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ITRI predicts Taiwan's laser industry will increase output

TAIPEI -- The output of Taiwan's laser industry will grow rapidly over the next few years as the government is promoting the sector, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said Monday.

Aiming to make the government's “Laser Valley” project in southern Taiwan a key player in the global market, Taiwan plans to set up 10 industrial clusters, with total production value reaching NT$20 billion (US$663.78 million) by 2016, the ITRI said in a research note.

Currently, the value of Taiwan's production of laser processing equipment is around NT$5 billion per year, the report said.

There are great business opportunities in the laser processing industry, the government-sponsored institute said, noting that the total output of such technology could be as much as NT$300 billion for Taiwan, as it can be applied to the electronic component, semiconductor, panel and metal sectors.

With collaboration among the academic, public and private sectors, the ITRI said the laser industry could develop into Taiwan's next thriving industry.

In addition, it could help upgrade Taiwan's optomechatronic, material and automation equipment manufacturing technologies and make Taiwan into a global laser industry supply center, the ITRI added.

The global output of the laser industry reached US$8.8 billion in 2013, ITRI's Taiwan Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center said, predicting massive growth to US$10.1 billion in 2015.

The “Laser Valley” project began in July 2013 with ITRI assistance to relevant businesses in the research and development and trial manufacturing of products such as laser sources, laser application modules, femtosecond laser applications and products in the field of additive manufacturing, all of which are key components of the industry.

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