Cabinet hears plans to bolster Taiwan's semiconductor industry

04/15/2021 06:26 PM
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Image taken from Wikimedia Commons
Image taken from Wikimedia Commons

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) The Executive Yuan's Board of Science and Technology (BOST) on Thursday announced plans aimed at cementing Taiwan's leading position in semiconductor manufacturing, amid an ongoing global chip shortage that has highlighted the importance of the industry.

The plans, contained in a report entitled "The Taiwan Semiconductor Industry's Forward-Looking Research and Talent Layout amid the U.S.-China Technology War," were presented during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

During the meeting, Su noted that the current semiconductor chip shortage has proven what a vital role Taiwan plays in global supply chains.

However, the government will have to make effective investments if it is to maintain its competitive edge into the future, Su said, noting that the U.S. is planning to invest US$50 billion in semiconductor research and manufacturing, while the European Union has set a goal of producing 20 percent of the world's chips by 2030.

According to Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成), the BOST report focused on increasing the industry's competitiveness in areas such as manufacturing capability, professional talent and technology and resources.

On the industrial side, the report said, the government should continue to foster industrial links between the Hsinchu Science Park, the Central Taiwan Science Park and the Southern Taiwan Science Park on the west coast, modernize older factory buildings and ensure companies have adequate access to resources.

On a national policy level, the government should collaborate with academic and industrial partners to establish three to five new semiconductor R&D centers, and select one to two universities to host research institutes focused on key industries for national development, the report said.

At the same time, the government should seek to raise university enrollment quotas by 10 percent for undergraduates and 15 percent for graduate students in several key areas of study, including semiconductors, mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering, according to the report. In terms of global competitiveness, the report recommended working with semiconductor manufacturers to ensure they are able to produce chips of less than 1 nanometer by 2030.

The BOST is comprised of between 13-19 science and technology experts from academic and business backgrounds, government agency heads and the president of Academia Sinica, whose role is to advise the premier and make policy recommendations relating to national technological development.

(By Chen Chun-hua and Matthew Mazzetta)

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