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Corning to develop advanced TFT-LCD substrate furnace in Taiwan

US Corning Inc. has promised the Taiwan government that it will carry out development projects involving seventh-generation thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) substrate facilities o…

US Corning Inc. has promised the Taiwan government that it will carry out development projects involving seventh-generation thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) substrate facilities on the island, industry sources have revealed. The MOEA officials said that Corning“s promise of the seventh-generation furnace project in Taiwan is expected to be of great assistance in establishing a comprehensive panel industry cluster and overtaking rivals Japan and South Korea to become the world“s No.1 panel producing nation. The officials said that Taiwan“s Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu led an investment delegation which arrived in New York on 14 August 2003, the day of the massive power cut. Corning dispatched a corporate jet to bring Lin to Corning“s New Jersey headquarters and the American company“s chief technology officer personally made the promise to Lin regarding the seventh-generation development project Industry sources said that Japan has been also trying to win Corning“s new-generation furnace development project, although Lin refused to comment on the reports because of the possibility of changes in the future Corning Glass Taiwan Co., Ltd., the Taiwanese subsidiary of the American company, recently submitted an application to the Administration of the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park (TSIP) for permission to set up a glass substrate production line at HannStar Display Corp.“s new fifth-generation TFT-LCD panel plant in the southern Taiwan park. The new substrate furnace is scheduled to enter service late in 2003 or early 2004. According to industry sources, Corning Taiwan“s move will enable the company to supply substrates directly to HannStar and save on transportation costs. The move is also expected to further strengthen cooperative links between the two companies With intensive and systematic investment over the past few years, Taiwan TFT-LCD panel suppliers currently account for about 35% of global panel supply Industry sources also said that Corning Taiwan president Nitin Kulkarni recently urged the Taiwan government to pay more attention to the problem of business intelligence about local TFT-LCD panel lines being leaked. Kulkarni made the statement at a foreign company consultants committee discussion with the MOEA. Eli Lilly Taiwan president Rob Smith and P&G Taiwan president Roberto Guidetti were among the participants backing Kulkarni on the need for better protection of industry intellectual property. MOEA officials admitted, however, that the rapidly-expanding TFT-LCD panel industry in Taiwan has forced most panel makers to hire skilled and experienced professionals from rivals, thus increasing the possibility of commercial intelligence leakage.

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