Samsung looks to the future with $4.5 billion investment in five new R&D centers
Electronics giant Samsung is gearing up to build five new research and development centers in its home country of South Korea at a cost of some $4.5 billion, the Korea Times reported this week. Citing unnamed company officials as its source, the report added that construction should be completed by 2016.
Whether it results in a further 50 variations of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, a new range of wearable tech we didn’t know we needed, or a bunch of other gadgets and gizmos we haven’t even thought of yet is anyone’s guess, but the substantial investment by Samsung highlights the firm’s determination to stay ahead of the game in its quest to dominate just about every sector of the electronics market
A cutting-edge design research center, which could open as soon as 2015, will be built in Seoul and house around 10,000 designers, software developers and strategists, the report said.
A “parts-development center” will also be constructed, with the facility used to study and research next-generation materials and components destined for use in future products. Other centers specializing in chips and flat screens are also mentioned in the Korea Times report.
Global R&D network
Globally, Samsung has just over 40,000 people working in research and development. Its huge R&D network currently comprises 26 centers across 11 countries throughout the world. The company’s latest R&D facility opened in Finland just last month, in the same city where Nokia has its headquarters.
In 2012, the tech giant pushed its R&D spending to a colossal $10.4 billion, a record for the company in a single year.
“R&D may not generate tangible results in the short term,” a Samsung researcher told the Korea Times, “but the key point is that Samsung can’t survive if it fails to develop products that can give value to customers.” Just so long as it doesn’t bankrupt itself by overspending on R&D facilities, we think Samsung’s going to be just fine, at least for the foreseeable future.
By Trevor Mogg