July 10, 2001 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG SDI, held a ground-breaking ceremony of a state-of-the-art research institute

Samsung SDI (CEO, Soon-taek Kim) announced on July 5 that it held a ground breaking ceremony to start the construction of an Advanced Technology Institute in Ki-hung in order to accelerate research and development efforts for the next generation displays such as AM organic EL, LCOS, FED, and MBIT that are expected to become the product leaders in the future market, and so-called 'battery of dreams' such as Lithium Sulfur battery and solar battery.

In May next year when the new institute is expected to be completed, the research facilities and human resources currently based in the Suwon Plant will have been moved to Ki-hung where the new R&D center will operate. Over 500 related parties including Soon-taek Kim, CEO of the company, key executives and researchers attended the ceremony.

A total of 110 billion won will be invested to build the institute that takes up 39,670 square meters (including the building area of 7,603 square meters). The institute will be the largest one when compared with those of domestic display companies in Korea in terms of its size and facilities such as research rooms (7,603 sq. meters), clean rooms (4,958 sq. meters) and laboratories (9,256 sq. meters).

One of notable features of this brand new institute is a huge clean room, a completely clean space free of any impurities including dusts. The clean room can be used for research and development of not only semi-conductor application technology but also various types of products such as AM organic EL, MBIT, FED, LCOS, Lithium Sulfur battery and solar battery. The efficient use of the clean room is expected to facilitate the R&D process of the next generation displays and rechargeable battery.
Heavy investment will be made to impeccably equip the labs of the research center with the latest research equipment, which will enable researchers to experiment with basic materials such as coating liquid and fluorescent substances that determine the level of resolution of PDP and CRT.

Also, the strategic location of the R&D center seems to give a special advantage to the company. The institute will be located geographically between the Suwon Plant where the digital CRT's are manufactured and the Chun-an plant, a base of mass production of PDP and rechargeable battery. Leveraging this geographically convenient location, the company can quickly apply the results of R&D to actual manufacturing of products.

Samsung SDI decided to build the new research and development institute to concentrate its development capabilities on creating the world's best products such as PDP, rechargeable battery, organic EL, and STN-LCD, along with CPT and CDT, two major products for which the company currently hold the largest market share in the world.

Samsung SDI already established a mass production system for PDP, organic EL and rechargeable battery that emerged as new core products following CRT. With necessary human resources assigned to the new businesses, the company is about to secure a top-notch R&D system, laying a solid foundation to lead the display market on the international stage.
Notably, the company plans to invest 280 billion won, an equivalent to 7% of this year's total revenues, in R&D efforts. According to the statistics released by KITA(the Korea Industry Technology Association), the figure is far above the industry average of 2.5% and 3.1%, the average investment made by advanced nations as of last year.

The number of researchers will increase to over 500, around 6 % of the total number of executives and employees. More importantly, more than 100 researchers hold a doctorate degree, putting Samsung SDI on a par with international advanced firms in terms of the number of highly-educated human resources.
In his speech of encouragement, Soon-taek Kim, CEO of the company said, "by intensively researching next generation core businesses and new displays that will lead the new digital era, the new research center will become a womb from which changes of Samsung SDI will be born. We need to innovate our business structure to form a 'trinity structure' of new energy business, new material and new component businesses, centering on the basic framework of the display business.

The advanced technology institute, currently based in the Suwon plant was founded in 1983 as the first research center devoted to the development of display products. Since then, it has been always at the fore of researching and developing high-value added products and new technology. Its accomplishments include the development of the flat panel displays such as PDP, STN-LCD and organic EL, the launching and localization of new businesses such as Lithium Polymer?Lithium Sulfur rechargeable batteries.

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