By Monideepa Banerjee Special to The China Post
Taiwan’s first and most well-developed science park, the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP), has strived to develop a favorable environment for investors, attract high-tech talent and create a safehaven for IT companies since its inception in 1980. About a fifteen minute drive from the municipality of Hsinchu, HSP is easily accessible by bus or private transportation from the heart of the city. (Hsinchu is well-connected by railroads and highways to major cities of Taiwan. It is about 70 kilometers from Taipei and 80 kilometers from Taichung.)
Following decades of effort and investments of over NT$30 billion in developing the infrastructure, HSP has become a paragon for success. Home to many of the island’s largest and most famous IT and semiconductor companies, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. — the world’s largest made-to-order IC manufacturer — HSP has become the “Silicon Valley” of Taiwan.
Yet the first impression of the Hsinchu Science Park is likely to be one of lush green, as if you have stepped into a huge botanical garden. Inspired by Stanford Research Park, HSP has truthfully maintained its “park” status. The greenery covers 30 percent of HSP and creates a harmonious balance between high technology and the environment. To date, the park encompasses more than 600 hectares of land, houses 375 companies, and employs more than 100,000 people. HSP is a self-contained community that is divided into industrial, residential, and recreational areas. The industrial area extends from Park First Avenue to the southwestern side of Lising Road with elegantly designed office buildings and factories. Residential and recreational facilities are located near Lake Placid (Jingsin Lake), a beautiful man-made lake dotted with octagonal pavilions and surrounded by well-maintained gardens. The facilities include restaurants, bookstores, banks, a post office, shopping centers, hiking trails and exercising areas. The Park Administration has established the National Experimental High School, a bilingual school to provide quality education for children of overseas employees. The Science Park Life Hub, situated at the core of HSP, is a six-story building that acts as the de-facto visitors’ center with restaurants and cafes. This is also the center for conferences, exhibitions, and seminars, as well as social events. A museum highlighting technological achievements made by the park is located on the fourth floor. Exhibits include products made for everyday life using advanced technologies, such as digital book cases, Internet refrigerators, a talking robot puppy that helps its owner read e-mails, integrated chips and various biochemical products such as snore-stoppers and insect repellents.