AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) announced today its intention of setting up a second AUO Technology Center ("ATC") in the Central Taiwan Science Park, which is believed to be the Park's first Research and Development facility. The Company is to combine precision machinery, optronics technologies and talented research engineers to turnout future technological breakthroughs. In this mature environment AUO plans to invest in an additional R&D facility, which is hoped to be a magnet to research engineers in optronics on to the limelight of flat panels. With the additional R&D facility, AUO's technological capabilities will gain speed and strengthen competitiveness within this cutting edge industry.
AUO Technology Center Vice-President, Dr. CT Liu, stated that since the inception of ATC (at the Hsinchu Science Park) in November 2002, research and development investments have already reached nearly NTD 18 Billion. There are now approximately 900 research engineers on board and over 900 patent applications have been sent out. Presently, the total number of AUO's patents granted and in applicable is over 4,200 worldwide. This is a sizable accomplishment the Company's research and development team has achieved. In expanding the company's technological capabilities covering a wide-range of product mix categories, AUO plans to expand and cultivate its own team of research engineers for this great challenge ahead, inviting all talents to join this industry with great potential possibilities. This new research center is initially planned for approximately 200 research engineers, which will gradually expand to approximately 500 research engineers. Research and Development will include areas for advanced technology development in TFT-LCD, precision machinery, Information Technology application, and Consumer Electronics application technologies.
AUO President Mr. HB Chen is very positive about the Company's latest move. He stated, "Extending our R&D center to the Central Taiwan Science Park not only shows AUO's long-term dedication to the flat panel industry, but also offers essential technological support for our G6 and G7.5 fabrication facilities at the same site. A team of trained R&D research engineers will be in place in our central Taiwan site, which we believe will drive research institutions in this region to more technological breakthroughs on top of providing more talents to join the field. Central Taiwan has already in-place precision machinery and mature optronics technological developments where the support for our flat panel key materials and components and precision machinery are intertwined. Central Taiwan is shaping into a high technological hub where upstream supply chain are in the same facility, for on-hand and efficient support."