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.
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.”