Samsung reportedly spending £3bn on five major new R&D centres

Samsung is spending ₩5 trillion (£2.9 billion) on building five new research and development centres in South Korea.

Citing unnamed company officials, the Korea Times says that the centres will focus on a number of key areas that Samsung is keen to expand, including chips, design and flat panel displays.

One such building, R5, is already under construction, and will be dedicated to the development. The R5 lab alone has cost Samsung ₩800 billion (£466 million).

Next to that will be another major centre, where Samsung will concentrate on next-generation parts and materials for use in future devices.

A design research centre, housing 10,000 Samsung developers and designers, will be erected towards the south of Seoul at a cost of ₩1.2 trillion (£700 million). This should become operational in June 2015.

The final two R&D centres will be dedicated to chips and flat-screens, opening in 2014.

"Research and development may not generate tangible results in the short term," said an unnamed Samsung source. "But the key point is that Samsung can't survive, if it fails to develop products that can give value to customers."

Samsung has certainly upped its R&D strategy of late, having increased its spending in the area significantly over the past few years. In 2011, the Korean giant spent ₩10.3 trillion (£6 billion) on R&D, while last year's figure rose to a staggering ₩11.9 trillion (£6.9 billion).

In addition, Samsung announced a $1.1 billion (£699 million) Silicon Valley innovation hub in January, before revealing plans to open another R&D centre in Espoo, the home Nokia.

"Much of the remarkable progress in fields such as mobile computing and medicine has been possible thanks to the advancement of information technology backed increased spending on research," the Samsung source continued.