Bio-based economy Seminar – 3 September, 2013, Seoul Plaza Hotel

Waste water to nurture algae, food waste to make plastics and algae to produce chemical building blocks. These are just some of the examples that the Netherlands is undertaking to turn agricultural and food waste and algae into high value product.

On September 3, a group of Dutch expert in the new field will be in Korea to present their ideas, knowledge and commercial products. On that day, there will be plenty of time to exchange ideas with them.

Below is a list of the Dutch organisations that  will visit Korea:

Biosolar Cells (Consortium for artificial photosynthesis)
Download 1: Consortium profile
Download 2: More background info

Control Union (Certification and inspection)

DeepArcticWater (Floating green house structure)
Download 1: Proposal for floating greenhouse structure
Download 2: DAW information

ECN (Energy Center Netherlands):
Download 1: Company Profile
Download 2: ECN’s work on biomass
Download 3: Method to Measure Green Energy

NeDaHan (Agricultural consultant)

General information about this topic is available in English and Korean.

If you are interested to attend the seminar and meet one or more Dutch companies during or after the seminar, please register at: registration, you will be contacted to set up a time for the meeting.


3D printer technology woven into diverse industries

2013_07_3DprintingChoi Yoon-chung (aged 22) has recently decided to undergo bimaxillary operation for her protruding lower jaw. Choi had been hesitant about the surgery as it involves risky procedures such as cutting off the facial bone and repositioning the upper and lower jaw bones. However, she has become resolved to the operation after receiving explanations that the surgery ensures safety using 3D (three-dimensional) printer technology.

3D printers are widely used for medical purposes including riskier plastic surgery, orthodontic movement and artificial hands/ legs. They enable surgeons to perform simulated surgery/ mock operations ahead of actual operations and make subsidiary organs catered to each patent, resulting in higher medical efficiency.

The luxury sportscar brand, Lamborghini utilized 3D printer technology to create a pilot model of the “Aventador.” Prior to the introduction of 3D printer technology, $40,000 and four-month period were required for the production but 3D printing brought down costs and the period to $3,000 and 20 days.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Colleges to allow up to 8 semesters of break for students to encourage starting business

South Korea’s universities specializing in science technology plan to permit students to take a break for up to eight semesters and faculty members up to six years to revitalize business start-ups.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has developed a draft guideline on regulations about starting a business, which can be applied to the country’s five science technology universities: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST); Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST); Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and; Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH). The ministry will hold a public hearing and receive feedback from faculty members and students about the guideline at KAIST in Daejeon Wednesday.

The draft gives six years of break to professors and eight semesters of leave of absence to students to facilitate their entrepreneurship activities. The GIST and UNIST do not permit students to take leave of absence to set up start-ups, while KAIST, DGIST and POSTECH allow four semesters at maximum.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Samsung to purchase chips from rival SK Hynix

???????????????????????????????????????¬????????????????????????????????????³???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????¬???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????¬????????????????????È??????????????¬?????????????¬????????????????????????É???????????????????É????????????????³??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????È?????????????????????????????????????In a deal that caught industry watchers by surprise, Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker, will purchase DRAM chips from rival SK Hynix, the world’s No. 2 memory chip maker.

According to sources Tuesday, Samsung Electronics Wireless Division sent its plan to SK Hynix last March and SK Hynix agreed to the plan after months of consideration. The DRAM chips will be used mostly for Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini to be launched in the second half of this year.

In a response, SK Hynix requested a purchase guarantee of 300 million mobile DRAM chips a year in terms of 1Gb and Samsung accepted the offer, sources said. The two are now discussing delivery time and prices. It is a rare deal that Samsung Electronics, which controls half of the global DRAM market, requested the supply from Hynix which represents 23 percent the market.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Samsung to expand storage devices business

Samsung Electronics said Thursday that the world’s biggest computer memory chipmaker will expand its lineup for data storage service by investing more in next-generation devices called “solid state-drives. (SSDs).” Demand for SSDs is huge because consumers want faster data processing and downloading from laptops, desktops to tablets. SSD is faster than hard disk drives (HDD).

