ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) won nine 2017 R&D 100 Awards (which is often referred to as the “Oscars of Innovation”) and also received the Special Recognition Award in Green Tech by its invention titled “LCD Waste Recycling System”, which is ITRI’s best ever performance through these years.
According to the press release issued by ITRI, ITRI tied with the world-renowned Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory for the first place with respect to the number of awards received. The number of the awards ITRI claimed this year exceeds that of MIT, NASA, GM, and many of ITRI’s winning technologies have been practiced and commercialized in the industry.
ITRI’s winning innovations include “BESTAI” (Building Energy Simulation Technology with Artificial Intelligence), “ChemSEI-Linker”, “CoolSo”, “CyberEpi”, “The LCD Waste Recycling System”, “CINmat” (Microwave Annealing Technology), “PT-ESL” (Power and Thermal-Aware Electronic System Level Platform), and “PHM” (Prognostic and Health Management Software in Semiconductors), which may be applied to such a wide range of realms as smart manufacturing, green energy management, intelligence system for software and hardware integration, and circular economy.
It is noteworthy that ITRI has received an award and the Special Recognition Award in Green Tech by its innovation, “The LCD Waste Recycling System”. The R&D 100 Awards Finalists for Special Recognition, selected by an independent panel of judges coming from top R&D institutions and national laboratories, are to recognize and honor the technologies or R&D companies that are strive to promote innovation and R&D developments and make outstanding contribution in green tech field. It is a special honor to receive the award for Special Recognition because only three innovation entries were highlighted in this category.
Besides, software and hardware integration has been a key drive for global innovative economy. Recognizing this tendency, the ITRI for years has been devoted to developing intelligence system for integrating software and hardware. This year, four of ITRI’s finalist innovations stood out to be highly recognized by the panel, winning not only the awards in the Software/Service category but also the visibility of ITRI’s performance, strength, and capacity in software and hardware integration.
Among those award-winning inventions, BESTAI, a “Building Energy Simulation Technology with Artificial Intelligence” is an energy-saving expert system with a user-friendly interface, drop-down menu, and search method that allow establishment of standard building energy models and database, which includes 18 kinds of roofs, 28 kinds of walls, and 324 kinds of windows, and other commonly-used building materials, and also 7,000 kinds of electrical equipments qualified for the Energy Label program. This technology has been applied by Hua Nan Bank, FamilyMart, Ruentex for conducting energy-saving diagnosis for buildings.
ITRI’s “LCD Waste Recycling System” is a technology with respect to solution for waste LCD panels treatment, through which two glass substrate plates enclosing liquid crystals are separated, and liquid crystals are exposed and extracted, and impurity is removed from the crystals through multiple sequential processes of distillation, absorption, and filtration. After going through the foregoing processes, liquid crystals can be properly reused in LCD panels manufacturing process. ITRI’s patented technology can properly dispose of 3 tons of waste LCD panels per day and more than 1,000 tons of them per year. Further, with liquid crystals removed, the separated glass substrates are further transformed into glass-based nanopore absorbent, a highly efficient heavy metal absorbent that is able to dispose of electroplating wastewater containing huge amount of heavy metal. This new reuse approach turns glass of waste LCD panels into green glass adsorbent and creates its reuse value significantly.
Moreover, ITRI collaborated with National Chiao Tung University and National Nano Device Laboratories in developing the CINmat, a microwave annealing technology that uses 2.45 GHz microwave frequency to heat up the silicon atoms in wafer to avoid dopant diffusion at lower temperatures. With CINmat, many pieces of wafers can be processed at a time, which is more effective than the rapid thermal annealing technology. CINmat has been practiced by some domestic manufacturers and is also applied by such industries as chemical industry (carbon fiber field) and electro-optical industry (LED).
Tim Studt, the senior judge of the R&D 100 Awards Committee commented that “ITRI has impressed us in its capacity in winning awards, and ITRI’s innovations are visible among all kinds of categories of inventions, which is truly commendable. In my view, ITRI shines in its ability in reflecting the trends for new technologies and novel products by its 11 finalist inventions.” (November 2017)