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Science Ministry to set up robot production base

2017/05/03 19:06:15

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) The Ministry of Science and Technology announced Wednesday that it will establish a robot production base in a bid to upgrade Taiwan's manufacturing sector.

In a news conference, Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said that his ministry is seeking a budget of NT$2 billion (US$66.67 million) over the next four years for the establishment of the robot production base, which will be called "the Maker Space."

The Democratic Progressive Party government is planning to spend NT$880 billion over the next eight years to push for infrastructure work in Taiwan to create 40,000 to 50,000 new jobs. Chen said that the Cabinet is likely to assign NT$2 billion from this massive budget for the robot production program.

The NT880 billion budget under the Special Statute for Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Projects is still pending approval from the Legislative Yuan, but opposition lawmakers strongly oppose the spending, which has created uncertainty over the plan.

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

Citing a ministry plan, Chen said that the N$2 billion budget will be generally used in the Central Taiwan Science Park and Southern Taiwan Science Park, which house high-end technologies such as semiconductors and machinery.

Through the two science parks, the robot production base is expected to provide services to and share know-how with industrial associations and the academic sector, and help to create 50 innovation companies in Taiwan that could roll out critical key components for industrial use, Chen said.

In the news conference, Huang Yi-mei (黃懿美), section chief of the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration, said that the science park specializes in machinery production and is expected to serve as a good venue for developing robots.

According to Huang, the Central Taiwan Science Park accounts for 60 percent of the country's machinery production.

Lin Wei-cheng (林威呈), head of the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration, said that the science park will hold robot competitions and forums to build an environment suitable for robot development.

(By Huang Ya-chuan and Frances Huang)