Applied Materials opened its first office in China 32 years ago and today China is the world’s leading consumer of ICs with a rapidly growing domestic semiconductor industry. While few might have forecasted this opportunity, today the landscape is primed for Applied to continue the journey we began over three decades ago to help China strengthen its technology expertise through collaboration and partnerships. It’s a commitment we take seriously.
As part of its work to be a valued partner to China, Applied Materials recently held an Open Innovation Workshop in Shanghai themed “Shaping the Future with Materials Engineering.” Industry leaders, academic researchers, investors and Applied Materials experts from emergent technology fields explored how materials engineering can enable next-generation displays, advanced sensors, power grid management and energy storage devices that have the potential to transform sectors of the global economy.
Applied has seen a doubling of its China revenue in the last two years, but the opportunity is beyond monetary. The excitement surrounding China stems from the way in which its $150 billion gap between IC supply and demand is coupled with a truly visionary technological agenda. As an example, we are seeing advanced, VR-ready mobile devices coming out in China at roughly $400 a piece with OLED screens and beautiful form factors.
China is facing unprecedented development opportunities as a result of favorable policy, availability of capital and ideal market conditions. At the recent G20 summit, members agreed that innovation is one of the key drivers of global sustainable development, and China has proposed exploring more efficient growth models through innovation. For example, one structural driver for huge growth in battery technology is the Chinese government’s strategic plan to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption.
China’s energy policy and clean vehicle initiatives are currently among the strongest in the world with some battery companies experiencing 100% annual growth and a shortage of EV batteries to supply the market. As a result, Chinese battery companies are open to testing new technologies and manufacturing solutions that will drive performance, safety, lifecycle or cost savings.
In addition, the Chinese government’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation has created huge opportunities in high-tech industrial sectors such as semiconductor and display manufacturing. Advances in materials engineering are creating new innovations in electronics and opening up new opportunities in energy, transportation and healthcare. Applied Materials is well positioned in China to support this growth with local support, development and demonstration capabilities.
Cross-industry collaboration is the winning formula for driving mutual success in China. Our Open Innovation Workshop is the latest example of how Applied is supporting the growth of the Chinese high-tech sector by bringing together presenters from world-renowned research institutes, leading global manufacturers and innovative startups to share their insights on the development and application of advanced materials, and explore future development trends in China.