It's this government-sponsored R&D centre which helped reshape Taiwan as a hotbed of hi-tech businesses. Bicycle factories are often seen, by the Taiwanese, as a bit 'Old World' compared to semiconductor factories but ITRI is helping to shift perceptions: it has helped both Giant and Merida with development of a new line of lithium cells for use in the next generation of electric bikes...

Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute is 30-years old

Thirty years ago, Taiwan’s economy was based on light, labour-intensive industries. Christmas lighting and umbrellas were typical items handcrafted by families in their living rooms. Today, as well as bike factories all trying to go hi-tech and more upo-market as low and mid-end production moves to China and Vietnam, Taiwan boasts global centres of electronic system design and manufacturing.

Taiwan has eleven companies listed in the world IT 100, second only to the United States and surpassing Japan. In this historical transformation known as the "Taiwan miracle", ITRI played a significant role.

Founded in 1973 by the government to spearhead economic growth and upgrade Taiwan’s industrial technologies, ITRI "focusses on forward-looking applied research to nurture novel technology-based industries." Two of the world’s top semiconductor foundries, TSMC and UMC, are among ITRI’s spin-offs.

Boosting "mature industries" with technology innovation is also something ITRI’s does well, hence the R&D work with Giant and Merida.

"The success of ITRI as well as the success of Taiwan lies in the continuous effort to move up the technology ladder," said Dr. Chintay Shih, president of ITRI.

"We are constantly on alert to identify both current industrial needs and future growth opportunities. By recognizing and responding to the marketplace, ITRI has been able to stay ahead of the innovation curve of modern industry."

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