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Beyond the capital: Taiwan flexes its technological muscle

While Taipei remains the epicenter of economic activity, Taichung is giving the country’s capital a run for its money as several high tech industries in Taiwan’s third-largest city builds a reputation abroad as an innovator in robotics, medical technology and aviation. Many middle-sized companies, like Apex Dynamics, AeroJones Aviation Technology and LinkWin Technology, have begun to catch the attention of global investors.

With Apex Dynamics CEO and Vice President Arthur Kuo

Apex Dynamics, founded in 1987 as a producer of takeout robots, experienced rapid growth after it ventured into the development high-precision planetary gearboxes, which rapidly gained approval of foreign manufacturers because of their quality and efficiency. Unlike some of their competitors, the company chose to have the entire design and production process is done in-house.

“We focus on R&D, idea generation, designing and the entire production process. We use the best machines and focus on quality. Our chairman wants to show that the Taiwan machinery industry can very well catch up with Japan, Germany and others,” said CEO and Vice President Arthur Kuo.

With AeroJones Aviation Executive Vice President Hsieh Chi-Tai and his management team

Meanwhile, AeroJones Aviation Technology is keen on showing the world Taiwan’s skill in aircraft design and engineering. Recognizing opportunities in Asia for the aviation industry with the rise of the region’s Asian economies, the company wants to change attitudes that favor Western suppliers.

Partnering with a German aircraft design and engineering company, Aerojones Aviation have built the Composites Technology Light Sport (CTLS), which is longer, lower and sleeker than other Light Sport category aircraft. In production since 1997, the CTLS has gained certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)and ready for global marketing.

“Our first step was to gather as much expertise and knowledge, then promote our technology and skills globally. Our target is the U.S. market because we see most potential and opportunity there. We want the Asian aviation industry to relate back to us,” said Executive Vice President Hsieh Chi-Tai.

With LinkWin Technology President Arthur Cheng

Another of Taichung’s leading manufacturing firm, LinkWin Technology is devoted to research and development of carbon fiber and manufacturing advanced products made of the material. So far, the focus of its product development is on medical applications because of its huge growth potential.

To expand its business and research, the company has partnered with several international hospitals, clinics and medical research facilities. As it builds its expertise and knowledge from these partnerships, LinkWin hopes to share their valuable technology with less advanced countries.

“Carbon fiber has very big business opportunities in advanced countries, like the U.S. and in the EU. We want to use this technology in the development of medical devices in the hopes that we can assist other less advanced markets in these medical areas,” President Arthur Cheng said.

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Taiwan 2017 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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