Samsung plans to invest 180 trillion won ($161 billion) to ramp up its ability to produce memory chips and other products vital to future growth.
The spending will boost research and expenditure in artificial intelligence, fifth-generation wireless networks, bio-pharmaceuticals, displays, semiconductors and other key programs over the next three years, according to Samsung. Almost three-quarters of that investment will be made at home, the company said in a statement.
Samsung made the announcement days after its de-facto chief, Jay Y. Lee, met with finance minister Kim Dong-yeon, at a chip factory south of Seoul.
Samsung has a reputation for forging ahead with investment even when competitors brace for a slowdown, a strategy that's helped it emerge as the world's biggest chipmaker after surviving one crunch after another. Samsung this year finished building the world's largest smartphone factory in India even as its Chinese market share shrinks.
Samsung expects innovations powered by AI technology will drive the industry's transformation, while the next-generation 5G telecommunications technology will create new opportunities in autonomous driving, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics.
In AI, Samsung plans to expand its research capability, increasing the number of advanced AI researchers to 1,000 across its global AI Centers. It will also invest aggressively to become a global player in the advanced markets for 5G chipsets and related devices and equipment.
Samsung aims to become a leader in electronics components for future cars such as system-on-chips for autonomous driving, utilizing its leadership in semiconductors, telecommunications and display technologies.
For biopharmaceuticals, Samsung has seen strong growth from both its contract manufacturing and biosimilar businesses. It will continue to invest heavily in the businesses, including developing and manufacturing biosimilars to combat chronic and difficult-to-cure diseases.
Separately, Samsung will increase its existing support of basic sciences to identify new growth opportunities, while widening the program to include areas of future technologies such as AI, 5G, IoT and biopharmaceuticals.
In semiconductors, Samsung will expand investments in manufacturing hubs, including in Pyeongtaek, to maintain global technology leadership and meet significant new demand from applications in AI, 5G, data centers and automotive electronics. In addition to investments for memory products, spending will include those for non-memory and new advanced manufacturing equipment.
For displays, investments will be increased to develop high-value, differentiated products amid rising competition in the industry.
Samsung will expand its internal venture incubation program, C-Lab, which was introduced in 2012, to support external start-up projects. The platform will benefit 500 projects - 300 external candidates and 200 inside the company - in the next five years to encourage innovations and entrepreneurship.
In conjunction with the Korean government, Samsung will also set up and operate software education centers across the country, which will nurture much-needed software talent and help create new job opportunities. The centers will train 10,000 students and job candidates, and provide employment consulting services for the next five years.
Additionally, Samsung will strengthen joint research with leading higher education institutions in the area of semiconductor and other core technology.