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U.S. Academic Predicts Mass Customisation to be Mainstream by 2009

2004-08-21 - Taipei, Taiwan: William Halal, a management professor at the George Washington University, has predicted that mass customization will become mainstream by 2009.

The Taipei Times reported yesterday that Halal made this comment during his guest speech to the seminar on technological innovation co-hosted by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan and the Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research.

He also predicts that broadband would become mainstream this year, intelligent interface in 2010, smart robots in 2012, hybrid cars in 2013, nanotechnology in 2014, telemedicine in 2015, alternative energy in 2017, and biotechnology in 2020.

Another speaker at the conference, Chen Po-chih, who is chairman of the Taiwan Thinktank, said "As an increasing number of developing countries are becoming internationally competitive, we must develop distinctive technologies to lower costs, rather than just resorting to mass production -- the method we used in past decades".

Chen, an economics professor at National Taiwan University, is also reported as saying that resource competition has replaced product competition as nations endeavor to woo foreign capital and skilled personnel. "The key to retaining local businesses and to lure more foreign manufacturers is to put more R&D effort into non-tradable goods," said Chen. He gave an example this by highlighting infrastructure, specifically the water supply. If water were in short supply, manufacturers wouldn't be able to vie with foreign competitors as water purchases would be far too costly.

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