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.


Korea chose ‘intelligent robots’ as one of 10 most promising next-generation growth industries


Song Se-Kyong, the CEO of Future Robot, introduces the " Furo-S "
Song Se-Kyong, the CEO of Future Robot, introduces the ” Furo-S “

In August 2003, the South Korean government chose ‘intelligent robots’ as one of the top 10 most promising, next-generation growth industries that were expected to help raise the national per capital income to USD 20,000. Ten years have passed since then and over the past decade, several industries on the top 10 most-promising list, such as displays, semiconductors, and next-generation batteries, have become among the world’s best. However, the intelligent robot industry is still wrestling with a tough task of creating private markets that continue to expand.

As South Korea’s slow-growing robotics market has been led by a small-sized venture firm which was created just four years ago, that firm has been thrown into the spotlight. The market leader is Future Robot, developer of newly launched advertising robot Furo-D. Future Robot has been on a roll in the domestic market, as well as such overseas markets as Japan, China, Brazil, Singapore, and Russia. Against this backdrop, Korea IT Times sat down with Song Se-Kyong, CEO of Future Robot, a company that aspires to be a “future-oriented business,” to learn about this small but strong robot maker.

FOr full article, see Korea IT Times.

Posco and Samsung open innovation centers in North Gyeongsang province

President Park Geun-hye gets a close-up look at a robot that cleans pipes at the creative economy innovation center in Pohang, North Gyeongsang. [NEWSIS]

The Park Geun-hye government’s creative economy initiative received its biggest boost thus far on Wednesday with the opening of innovation centers in Gumi and Pohang in North Gyeongsang. That brings the number of innovation centers nationwide to five, designed to assist start-ups and support regional economies.

The Pohang center in particular received a lot of attention for being independently established by Korea’s largest steelmaker, Posco. It is the first innovation center established and run by the private sector. Samsung Group, which established an innovation center in Daegu in September, opened another one in Gumi to help nearby electronics manufacturers and suppliers enhance production efficiency by implementing smart systems in their factories.

Park and Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Choi Kyung-hwan attended the opening ceremonies for both centers on Wednesday. “Regional economies have prospered mainly around industrial complexes for the past 40 years, but those areas nowadays have struggled with deteriorating production facilities and low technological competitiveness,” Park said at the ceremony. “The two new innovation centers will certainly revitalize these places by helping traditional manufacturers roll out new products inspired by technologies like the Internet of Things, big data and 3-D printing.”

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Seminar: Innovative Growers in the Creative Economy

In the morning of 18 November, KIAT, KITECH and the Netherlands embassy will organize a seminar, where several innovative high tech SME’s from the Netherlands and Korea will present their road to success in the highly competitive semicondutor and mechatronics sector. Through constant investment in R&D, they have become a leader in their specific niche market. In the afternoon, a matchmaking will take place. During 30 minutes’ meetings, you will have the chance to meet one or more of the Dutch companies to discuss possible future business or joint projects.

Date: 18 November, 2013
Time: 09:00 ~ 17:30
Location: Seoul Plaza Hotel
Room: Grand Ballroom

For the seminar and matchmaking, please register online on:

The following Dutch companies will be present:

Admesy (colorimeter, spectrometer, Spectrocolorimeter)
Website: http://www.admesy.com/
Download 1: Company profile

Brabantse Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij (Regional development agency)
Website: http://www.bom.nl/welcome
Download 1: Company profile

Lionix (microfluidics, optofluidics, integrated optics, MEMS & micro machining)
Website: http://www.lionixbv.com/
Download 1: Company profile

NL Agency (Eureka/FP7 national contact points, EU-subsidy programs, technology matchmaking)
Website: http://english.agentschapnl.nl/

NTS (design, engineering, assembly & production of opto-mechatronic modules & parts)
Website: www.nts-group.nl
Download 1: Company profile

Saxion University of Applied Science (nanotechnology)
Website: www.saxion.nl/nanotechnology
Download 1: Nano technology

Storgrid (cloud computing, data management, data security)
Website: http://www.storgrid.eu/
Download1: Company profile

TNO Industrial Innovation (R&D institute, mechatronics, vacuum technology, prototype development)
Website: www.tno.nl
Download 1: Company profile
Download 2: References
Download 3: TNO intro (한문)

For registration of this event, please visit:

Korea’s creative economy aims at venture ecosystem

When President Park Geun-hye introduced her creative economy policy during the election campaign late last year, most people were bewildered by the relatively new concept. The policy’s key points included promoting convergent IT and software technologies, scientific discoveries and technology integrating with cultural content for sustainable economic growth.

“We must lead Korea’s mid- to long-term growth based on knowledge (in science and technology),” Park said when announcing her plan to create the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the control tower for the president’s creative economy initiative.

