Hsinchu, Taiwan, Jan. 22 (CNA) Taiwan's National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) launched a platform Tuesday to further promote nanotechnology in the private sector and academia, the organizers said.
"The Nano Device Consortium can serve as an innovation bridge between industry and academia, narrowing the gap between the two," Chyi Jen-inn, the NARL's vice president, said at the consortium's launch ceremony.
Taiwan is already good at making nanotechnology materials that can be used in semiconductor manufacturing, one of Taiwan's most critical industries, but further advances can be made in the field, he said.
Chyi said the consortium and its laboratories will do their utmost to promote the industry and hope to stand out as a pioneer on the international stage.
Based in Hsinchu, the city known as Taiwan's Silicon Valley, the consortium will share facilities with the NARL's National Nano Device Laboratories (NDL), and consisted of two pilot lines with a total of 150 sets of equipment, the consortium said.
Jack Sun, vice president of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chip maker, said at the launch ceremony that the innovation platform can play an important role in the semiconductor industry's development.
"Innovation is not enough. We also need to create added-value," he said, expressing hope that the consortium can also help nurture talent in the industry, which Taiwan badly lacks.
Expressing confidence in the silicon-based semiconductor manufacturing sector, Sun said he looked forward to positive results from more active cooperation between academia and industry.
Representatives from Macronix International Co., Hermes-Epitek Corp., Applied Materials, Inc. and Lam Research Corp., as well as scholars and experts from the field all attended the ceremony.
Ho Chia-hua, researcher and factory director at the NDL, told CNA that more research and development will be conducted in nanotechnology using new elements, such as germanium or other compounds, to create a scale of 10 nanometers or smaller.
Terming it an era of "post silicon," Ho said Taiwan could use this opportunity to "ride along" South Korea and the United States.
(By James Lee)