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US firm's new lab in Taiwan will spur innovation: VP Wu

TAIPEI -- Vice President Wu Den-yih said yesterday that the establishment of an advanced technology laboratory in southern Taiwan by U.S.-based Applied Materials Inc. is expected to help Taiwan industries improve, particularly in the area of innovation.

The company's choice of Taiwan as an important part of its operating chain brings advanced technology into the country and will increase procurement, which in turn will help spur innovation among Taiwan's industries, Wu said at the opening of Applied Materials' new advanced display technology laboratory in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan.

The lab, set up three years after Applied Materials established its Tainan Manufacturing Center, signals the enterprise's ambition to shift from manufacturing to research and development, Wu said.

This is in line with President Ma Ying-jeou's goal of building Taiwan into a global innovative corridor and hub, he added.

Mike Splinter, chairman and chief executive officer of Applied Materials, said at the opening that there is growing demand worldwide for advanced high-resolution display panels for use in smartphones, tablet computers and personal computers.

Applied Materials' establishment of an advanced display technology laboratory highlights its devotion to research and development for next-generation display devices, he said.

Applied Materials, a world renowned multinational enterprise, has assigned a team of senior engineers from its U.S. headquarters and Germany and to work in the Tainan lab, according to Splinter.

In addition, there is a Taiwan technical team at the facility, comprising nearly 80 technicians and engineers, he said.

Applied Materials is a world leader in providing equipment and technology to the flat panel display industry for the manufacture of TFT-LCDs.

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