The emphasis on science and technology in the key economic policies of Korean presidents is nothing new, but science and technology or even technological convergence had been overlooked by the former administration of Lee Myung-bak, whose knowledge economy efforts were focused more on facilitating a business-friendly environment for conglomerates.

The concept of a creative economy was just as confusing as a knowledge economy, or even Park’s economic democratization pledge.

For full article, see Korea Herald.

Samsung drastically cuts funding for public technology foundation

2013_08_samsung_officeGovernment and funding company couldn’t agree on Samsung’s degree of control over foundation’s technological output
Samsung is reducing funding for its planned “future technology development foundation.”

Originally, the company said in May that it was putting up 1.5 trillion won (US$1.34 billion) over the next ten years to support the “creative economy” pledged by the government. Now the allotted amount has dropped to 500 billion won (US$446 million), with the remaining one trillion won to be provided through a new “future technology training center” within Samsung Electronics. The move is expected to trigger an outcry, with critics claiming it runs counter to the initial pledge of Samsung establishing a foundation that would work in the public interest.

For full article, see The Hankyore.

Korea government approves $10.4b for R&D

2013_08_RnD_budgetThe government has decided to invest 11.7 trillion won ($10.4 billion) in research and development, of which 3.9 trillion won will be allocated to help realize the Park Geun-hye administration’s ambitious “creative economy” initiative. While the overall budget for R&D next year is a 2.2 percent increase from this year, the amount set aside for “creative economy” is up 5.9 percent.

Even within the creative economy budget, the government has allocated 1.1 trillion won to not only support the competitiveness of start-ups and small and midsize companies, but also develop information communication technology and software convergence. That is nearly 27 percent more than this year’s budget. Additionally, the budget for public safety research and development, such as protection of personal information, as well as natural disasters and social problems such as food and medical safety have increased 16.2 percent from this year’s budget to 640.7 billion won.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Science & ICT < service sector

The term “creative economy” puzzled many when President Park Guen-hye was inaugurated in February and declared it as her administration’s economic paradigm. By June, the government came up with its own definition — “combining creative ideas with science and information and communications technology (ICT) to help create new businesses, markets and industries and to generate more jobs.”

Along with the definition, the government announced six strategies. Starting a business will become easier, with proper rewards for creative ideas. Small and medium enterprises will play a lead role in an economy that large conglomerates or chaebol have traditionally dominated.

The government also plans to encourage the integration of science and ITC into existing industries to add value and competitiveness. It also wants to educate students to foster creativity and entrepreneurship, and plans to invest more in science and ICT. The last strategy is to create a culture where good ideas are freely communicated and brought to reality.

Although the government has laid out somewhat specific goals and detailed plans to achieve them, the public is still learning to understand what a creative economy is, while foreigners remain largely confused. The Korea Times’ Business Focus talked to foreign experts to hear their perception of a creative economy and the most important ways to achieve it. The four interviewees visited Korea in June to participate in the Global Industry and Economy Forum 2013, which the state-run Korea Development Institute and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance organized.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Government to inject $36 billion to spur ‘creative economy’

2013_06_president ParkThe government will invest 40 trillion won ($35.8 billion) over the next five years to turn Korea into a creative economy centered on science and information technologies as well as small and mid-sized enterprises.

Unveiling the master plan to spur the transition, Choi Mun-kee, minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning, said the government’s goal is to foster an environment where creative ideas and innovative technologies lead to new jobs and markets. This year alone, the government will inject 6.9 trillion won, which will includes a 500-billion-won fund for venture start-ups.

“We hope this plan will create at least 650,000 new jobs and create positive spillover effects throughout the economy,” Choi told reporters. “The master plan is about generating new jobs and industries, ensuring Korea’s global competitiveness and fostering an environment that values creativity.”

For full article, see Korea Times.

New giant ministry mired in political wrangling

A new powerful ministry dealing with policies on science, information and IT is finding it difficult to set sail due to political wrangling, more than a week after the Park Geun-hye government was inaugurated on Feb. 25. President Park proposed the establishment of the so-called Ministry of Future Planning and Science to embody her vision of a “creative economy.” But the proposal for government reorganization has failed to win approval from the National Assembly in the face of objection by opposition parties to allow the ministry to control broadcasting-related policies.

The ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party have failed to narrow their differences on the government reorganization plan. The scheme gives more power to the Future Planning and Science Ministry, which takes over some functions from the state telecom and broadcast regulator Korea Communications Commission ― a move opposed by the DUP.

The new ministry, which focuses on building a “creative economy,” would be in charge of devising policies involving developing future growth engines in information communication technology as well as science.

For full article see Korea Herald.