|Officials in Taiwan are turning the island into an AI R&D hub / Photo Credit: FenlioQ (via Shutterstock)|
It’s not a secret that officials in Taiwan are turning the island into an AI R&D hub, reported Ralph Jennings of business news platform Forbes. It is expected that the area will grow into a $390.9 billion market by 2025, per the estimate of Grand View Research, a business consulting firm. For decades, Taiwan has been the world’s hardware hub, so its transition towards AI maximizes most of the existing inexpensive engineering talent. However, refocusing on AI reduces reliance on hardware, which can be manufactured in another location such as China at lower costs. Further, multinational tech organizations have shown interest in tapping Taiwan’s talent in software, AI included.
The government of Hsinchu County, near Taipei, will establish a 126,000-square-meter AI business park close to one of “Taiwan’s major all-purpose high-tech zones and two top universities.” Shirley Tsai, a research manager with IDC Taiwan's enterprise solution group explained, “[The park] will not just help [promote] industry-academia cooperation, but also let AI-oriented startups and companies have a demo space to verify AI product services.” The park will also attract companies who are showing interest in the AI sector and accelerating the AI ecosystem.
Tech giants like Google, IBM, and Microsoft have wanted to develop AI R&D centers or similar initiatives in Taiwan. They chose Taiwan due to an abundance of capable and cheaper engineers. Moreover, workers in Taiwan are perceived as less likely than peers in mainland China to purloin patented technology. In line with that, Taiwan’s cabinet last year announced plans to train 10,000 AI workers each year.
Last month, the AI business park, Hsinchu County International AI Smart Business Park broke ground. It will support a secondary school, an international conference, including a “demonstration and experience center,” per official records. There are also plans to construct an incubation center and workspace for startups. According to the official records, two-thirds of the total space will be allotted for companies doing AI. Basic infrastructure is slated to be completed by the end of the year.