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.

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.

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.

Government announces blueprint for engineering

2014_01_RnD_universitiesThe Park Geun-hye administration is embarking on a concrete project to turn engineering colleges into outposts for her “creative economy” initiative. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced yesterday it will launch the “college of engineering innovation committee” today in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, as well as scholars and industry insiders.

Park, the country’s first president with an engineering background, pledged more support for engineers. Many of the country’s best science talents have opted for medical school, raising the concern over the stated engineering. According to the Science Ministry, the committee will steer professors of engineering colleges toward practical projects rather than writing dissertations.

Currently, engineering professors at many Korean colleges are evaluated mainly on the number of papers they publish. The quality of education at the country’s engineering schools also has been criticized. Schools will be encouraged to use more practical curriculums, the ministry said. The ministry said impractical schooling has hindered Korea’s economy compared to investment in research and development (R&D).

According to the Science Ministry, college spending on R&D has increased since 2004. The figure increased almost 1.5 times to 5.28 trillion won ($5 billion) in 2012, compared to 3.8 trillion in 2008. Korea’s total R&D investment recorded 55.5 trillion in 2012, 1.6 times higher than the figure in 2008.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Korean Government boosts its goals for space

2013_11_map_to_spaceKorea plans to launch an exploratory lunar probe aboard its own launch vehicle by June 2020 and later embark on missions to Mars and asteroids by 2040, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced yesterday.This represents a revision of the space development blueprint that moves up the time frame of the lunar landing mission and outlines a budget and other long-term space plans.

The advancement of Korea’s space program is one of President Park Geun-hye’s key pledges in line with other projects aimed at fostering the sciences and engineering fields. Initially, the development of the space launch vehicle, or rocket, was scheduled for September 2021 with a budget of 1.545 trillion won ($1.45 billion). The ministry pushed up the schedule by one year and three months, and boosted the budget to 1.957 trillion won.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Korea set to join EU’s joint R&D program

South Korea is expected to soon become a member of the Europe’s largest research and development (R&D) program Euro Star, the Seoul government said Friday. Euro Star is a joint R&D program run by Eureka, a network of 33 European states, including all 28 member states of the European Union, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy here.

A memorandum of understanding on South Korea’s becoming a full member of the program has signed by South Korean Minister Yoon Sang-jick, who is currently accompanying South Korean President Park Geun-hye on her official trip to Europe, the ministry said in a press release. South Korea, if it joins Euro Star, will become the first non-European state to become a member of the European R&D program.

South Korea seeks to join Euro Star 2, a second five-year program that is set to be launched at the start of next year.

For full article see Korea Herald.

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:
http://bit.ly/hightech-SME-seminar.

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:
http://bit.ly/hightech-SME-seminar.

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.

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.

Korea to pump US$ 80 bln over 5 years into science and technology research

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Prime Minister Chung Hong-won presides over a meeting of the National Science and Technology Council on Monday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

South Korea will sharply increase its investment in science and technology setting a 92.4 trillion won ($80 billion) budget to finance research and development projects in new growth sectors by 2017, the government announced on Monday. The plan represents a more-than 30 percent increase from the previous Lee Myung-bak administration’s five-year budget of 68 trillion won.

As part of the five-year science and technology development project, the budget will be allocated to enhancing agricultural and medical technology as well as supporting basic science research. The government said it believed the investment would help elevate the level of science and technology research and help create some 640,000 new jobs.

For full article, see Korea Herald.