(Nanowerk News) Over NT$300 billion (US$9.68 billion) in nanotechnology production value has been amassed by Taiwan's manufacturers in the last five years, thanks to a six-year developing program that combines efforts from academia and industry, a Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) official said Sunday.
The program, drafted by the Cabinet-level CEPD and operated by a range of research institutions, including the National Science Council (NSC) and Industrial Technology Research Institute, was launched in 2003 to apply nanotechnology toward commercial use with a budget of NT$18.9 billion.
With 10 months left before the end of the program, more than 4,000 science research papers and 120 patents have been generated to date, with over 70 universities and eight top-notch research teams working on nanotechnology transfer to the global nanoproduction market, said Clark Cheng, a specialist from the Department of Sectorial Planning under the CEPD.
Cheng noted the importance of promoting laboratory research under the nanomanufacturers, saying a group of Taiwan's integrated circuit design companies are teaming up to manufacture the groundbreaking magnetic random access memory, with an estimated production value of over NT$10 billion.
"Nanotechnology has helped more than 800 Taiwanese manufacturers mainly from electronic industries and traditional industries, which have upgraded these industries by making value-added products such as textiles with an anti-bacterial purifying finish," he added.
He also said that the government planned to continue the program with another six-year plan from 2009 to 2014 with NT$23 billion ( US$726 million), hoping to make nanotechnology the driving force for Taiwan's industry innovation in the future.
The program's director, Wu Maw-kuen from the NSC said the focus of the plan in the next six years will be nanoelectronic and optoelectronic technology, nanoscale instruments, nanotechnology for energy and environmental applications, nanoscale biomedical research, and the various technologies' utilization in potential and traditional industries.
According to the United States' National Nanotechnology Initiative, a coordinated federal program organizing nanotechnology agencies, global economy will gain US$1 trillion from nanotechnology products in 2015.