Rescue robots get government support

DRC Hubo II
DRC Hubo II

The Korean government has pledged support for the development of rescue robotic technologies by setting a goal of commercialization by 2022. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said Monday it is reviewing the “public safety robot project” to see if it is viable. The project will focus on developing core technologies related to the rescue robots. Once the project gets the green light, it will support development of various technologies including sensors that operate even in thick smoke, as well as crawler systems.

These technologies will be used in disaster situations such as rescuing people under debris, detecting stranded people in smoke-filled buildings that are on fire, or surveillance of nuclear power plants. Related industries are expected to grow significantly. Citing a study by Homeland Security Search Corporation, the ministry said the world’s disaster rescue industry is expected to double from 372 trillion won ($338 billion) in 2013 to 612 trillion won in 2022. China alone is expected see its market expand from 57 trillion won to 140 trillion won during the same period.

For full article, see Jongang Daily.

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KT’s Pangyo innovation center a high-tech candy store

A panoramic view of the fifth floor of the Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation opened by KT on March 30 in Pangyo
A panoramic view of the fifth floor of the Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation opened by KT on March 30 in Pangyo

A laboratory accommodating five cutting-edge 3D printers, a never-before-seen collection of Internet of Things (IoT) parts, and a financial technology (fintech) support center.  Those futuristic terms and related devices that may be new to most people are being tested and developed at the Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, a facility that mobile carrier KT opened March 30 along with the local government and other public organizations.

Under the creative economy agenda pushed by the Park Geun-hye administration, conglomerates and major enterprises have joined forces with the government to open a series of innovation centers; the KT center in this technology hub, often compared to Silicon Valley, is the eighth of 17 planned. Ten days after its official opening led by the Blue House and KT, tech reporters were invited for a tour last Friday and to talk to employees and heads of companies that have nestled into the space KT rented after seeing their potential.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

 

IoT test cities will be technology proving grounds

The government plans to designate two cities where local and foreign companies developing businesses related to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can test products and services and get consumer feedback. Under the plan, the central and regional governments will establish a fund to establish super-fast telecom networks and basic data transfer infrastructures. The cities will test smart health care devices and a digitized public administration system. The testing will last three years.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) announced Thursday it will allocate 12.6 billion won ($11.5 million) this year for the project, 7.5 billion won for the smart health care project and 5.1 billion for the smart public administration project. The ministry will begin accepting project applications from city governments today. The IoT test-bed project is part of the government’s effort to help private sector IT companies, and it will be a first step toward studying the impact of IoT devices on the legal system.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

EU Research & Innovation Day

The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea and the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea are co-organising the 1st EU Research and Innovation Day in the Conrad Hotel, Seoul, Korea on 25 March, 2015.  In this event, all EU Member States and their major research and innovation organisations will also participate and share information with Korean counterparts about their policies, programmes and success stories. There will be ample opportunities for networking with present and future partners. Please join our event and experience the excellence of European research and innovation!

EU Research Day

For more information, click here.

For registration, click here.

LG opens 29,000 patents…raising USD 150 million venture fund

2015_02_LG innovation centerTo create the creative economy ecosystem in Chungcheongbuk-do, LG will open 29,000 patents and raise a venture fund to the tune of KRW150 billion. Also, LG affiliates, including LG Chem, will invest KRW1,600 billion over a 3-year period to invigorate the local creative economy.

The LG Group announced this plan at the launching ceremony for the Chungcheongbuk-do Creative Economy Innovation Center held at the Chungcheongbuk-do Knowledge Industry Promotion Agency in Ochang, Chungcheongbuk-do on February 4. President Park Geun-hye, Lee Si-jong governor of Chungcheongbuk-do, Koo Bon-moo chairman of LG and the CEOs of over 140 local small and medium-sized venture firms were present at this ceremony.

LG will install the ‘IP Support Zone’ which shares patents with local small and medium-sized venture firms. Here about 29,000 patents, including the 27,000 patents owned by LG and the 1,600 patents of 16 government-funded research institutions, will be opened for free or at minimal costs. Among them, 3,058 patents will be transferred to small and medium-sized venture firms free of charge. The patent areas include bio, beauty and energy, earmarked for the Chungcheongbuk-do area, as well as electronics, chemistry and communication.

For full article, see Korea IT News.

Samsung establishes product innovation team

Samsung Electronics has established a team to work on hi-tech innovative business projects, officials said Monday. Its core mission includes projects on virtual reality, robotic telepresence, drones and robots, three-dimensional (3D) printing and unmanned vehicles.”The team will explore how technologies could help people’s daily life for a better future,” an official said.
Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun will lead the team inside the mobile division.

The team, which has no direct links with the company structure and divisions, will operate independently. “Given the significance of the team, members will have more authority and independence because the main purpose of the team isn’t to develop single devices for any imminent results, but to develop solutions to go with Samsung’s manufacturing capabilities,” the official said.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Korea’s weak on start-ups: survey

2015_01_weak startup

Korea is behind Latvia and Colombia when it comes to entrepreneurship, according to report from a local research institute. The report released Sunday by the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) said that Korea was ranked 32nd out of 120 countries in entrepreneurship last year. The study was an analysis based on the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2015, which was compiled by the international non-profit Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute.

Each of the 120 countries got scores based on 15 sub-indexes that assess both start-ups and how their society embraces them. They include start-ups’ business skills and networking abilities and each society’s cultural openness to accepting failures and risks. In 32nd place, Korea was classified in the third of eight classes, on the same level as Romania and Bulgaria but lower than Latvia and Colombia, when it comes to social understanding and support of entrepreneurship. Korea was ranked 26th out of 79 countries in 2012 and 37th out of 118 in 2013.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Start-ups receive record investment

2015_01_startup
Source: Joongang Daily.

Korean investment in local start-ups reached a record high of 2.54 trillion won ($2.3 billion) last year, shooting up 61.9 percent over 2013, largely thanks to contributions from the private sector. According to data disclosed on Tuesday by the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA), more than half of the new investments came from the private sector, including commercial banks, pension funds, conglomerates and successful start-ups that have grown into large businesses.

The private sector’s contribution of 1.5 trillion won to local start-ups in 2014 showed a drastic increase over the previous two years, due to the Park Geun-hye administration’s efforts to boost start-ups. National policy funds – central and regional governments, the state-run Korea Development Bank and their joint funds – put about 1 trillion won into start-ups last year.

The SMBA added that there were 481 start-up funds operating at the end of last year, holding a total of 12.2 trillion won. The SMBA said that the bigger boost from the private sector is a sign that the nation’s start-up ecosystem has improved and became more attractive to investors.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

IoT and software projects to receive 93 billion USD in loans

The government will provide loans of 100 trillion won ($92.3 billion) for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other software projects to foster new growth engines. In a joint briefing Wednesday, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and four other ministries said the state financing scheme will benefit fifth-generation mobile networks, bio medicine, solar and fuel cells, bio energy and nano semiconductor and sensor technologies.

“We will help finance hydrogen cars, zero-energy towns and the Internet of Things (IoT) in 17 regional Creative Economy Innovation Centers,” said Science, ICT and Future Planning Minister Choi Yang-hee. These centers will also involve Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Heavy Industries, LG, Doosan, Lotte, Hanwha, CJ, GS, Hanjin, KT, Naver and Daum Kakao. The innovation centers are a pet project of President Park Geun-hye — Daegu, Daejeon, Gumi in North Gyeongsang Province and Jeonju in North Jeolla Province are currently home to such centers.

For full article, see Korea Times.