As a part of its 50th anniversary celebration, ITRI hosted the International Forum Envisioning a Better Future on September 12 to explore Taiwan's forthcoming industry opportunities toward 2035. The event featured participation from industry giants such as Applied Materials, Corning Incorporated, Merck, Oxford Instruments, Mitsubishi Electric, and AVL List GmbH. These leaders shared their success stories and insights into industrial trends, attracting over a thousand forum participants both on-site and online.
Premier Chen Chien-jen attended the opening ceremony and acknowledged ITRI's pivotal role in empowering Taiwan's global competitiveness. This recognition came as Taiwan secured the sixth position in the 2023 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, marking its strongest performance since 2012. Supported by ITRI's continuous pioneering innovations over the past five decades, Taiwan has cemented its position in the global semiconductor sector and high-tech supply chains. Chen hopes to see ITRI drive more cross-border collaborations through innovative technologies, solidifying Taiwan's position as a trusted partner within the international community and leading the way in shaping future industries.
ITRI Chairman Chih-Kung Lee also underscored ITRI's contributions to Taiwan's economic advancement. He highlighted ITRI's recent engagement with the European Association of Research & Technology Organisations (EARTO), where ITRI now chairs EARTO's RTOs International Network (RIN), exemplifying its commitment to international collaboration. With representatives from the US, UK, Japan, and Europe, alongside ITRI's international partners at the forum, Lee trusted that strengthening Taiwan's global ties could ensure a reliable global supply chain.
To address future challenges, ITRI President Edwin Liu announced the introduction of the 2035 Technology Strategy & Roadmap, which focuses on the application domains of Smart Living, Quality Health, Sustainable Environment, and the newly incorporated Resilient Society. ITRI aims to support the development of these four cross-industry application domains by harnessing AI and cybersecurity, semiconductor, communication, and smart sensing technologies. In the process of industrializing technology, international cooperation is the key to success. To align with the international ecosystem, this forum has invited six international industrial leaders as speakers, all of whom are ITRI's longstanding partners across various sectors, including semiconductor equipment, display glass, healthcare, scientific instruments, electromechanics, and automotive power systems. Together, these collaborative efforts have played a crucial role in creating new interdisciplinary value for Taiwan's industry.
The keynote speaker of the forum, President of Applied Materials Taiwan Erix Yu, spotlighted the interconnectivity between the semiconductor industry's growth and carbon emissions. While focusing on market expansion, Applied Materials is working closely with its customers and suppliers to minimize environmental impact by reducing its products' energy, water, and carbon emissions.
Andrew Ho, President of Corning Taiwan, confirmed the vital role that precision glass layers play in the advancement of emerging display technologies. In addition, Ho noted that Corning remains steadfast in applying its expertise in materials science and glass manufacturing to help shape a sustainable future.
Dr. John Lee, Managing Director of Merck Group in Taiwan, attributed the company's enduring success over 355 years to its emphasis on sustainable entrepreneurship and its ability to drive innovation. He highlighted Merck's endeavors in sustainability innovations, cross-sector innovations, and digital innovations, depicting how Merck navigated the competitive global market and seized long-term industrial opportunities.
Matt Kelly, Managing Director of Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, explored how the company leverages its compound semiconductor capability to create highly efficient, low-energy, and carbon-reducing applications that drive sustainability across industries.
Masahiro Oya, Executive Officer and Vice President of Mitsubishi Electric, detailed the company's fundamental management principles, which encompass growth potential, profitability and efficiency, soundness of work systems, and a commitment to sustainability. These efforts reflect the company's dedication to enhancing corporate value while addressing societal challenges through business.
Reiner John, Coordinator Research Funding Corporate Strategy at AVL List GmbH, stressed the importance of the convergence of mobility, energy, and infrastructure systems in electronic components and systems (ECS) innovation. He cited ITRI's collaboration with European research projects in autonomous driving as a model for technological solutions with global impact, illuminating Taiwan's pathway to becoming an ideal R&D partner for Europe.