Greenery Attracts Wealth, and Wealth Drives Innovation.” This strategy aims to proactively develop sustainable fisheries, sustainable tourism, unmanned aerial vehicles and waterborne unmanned vehicles, and new industries related to blue carbon through cross-domain revolution in the marine industry.

ITRI’s developed technologies include underwater communication technology applicable in underwater museums, ecological and environmental monitoring, and aquaculture monitoring, as well as the establishment of AIoT smart sensing autonomous technology advantages. Green electricity and material recycling technologies for oyster farming have been developed to create a “collaborative solar oyster system” that combines solar power and oyster farming to support the development of nearshore marine economies. Additionally, there are technologies for microalgae carbon sequestration and value-added applications, using carbon dioxide generated in the production process to sequester carbon in microalgae, creating diverse high-value returns for industries.

The event concluded with the “Strategic Forum on the Blue Carbon Economy,” where speakers including Huang Fu-hsiang, Director of the Information Department at CSBC Corporation, Chen Hsueh-yin, Deputy General Manager of Jinzhou Marine, Hsu Chun-ning, Senior Consultant of Chang Hsin Industrial, and Director of Tainan Coastal Tourism Development Association and Director of Yagu Yacht Group, discussed the challenges and opportunities in the digital transformation and implementation of technologies in southern Taiwan. They emphasized that with full cooperation among industry, government, academia, and research, breakthrough innovations driven by future application technologies can lead to the overall success of the blue ocean economy and cross-domain collaboration in southern Taiwan, becoming the greatest asset for Taiwan’s industrial future.

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