“Samsung will clearly lead the SSD market by expanding our product lineup. Our priority is to offer SSDs with up to 1-terabyte capacities with affordable prices to both consumers and corporations,” said Jun Young-hyun, executive vice president at the firm’s memory sales and marketing, in a forum at the Westin Chosun Hotel in downtown Seoul. The plan was unveiled at Samsung SSD Global Summit attended by more than 150 international and local media. The event was aimed at unveiling new SSD products and business strategies.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Smartphone Game Market Expected to Triple

2013_07_gamingNine of the Google Play Store’s top 10 highest-grossing apps are Kakao games. The other one is the KakaoTalk messenger app, so it is fair to say that the “Kakao Kingdom” reigns supreme. National mobile games that rake in several billions within a year of release have emerged one after another since Kakao (the provider of global mobile social platform and mobile messenger KakaoTalk) launched Kakao Game at the end of July of last year.

Over the past year, the Kakao game platform has spearheaded growth of the entire mobile game industry. Accumulated sales from Kakao games amounted to KRW 466.2 billion over the past year with KRW 348 billion in the first half of this year, up 194% from KRW 118.2 billion in the second half of last year. Kakao Game’s KRW 466.2 billion in sales over the past year even exceeded the domestic mobile game market’s 2011 total sales.

According to KOCCA (Korea Culture and Content Agency), the domestic mobile game market is projected to hit KRW 918 billion this year and KRW 1.26 trillion next year (more than a 3-fold increase from KRW 316.7 billion in 2010 when South Korea’s smartphone penetration started to take off.

For full article, see Korea IT Times.

Nano Convergence 2020 Projects Designated

Nano Convergence 2020 Project Group formed by MOITE and MSIP announced on the 17th that 9 new research projects for 2013 had been selected. Nano Convergence 2020 is a technology commercialization project owned by the two Ministries, by which a total project fund of 513 billion Won will be invested from 2012 to 2020.

The newly selected projects include, development and commercialization of nano-based fake gasoline detector, development and commercialization of high-temperature conductive nano dispersion polymer composite material and development of 5th generation OLED lighting board surface coating by powder injection at the room temperature. The fake gasoline detector is the one that is expected to have the most immediate application to the daily lives of people. When the research produces successful outcome, the new detector will allow the consumers to easily authenticate gasoline they are buying right at the pumps with the tiniest amount of sample. The detector, likely to be in the form of a piece of cloth will change its color on contact with fake gasoline in 3 seconds.

For full article, see Korea IT Times.

Minister urges efforts to join global development of shale gas

The commerce minister called on the country’s energy firms to actively take part in the global development of shale gas, a new and inexpensive source of energy that may reshape the global energy market once fully developed. “We must quickly set up a strategic plan to join the global efforts develop shale gas when considering the impact the development of shale gas in the North American region will have on our petrochemical firms,” Yoon Sang-jick, the minister of trade, industry and energy, said in a special meeting with heads of energy companies here.

The ministry also noted the price competitiveness of the country’s petrochemical companies was expected to weaken significantly once their American competitors set up new production facilities that use shale gas in the near future. Shale gas is natural gas deposited in shale formation, which, up until recently years, had been considered uneconomical mostly due to a lack of technology to extract the gas.

For full article, see Yonhap News.

Some start-ups get big and grow at faster rates

2013_07_SMEsKorean start-ups have grown over the past eight years with 416 companies now having annual revenues of more than 100 billion won ($89.3 million). Companies such as Nexon and NHN now have yearly sales of over 1 trillion won.

The Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA) released the Venture 100 Billion Club yesterday, an annual survey of start-ups with sales of more than 100 billion won. Despite the ups and downs of the economy since the 2008 global financial meltdown, start-ups showed notable gains in the past eight years. Six companies currently report 1 trillion won in sales annually and 54 companies reached the 100 billion won sales mark last year.

Meanwhile, 19 companies saw their sales dip below 100 billion won. Among the 54 companies, 14 of them were in the computer, semiconductor and electronic components industry and 11 were in food and beverage, textiles and non-metals industries.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Korean scientists identify aging-related gene

A group of South Korean scientists has identified a gene that may help slow the rate of aging and also treat or prevent cancer, the science ministry said Tuesday. According to the team from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, the gene, TXNIP, helps create and maintain hematopoietic stem cells, which are blood cells that develop into all other blood cells, including immunity-related white cells.

The gene’s relevance to aging was identified in a test, in which hematopoietic cells in mice that lack TXNIP genes dropped by up to 90 percent compared to a group of controlled or normal mice when they were aged and placed under stress. None of the mice lacking TXNIP genes survived after a seven-day period while all of the normal mice survived, the ministry said in a press release. The team has also confirmed that hematopoietic stem cells lacking TXNIP genes have up to 40 percent more reactive oxygen species, which in turn suppressed the cell cycle, and thus sped up the rate of cell aging and eventually led to their death.

For full article, see Yonhap News.