Sydney council forges vital semiconductor agreement

Published on 10 July 2024


The City of Ryde has taken the first step in opening its vital Macquarie Park Innovation District to the international semiconductor industry by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Taiwan’s Hsinchu Science Park Bureau.

The MoU, digitally signed by both parties at formal ceremonies held simultaneously in Taiwan and at City of Ryde’s Council Chambers on Tuesday 9 July 2024, was approved by Council at its meeting on Tuesday 24 October 2023.

Along with City of Ryde Mayor Clr Trenton Brown and CEO Wayne Rylands, dignitaries at the ceremony included NSW Federal Senator Dave Sharma, The Hon. Jacqui Munro, Member of the NSW Legislative Council, Jordan Lane, Member of the NSW Parliament, Hugh McDermott, Member of the NSW Parliament, Stirling Wright, MPID Partnerships, Macquarie University, and Prof Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Macquarie University.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Sydney, Director-General David Chen-Wei Wu was also present, while Wayne Yeong-Junaq Wang, Director-General Hsinchu Science Park Bureau, conducted the signing in Taipei.

Cooperation between Council and the Hsinchu Science Park – which houses the world’s top two semiconductor companies among its more than 400 high-tech businesses – will focus on ‘the advancement of the semiconductor industry, the biomedical industry, and the incubation of start-up companies’.

The historic agreement means that Macquarie Park Innovation District can play a key role for Australia in an essential global industry that produces the computer chips needed to run everything from household appliances, smartphones and cars to submarines, and medical equipment.

Under the terms of the MoU, City of Ryde and Hsinchu Science Park will work together on information sharing and technology collaboration, bilateral contacts and partnership development, and the encouragement of knowledge-based industries in both regions.

It will further encourage assistance and collaboration in expanding other knowledge-based related industry clusters in both regions, and the encouragement of the exchange of faculty/staff or science park employees from the respective institutions.

“In the spirit of cooperation and friendship, the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau and the City of Ryde, share the common desire to expand and deepen their friendly ties of economic cooperation,” said City or Ryde Mayor Clr Trenton Brown, who signed the MoU on Council’s behalf.

“As noted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in September 2022, Australia’s lack of participation in the global semiconductor ecosystem has put us at a geopolitical disadvantage and having unfettered access to microchips is a matter of economic and national security.

“Taiwan produces over 60 percent of the world’s semiconductors and over 90 percent of the most advanced chips, so this collaboration is significant, not only for the City of Ryde but also for NSW and Australia.”

In March 2023, delegates from the City of Ryde attended the Taipei Smart City Summit and Expo, visiting the Hsinchu Science Park and meeting officials from Hsinchu County and the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau. Council delegates held 39 meetings over three days with a range of business, academic, and government institutions.

Following the delegation, staff from the Council's then newly formed City Shaping Department created a dialogue with the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau via the National Science and Technology Council (Taiwan) to enter a MoU that would contribute benefits to both the City of Ryde and the Hsinchu Science Park Bureau.

City of Ryde Chief Executive Officer Wayne Rylands said Macquarie Park Innovation District was a place of “state-significant innovation”, the perfect destination for future investment by the semiconductor and biomedical industries.

“Ten of the largest 100 companies in the world already use Macquarie Park as their Australian headquarters and I'd like to see that number grow,” he said. “That's why we attended the Taipei Smart City Summit and Expo because Taiwan is a leader in that high tech space, and Macquarie Park offers them a great opportunity to setup in an innovative ecosystem of high-tech companies that is already established.”

“Investing in the advanced technology sector has the potential to transform the City of Ryde community - it creates new job opportunities, especially those with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics backgrounds.

“It spurs innovation and creativity, attracting the best and brightest minds to our City.”

Clr Brown said Council’s international relations activities will play a critical role in attracting international investment to improve the sustainability of the economy.

“The economic functions of the City of Ryde, in particular the Macquarie Park Innovation District, are global in their outlook,” he said.

“Attracting investment into Macquarie Park’s innovation ecosystem will not only support new jobs and the development of new and enhanced products, but it will help deliver medical and technological advances that will improve the quality of life for citizens domestically and internationally.

“The MoU will support economic diversification in the Macquarie Park Innovation District, with flow-on benefits to Greater Sydney and regional NSW whose communities can leverage the innovation ecosystem, particularly the opportunities for collaboration with local businesses and Macquarie University.”

About Hsinchu Science Park

Established in 1985, the Hsinchu Science Park is divided into six satellite parks, namely, Hsinchu, Zhunan, Tonglu, Longtan, Yilan and Hsinchu Biomedical Parks, on a total area of 1,342 hectares and employing 150,000 people. It houses the two largest semiconductor companies in the world – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC). As well as the computer and peripheral industries, it also includes businesses involved in communications, optoelectronics, precision machinery and biotechnology. Known as ‘Taiwan’s Silicon Valley’, it is also home to a growing biomedical sector.

About Macquarie Park Innovation District

The Macquarie Park Innovation District (MPID) is Australia’s original innovation district, and we hope to unlock its true potential as an innovation powerhouse—a place where people can live, work, rest, play, and innovate. Already home to 63,000 highly skilled workers and 44,000 higher education students, MPID already makes an annual economic contribution of $13.6 billion to the NSW economy. It is also estimated that every year over $700 million is invested into R&D in MPID, translating to $2.6 billion to the National economy. According to the NSW State Government’s MPID Precincts Strategy, MPID ranks as the fourth largest employment centre in Greater Sydney and the premier non-CBD office market in Australia. Employees working within the MPID generated in excess of $7.9 billion of income in 2023, or more than $125,000 per worker.

The Macquarie Park Innovation District was built on the foundations of a combined education and employment campus that covers nearly 7km2 of high-quality built and natural environments. It contains the Australian headquarters of 10 or the world’s top 100 companies and is on track to become one of the largest commercial precincts in Australia by 2030. It is home to a significant number of business clusters, including medical and pharmaceutical; media, technology, and telecommunications; digital; transport and logistics; and advanced manufacturing and technology. The district also includes Macquarie University, a top 10 Australian university.