How can we create new technology that spawns new industries, or that allows us to introduce mature high-tech industries like thin-film transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT-LCD)?
How do we get the technology that allows us to produce these products and go around existing patents, or to compete in world markets, when this technology is changing so fast?
Suggesting that one of the differences between developing and developed countries (when it came to innovation or technology systems) might be the degree of emphasis on industry, she speculated that the panel’s speakers might shed some light on the issue.
Dr. Amsden then introduced Dr. Hsin-Sen Chu of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). She characterized the organization as one of that country’s very best research institutes and noted that Dr. Chu is well known for his clarity of vision and his interesting take on technology and development.
Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan
Dr. Chu said that it was his honor to describe Taiwan’s model of and experience with technology development and innovation. Like Finland, he said, Taiwan is a country that is small in population and area whose resources are sufficiently limited such that they must be used with a maximum of efficiency and effectiveness. His presentation comprised five parts:
a brief introduction to the transformation of Taiwan’s economy over the previous 50 years;
a discussion of the major elements in Taiwan’s industrial evolution;
a brief introduction to ITRI, covering the role it had played in that evolution and the nature of its relationship with Taiwan’s industries;
a description of the opportunities before Taiwan; and
a very brief conclusion.
To begin, Dr. Chu projected a graph illustrating the change in the composition of the Taiwanese economy between 1951 and 2004 (Figure 16). The country’s per capita GDP had grown from $145 at the start of that period to $13,529 by its end, a nominal increase approaching two orders of magnitude.11 The service-industry
Adjusted for inflation, the growth in GDP per capita in Taiwan over the period from 1950 to 2000 is likely to smaller, though still impressive 20-fold increase. See Angus Maddison and Donald Johnston, The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2001.