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IEKView:IEKView on 2015 Outlook Seeking the Catalyst for Industrial Revitalization
 

Looking back, 2014 was a mixed year for the global economy. The US economy continued to strengthen and quantitative easing (QE) was phased out, with the threat of rising interest rates looming large. Although the European economy hit bottom and is bouncing back, it remains weak. In Japan, Abe’s government is having difficulty balancing sound fiscal policy with economic growth. China, long regarded as the driving force behind the world’s economic progress, has slowed its pace of growth. On the other hand, Korea has been actively pursuing free trade, signing multiple free trade agreements (FTAs) with different countries.

In its industry outlook for 2015, the IEK (Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center) points out that regional competition poses a serious threat to the future of Taiwan’s industry. Market-disrupting innovation will be the key to industrial development in 2015. IEK believes Taiwan’s industries—whether the machinery industry utilizing smart automation, the biomedical and healthcare industries, the Internet of Things (IoT), or big data services—will not only continue to thrive in their respective areas, but are ripe to be revolutionized by entrepreneurs seeking to overturn the status quo and transform the existing industry environment.

Facing numerous external changes, business players are actively seeking ways to survive in the market. Foxconn is betting on robotics and actively collaborating with academia to develop smart robots. IoT innovation is also viewed as the next big thing that will bring an influx of opportunities to industry. Furthermore, the rise of shale oil and the development of the coal chemical and green energy industries are shaking up the world of petrochemicals. The recent sharp decline in oil prices also has brought a new variable into the mix for the world economy in 2015.

The IoT is generally regarded as the key driver of industrial development in 2015; however, its applications are still unfolding. The current structure is built around vertical-market applications, e.g., intelligent transportation, smart business, and smart manufacturing. The data type, data management and storage, and the analytical decision-making tools vary widely across these applications. IEK anticipates that business information currently scattered across different platforms will be consolidated as data sources grow. How businesses handle big data and turn the data into valuable information will be a crucial challenge.

In this article, IEK will take a look at the new business opportunities arising from automation machinery, smart healthcare, IoT, and big data. From these emerging markets, hopefully we can find new drivers to revitalize the industry.

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)

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