Taiwan seeks innovation venture capital ties
On July 30, Tsay Ching-yen, the chairman of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), told the Monte Jade Taiwan – Silicon Valley High Tech Forum about Taiwan’s efforts to cooperate with international venture capital funds in the field of technology innovation. He touted Taiwan by saying the island provides a “combination of the innovation of Silicon Valley in the US, the R&D of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), and the efficiency of Taiwan’s high technology companies, creating a win-win-win situation.”
Tsay pointed out that there are three key elements in Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem: commercialization of knowledge, incubation of knowledge and the adding value to knowledge. The interaction among these three areas brings in new ideas, companies and technology, resulting in truly innovative products and services.
“ITRI also provides a complete environment in these three areas,” said Tsay. ITRI has close cooperation with the Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park, National Tsinghua University and National Chiao Tung University, providing a quality environment for the “incubation of knowledge.” At the start of 2010, there were 5,636 R & D personnel in ITRI, 22 percent with PhDs. ITRI owns a total of 15,721 patents, with almost one-third granted in the United States. The institute currently provides services to 15,139 companies and has 695 cases of technology transfer.
In the area of adding value to knowledge, Tsay said ITRI provides private companies with early stage business development, helping them with commercializing intellectual property and technology, and offering them laboratory technology and business incubation services. Since its inception in 1973, ITRI has successfully assisted more than 21,000 manufacturers and technology companies, including UMC, TSMC, Taiwan Mask Corporation, Rechi Precision, DelSolar, Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation (VIS), SunPlus and other internationally renowned companies across various industries.
In the area of knowledge commercialization, Tsay said that the Industrial Technology Investment Corporation (ITIC), set up by ITRI in 1979, is a venture capital firm specializing in the transfer and commercialization of technology in Taiwan. The difference between ITIC and other VC funds is that ITIC has access to ITRI’s resources, network, professional incubation assistance, as well as longstanding industry connections, he said.
As a non-profit research organization, ITRI has an exceptional record of helping companies to commercialize their technology, and is the best choice for international start-up companies seeking to bring their products to market, Tsay concluded.